Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder are both conditions affecting mental health. Symptoms for both are similar so it is not easy for a non-professional to make a distinction between these two diseases. A physician or psychiatrists can easily differentiate by talking with patients and their family members or by knowing their family history.
Eric Kraepelin, a German psychiatrist was at the forefront in determining that the two illnesses were very different from each other although the symptoms can be similar.
Bipolar disorder is considered a mood disorder whereas schizophrenia is considered a thought disorder. In bipolar disorder mood swings occur in a cyclic way from mania to depression. In acute mania the person is effectively psychotic and inseparable from someone with schizophrenia in a psychotic period. There are a lot of misrepresentations, although researchers have observed that the actual distortion in acute mania of bipolar is more firm than in schizophrenia.
About 40% of those with schizophrenia also exhibit depression hence the difficulty of distinguishing between schizophrenia and bipolar. The severity of bipolar disorder is less then schizophrenia.
According to researchers genes play an important role behind both illnesses. With the help of family history or genetics, medical professionals can differentiate the two.
Today treatments are available for both schizophrenia and bipolar. Both psychotherapy and medications are possible. Treatment is usually long term in nature to adjust brain chemistry and manage symptoms.
Talk therapy is also found to be useful in these types of mental disorders in helping to reduce the severity of these diseases.
Though both Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia appear similar in many respects, the medicine and treatment for both the diseases are quite different from each other which is why accurate diagnosis is so important. A person diagnosed with bipolar will not respond to schizophrenia medication.
There is a drug called Clorazil, which is administrated to schizophrenia patients to control their brain functions. If it is given to a Bipolar disorder patient it will not work. Similarly lithium is a very effective drug which inhibits reoccurrences of maniac state in Bipolar .
It will be advisable to the patients, suffering from either of two diseases to choose a good doctor who can understand their problem. Choosing the correct medical professional helps patients get the right treatment to effectively manage their illness.