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Are bipolar disorder and schizophrenia symptoms similar?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia share some common symptoms. When people with bipolar disorder are in an extremely high (manic) or low (depressed) state, they may have psychotic symptoms. A person who is manic and psychotic may have delusions and believe that he is powerful or very wealthy. While depressed, a person with bipolar disorder may become paranoid, possibly believing, for example, that she has caused a tragedy in some way. When these delusions or hallucinations continue, others may wonder if the person has schizophrenia. However, a diagnosis of schizophrenia does not include the extremely high and low emotional states associated with bipolar disorder. They are two distinct illnesses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.