Does Schizophrenia cause Bipolar? (+3 Main differences)

This current article will be answering if Schizophrenia causes Bipolar. To understand this better, we will also be looking at the main differences in symptoms and treatment, between Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Does Schizophrenia cause Bipolar?

Yes, Schizophrenia can cause Bipolar. While this is often not experienced, in many cases symptoms of Schizophrenia and Bipolar both may be present in the person. This is actually clubbed as a separate disorder called schizoaffective disorder.

In schizoaffective disorder, the person may have a variety of psychotic symptoms. Along with these, they may also go through numerous mood shifts which are characteristic of bipolar disorder.

There are mainly two types of schizoaffective disorder. These are:

  • Bipolar type: The bipolar type of schizoaffective disorder comes with psychotic symptoms like delusions and hallucinations along with the presence of manic episodes and depressive phases. The depressive phases might be quite rare.
  • Depressive type: Another type of schizoaffective disorder is the depressive type. In this type, the person may experience psychotic symptoms along with depressive phases. Manic phases are absent in this type.

The main symptoms of schizoaffective disorder have been discussed as follows,

  • Hallucinations: Hallucinations are definitely present in schizoaffective disorder. The hallucinations can come in various types and can cover visual, auditory and even gustatory hallucinations.
  • Delusions: Delusions are also present in schizoaffective disorder. Delusions basically refer to a false belief which is pretty much unshakeable in the person. The person may have delusions of grandeur, persecution, love, and others.
  • Sudden increase in energy levels: In case the person is going through a manic phase in the schizoaffective disorder, they may also experience a sudden increase in their energy levels. They may suddenly take on multiple projects.

In this phase, the person may also show hyper-focus on a particular task for long periods of time. At the same time, in the depressive phase of schizoaffective disorder, the person may lose all their energy and may feel fatigued to do even basic chores.

  • Less quantity of sleep: Schizoaffective disorder can also lead to sudden and explained changes in the quality and quantity of sleep. When the person is going through a manic phase, they may need less sleep than usual.

Even when they sleep, they might have constant nightmares and night terrors. In depressive phases of schizoaffective disorder, they may constantly sleep for long periods of time without getting out of the bed. They may also complain of fatigue and tiredness.

  • Self-hygiene problems: Self-hygiene problems can also be seen in schizoaffective disorder. This is mostly experienced in the depressive phases of schizoaffective disorder. In this phase, the person may feel too tired for self-hygiene.

Apart from the depressive phase, the manic phase of schizoaffective disorder can also cause problems in self-hygiene. Even though the person may have tons of energy, they may lack the focus to complete their self-hygiene routines properly.

  • Changes in speech patterns: The speech pattern may also change in schizoaffective disorder. In the manic phase of schizoaffective disorder, the person’s speech may seem too hurried and too pressured to make sense.

In the depressive phases, too many changes in the speech pattern may not be noticed. Still, the person may sleep very slowly and softly. Apart from the tone and volume, the content of the speech may also be very unusual.

If you are exhibiting the signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and have been diagnosed with the illness, your consultant mental health professional may suggest the following treatment modes.

Treatment through medication

The first line of treatment for schizoaffective disorder is through medication. More specifically, the drug Paliperidone Palmitate, will be prescribed for the treatment of this illness. However, the treatment may also differ depending on the severity of your illness and the direction your doctor is taking.


Psychotherapy can also be very useful for anyone who is suffering from schizoaffective disorder. Psychotherapy can come in different modes, but most often Cognitive Behavioral Therapy combined with other schools of thought will be provided.

Rehabilitation and training

Apart from medication and psychotherapy, schizoaffective disorder can also greatly benefit from rehabilitation and training. For example, social skills training can make social situations more comfortable, while ADL training can improve self-hygiene.

Differences between Schizophrenia and Bipolar

While Schizophrenia and Bipolar may have many similarities, there are many important differences between the two. While Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness, Bipolar disorder is actually a mood disorder by definition. A few differences between the two are:

Symptoms of Schizophrenia and Bipolar

The symptoms of Schizophrenia mostly cover delusions and hallucinations along with a distorted thinking pattern. Along with these, the person may also exhibit abnormal and unusual physical movements and may also be unable to reach decisions very easily.

On the other hand, in Bipolar, the person’s symptoms can differ depending on if they are in the manic phase or the depressive phase. While the manic phase is characterized by a sudden increase in mental and physical activity, depression takes the opposite turn.

Bipolar disorder is basically characterized by a frequent and regular shift from a high to a low mood. In Bipolar disorder 1, the manic phase may last for more than a week, while in Bipolar disorder II the manic phase may be totally absent.

In severe cases of Bipolar disorder, the person may also experience psychotic symptoms. For instance, they may experience hallucinations and even strong delusions which may come in combination with their mood shifts.

Diagnosis of Schizophrenia and Bipolar

In order to diagnose a person with schizophrenia, a psychiatrist will look for at least two of the following symptoms,

  • The person experiences hallucinations
  • Their speech is disorganized and distorted
  • Their cognition is impaired
  • Their movements are unusual and agitated in nature

In terms of bipolar disorder, the psychiatrist will look for frequent manic and depressive episodes in the span of a week. They may also look for impulsive behavior and poor quality of sleep, experienced along with shifts in their mood.

Another thing that the psychiatrist may also look for is the effect that these symptoms have on the daily life and social life of the person. While this is not exactly for diagnosis, this is mainly to determine the course of treatment for the person.

Treatment of Schizophrenia and Bipolar

The way these two mental illnesses are treated is also pretty different from each other. Schizophrenia is mainly treated through antipsychotics which are meant to target the hallucinations and the delusions.

Apart from antipsychotics, certain types of training and rehabilitation may also be indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. This training can include social skill training and even ADL training. In some cases, even employment opportunities can be included in the treatment.

In case of Bipolar disorder, the treatment can mainly include medication in the form of mood stabilizers and even antidepressants. Antipsychotics may also be prescribed for those who are demonstrating psychotic symptoms.

Therapy also forms a part of the treatment which is recommended for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The main aim of the psychotherapy is to basically teach the person to stop maladaptive thought patterns and instill healthy ones.

The therapy may be individual oriented or even family oriented. Group therapy can also be superb for those who are suffering from Bipolar disorder. In severe cases, Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT may also be used to bring more stability to the person’s mood.


This current article has answered if Schizophrenia causes Bipolar. To understand this better, we have also looked at the main differences in symptoms and treatment, between Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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