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Difference between bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder

F

fusen

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Hi everyone, I'm diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychosis and based in the UK.

My question is what is the difference between bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. I have frequent episodes of psychosis even when my mood is stable. My mood is stable right now yet I'm constantly hearing voices, seeing things and becoming paranoid and anxious.
 
rasselas.redux

rasselas.redux

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No-one can tell you the difference other than someone qualified enough in psychiatry to not be able to be challenged successfully by anyone other than another psychiatrist, and even then, if they are your consultant psychiatrist, They May Not Be Challenged.

For the most part I like psychiatrists as people. Just like near enough everyone else with a profession a very large number of them are frustrated with the slow pace of change, or change going skew-whiff.

I am diagnosed with Bipolar of the OU Degree. That means I'm very clever as well as very lazy. I'm not really lazy, they are negative symptoms that had to be induced in me to frighten off the positive symptoms.

In many ways we've moved no further than taking someone out the back and giving them a good kicking and then hoping that they won't mention that they are Napolean again.
 
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fusen

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Thanks for the reply.

My point is, from what I've been reading with bipolar you are only suppose to get psychotic when you are either manic or depressed. I'm having episodes outside the mood swings so I'm just wondering if I've been misdiagnosed.
 

cpuusage

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i think it's all perspectives/opinion.

i don't think there are categorical answers when it's all more deeply looked into.

At best i think the diagnoses need to be seen as general categories - for certain ranges/types of experience. i'm not convinced that the diagnoses refer to monolithic/distinct diseases/disorders.

i think there are a lot of commonalities between what gets labelled as schizophrenia, bipolar & schizo-affective. There are general symptomatology ranges - which can often overlap, change & shift - & also depend on how things are being presented (speech & behavior), & the subjective view of the psychiatrist. Current psychiatry also doesn't really go near the question of aetiology (causes), nor what the exact nature is of these conditions - it's really just simply saying this is what is being presented & fits 'these' criteria - there isn't a lot else to it than that.
 
F

fusen

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Can anyone confirm if you're suppose to have psychosis outside the mood swings of bipolar?
 
F

fusen

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It's possible, but I don't feel manic/hypomanic or depressed, yet I'm hearing voices, being told I'm delusional and paranoid etc.

I don't know. All these different diagnoses confuse me.
 
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fusen

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Plenty of people with a bipolar/schizo-affective diagnosis do.
That is exactly my question, what is the supposed difference between bipolar with psychosis and schizoaffective disorder. I just don't get the difference.
 
rasselas.redux

rasselas.redux

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It's possible, but I don't feel manic/hypomanic or depressed, yet I'm hearing voices, being told I'm delusional and paranoid etc.

I don't know. All these different diagnoses confuse me.
There are no hard and fast rules.

All you are looking ahead to by moving from bipolar to any other of the "PSYCHOTIC" labels is to have your antipsychotics increased, or the case for that being made stronger.

Maybe consider the voice hearing as something else, and find out where your nearest voice hearing group meets. No-one gives a fuck about your label there. But they will be interested and open about you as a person.
 
SarahD

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DSM 5 (American) rules schizoaffective has to have psychosis for a period without affective symptoms. ICD 10 (European) rules are more nebulous.

Likely to get antipsychotics for Schizoaffective or Bipolar with or without psychotic features. Avoid them if you can at all manage without them.
 
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blueorange

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Can anyone confirm if you're suppose to have psychosis outside the mood swings of bipolar?
I cannot confirm anything since I'm not a psychiatrist but I think what you said is important and if you haven't tell this to your pdoc yet, you should. You know sometimes it is very difficult to distinguish between bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. So of course there may be a misdiagnosis, but if you ask this to your pdoc I'm sure he will take it into account.
 
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