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Bipolar Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia


According to, “Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two different chronic mental disorders. People can sometimes mistake the symptoms of bipolar disorder for schizophrenia symptoms.”  To explain further according to this specific source, Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia can be confused with one another.  However, they are two different disorders.  This particular article will address the differences between Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

According to, “Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder. It causes sudden and strong shifts in energy, mood, and activity levels. A person with bipolar disorder will switch between extreme excitement, or mania, and depression. These shifts can affect your ability to perform daily activities.”  To sum it up, Bipolar Disorder consists of sudden shifts in mood and energy.

What Is Schizophrenia?

According to, “Schizophrenia isn’t as common as bipolar disorder. The symptoms are more severe than the symptoms of bipolar disorder, but it’s highly treatable. People with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations involve seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Delusions are beliefs in things that aren’t true.”  To explain further, schizophrenia consists of hallucinations and delusions.

What Are The Differences Between Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia?

According to, the onset of Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia appear at different points in an individual’s life.  According to, “Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.2 % of people in the United States. It usually first appears between the late teen years and early adulthood. Children can also show signs of bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia affects 1.1% of the population. People usually find out they have it between the ages of 16 and 30. Schizophrenia isn’t usually seen in children.”  Therefore, to summarize, Bipolar Disorder affects more of the population than schizophrenia does.  In addition, Bipolar Disorder can show up in childhood, while Schizophrenia usually shows up between the ages of 16 and 30 and is not seen in childhood.


To end this article, Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia may appear similar to the human eye, especially since individuals with Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia can both experience symptoms associated with psychosis.  However, this is just one similarity between Bipolar Disorder and schizophrenia.  On a contrasting note, they are actually quite different from one another. To recap, Bipolar Disorder is more common than schizophrenia, appearing in 2.2% and 1.1% of the population, respectively.  In addition, Bipolar Disorder can appear in as early as childhood, while schizophrenia is not known to appear in childhood, rather appearing between the ages of 16 years old to 30 years old.

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Bipolar Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2016). Bipolar Disorder Vs. Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from


Last updated: 27 Oct 2016
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