More complex mental health disorders can be difficult to identify and diagnose because they may share many symptoms with other issues. People with schizophrenia are often misdiagnosed as bipolar and vice versa because the two problems both affect how the person thinks and acts. Both issues can make it challenging to think clearly and make it through everyday activities.
Even though it is hard for psychologists to recognize these two mental disorders accurately, they are two very different problems. People with bipolar disorder have extreme mood swings that can make them act erratically either in severe depression or heightened mania. Someone with schizophrenia might struggle with hallucinations and delusions that interfere with their daily functioning.
Both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder require lifelong treatment even if symptoms improve over time. Each mental illness requires specific medications to help stabilize the patient and treat their particular brain chemistry. People with bipolar disorder may need a combination of antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotics while those with schizophrenia require mainly antipsychotic medication.
Both issues will require support from a therapist and sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy that will allow them to address their emotional issues. People with schizophrenia may need help from a therapist to identify their confused thoughts and help them think more clearly about reality. Someone with bipolar disorder will need to learn strategies to help cope with both their depressive and manic symptoms when they are triggered.
It is crucial to get an accurate diagnosis for either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to make sure that you are getting the right treatment. Once a psychiatrist understand what is causing your symptoms they will be able to treat it more effectively through the right kind of medication and therapy methods. If you have symptoms of either disorder find a professional treatment center where you can get a diagnosis and treatment plan.