Differences between Paranoid Personality Disorder and Paranoid Schizophrenia

What are the differences between paranoid personality disorder and paranoid schizophrenia?

Schizoaffective Disorder (schizoid)

The most common type of mental illness in the world today. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, mood swings and other symptoms that cause great distress or impairment in daily life.

There are two types of schizoaffective disorder:

1. Bipolar I Disorder (manic depression) – People suffering from bipolar I disorder experience periods of mania, followed by depressive episodes.

2. Bipolar II Disorder – People suffering from bipolar II disorder experience depression for most of the time, but do not experience mania.

Mood Disorders

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Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which people alternate between periods of depressive moods and manic moods. During manic periods they feel very energetic, overactive and full of thoughts. During depressive periods people feel sad, unmotivated and guilty.

Various types of bipolar disorder are:

1. Bipolar I:

During manic periods the following symptoms may occur:

a) Increased energy levels

b) Unusual excitement

c) Unusual irritability

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d) Increased activity levels

e) Speech is fast and irregular

f) Thoughts are racing

g) Difficulty sleeping

h) Poor judgment

During depressive periods the following symptoms may be present:

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a) Feelings of sadness and despair

b) Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness

c) Lack of energy and motivation

d) Poor concentration and memory problems

e) Thoughts of suicide and self-harm

f) Changes in appetite, with resulting weight loss or gain

g) Insomnia or excessive sleeping

h) Unexplainable aches and pains, usually related to feelings of tension

2. Bipolar II Disorder:

Bipolar II is the same as bipolar I, but with less severe manic episodes. There are still distinct periods of mania and depression, however the mania is less severe.

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3. Cyclothymia:

This is a mild form of bipolar disorder, in which periods of hypomania (a less severe manic state) alternate with periods of normal mood.

4. Other Types of Mood Disorders:

There are other types of mood disorders, such as depression, that can be co-morbid with bipolar disorder.

Differential Diagnosis:

The following conditions are typically considered for a differential diagnosis:

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a) Depressive Disorder (Unipolar): This is a condition in which people experience prolonged feelings of sadness, inadequacy, loneliness and guilt. This is not the same as bipolar disorder, and is much less severe.

b) Bipolar II Disorder: This is a condition in which people experience extreme periods of depression as opposed to mania.

c) Cyclothymia: This a milder form of bipolar disorder.

d) Other Mood Disorders: People can experience mood swings related to hormonal changes (such as premenstrual syndrome), or due to the use of various drugs.

e) Other mental disorders: Conditions such as schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder can also be associated with delusions and hallucinations.

f) Other: There are a variety of other conditions that can be linked with delusions and hallucinations, including stroke, brain tumors, drug abuse and excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes people to experience mood swings between manic and depressive episodes. People with bipolar can experience mood swings very quickly and without obvious cause or reason. The mood swings are linked with changes in dopamine levels in the brain.

The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, however it is thought that a combination of environmental and genetic factors contribute to the development of the illness.

The following factors are associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder:

1. Family History:

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If one parent has bipolar then the chances of a child developing bipolar is approximately 10%, if both parents have bipolar then the chances are 50%

2. Season of Birth:

Bipolar is more commonly diagnosed in spring and summer than in autumn and winter.

3. Migration:

Bipolar is less common in migrants, and more common in native populations.

4. Drug Use:

Some drugs can cause symptoms of bipolar, these include Ecstasy and some amphetamines.

However, it should be noted that not everyone who takes drugs exhibits symptoms of bipolar, and not everyone with bipolar has taken drugs.

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Bipolar I and II are separate conditions. The main difference is the severity of manic episodes.

In both types of bipolar, depressive episodes are also experienced. These are listed below:

1. Depressive Episodes:

During a depressive episode, people experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, hopelessness and inadequacy. The feelings can be so strong that people may contemplate (and attempt) suicide.

Depressive episodes are not the same as going through a period of grief after a loved one dies. During a depressive episode, people will not be able to take pleasure in their favorite activities.

Depressive Episodes can be defined as:

a) Five (or more) of the following symptoms have been present during the same two-week period and represent a change from previous functioning. At least one of the symptoms is either (1) or (2):

1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day2.

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Loss of interest in most activities3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain4. Insomnia or hypersomnia5.

Psychomotor agitation or retardation as observed by others6. Fatigue or loss of energy7. Feelings of worthlessness8. Difficulty thinking or concentrating9. Recurrent thoughts of death

b) The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

c) The episode is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism).

2. Manic Episodes:

During a manic episode, people experience a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least one week. They will have at least three additional symptoms:

a) Inflated self-esteem or grandiosityb) Decreased need for sleep (e.g. feeling rested after only three hours of sleep)c) More talkative than usual or feeling the need to keep talkingd) Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racinge) Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation

3. Mixed Episodes:

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During a mixed episode, people experience the symptoms of both a manic and a depressive episode at the same time.

4. Rapid Cycling:

If you have a history of severe mood swings with four or more distinct mood changes (whether up or down) in one year, you may have rapid cycling bipolar.

5. Bipolar Disorder and Suicide:

It is important to note that people with bipolar disorder are at a higher risk of committing suicide than people without bipolar.

6. Medications:

Although there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, it can be treated effectively with a combination of medication and therapy.

The most common medication used to treat bipolar disorder are mood stabilizers, of which lithium is the most well-known. Antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics can also be used to treat the condition.

While medication can help bring the mood swings under control, it is still important to find ways of managing your condition so that you have the best possible quality of life.

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Because life events can still trigger manic and depressive episodes, it is important to have a good support network of family and friends. Counseling can also help people to learn new ways of thinking and coping.

Going to support groups and raising awareness about the condition can also help people with bipolar disorder to cope with their condition and how others see it, as well as helping to fight the stigma attached to it.

The course of bipolar disorder varies a lot from person to person, and some people have fewer episodes as they grow older.

The average life expectancy of someone with bipolar disorder is the same as anyone else.


Treatment for bipolar disorder involves a combination of medications, therapy and lifestyle changes. The most commonly used medication is lithium, which is used to stabilize the levels of mood-altering chemicals in the brain. Other medications, such as anticonvulsants and antipsychotics, can be used alone or in combination with lithium to stabilize moods.

Although antidepressants can help to lift the depression phase of bipolar disorder, they should not be used alone to treat the condition.

Most people with bipolar disorder also undergo psychotherapy. This involves discussing their condition and the effect it has on your life with a psychiatrist or psychologist. During therapy, you work together with your psychiatrist or therapist to identify early warning signs that you’re starting to slip into a manic or depressive episode.

Once these signs are identified, you can develop a plan to help you deal with your condition and prevent an episode from occurring, or at least shorten the length of the episode.

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Psychotherapy can also involve discussion of your childhood and past relationships as these are common causes of the condition. It is not known why some people develop bipolar disorder, but a combination of genetic and environmental factors is thought to be responsible.

Psychotherapy can take place on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. The therapy aims to help you to:

A careful balance needs to be struck between treating the bipolar disorder and allowing you the freedom to express your emotions. A therapist can also help if you have problems complying with your treatment. If you are finding it difficult to adhere to your medication schedule, for example, your therapist can give you incentives to stick to your drug regime.

In some cases, the therapist may even prescribe an antipsychotic to prevent you from stopping your treatment.

How successful is bipolar treatment?

Most people see a great improvement in their condition following treatment. In fact, many people are able to lead fairly normal lives, holding down jobs and functioning well in society.

It is vital that you adhere to the treatment plan recommended by your psychiatrist. Failing to do so could cause your condition to worsen, resulting in side effects such as psychosis and diabetes.

Manic symptoms can return if you stop taking your medication. It’s important to continue seeing your psychiatrist and to take your medication unless your doctor says otherwise. If you do stop taking your medication, you could become manic or even switch into a depressive episode.

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In the event of a mania relapse, you will need to start taking a different medication rather than just increasing your dose.

You should continue with your therapy even after you feel better. It is important to find out what triggers your manic and depressive episodes so you can spot the early warning signs and seek help if necessary.

Your psychiatrist should perform regular checks on your condition, especially if you’re newly diagnosed. If symptoms persist or worsen, you may need to try a different treatment or combination of treatments.

When treatment is working, many people with bipolar disorder lead fulfilling lives. With the right treatment plan and a little hard work, people with bipolar disorder can have successful and fulfilling lives. It is important to understand that medication is not a cure for bipolar disorder, but it can help you to live a normal life.

There is no known cure for bipolar disorder, but it can be effectively managed through medication and therapy.

It is important to seek help if you notice symptoms in yourself or loved ones, as early intervention is the best way to manage bipolar disorder. Knowing the signs and how to treat it is important, so educate yourself today.

Bipolar disorder is a condition that causes extreme changes in a person’s mood, from highs (known as manic episodes) to lows (known as depressive episodes). It is a long-term condition that requires ongoing treatment to help you manage the symptoms. There is no known cause for bipolar disorder, but it’s believed to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

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You will be diagnosed with bipolar disorder if you experience significant manic or depressive symptoms (or a combination of the two) and periods of normal mood, but the normal mood must not last for longer than 2 months at a time and must not occur beyond a point where you have had at least 1 mood episode.

You can learn more about how bipolar disorder is diagnosed here.

Treatments for bipolar disorder aim to control the extreme changes in mood which may include the use of medication and therapy.

Bipolar disorder can be effectively managed through medication and therapy. The first line treatment for bipolar disorder is medication in the form of mood stabilizers or antidepressants. Other options include antipsychotics and atypical anti-depressants.

These medications are designed to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain.

In addition to medication, many people benefit from psychotherapy which involves dealing with the root causes of your condition and other techniques to manage your condition.

A healthy lifestyle also helps to alleviate the symptoms of bipolar disorder and includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and getting enough sleep.

This infographic is a guide to bipolar disorder, its symptoms, causes and treatment options. Use it as a reference to better understand the condition and to learn how to seek treatment.

If you think you or someone you know is suffering from bipolar disorder, seek help immediately. While bipolar disorder cannot currently be cured, it can be successfully treated and managed with the right knowledge and treatment plan.

Please feel free to share this infographic and spread awareness about this often misunderstood condition.

Sources & references used in this article:

Diagnosis of malnutrition

DNA Genetic Recombination