Q. Do my symptoms indicate bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

Answered by Dr. Vandana Patidar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Hello doctor,

Since I was around 8 years old, I have experienced mood fluctuations but not in the normal bipolar way (which I am being tested for). I do not feel like my mood sways between depression and mania. It is always some level of mania but without depression. I also experience tactile hallucinations such as something grabbing my leg, ants or bugs crawling up my legs as well as something breathing on and grabbing my arm. Tension headaches are also common, and intrusive thoughts pretty much ruin my life. Another common occurrence is I notice I have trouble talking, not in a word salad kind of way, but a slurred sometimes mumbled speech. My Psychiatrist says it is likely bipolar, but I do not think that that is the only possible diagnosis. To me, it seems more closely related to schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. All I want to know is that is there a possibility that I am correct? Could it be a schizophrenic related disorder? In the past, they gave me Citalopram for anxiety.

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Dr. Vandana Patidar
Psychiatry, Psychologist/ Counsellor, Psychotherapy, Sleep Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, your psychiatrist is correct. Bipolar is a more likely diagnosis. Bipolar disorder need not be present with depression and mania both. Recurrent mania also comes under the category of bipolar disorder. In mania, our sensitivity to stimulation increases like colors appear more bright, music appears more appealing and smoothing, also hallucinations are common in mania too. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder diagnosis are made only when there are criterias of disease which get full filled. You can refer ICD 10 bluebook for detailed criteria. To me also, the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia is less likely.

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