There may not be any difference at all. The labels are somewhat variable, depending on the assessing physician's anecdotal notes and experiences with you. Rather than focusing on the label, focus on treating the symptoms and achieving wellness.
It's true what Kate said, there is not much difference. And your best bet is to treat the symptoms. However, there is some difference, in that when you have Bipolar Disorder you have mood swings from high to low, and low to high, either regularly, or every few weeks or few months. You may get into a psychotic state during one of these episodes, so it is paramount that you have your mood swings controlled with a mood stabilizer to prevent becoming psychotic if you are not psychotic already.
With Schizoaffective Disorder, you may never have mood swings. It is possible to have this disorder with depression only, and not mania. So that is a difference. Also, moods are secondary to psychosis in Schizoaffective Disorder, not the other way around.
I hope this information helps you, and good luck with your treatment.
schizoaffective disorder, as it is currently defined, their psycosis must also occur during periods without mood symptoms. In schizophrenia, mood episodes have been thought to be absent or less prominent than in schizoaffective disorder.
there is much debate between these diagnosis and the current work on the new DSM-V will probably delete schizoaffective disorder or modify it's current criteria.
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