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Can someone explain to me schizoaffective and psychotic mania?

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Because I’m seeing my therapist today-psychiatrist next week-and I have already been diagnosed with bipolar I disorder but have been psychotic before and recently. What’s the difference between a psychotic manic episode and schizoaffective? Also can disorganization (Thoughts and behavior) be part of bipolar mania too? 

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Schizoaffective generally means you have psychotic symptoms outside of mood episodes.   


Psychosis is also a feature of bipolar I disorder and clinical depression, but the psychosis is only present when you're in a mood episode.


I think some doctors will bend the criteria a bit as well, and if psychosis seems to be more of an issue than the mood disorder, you might get diagnosed with SZA.


SZA was/is supposedly going away in the DSM-V, but I'm not sure if that happened.

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Schizoaffective is when you display the characteristics of schizophrenia, but have an underlying mood disorder as well. A depressive type and a bipolar type are just some of the subtypes that exist. You can experience some psychosis while manic and not have schizoaffective, but psychotic manias are quite common with people suffering with schizoaffective. Some people do tend to get disorganized when manic or hypomanic, but again this isn't a trait that everyone possesses. People with Bipolar ! can become manic, and may potentially experience psychosis but this doesn't make schizoaffective. Generally people with schizoaffective can experience psychosis even when they are manic, this is a big difference. 

Edited by Forbidden91
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You have to be psychotic for at least two weeks outside of a mood episode to have SZA (ie your mood is normal). Psychosis is more pronounced and more of a problem for folks with SZA than it can be for BP folks. BP is MOOD and psychosis (for some) and SZA is PSYCHOSIS and mood. That's what my old pdoc said anyways.

I hope that makes sense!! Good luck at your appointments!

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