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Schizoaffective Disorder -- Bipolar or Depressive Type?


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So yes, I know no one can diagnose here, but I'm just looking for those that have been diagnosed with Bipolar or Depressive type of Schizoaffective to share their personal experience and see if it's something I could possibly relate to.

I've been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder -- Depressive Type, but a few years ago I had a...what I'd call a manic or hypomanic episode (you can correct me if I'm wrong), where I felt very euphoric, didn't need sleep, started all these projects, would sneak food into my room, became impulsive, more talkative than usual, and overall just felt extraordinarily high. This lasted three or four days, then my mood returned to normal. Note: I have psychosis in and out of depressive episodes, and I had some psychosis in this "manic" episode.

I've heard you only need one manic episode to be diagnosed bipolar, so I was wondering if what I posted sounds consistent with someone that has Bipolar or Depressive type of Schizoaffective.

If anything sounds like I'm asking for a diagnosis, I'm not, I just am wondering if this is worth bringing up to my pdoc (I'm starting with a new one) or if this is typical of Schizoaffective -- Depressive Type, and I should just let it go.

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It is possible, there are things to consider, such as which meds you were on at the time of the episode, circumstance, and stuff like that. The dx doesn't matter as much as the treatment does. Most doc's treat symptoms as they come, rather than having one specific thing for a specific dx. 

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I can't diagnose, but from what I was told when I was diagnosed with SZA Bipolar type was that the manic or hypomanic symptoms had to last a little longer. I think the pdoc said about a week to a few weeks, for it to be considered "clinically significant". Mine lasted about 3 weeks or so. But there's always a chance that pdoc was wrong. Just thought I'd share.

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not schizoaffective, but definitely bipolar here. i second the comment above that the hypo/manic episode needs to be quite a bit longer to qualify for bipolar diagnosis. i do believe it's at least 2 weeks.

source: own experience, psychology grad school.

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I'm bipolar and not schizoaffective. I'm pretty sure the length of time is four days for hypomania (though literature suggests two days might be sufficient) and a week for mania. Most episodes are longer, but that's what DSM says. I was also diagnosed bipolar after an episode that lasted just less than two weeks (but that required hospitalization), so you can definitely have shorter episodes and still have the disorder.

Edited by survivingbp
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DSM criteria for the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder include:

  • A mood disorder (major depression or mania) along with schizophrenia
  • Delusions or hallucinations for at least two weeks, even when mood disorder symptoms are under control
  • A mood disorder present for the majority of time over the entire course of the schizophrenic illness

 

I couldn't find a definition of mania under schizoaffective disorder, but this is for bipolar 1

  • 1. Bipolar I Disorder—defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks.

They changed the diagnosis criteria for schizoaffective disorder to the mood being present the majority of the time. My pdoc still thinks it is the right dx for me. I have been manic. But, my biggest issue, before meds, was the thoughts, not so much moods. 

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