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I am having a meeting with my treatment team in a few days. They are going to be discussing schizophrenia as a possible diagnosis instead of bipolar. I have been diagnosed as bipolar for 12 years now. I remember when I was first diagnosed. It was a relief because bipolar really fit the nature of my problems. I had found a reason for the chaos and a way out of it.

I don't feel that way when I have read up on schizophrenia. I don't feel right about it at all, actually.

Has anyone here been re-diagnosed with schizophrenia from an initial diagnosis of bipolar? What was their reasoning? Did it help?

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I have.  I was bipolar from about 1999-2002/2003, then I ended up in the hospital and was re-diagnosed with SZA, until now.  I don't think it will ever change. 

I think their reasoning was the voices I was hearing, delusions.  I didn't have those when bipolar.  The only thing that helped was that the treatment was changed, where new meds were added/some gone.  They focused the treatment on getting rid of the symptoms, or at least minimizing them.

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I have.  I was bipolar from about 1999-2002/2003, then I ended up in the hospital and was re-diagnosed with SZA, until now.  I don't think it will ever change. 

I think their reasoning was the voices I was hearing, delusions.  I didn't have those when bipolar.  The only thing that helped was that the treatment was changed, where new meds were added/some gone.  They focused the treatment on getting rid of the symptoms, or at least minimizing them.

See, that's where I'm confused, I don't hear voices. I get delusions and hallucinations, but not voices on their own. If it's a voice someone has to be present and I'll hallucinate different words than they are really saying, but they must be near. Can you be schizophrenic without voices??

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Yes. My diagnosis went from depression to bipolar to schizoaffective (and apparently there's other stuff going on as well but I'm yet to be told what that is) the diagnosis was changed because several psychiatrists were divided on whether I have bipolar or schizophrenia but it was decided that I have schizoaffective as the criteria fits more than what bipolar and schizophrenia alone does.

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Age 15-19(ish) major depression, General anxiety and PTSD

19-23 major depression, schizotypal PD

23 (prior to 1st hospitalization) bipolar, General anxiety

23-current (31) Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type

28- possible paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis (didn't sick)

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19 - Drug induced psychosis.

25 - Bipolar 1

26 - Bipolar 1 (about five different doctors) and Schizoaffective (one doctor)

 

I had a severe manic episode at 25, went on sleep privation for a long time and had almost all symptoms of schizophrenia, a severe psychotic breakdown, the lack of sleep and mania for me always come first, never become psychotic without being manic or getting sleep, if I think well enough the three times that I experienced psychosis I was manic too... than I have residual delusions from those episodes.

I believe I'm bipolar 1, if I treat my mood episode quick I don't hallucinate or anything.

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I am having a meeting with my treatment team in a few days. They are going to be discussing schizophrenia as a possible diagnosis instead of bipolar. I have been diagnosed as bipolar for 12 years now. I remember when I was first diagnosed. It was a relief because bipolar really fit the nature of my problems. I had found a reason for the chaos and a way out of it.

I don't feel that way when I have read up on schizophrenia. I don't feel right about it at all, actually.

Has anyone here been re-diagnosed with schizophrenia from an initial diagnosis of bipolar? What was their reasoning? Did it help?

I was diagnosed SZA after being diagnosed BP. At first it was a shock. I didn't want to have that. I thought I had bipolar, and had just gotten used to that idea. But I was diagnosed in a state hospital during a year long stay so you can't really argue that logic too much. 

Their reasoning was that I had a lot of psychosis outside of mood episodes. Meaning, when my mood was completely normal, I was still experiencing psychosis.

Eventually it did help because I was placed on 2 AAP's because of this and that has made a big difference. I am still disabled but I'm way better off on meds than without them.

But remember, you can be your own advocate. If you really feel you don't have SZ then state why. Maybe make a list for them. If you don't feel like you have SZ after reading up a lot on it and don't feel right, then that should be discussed with the treatment team.

Another thing, you can have SZA and have both a mood disorder and a SZ disorder. That's what I have and it fits.  Just something to research before you discuss things with your treatment team.

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mine went from bipolar to schizoaffective. I had one pdoc who wasn't convinced I had been manic and kept saying schizophrenia, but he didn't say he changed anything. right now it is schizoaffective, bipolar type

I have.  I was bipolar from about 1999-2002/2003, then I ended up in the hospital and was re-diagnosed with SZA, until now.  I don't think it will ever change. 

I think their reasoning was the voices I was hearing, delusions.  I didn't have those when bipolar.  The only thing that helped was that the treatment was changed, where new meds were added/some gone.  They focused the treatment on getting rid of the symptoms, or at least minimizing them.

See, that's where I'm confused, I don't hear voices. I get delusions and hallucinations, but not voices on their own. If it's a voice someone has to be present and I'll hallucinate different words than they are really saying, but they must be near. Can you be schizophrenic without voices??

Yes, you don't have to have every symptom

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I was diagnosed Mood Disorder NOS (not bipolar) and then was given a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia which changed to schizoaffective -- depressive type.

Yes, you can have schizophrenia without experiencing voices. You only have to satisfy Criterion A which is two or more of the following (hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized/catatonic behaviour, negative symptoms). You can have hallucinations that are NOT voices, and they still count as hallucinations.

Not every schizophrenic hears voices.

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Thank you everyone for your input. This has all been very helpful.

A lot of people here are schizoaffective. They didn't mention schizoaffective as a possibility, but it actually seems to feel a lot better of a fit than schizophrenia when I looked it up so I am going to ask about it.

 

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I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 after presenting to my doc and therapist as depressed, paranoid, agitated, unable to sleep (and exhausted as a result) and hallucinating. I had grandiose delusions about being the agent of All Good on the planet and my speech was pressured and disorganized. They called it a mixed episode and put me on mood stabilizers which never helped and made me feel dead inside.

Moved to america and confessed to my new psychiatrist that i had command hallucinations, thought insertion, thought withdrawal, i could hear other people's thoughts etc and my dx was changed to Schizoaffective, bipolar type.

Due to insurance changes, changed doctors. New doc changed my dx to depressive type but kept it as Schizoaffective. I have not had a manic episode ever, although i do get agitated when im psychotic. I only get depressed when something happens to make me depressed, or if it's winter (damn that winter depression). Moved to Colorado and my shrink here says he believes i have chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia, which is my current dx.

Edited by esmereldaskysurfer
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I was first diagnosed with major depressive disorder.  Then I was changed to bipolar disorder.  Finally I was changed to schizophrenia and have had that diagnosis for years.  The depression was actually me withdrawing from the schizophrenia.  When I started having positive symptoms the doctor thought I was transitioning from depression to mania.  However the positive symptoms kept coming but I never had an elevated mood, just a constant stream of positive symptoms.  Since I had positive symptoms without any mood changes (depression or mania) I was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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