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A 41-year-old member asked:

Can you please tell me how schizophrenia and severe depression with psychotic features differ?

5 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Elaine Peterson
Dr. Elaine Petersonanswered
Pediatrics 11 years experience
Timeline Difference: Schizophrenia is disturbance in thought (2 or more of the following: delusions, disorganized behavior or speech, hallucinations, flat affect) that has persisted over 6 months. Major depressive disorder with psychotic features includes signs of depression present for at least 2 weeks, along with episode(s) (that often resolve in a short time period) of psychosis.
Dr. Donald Hazlett
Psychiatry 55 years experience
Outcome is somewhat different in the two disorders and to some extent the psychotic symptoms are different as well. Psychosis in depression is most often paranoia or delusions & no hallucinations. In schizophrenia paranoia is also common but delusions are more severe, hallucinations more common & mostly auditory. Recovery can be complete in depression but not in schizophrenia, especially socially.
Dec 28, 2011
Dr. Ricardo Bernal
Psychiatry 31 years experience
Underlying nature: Schizophrenia is chronic condition with impaired capacity to tell between reality /fantasy (delusions/hallucinations). It's recurrent, tends to progressive deterioration of baseline function. Depression can be so severe to cause break in reality testing - for example, beliefs world is ending, delusional worthlessness, etc. It is not usually recurrent and appropriately treated, resolves fully.
Dr. Madan Uprety
Psychiatry 24 years experience
Main differences: In major depression: psychosis gets resolved as you treat depression. In contrast, you will see psychotic symptoms regarldless of mood symptoms in schizophrenia spectrum problems.
Dr. TRUC DAO
Dr. TRUC DAOanswered
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Schizo vs depression: Depression with psychosis have above all, all t he symptoms of depression + psychotic features in which the auditive hallucination can be [usually] much milder and duration of each hearing much shorter, less clearly heard, much less affecting the sick person [other sx are also as mild in visual or paranoia-delusions]. Schizo sx. Are long lasting, can be all day, severely affecting the person.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry 37 years experience
Psychosis is a : Symptom that can happen in a number of illnesses including infections and sleep depravation. And yes, it can occur in serious depressions as well. The difference is that once the depression resolves, functioning is fully restored while schizophrenia is a chronic, relapsing illness.

Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between schizophrenia and a severe depression with psychotic features?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Alianswered
Psychiatry 33 years experience
Dep. vs. Schiz.: Depression with psychosis shows psychotic symptoms that are congruent with the mood, ex. Hearing voices saying bad things about them. Schizophrenia is non-congruent or bizarre hallucinations such as voices of aliens discussing the person between each other, or bizarre delusions, while in depression the delusions are negative or derogatory, etc.
Last updated Oct 1, 2017
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