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A 36-year-old male asked:

Can bipolar cause visual / auditory hallucinations outside of a hypomanic / depressed episode? having both hallucinations for weeks, but not hypomanic or manic. dr. prescribed meds already but sounds more like schizoaffective than bipolar.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
I think that : Schizoaffective Disorder should be high on the differential diagnosis. This is because you have had hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a major mood episode. Whenever there are visual hallucinations - I recommend an organic workup to rule out medical causes. With bipolar Disorder - one may have psychotic symptoms if severely depressed or if manic. However, if bipolar - do >
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
not expect psychotic symptoms outside of a major mood episode. Schizoaffective disorder can be VERY HARD to diagnose. Unfortunately symptoms can be mixed & blurred and often do not present in a clearly differentiated manner. Take care.
Sep 28, 2017
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
I am glad for that. It may be very helpful to graph out when you are manic, when depressed and when psychotic. That will visually show when there is overlap - and when there isn't. It may very much help to accurately diagnose your condition. Be well.
Sep 28, 2017
Dr. Judith Tellerman
Clinical Psychology 42 years experience
BIPOLAR: Yes, biochemistry is complex. Have a physical exam by a Dr. to know if you have a physical illness. The most complete evaluation for medication is with a Psychiatrist. Consult with a Clinical Psychologist for psychotherapy to help with ZOOM. Your fears and anxiety are heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay safe and hopeful to elevate your immune system.

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Last updated Dec 24, 2020

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