15 doctors weighed in:

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

15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Madan Uprety
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Madan Uprety
Dr. Madan Uprety
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Dr. Ricardo Bernal
Psychiatry
6 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Ricardo Bernal
Dr. Ricardo Bernal
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Susan Uhrich
Dr. Susan Uhrich
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Elaine Peterson
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Elaine Peterson
Elaine Peterson
Answer assisted by Elaine Peterson, Medical Student
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1 comment
Dr. Donald Hazlett
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.
Dr. TRUC DAO
Psychiatry

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. TRUC DAO
Dr. TRUC DAO
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