Can Bipolar Disorder Lead To Schizophrenia

by J. S


My wife's ex-husband has been displaying increasingly odd behaviors over the last four years. He was diagnosed as bi-polar and was on meds, (depacote?).



For the last four years, he has refused to be treated or seek treatment and the behaviors he had exhibited in the past have only escalated, and increasingly into the criminal realm.

He began as a true bi-polar and has gone progressively into the criminal realm of petty thefts, drug abuse ,(meth, cocaine), financial irresponsibility (bounced checks, false credit cards, etc.).

This is a person who was extremely financially responsible just a few years ago, and was obsessive over his checking account, and the behaviors are affecting our children severly. At this point we believe that his behavior is leaning more toward schizophrenia than bi-polar disorder.

He is harassing my wife's co-workers (who he is familiar with), screaming at his children, breaking into his ex-family's property to steal small things, washing his clothes in a car wash, the list goes on and on.

We have looked into having him placed in a state run ward, where he would receive the treatment he needs, but only his mother and father are in agreement with us on this and we're trying to keep this from the kids. It seems like it's very hard to get a person placed with the help they need if they aren't interested in getting better.

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Is this a common occurance? My wife has a degree in psychology, I do not. It has been extremely trying for us and our family and were just not sure whether bi-polkar disorder can lead to such a severe state. None of the behaviors started until the early 30's and now at mid 40's, it has gotten so out of hand.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

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Oct 31, 2010
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Schizoaffective Disorder
by: Anonymous

I definitely think that the stealing and additional odd behaivors have to do with the illegal drug use. It is common for bipolars (or anyone with a mental illness) who is unmedicated to begin to self medicate.

My husband is a drug addict in recovery -- and bipolar. I can tell when he relapses on illegal narcotics because his behaivor is so irrational and he cycles very quickly between highs and lows, and there is tons of aggression.

Additionally, once he sobers up, he has to be leveled out all over again on medications.

Recently I had assumed he relapsed and gave him a drug test, which came up clean. I was very confused, because he takes his medication regularly - Lamictal, Neurotin, and Seroquel. When he went to the doctor he said she told him had schitzophrenia in addition to the bipolar and added Lithium to the mix.

I googled all of the above and found some information about schizo-affective disorder with bipolar and found some of this information. I can't place a link in this box, but google schizoaffective disorder. From what I read - it seems like the schizoaffective disorder preceedes the bipolar diagnosos. The problem is, when the person is also a drug addict and actively using it is hard to identify legitimate symptoms. My life is hell with my husband, the roller coaster mood swings - I almost wish it was a an active drug addiction. :(

People with schizoaffective disorder are at an increased risk of:

Developing schizophrenia
Having major depression
Having bipolar disorder

igns and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may include:

Strange or unusual thoughts or perceptions
Paranoid thoughts and ideas
Delusions ? having false, fixed beliefs
Hallucinations, such as hearing voices
Unclear or confused thoughts (disorganized thinking)
Bouts of depression
Manic mood or a sudden increase in energy and behavioral displays that are out of character
Irritability and poor temper control
Thoughts of suicide or homicide
Irrelevant or incoherent speech
Catatonic behavior ? lack of response, sometimes with an extreme agitation that's not influenced by the environment
Deficits in attention and memory
Lack of concern about hygiene and physical appearance
Changes in energy and appetite
Sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

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