The key difference between depression and schizophrenia is that in depression, people may experience feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, while in schizophrenia, people may interpret reality abnormally.
Mental illnesses affect people’s thinking, feelings, mood, and behaviour. They may be occasional or long-lasting. Mental illnesses can also affect their ability to relate to others and function each day. Depression and schizophrenia are two types of mental illnesses.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Depression
3. What is Schizophrenia
4. Similarities – Depression and Schizophrenia
5. Depression vs Schizophrenia in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Depression vs Schizophrenia
What is Depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness in which people may experience feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. Depression negatively affects how people feel, the way they think, and how they act, leading to a variety of emotional and physical issues and decreasing the ability to function normally.
The symptoms of this condition can vary from mild to severe. These include feeling sad or having a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping, loss of energy or increased fatigue, changes in appetite (weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting), increase in purposeless physical activity or slowed movements or speech, feeling worthless or guilty, difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions and thoughts of death or suicide. These symptoms must last at least two weeks and must represent a change in the previous level of functioning for the diagnosis of depression condition. Depression is caused due to biological differences, brain chemistry, hormone imbalance, and inherited traits.
Depression can be diagnosed through physical examinations, lab tests (blood tests), psychiatric evaluation, and DSM-5 for depression (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders). Furthermore, depression is treated through a variety of methods, including medications (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), atypical antidepressants, trycyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), other medications such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety, and stimulant drugs), psychotherapy, alternate formats for therapy (computer programs, online sessions, videos or workbooks), hospital and residential treatments. In addition to the above, some other treatments include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious medical illness in which people may interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It also can cause significant impairment in occupational and social functioning. The common symptoms of this condition include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking or speech, extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behaviour, and negative symptoms such as neglecting personal hygiene, a lack of emotions, losing interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, or lack of ability to experience pleasure. Researchers believe schizophrenia is caused due to a combination of genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental contributions.
Moreover, schizophrenia can be diagnosed through physical examination, tests, and screening (MRI, CT scan), psychiatric evaluations, and using diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia in DSM-5. Furthermore, schizophrenia can be treated through medications (first-generation antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine, second-generation antipsychotic drugs such as aripiprazole, asenapine, long-lasting injectable antipsychotic drugs fluphenazine decanoate, psychosocial interventions (individual therapy, social skills training, vocational rehabilitation, family therapy, and supported employment), hospitalization, and electroconvulsive therapy.
What are the Similarities Between Depression and Schizophrenia?
- Depression and schizophrenia are two types of mental illnesses.
- About 25% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia meet the criteria for depression.
- Both mental illnesses may have similar symptoms, such as lack of emotions, loss of interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, or lack of ability to experience pleasure.
- They can be diagnosed through physical examination, psychiatric evaluation, and DSM-5.
- They are treated through medications, psychotherapy, and hospitalization.
What is the Difference Between Depression and Schizophrenia?
Depression is a serious medical illness in which people may experience feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed while schizophrenia is a serious medical illness in which people may interpret reality abnormally. This is the key difference between depression and schizophrenia. Furthermore, depression is a very common mental illness, while schizophrenia is an uncommon mental illness.
The following table summarizes the difference between depression and schizophrenia.
Summary – Depression vs Schizophrenia
Depression and schizophrenia are two types of well-known mental illnesses. In depression, people may experience feelings of sadness or loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. In schizophrenia, people may interpret reality abnormally. This summarizes the difference between depression and schizophrenia.
1. Koskie, Brandi. “Depression Statistics: Types, Symptoms, Treatments & More.” Healthline, Healthline Media.
2. “Schizophrenia.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
1. “Depressed (4649749639)” By Sander van der Wel from Netherlands – Depressed (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Schizophrenia (Brain)” By BruceBlaus – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia