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Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia


Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are severe mental illnesses commonly referred to as psychotic disorders, meaning symptoms can include psychosis—impaired thoughts and emotions severe enough to induce a disconnect from reality.

Bipolar disorder causes severe shifts in mood, ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. These changes in mood are different from what may be experienced by most people, and if left untreated, often worsen. According to NAMI, every year, 2.9% of the US population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with nearly 83% of cases being classified as severe. Bipolar disorder is treatable, and with proper care and attention to symptoms and recovery, individuals can learn to manage their disorder.

Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder. Symptoms can include a disconnect from reality, paranoia, seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, and disorganized thinking. Though this a lifelong psychiatric illness, there are successful treatments, including medications and therapies, that allow individuals to live well with schizophrenia.


You may find the following organizations useful for more information on bipolar disorder and schizophrenia:

Treatment at McLean

McLean Hospital offers a number of treatment programs that focus on bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other psychotic disorders.

Self-pay, longer-term residential care for adults ages 18 and older who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or persistent psychiatric illness.

Adult Inpatient Services
Short-term treatment focusing on intensive crisis stabilization for patients with mood, anxiety, and/or psychotic disorders.

Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program
Short-term, residential treatment for adolescents ages 13 to 19 with emotional and behavioral difficulties including those with substance use disorders.

Behavioral Health Partial Hospital Program
A comprehensive, multi-track treatment program serving as a step-down from or as an alternative to inpatient care.

McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program
Intensive psychiatric stabilization for children and adolescents ages 3 to 19, located in Brighton, Massachusetts.

McLean OnTrack
A program specializing in the treatment of the onset of bipolar disorders and other conditions presenting with psychosis specific to adults ages 18 to 30.

Waverley Place
A community-based rehabilitation program offering coordinated care and support for adults with chronic psychiatric illness.