What is the difference between autism and schizophrenia


So, I’m autistic and my brother is schizophrenic. Our dad is autistic and mom is diagnosed BPD. I personally see many similarities and contrasts between us, but I don’t really have much understanding in the nuts and bolts. Any constructive input would be greatly appreciated.

In: Biology

Autism is “a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.” per Wikipedia.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder whose “… major symptoms include hallucinations … delusions, paranoia, and disorganized thinking.”

They are very, very different things. There are no medical treatments for autism, but there are medicines that can treat schizophrenia.

There may be some overlap but in general, autism is a deficiency in emotional intelligence that interferes with social interaction. A person who is severely autistic will be withdrawn and unable to make lasting connections with many other people. They can be awkward in groups, favoring extremes in crowd sizes (either intimate one on one settings or huge crowds where they don’t have to focus on one person, but not in between)

Schizophrenia is hallmarked by the onset of psychotic symptoms. Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting things that are not there or are wrong. Seeing people that are not there, hearing voices, or believing delusional ideas are the stereotypical issues, but each person is different.

In both cases, there can be a withdrawal from normal interactions, with a decrease in emotional range and quiet behavior outside of the realm of personal interest (maybe “math” for an autistic or “religious sacrifice” for a schizophrenic)

Anecdotally, I have a family member who essentially wanders the street, and has a firm believe that God wants him to give away everything he owns. He would literally give the shirt off his back to someone who said they were cold. His mother had to keep his name off the deed to his house, or he would give it away, too.

While an autistic person might be similarly generous because he thinks that is what might be expected, the schizophrenic is compelled in the behavior with little to no outside influence.

They’re two different disorders.

Autism is a developmental disorder that varies from person to person, so you and your dad being autistic can mean entirely different things since some people with autism can’t take care of themselves while others are just a few years less mature than their peers and can compensate by going to speech therapy. My brother has it and he’s fine, he just had trouble getting social ques some times.

Schizophrenia also varies person to person. My dad has it and he sees dead people and talks to his dead buddies. It’s mostly like a hallucinogen disorder, you see and hear things that are real to you that nobody else can experience.

You and your brother might both act similar to your dad because you learn a lot by picking it up from your parents.