Psychotic episodes are a main symptom of schizophrenia, but as you noted they are also associated with other disorders. Yes, it is possible that you don’t have schizophrenia, but it seems clear that you have a psychotic disorder.
The trouble with diagnosis, is that it’s not an exact science. It’s not uncommon for an individual to receive varying diagnoses. That experience is more the norm than the exception.
There are two schools of thought on this matter: one is that finding the right diagnosis is essential in determining the most appropriate treatment. The second is that psychiatric diagnosis is inexact; it is not necessary to have an exact diagnosis in order to determine the most appropriate treatment. I tend to agree with the latter.
Your goal should be finding mental health professionals whom you trust. Ideally, you should be working with both a psychiatrist and a therapist. Choose a psychiatrist who is willing to work with you to find the right medication. The best therapist will be the one who helps you feel better with each session.
Searching out the “right” diagnosis hasn’t worked thus far. Consider my suggestion and you might finally gain control over your symptoms and control over your psychotic episodes. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle