Schizoaffective disorder

A combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder.

Refers to a chronic mental health condition characterized primarily by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as mania and depression.

Many people with schizoaffective disorder are incorrectly diagnosed at first with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia because it shares symptoms of multiple mental health conditions.

Seen in about 0.3% of the population.

Men often develop the illness at an earlier age.

Can be managed effectively with medication and psychotherapy.

Co-occurring substance use disorders are a serious risk and require integrated treatment.

Symptoms can be severe, and depend on the type of mood disorder diagnosed people will experience different symptoms:



Disorganized thinking.

Depressed mood.

Manic behavior.

The cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown.

Schizoaffective disorder tends to run in families.

Stressful events can trigger symptoms or an onset of the illness.

Psychoactive drug such as LSD have been linked to the development of schizoaffective disorder.

Difficult to diagnose because it has symptoms of both schizophrenia and either depression or bipolar disorder.

There are two major types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar type and depressive type.

Criteria for diagnosis of a schizoaffective disorder include:

A period during which there is a major mood disorder, either depression or mania, that occurs at the same time that symptoms of schizophrenia are present.

Delusions or hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a major mood episode.

Symptoms that meet criteria for a major mood episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the illness.

Drugs are not responsible for the symptoms.

Schizoaffective disorder is treated and managed in several ways:

Treatment includes:

Medications, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and antidepressants

Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or family-focused therapy

Or self-management strategies and education.

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