What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that possesses symptoms of two different conditions: schizophrenia and a mood disorder (usually depression or bipolar disorder). A person suffering from schizoaffective disorder may experience severe changes in mood and schizophrenic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions.
Schizoaffective disorder impacts all areas of everyday life and many people find it challenging to maintain relationships and consistent performance at work or school. Fortunately, many people with schizoaffective disorder can learn to control their periodic episodes, helping them maintain stability for a healthy life.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is characterized by symptoms of a mood disorder, like bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia. Each individual shows different symptoms based on the severity, frequency and duration of their schizophrenic episodes. Common symptoms include:
- Paranoia, delusions or false perceptions
- Unclear or confused thoughts
- Episodes or depression or mania, or behavior that seems extreme
- Inability to control their behavior
- Changes in appetite, energy or sleep pattern
- Panic attacks, trembling, nausea and difficulty talking to others
- Lack of interest in personal appearance, hygiene or safety
- Lack of participation in social activities, or distance from loved ones
Treatment for Schizoaffective Disorders
As is true with any mental illness or condition, the treatment for schizoaffective disorder varies based on what the affected individual needs. At Mental Health Center, we work with our clients to develop a personalized treatment plan to address their unique situation, symptoms and concerns.
Our treatment program includes medication and psychotherapy (counseling), family and group therapy, and individual therapy. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), we are able to help an individual reframe their behavior patterns. We focus on addressing underlying conditions and issues so that schizophrenic episodes decrease over time.