DISCLAIMER: The information submitted is for educational purposes only and is not intended for self-diagnosis.
Schizoaffective disorder is 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. Because schizoaffective disorder is less well-studied than the other two conditions, many interventions are borrowed from their treatment approaches.
Many people with schizoaffective disorder are often incorrectly diagnosed at first with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia because it shares symptoms of multiple mental health conditions.
Schizoaffective disorder is seen in about 0.3% of the population. Men and women experience schizoaffective disorder at the same rate, but men often develop the illness at an earlier age. Schizoaffective disorder can be managed effectively with medication and therapy. Co-occurring substance use disorders are a serious risk and require integrated treatment.
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can be severe and need to be monitored closely. Depending on the type of mood disorder diagnosed, depression or bipolar disorder, people will experience different symptoms:
- Hallucinations, which are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
- Delusions, which are false, fixed beliefs that are held regardless of contradictory evidence.
- Disorganized thinking. A person may switch very quickly from one topic to another or provide answers that are completely unrelated.
- Depressed mood. If a person has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder depressive type they will experience feelings of sadness, emptiness, feelings of worthlessness or other symptoms of depression.
- Manic behavior. If a person has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder: bipolar type they will experience feelings of euphoria, racing thoughts, increased risky behavior and other symptoms of mania.
A person with schizoaffective disorder may have additional illnesses:
- Anxiety disorders
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Substance abuse
– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizoaffective-Disorder#sthash.K5EW3ARY.dpuf