Schizoaffective disorder is an ongoing mental illness characterized primarily by schizophrenia symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions, as well as mood disorder symptoms such as obsessions and depression. The prefix “schizo” refers to the psychological effects of schizophrenia on a person’s thinking, self-awareness, and perceptions. The suffix “affective” refers to significant mood swings, energy fluctuations, and behavioral changes. If you are concerned that someone you care about may be suffering from schizoaffective disorder, please call Palm Coast Treatment Solutions at (386) 284-4151. Our mental health treatment program can provide the support you need to recover and thrive.
Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective illness can be easily misdiagnosed because its symptoms are similar to those of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Although schizoaffective disorder is less researched than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Palm Coast Treatment Solutions professionals provide the most current, community-centered, holistic therapy available.
Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health disorder that has symptoms similar to both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can vary from person to person, and the severity of symptoms can fluctuate over time.
Psychotic symptoms are a core feature of schizoaffective disorder. These symptoms may include the following:
Hallucinations: Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t there.
Delusions: False beliefs that are not based in reality.
Disorganized thinking: problem organizing thoughts and expressing them clearly.
Disorderly behavior: Behaving strangely or unexpectedly.
Catatonic behavior: A state of complete unresponsiveness or rigidity.
The mood symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are similar to those of any mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. These symptoms may include:
Mania: It is characterized by elevated or irritable mood, increased energy, decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and grandiosity (an increased sense of one’s importance).
Depression: Characterized by a depressed mood, a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities, changes in appetite and sleep, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and difficulty concentrating.
The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Schizoaffective Disorder Causes
Having a close blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder increases your risk of developing the disorder.
Researchers have identified several genes that may be associated with schizoaffective disorder, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Stressful or traumatic life events can trigger the onset of schizoaffective disorder in people who are already at risk for this disorder. These events can include child abuse, neglect, or trauma, as well as major life stressors such as the loss of a loved one or changing jobs.
Substance abuse can also trigger or worsen the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. This is because drugs and alcohol can interfere with brain chemicals that are thought to be involved in the disorder.
Brain chemistry abnormalities may also play a role in schizoaffective disorder. People suffering from this disorder may have an imbalance in certain brain chemicals, such as dopamine and glutamate.
It is important to note that not everyone who has these risk factors will develop schizoaffective disorder. This disorder is relatively rare, affecting 1 in every 300 people.
Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is frequently difficult to diagnose; a person with schizoaffective disorder exhibits schizophrenia symptoms as well as depression or bipolar disorder symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder is classified into two types: depressive and bipolar. A person must exhibit the following symptoms to be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder:
Severe mood disorder—either sadness or mania—occurs alongside schizophrenia symptoms.
In the absence of a significant mood episode, have hallucinations and delusions lasting at least two weeks.
Symptoms consistent with a major mood episode are present throughout the majority of the illness’s duration.
Medication or side effects do not create symptoms.
Co-occurring disorders and Schizoaffective disorders
Schizoaffective disorder is a relatively uncommon psychological condition. Men and women get schizoaffective disorder at comparable rates, but men develop the illness—and show symptoms—at a younger age. Schizoaffective illness can be adequately controlled with appropriate medication and psychotherapy. People with schizoaffective disorder are at high risk of co-occurring substance use disorders. Individuals suffering from schizoaffective disorder require integrated treatment and therapy at a mental health treatment facility at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions.
Palm Coast Treatment Solutions provides schizoaffective disorder treatment.
The most effective way to treat schizophrenia is to combine mental health treatment approaches. Every client is unique and has unique needs. There are numerous approaches to managing schizoaffective disorder:
- Medications for schizoaffective disorder include antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers.
- Psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and small-group therapy are used to treat schizoaffective disorder.
- Other Conditions Related to Schizoaffective Disorder
People with schizoaffective disorder may also suffer from the following mental illnesses:
- Anxiety Disorders
- PTSD is an acronym for post-traumatic stress disorder.
- ADHD is an acronym for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Co-occurring drug abuse disorder
- Depression ranges from mild to severe.
These supporting mental health difficulties can also be addressed in our schizoaffective disorder treatment program at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions. We provide a variety of mental health therapies to our clients, including:
- CBT stands for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
- DBT stands for Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
- EMDR Treatment
- Therapy Through Meditation
- Mindfulness Therapy Through Meditation
- Moral Rehabilitation Therapy
- Motivational Boosting Therapy
- Interviewing for Motivation
- Music Treatment
- Trauma Counseling
These therapies assist clients in identifying, addressing, and healing from all of their mental health issues.
Discover how treatable Schizoaffective Disorder is at Palm Coast Treatment Solutions.
If you are concerned that a loved one is suffering from schizoaffective disorder, you should seek professional help. Referring a person suffering from schizoaffective disorder symptoms to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program is the best thing to do.