What is schizoaffective disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health illness characterized by a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as mania and depression.
Because the symptoms of schizoaffective sickness are similar to those of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, a misdiagnosis is possible. Because schizoaffective disorder has gotten less attention than the other two, many interventions and treatments have been adopted for schizophrenia and bipolar illness.
According to DSM-5, Schizoaffective disorder affects roughly 0.3% of the population. Women have a larger prevalence of schizoaffective illnesses than men, owing to a higher prevalence of the depressed type in females.
Untreated schizoaffective disorder can cause difficulties at job, school, and in social circumstances. Individuals with schizoaffective disorder may struggle to keep down a job or attend school. It has the potential to be alienating and lonely.
Schizoaffective disorder has two primary categories:
This subtype is assigned if the symptoms include a manic episode. This subtype can also cause major depressive episodes.
This subtype is assigned if the presentation only includes major depressive episodes.
Depending on the type, people will suffer a variety of symptoms.
The progression of schizoaffective disorder frequently includes periods of severe symptoms (that necessitate constant monitoring) followed by periods of improvement. Some symptoms may include the following:
- Hallucinations are the perception of seeing or hearing things that are not present.
- Delusions are false, persistent beliefs.
- Disorganized Thinking: Merely answering questions partially or responding to queries with unconnected responses
- Manic Behavior: Those with the bipolar subtype may experience euphoria, racing thoughts, risky conduct (sexual, financial), or a sudden boost in energy and out-of-character behavior.
- Depression Mood: People of the depressive type may experience emotions of worthlessness, despair, and other depression symptoms.
- Impaired Occupational, Academic, and Social Functioning
- Personal Care Issues: Physical appearance, cleanliness, and self-care (brushing teeth, hair, etc.)
Schizoaffective Disorder Quiz
Complete this simple questionnaire to determine if you could be suffering from Schizoaffective disorder.
The specific cause of schizoaffective disorder is unidentified, but a mix of factors, including heredity and brain structure and functioning, may contribute to the condition’s emergence.
The risk of developing schizoaffective disorder is increased by the following factors:
- A blood relative suffering from schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
- Usage of mind-altering substances (psychoactive or psychotropic)
- stressful situations
The schizoaffective disorder usually appears in early adulthood but can appear at any age, from adolescence to late life.
The diagnosis of schizoaffective illness is complicated by the presence of symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder or major depression. The following symptoms must be present to be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder:
- A continuous period in which there is a major mood episode (manic or depressive) that occurs together with schizophrenia symptoms.
- Delusions or hallucinations lasting at least two weeks in the absence of a major mood episode (during the illness)
- Symptoms consistent with a major mood episode are present throughout the illness’s duration.
- Symptoms are not caused by drug usage or medicine.
Suicide is a 5% lifetime risk for schizoaffective disorder, and the presence of depressive symptoms is associated with a greater risk of suicide.
Pic: Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is connected with social and vocational difficulties and can result in the following complications:
- Isolation on a social level
- Abuse of substances
- Family strife
- Health issues
Therapy for schizoaffective disorder varies depending on the degree and kind of symptoms, although most people react effectively to a mix of medication, psychotherapy, and life-skills training. In some circumstances, hospitalization is required.
- Medicines can include antipsychotic medications (to treat symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations), mood stabilizers (for bipolar disorder), and antidepressants (for depressive type.)
- Psychotherapy: Individual cognitive behavioral therapy and family-focused treatment can assist people with schizoaffective disorder manage and learning to cope with their symptoms. Group therapy aids in the reduction of social isolation.
- Life skills training: Developing social and vocational skills can assist individuals with schizoaffective disorder to reduce isolation and enhance their quality of life. Social skills training helps people improve their communication and interactions with others at home and work, while vocational training helps people prepare for, find, and keep jobs.
Because schizoaffective illness has no cure, long-term treatment is essential. With appropriate therapy, people with schizoaffective disorder can work, strengthen their relationships, and avoid relapses.
Schizoaffective disorder is incurable. However, if a patient is diagnosed early and begins treatment immediately, frequent relapses and hospitalizations can be avoided or reduced, and the patient’s life, family relationships, and friendships will be less disrupted.