Schizoaffective: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a mix of schizophrenia symptoms including hallucinations and delusions, as well as mood disorder symptoms like depression or mania.

Both forms of schizoaffective disorder, which share some symptoms with schizophrenia, are:

Bipolar type:

This involves mania and, on some occasions, major depression

Depressive type:

This includes episodes of major depression only

Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder differ from person to person. People with the diagnosis have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, as well as symptoms of a mood disorder, either bipolar (episodes of mania and depression) or depression (episodes of sadness and sometimes mania).

A major mood episode (depressed or manic mood) and at least a two-week period of psychotic symptoms when a major mood episode is not present are defining criteria of schizoaffective disorder, though the development and course of the disorder can vary.

The signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder differ based on whether it is bipolar or depressed, and may include:

  • Delusions- false, fixed beliefs that persist in the face of evidence to the contrary.
  • Hallucinations- hearing or seeing things that are not there
  • Communication and speech impaired, such as incoherence
  • Unusual or strange behavior
  • Depression symptoms like emptiness, sadness, or worthlessness
  • Periods of manic mood, characterized by an increase in energy and a decreased need for sleep spanning multiple days, as well as unusual behaviors
  • Impaired workplace, academic, and social functioning
  • Personal hygiene and appearance issues

Patients who enter our mental health residential or partial hospitalization program get a thorough evaluation initially. Our medical team will then collaborate with the patient to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage. Our medical staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor symptoms and respond to any issues the patient may have. Although the proper medication can make a big difference, Schizoaffective has an emotional toll on people that needs to be addressed as well. This is when therapy comes in handy. Our program gives patients a greater grasp of how to manage their Schizoaffective Disorder and equips them with tools they may use once they are no longer receiving therapy. Our therapy guarantees that patients receive the necessary education and preparation to help them avoid significant setbacks once they resume their normal routine.

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