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Schizoaffecive Disorder

Mental Health Services- Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized by combinations of symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations or delusions) and mood disorders (mania and depression). It is thought to only affect 0.3% of the population. The disorder is seen in men and women equally, with men showing symptoms earlier in life on average. There is much to be learned about Schizoaffective disorder, meaning it is difficult to diagnose and is occasionally mislabeled as another disorder.

Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder

 

Symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations, delusions, and greatly disorganized thinking must be concurrent with mood disorder symptoms and last at least two weeks for a diagnosis to be made. The symptoms presented will vary depending on which mood disorder is present.

With depressive type:

  • Depressed mood
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Emptiness
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Sleep Alterations

With bipolar type:

  • Dramatic shifts in mood
  • Altered cognition
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased engagement in risky behavior
  • Oter manifestations of ups and downs

This disorder can arise from genetic predispositions, as it tends to run in families. Risk additionally increases when faced with stress or trauma that may change the chemistry and structure of the brain. Drug use, particularly LSD, can bring on symptoms of the illness. Schizoaffective disorder can also often be comorbid with anxiety disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and patterns of substance abuse. Mental health professionals will often approach treatment for schizoaffective disorder through a multi-faceted approach, usually a combination of psychotherapy and medication such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotic or antidepressant medications.

Treatments of PTSD

 

There are several treatment options for people suffering from PTSD that may involve psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.

  • Treatment

    Psychotherapy using cognitive behavioral therapy is utilized to replace maladaptive thought patterns and beliefs with more neutral ones. Other self-management strategies and self-education are effective and necessary in getting one’s symptoms under control.

If you have been diagnosed with this disorder or you feel that you experience these symptoms, there are many things that you can do to work to manage your illness. A mental health professional can help you identify the best approach to encourage well-being.

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