What is schizoaffective disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a condition in which people have the symptoms of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or depression, are medical problems that affect how you feel.
What causes it?
Experts don't know what causes schizoaffective disorder. It may have different causes for different people. It's not caused by anything you did or how your parents raised you. And it's not a sign of weakness.
What are the symptoms?
Many of the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are the same as schizophrenia and a mood disorder.
Mood disorder symptoms include:
- Feeling extremely happy or having lots of energy (mania).
Schizophrenia symptoms include:
- Not feeling emotions.
- Having hallucinations. This means that you see or hear things that aren't really there.
- Having delusions. These are beliefs that aren't real.
How is it diagnosed?
A doctor or mental health professional usually can tell if you have the disorder based on what symptoms you have and how long they last.
How is schizoaffective disorder treated?
Finding out that you have schizoaffective disorder can be scary and hard to deal with. But it can be treated. Medicines help your symptoms. Counseling and therapy help you change how you think about things and deal with the illness.
The goal of treatment is to lower your stress and help your brain function normally. Ongoing treatment with medicines and counseling can keep the disorder under control.
Take your medicines on schedule to keep your moods even. When you feel good, you may think that you don't need your medicines. But it's important to keep taking them.
You will work with a mental health professional such as a psychologist, a licensed professional counselor, a clinical social worker, or a psychiatrist.