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Schizoaffective Disorder - Treatment, Symptoms and Causes

What is Schizoaffective Disorder? Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder. What is the symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder? Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder. Prevention to avoid Schizoaffective Disorder. Withdrawal symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

The disorder that implies a combination of symptoms of various mental disorders, especially schizophrenia and mood disorder is termed as schizoaffective disorder. The primary symptoms exhibited are hallucinations and delusions, as experienced in schizophrenia, and the mood disorder symptoms of mania and depression.

The disorder is not well-known and under-study. The characteristic symptoms are essentially an overlap of several mental disorders. This leads to misdiagnosis quite often. Another idiosyncrasy arises due to non-uniformity of most symptoms. Therefore, appropriate diagnosis and corresponding treatment is very challenging for doctors and patients alike.

The exhibited symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can be broadly classified under two categories:

Bipolar disorder: This is symptomatic with manic episodes, accompanied with major depression.

Depression type: Characterized by its major depression phases, quite similar to chronic depression

Schizoaffective disorder may be termed as a rare disorder, with only 0.3% of the world population reportedly affected by it. It has no separate effects on men and women. The only difference is observed in the age of conception, with men being affected at an earlier age.

Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder.

The psychological disorder is very rare as it affects less than 1 percent of the world's population. This makes the prognosis and diagnosis highly challenging. The schizoaffective disorder is still under study, with most of the information obtained through case studies. However, some of the common causes noted are as follows:

  • The brain deals with some highly function-specific chemicals. These include the hormones serotonin and dopamine. Any kind of abnormalities found or caused in the chemical balance of these hormones is a leading cause. The chemical imbalance may be caused by a variety of factors, including birth defects and drug overdose.

  • The child prior to birth is extremely vulnerable to any harmful agents, as the immune system is neither fully developed, nor ready to function independently. Exposure to toxic substances or viruses can be detrimental to a great degree. One of the affects the child can suffer in the womb, due to such intoxication is schizoaffective disorder.

  • Environmental factors might also be responsible for the same. Certain toxins have the ability to cause psychological disorders, which symptomize schizoaffective disorder.

  • Childbirth is a very delicate process. Inappropriate handling of the child or the delivering mother can become responsible for the lifelong suffering of the newly born. Schizoaffective disorder might be caused as a birth defect.

What is the symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder?

The symptoms of the disorder are quite varied, ranging from the symptomatic set of most other psychological disorders. Also, it has been observed that the symptoms of respective cases are also different from one another. Some of the commonly found symptoms are as follows:

  • Disturbed thought process: It has been noted that patients of schizoaffective disorder often display a pattern of very disturbed thoughts. This may include paranoid thinking, perplexity, inability to have organized or logical thoughts affecting their behavior. Some patients also exhibit suicidal tendency.

  • Two prominent symptoms of Schizoaffective disorder are Hallucinations and Delusions. Hallucinations is a condition where a person starts sensing things which are not real and are just a construction of his mind. Delusion is a state when a person refuses to accept the reality and continues to believe in his own reality even after being contradicted by a superior evidence.

  • There are several physical symptoms as well. These include catatonia or the inability to move properly, loss of normalcy on speech etc. Hyperactivity or manic mood episodes characterize schizoaffective disorder.

  • Constant irritability, lack of focus or concentration, massive dietary alterations are some secondary symptoms.

  • As a result of the above stated symptoms, some other observable changes can be disinterested in socializing, social isolation, changes in sleep patterns or even insomnia.

Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder.

As discussed, this rare disorder presents itself through various symptoms. Therefore, no treatment courses for two patients can be equivalent. Being under research, several investigational courses are applicable, depending on the case at hand.

Primarily, the disorder being incurable, requires incessant treatment. Medical treatment involves prescription and appropriate dosage of anti-psychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers to deal with the widespread symptoms, as mentioned above.

A major part of the treatment includes therapy for the various psychologically altering symptoms. Counseling and talk therapy is suggested. Talk therapy may be conducted individually or in a group. As the social skills of such patients is much altered, it needs to be dealt with utmost patience and care.

Prevention to avoid Schizoaffective Disorder.

As the disorder is mostly found through genetic or birthing anomalies, no primary prevention steps can be applied. Quite often, during the course of treatment, a symptomatic relapse is observed. This is facilitated even further due to the experimental nature of the treatment procedure. A careful observation of the patient during experimental treatment courses, and proper backup via counselling or therapy sessions can be very vital towards prevention of a harmful relapse.    

Withdrawal symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder.

The schizoaffective disorder has been deemed lacking a permanent cure. But, the right care and treatment can bring it under control. Some recurring symptoms are euphoria, disinterest, mania, blank gazing etc. These need to be taken special care of, as such behavioral symptoms can only worsen by any negligence or ill-treatment met with.

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir I am suffering from bi polar disorder from last 15 years I am taking veniz xr 75 mor and eve and lamitor dt 100 in night I am stable with these does from last three years but I am not feeling well from last fifteen days please help.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd, Transactional Analysis
Psychologist, Bangalore
I don't understand what you mean by your statement that you are not feeling well. You have not been in therapy for all these years is not a good sign. You must seek the help of a counselor and work on your issues, develop skills, tools and techniq...

My age is 27. Im bipolar patient for few years. I got married recently. I used licab for few years. Now my medication is qutipin 50 from 4 months as per doctors advice. Can I have children while using this tablet now. please reply.

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Psychiatrist, Jaipur
Hello, you need to be very careful about risk of recurrence of symptoms in pregnancy as it is a high risk state for patients with bipolar disorder. Quitipin 50 mg per day is too low a dose. You should consult online or consult with your psychiatri...

This is too much… I have been diagnosed with the following mental disorders by psychiatrists from bangalore. 1) I am having 2 mood disorders (major affective depressive disorder, single episode and bipolar 1 disorder, most recent episode) 2) I am having psychotic disorder (grandiose delusional disorder) 3) I am having obsessive compulsive disorder (mild trichotillomania) 4) I am having adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. 5) I am having personality disorder (moderate cluster b traits, schizotypal personality disorder, premorbid personality disorder) 6) I am having anxiety disorder in conditions classified elsewhere. From december 2020 to june 2021. I had undergone 10 psychotherapy sessions (via phone). Meanwhile, I also contacted various suicide prevention helplines via gmail and phone. And as per the instructions given by psychiatrist. I had completed the medications ,[ antidepressant (escitalopram) and antipsychotic (olanzapine) ] treatment for 46 days (january 2, 2021 to february 18, 2021). And then I stopped the medications by the permission of the psychiatrist. And then the psychiatrist told me to do cbt therapy. I completed 8 weeks of cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions on 20th may 2021. But the doctor said medications cannot alter the behaviour and even lots of cognitive behavioural therapy sessions will not give the desired result. You only tell…then why is the doctor told to start medications and therapy if they only are saying afterwards that there is no approved cure for the above mental disorders? Why did they play with my life so politely? Then the clinical psychologist from nimhans told me to watch comedy shows like tom and jerry to eliminate negative/suicidal thoughts. Then for almost 1 week I used to watch tom and jerry and my life was smooth….then I came across to the last emotional episode of tom and jerry in which both of them commits suicide by sitting down in the middle of railway track because of love-failure. Their love-interest married to someone else. So, now should I avoid watching tom and jerry for safety reasons? And, the clinical psychologist also advised me not to do meditation right now because…i think she may have told me because if I get obsessed with meditation then I might perform mahāsamādhi yoga. It’s a natural process where people have left their body consciously. It is the peak of yoga.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
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You should leave your area and change the atmosphere every week and personally prefer start travelling with your love ones places and relatives house please make new friends from travelling and suggesting place where you can find peace and natural...
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Sir my father got blood cancer for last 2 months m really very much worried abt it I lose my weight when my father wasin hospital. Then 1 mnth ago I did oral sex though I hv a gum prob. But later I verbally confirmed with my partner that he is negative. I feel always that I hv hiv though there is no symptoms. But I feel j hv fever but there is no fever ichk my body several times for rash. I can not understand why it happen eith me 3 days ago I feel slight head spinning then I feel everyday body vibration palpitations head spinning etc what are the cause. Is anxiety fear has same symptoms like hiv?

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
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Dear user, nervousness or anxiety disorders are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events. These feelings may cause physical ...

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