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Schizoaffective Disorder

Posted on January 16, 2018 at 11:45 AM

What is Schizoaffective Disorder??

This disorder is a chronic mental health condition characterized primarily by the symptoms of schizophrenia, ones such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder like mania and depression. This can have a problem because this disorder is related to two other types of conditions and most people with this disorder are often incorrectly diagnosed. The overlapping resources for the schizoaffective disorder are a direct impact on the diagnosing stage of the disorder. The schizoaffective disorder is only seen in about 0.3% of the population and men and women both experience this disorder at the same rate. The only difference is that men often develop the illness at an earlier stage than women do. This disorder however can be managed effectively with medication and therapy.


The symptoms of this disorder can reach a severe stage and must be continually monitored. All people will experience different symptoms so just make sure you keep an eye out for them.

1. Hallucinations- seeing or hearing things that aren’t there

2. Delusions- false and fixed beliefs that are held regardless of contradictory evidence

3. Disorganized thinking- switch from topic to topic

4. Depressed mood- feelings of sadness

5. Manic behavior- racing thoughts, increased risky behavior, feelings of euphoria


The exact cause to this disorder is unknown. There is however a combination of cause that may contribute to the development of this disorder.

1. Genetics- this order tends to run in families.

2. Brain Chemistry- brain scans have allowed doctors to see different ways symptoms can arise and how exactly the brain is affected

3. Stress- stressful events can trigger symptoms or an onset of the illness

4. Drug Use- drugs such as LSD have been liked to the development of this disorder


This disorder can be hard to diagnose because it has the symptoms of both schizophrenia and either depression or bipolar disorder. There are 2 types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar type and depressive type. To be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder a person must have the following symptoms.

1. A period in time where there is a big mood disorder (depression or mania), that occurs at the same time that symptoms of schizophrenia are present.

2. Delusions or hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a major mood episode.

3. Symptoms that meet criteria for a major mood episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the illness.

4. The abuse of drugs or a medication are not responsible for the symptoms.

From: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizoaffective-Disorder ©; 2017

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