Schizoaffective is one type of mental illness that is often thought of as “crazy” or possessed. Limited access to health makes many people with schizoaffective disease do not get the right treatment. Get to know schizoaffective disorder more fully in this article.
What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
There are two types of this mental illness disorder that get into the symptoms of schizophrenia. Both types of schizoaffective disorder are bipolar types that include mania and major depression, and the type of depression that only includes symptoms of depression.
Schizoaffective disorders are very difficult to understand, unlike other mental illness. Why is it so hard to understand? Because schizoaffective symptoms tend to vary in each person who experiences this disorder.
Schizoaffective disorders that do not immediately get treatment and care will cause a variety of problems in performing daily tasks, including decreases in work productivity and achievement in school due to the symptoms of this mental illness.
Schizoaffective disorder is known to be divided into two types based on mood episodes experienced by patients, among others [1, 2]:
This type of schizoaffective disorder is found in patients who experience mood with symptoms including mania episodes and perhaps major depression.
This type of schizoaffective disorder is known to include only symptoms in the form of episodes of severe depression and without mania episodes.
Schizoaffective Disorder Causes
The cause of schizoaffective disorder is not known with certainty. It is suspected that a combination of several factors may contribute to the occurrence of this condition, such as genetic factors or abnormal variations in the chemical makeup and structure of the brain.
Some factors known to increase a person’s risk of developing schizoaffective disorder are:
- Have a sibling who has schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
- Experiencing one or more events with high levels of stress, which then triggers the onset of signs and symptoms of the disorder.
- Taking psychoactive or psychotropic drugs.
People with schizoaffective disorder can experience symptoms of psychotic, such as delusions, or hallucinations, as well as mood disorders symptoms (either mania disorder or depression in bipolar or depression in the depressive type).
Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty communicating and understanding others
- Unique or unusual behavior
- Depression symptoms, such as feeling sad, feeling empty, or worthless
- Manic mood
- Increased energy and decreased sleep needs and manners that are not in accordance with the character
- Impaired work, academic, and social functioning
- Difficulty in managing self-care, including hygiene and physical performance.
Schizoaffective Disorder Diagnosis
The doctor will perform a physical examination and ask about personal and family medical history.
There is no specific test that can diagnose schizoaffective disorder.
However, your doctor may perform a blood test or X-ray to rule out symptoms similar to this disorder.
If there is no physical disturbance, the doctor will refer the patient to a psychiatrist or psychologist.
Generally, psychiatrists or psychologists will use guidance from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.
Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment
Treatment for schizoaffective disorders can vary. Your doctor will usually prescribe medications to control this disorder. The group of medicines that will be prescribed by the doctor, namely:
- Mood stabilizer
The doctor will also offer therapy to the patient. Therapy aims to control symptoms by learning the ability to cope with problems and interact with others.
Therapy can be done individually or in groups. Group therapy can help patients improve their social interaction and way of communication. Group therapy also helps control symptoms that can’t be overcome by medications.
Can Schizoaffective disorder be prevented?
Until now there is no known way to prevent the schizoaffective disorder occurence. However, early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid or reduce recurrence.
Hospitalization treatment can help reduce disruptions to the life, family, and social environment of people with schizoaffective disorder.
Medical Research & Source
- Medical Research Tom Joshua P. Wy & Abdolreza Saadabadi. Schizoaffective Disorder. National Center for Biotechnology Information, US. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; 2020.
- Abrams Dan. Is schizoaffective disorder a distinct categorical diagnosis? A critical review of the literature. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment; 2008.
- Video: Mental Health Education