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What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Oct 23, 2017 | Mental Health, QA

Schizoaffective Disorder is a disorder that is represented by having schizophrenia symptoms and mood disorders in which symptoms may occur together or at separate times. This disorder is not described as mainly schizophrenia or mainly with mood for depression or bipolar disorder, but simply viewed as a combination of the two.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that causes distorted cognitions, hallucinations, fright, paranoia, and abnormal perceptions and emotions to others.

  • Bizarre thinking
  • Confused thinking
  • Strange behavior
  • Speech changes

Depression is medically defined to having feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiousness, or emptiness for 2 weeks or longer.

  • Impending fatigue
  • Loss of concentration
  • Loss in interests and hobbies
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Changes in diet
  • Changes in sleep

Bipolar Disorder has cycles of severe mania and severe depression.

  • Sleeplessness
  • Non-stop talking
  • Agitation
  • Risk-taking
  • Rage

The symptoms cross over each other and are episodic rather than in the continuous nature. Sometimes there will be difficulty in figuring out which disorder to treat because they all enmesh as one. Each person has an individual experience with how Schizoaffective Disorder will claim its presence within them.

The course of action with Schizoaffective Disorder will usually consist of cycles of severe symptoms followed by periods of downtime. While scientists are unsure of what actually cases this condition, they lean towards problems with the brain, genetics, and environmental factors.  




People with this disorder actually have smaller brain volume that has been viewed through neuroimaging. There is also a high risk with people that have brain developmental delays to develop symptoms.




When a relative has schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder, there is a higher tendency to develop the disorder in the next generation.




Being exposed to viruses in utero, complications during childbirth, and being neglected and abused, are some of the environmental factors that have been linked to this disorder.  

The symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder can create complications in a person to keep them living a life that is not conducive to being healthy or well-balanced.

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Isolation
  • Family disfunction
  • Not employable
  • Poverty
  • Homeless
  • Health problems
  • Suicidal thoughts

Schizoaffective Disorder is a serious condition that may need treatment or medication to combat the symptoms and complications that are associated with it.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at: 1-800-273-8255

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Text 741-741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis

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