Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems (depression or mania).
Mood disorder - schizoaffective disorder; Psychosis - schizoaffective disorder
The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. Changes in genes and chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) may play a role.
Schizoaffective disorder is thought to be less common than schizophrenia and mood disorders. Women may have the condition more often than men. Schizoaffective disorder is rare in children.
Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are different in each person. Often, people with schizoaffective disorder seek treatment for problems with mood, daily function, or abnormal thoughts.
Psychosis and mood problems may occur at the same time or by themselves. The disorder may involve cycles of severe symptoms followed by improvement.
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can include:
Treatment can vary. In general, your provider will prescribe medicines to improve your mood and treat psychosis:
Talk therapy can help with creating plans, solving problems, and maintaining relationships. Group therapy can help with social isolation.
Support and work training may be helpful for work skills, relationships, money management, and living situations.
People with schizoaffective disorder have a greater chance of going back to their previous level of function than do people with most other psychotic disorders. But long-term treatment is often needed, and results vary from person to person.
Complications are similar to those for schizophrenia and major mood disorders. These include:
Call your provider if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following:
If you are thinking about hurting yourself or others, call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org. You can also call 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7, anytime day or night.
You can also call 911 or the local emergency number or go to the hospital emergency room. DO NOT delay.
If someone you know has attempted suicide, call 911 or the local emergency number right away. DO NOT leave the person alone, even after you have called for help.
Published Date: April 30, 2022
Published By: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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