Schizoaffective disorder is a rare chronic mental health disorder that includes symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms. When untreated, this condition can lead to problems with relationships, family, school, and work — causing a cycle of loneliness and other troubles.
Because of the symptoms and troubles associated with schizoaffective disorder, it is crucial that someone with the condition get proper treatment from a professional specialist. At SoCal Mental Health in Orange County, CA, we specialize in the treatment of psychotic disorders and mood disorders and have exceptional capability in treating schizoaffective disorder.
About Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is a similar but separate diagnosis from schizophrenia. Those diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder exhibit the symptoms of schizophrenia, such as disorganized speech or hallucinations, while also displaying symptoms of bipolar or depressive disorders. Typically, there are periods of severe symptoms (that require constant monitoring), followed by a period of improvement.
Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder include:
- Depression: Feelings of worthlessness, sorrow, lack of interest in things one used to enjoy.
- Mania: Similar to bipolar disorders, manic episodes are marked by experiencing sensations of exhilaration and racing thoughts.
- Hallucinations: Perceiving things that aren’t really there.
- Delusions: False beliefs that cannot be dispelled.
- Disorderly Thoughts: Only partly answering questions or reacting to inquiries with unconnected replies.
- Dysfunction: Issues that affect work, school, and the community, as well as a lack of self-care, such as dental hygiene, brush hair, trimming nails, bathing, dressing.
Each person may actually experience schizoaffective disorder quite differently as not all symptoms are experienced equally. The disorder may even be categorized into two different types.
The two types of schizoaffective disorder include:
- Depressive Type Schizoaffective — which includes only major depressive episodes
- Bipolar Type Schizoaffective — which includes both major depressive episodes and manic episodes
To treat this condition effectively, it is important to understand where the patient falls under this spectrum of symptoms so that proper medication and psychotherapy can be applied.
Treating Schizoaffective Disorder
As mentioned above, getting a proper diagnosis is key to treating schizoaffective disorder. This can be quite difficult since there dual symptoms of both mood disorder and psychotic disorders.
Identifying the causes can be very difficult as the causes of this condition are not necessarily known and develop differently in different individuals. Though, genetics, brain chemistry, stress, and even certain drug use can contribute to schizoaffective disorder.
Treatment for schizoaffective disorder can be done effectively through:
- Medications — such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers.
- Psychotherapy — such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family focused therapy.
- Self-Management strategies and education — such as vocational therapy and skill based therapies to help a person better cope in the real world.
How We Can Help
We take pride in the ideal environment that we have created at SoCal Mental Health to provide treatment for those suffering from psychotic disorders such as schizoaffective disorder. With our specialized facilities and dedicated professionals, we are dedicated to empowering people to change their lives and overcome their symptoms. Experienced psychiatrists work with skilled therapy teams to develop treatment plans, often combining multiple features and modes of care.
Treatment is provided in a residential living setting where clients have their needs met so they can spend time healing and practicing new skills for coping with stressors and daily life. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as individual, group, and family therapy form a wide range of available care options. As part of SoCal Mental Health’s aftercare services, we help the client learn about what is available in the community and assist in establishing rehabilitation goals. Clients can receive the care they need around the clock, seven days a week.