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Schizoaffective Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Nov 29, 2023

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Causes Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Symptoms Of Schizoaffective disorder

Risk Factors Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Diagnosis Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Treatment Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Medications

Psychoanalytic

Teaching life skills

Electroconvulsive therapy

Complications Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition marked by a combination of symptoms from schizophrenia, such as delusions or hallucinations, and symptoms from mood disorders, such as melancholy or mania.

The following two types of schizoaffective sickness are similar to schizophrenia in certain aspects:

  • Manic periods and sporadic episodes of severe depression are hallmarks of bipolar illness.
  • Depressive kind, which only includes the worst depressive episodes

Schizoaffective disorder may manifest itself differently in each affected person. Schizoaffective disorder can cause problems in the classroom, job, and social settings if it is not treated. 

This can result in feelings of isolation and make it challenging to continue working or attending school. People who have schizoaffective illness may need support and encouragement in their daily lives. Treatment can enhance the quality of life and aid with symptom management.


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Causes Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Heredity is most likely a contributing factor in schizoaffective disorder, even though the exact causes are unknown.

Symptoms Of Schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder symptoms can vary from person to person. Individuals with the condition also exhibit indicators of a mood disorder, either bipolar (manic episodes and sometimes depression) or depressive (depressive episodes), in addition to psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions.

A major mood episode (depressed or manic mood) and at least two weeks of psychotic symptoms in the absence of a major mood episode are the hallmarks of schizoaffective disorder. The course and development of the illness might, however, differ.

The indications and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can vary depending on whether it is bipolar or depressed.

  • Delusions: Sticking to false, solid assumptions in the face of contradicting information
  • Hallucinations: Delusions characterized by hearing voices or seeing things that are not there
  • Speech and communication impairments, such as incoherence
  • Strange or peculiar actions
  • Depression symptoms include feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and emptiness.
  • Manic episodes, characterized by erratic behavior periods of increased activity, and decreased need for sleep across many days
  • Impaired social, academic, and professional functioning
  • Difficulties in taking care of oneself, such as hygiene and appearance

Also Read: Illness Anxiety Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Risk Factors Of Schizoaffective Disorder

The subsequent factors increase the risk of developing schizoaffective disorder:

  • Having a parent, brother, or other close family member who suffers from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder
  • Using drugs that alter consciousness, which can aggravate symptoms of an underlying illness
  • Stressful events that could trigger symptoms

Also Read: Antisocial Personality Disorder : Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Diagnosis Of Schizoaffective Disorder

In order to diagnose schizoaffective disorder, it is necessary to rule out other mental illnesses and establish that substance misuse, medication, or physical illness is not the cause of the disorder's symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder can be diagnosed using the following criteria:

  • Physical examination: This may be done to help rule out any problems that could be causing the symptoms and to search for any potential negative effects.
  • Tests and screenings: These might consist of tests to help rule out conditions with similar symptoms as well as drug and alcohol screens. In certain situations, the doctor may request imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan.
  • Psychological evaluation: A doctor or mental health professional will consider an individual's looks when evaluating their mental state.
  • This also includes talking about one's family and personal background.
  • Criteria for diagnosing schizoaffective disease. The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, is a collection of criteria that your physician or mental health professional may use.

Also Read: Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Treatment Of Schizoaffective Disorder

The most successful treatment for schizoaffective disorder usually consists of a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and life skills instruction. Different therapies are utilized depending on the nature and severity of symptoms as well as the condition type (depressive or bipolar). Hospitalization may be necessary in some situations. Ongoing treatment may be helpful in managing symptoms.

Medications

Doctors usually prescribe medicine for schizoaffective illness in order to treat psychotic symptoms, regulate mood, and lessen depression. These medications may include:

  • Antipsychotics: The only medication specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of schizoaffective disorder is the antipsychotic paliperidone (Invega). Doctors may recommend extra antipsychotic drugs to help treat psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
  • Medications that balance mood: When treating bipolar-type schizoaffective illness, mood stabilizers can help balance out the highs and lows linked to manic episodes.
  • Antidepressants: When depression is the underlying mood disorder, antidepressants might help reduce feelings of sorrow, hopelessness, or difficulty sleeping and focusing.

Psychoanalytic

In addition to medication, psychotherapy—also referred to as talk therapy—may be beneficial. Psychotherapy may entail:

  • Personal guidance: Psychotherapy has the potential to assist in reducing symptoms and restoring normal cognitive functioning. By building a reliable therapeutic relationship, people with schizoaffective disorder can learn to control their symptoms and get a better knowledge of their condition. Effective sessions focus on issues, plans for the actual world, coping strategies, and relationships.
  • Family or group counseling: Treatment for schizoaffective disorder patients may be more effective if they are allowed to discuss their everyday problems with others. Supportive group situations can help in addition to encouraging the proper use of medications, encouraging the development of social skills, minimizing social isolation, and serving as a reality check during psychotic episodes.

Teaching life skills

  • Gaining social and professional skills can improve one's quality of life and reduce loneliness.
  • Development of social skills: This emphasizes on communication and social interactions in addition to raising engagement in daily activities. It is feasible to rehearse new actions and abilities designed for specific settings, including the workplace or home.
  • Rehabilitation by guidance and assistance in the workplace. The major objective is to assist people with schizoaffective illness in getting ready for, landing, and keeping a job.
  • Being admitted to a hospital In order to offer basic personal care, suitable nutrition, enough sleep, and safety, hospitalization may be necessary during times of crisis or severe symptoms.

Electroconvulsive therapy

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a potential treatment option for adult individuals with schizoaffective disorder when medication or psychotherapy is ineffective.

Also Read: Borderline Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Complications Of Schizoaffective Disorder

People with schizoaffective disorder have a higher probability of:

  • Suicide, suicide attempts, or suicidal thoughts
  • Isolation from society disputes between relatives and individuals
  • Unemployment
  • Disorders associated with anxiety
  • Alcohol or other substance abuse problems
  • Major health problems
  • Poverty and homelessness

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