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Is Schizophrenia An Affective Disorder

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Treatment Of Schizoaffective Disorder

SCHIZOPHRENIA & Schizoaffective Disorder

Treatment includes:

  • Medication: What you take depends on whether you have symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder, along with symptoms that suggest schizophrenia. The main medications that doctors prescribe for psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking are called antipsychotics. All these drugs can probably help with schizoaffective disorder, but paliperidone extended release is the only drug that the FDA has approved to treat it. For mood-related symptoms, you might take an antidepressant medication or a mood stabilizer.
  • Psychotherapy: The goal of this type of counseling is to help you learn about your illness, set goals, and manage everyday problems related to the disorder. Family therapy can help families get better at relating to and helping a loved one who has schizoaffective disorder.
  • Skills training: This generally focuses on work and social skills, grooming and self-care, and other day-to-day activities, including money and home management.
  • Hospitalization: Psychotic episodes may require a hospital stay, especially if youâre suicidal or threaten to hurt others.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: This treatment may be an option for adults who donât respond to psychotherapy or medications. It involves sending a quick electric current through your brain. It causes a brief seizure. Doctors use it because they think it changes your brain chemistry and may reverse some conditions.

This condition may raise your risk of:

Five Common Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Living with schizoaffective disorder can be tough. The condition involves bouts of depression, hallucinations, paranoia and more.

Schizoaffective disorder is commonly a mixture of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, because it typically has characteristics of both disorders.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, an individual who has schizoaffective disorder will have significant disturbances in their mood, which are the affective symptoms of the disorder. In the absence of mood disturbances, people with schizoaffective disorder will have psychotic symptoms, and then have symptoms of bipolar disorder or depression.

Five common symptoms for schizoaffective disorder, that every person should seek out help for if they experience, include

1. Sudden onsets of depression: If a person is feeling depressed for weeks or months at a time, and the feelings of depression occur suddenly with no known cause, the person should be seen by a mental health professional.

2. Hallucinations: People who have schizophrenia commonly see things that are not real, and with schizoaffective disorder, a person may have hallucinations as well.

3. Paranoia: If a person is seeing and hearing things that are not real, they may experience extreme paranoia where they are constantly on edge, and nervous.

Instrumental Work Functioning And Rehospitalisation Over 10 Years

Table 1 reports the mean scores on the Strauss-Carpenter Work Functioning and Rehospitalisation Scales for the four diagnostic groups at each follow-up.

Table 1 Instrumental work functioning and rehospitalisation for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and affective disorder groups at four consecutive follow-ups over 10 years1

Schizophrenia Mean Schizoaffective disorder Mean Psychotic affective disorder Mean Non-psychotic affective disorder Mean
Work functioning
3.75 3.80
  • An overall 4 × 4 repeated-measures ANOVA on instrumental work functioning showed large statistically significant diagnostic differences .

  • One-way ANOVA and post hoc analyses on work functioning, comparing the four diagnostic groups, showed statistically significant diagnostic differences at all four follow-ups. Patients with schizoaffective disorders showed significantly poorer work functioning than those with non-psychotic affective disorders at all four follow-ups .

  • The patients with schizoaffective disorders did not show as poor work functioning as those with schizophrenia. The difference in work performance was statistically significant at both the 7.5-year and the 10-year follow-ups.

  • There were differences between the schizoaffective and the psychotic affective disorders at the 7.5-year follow-up, but overall these differences were not as consistent as the comparison with the patients with schizophrenia.

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    What Risks Can Schizoaffective Disorder Cause

    The risk of suicide is higher for the first few years after your symptoms start. You can seek treatment early and make a crisis plan. The right treatment can help control your symptoms and help to lower the risk of suicide.

    You can make a crisis plan yourself or you can ask someone to help you. A crisis plan is a plan of action that you will follow to help with suicidal feelings. Usually a plan will include people, services and activities that can help you.

    You can find out more about Suicidal thoughts: How to cope by clicking here.

    Three Pathways To Depression In Schizophrenia


    How are we to understand this varied picture of depression in schizophrenia? Birchwood argued that there are 3 distinct pathways: depression which is intrinsic to psychosis, depression which is a psychological reaction to the diagnosis and its implications for social status and position, and depression as smoking gun evidence of historical childhood trauma. This framework seems to have stood the test of time. Trauma, neglect and social adversity are now well-established risk factors for schizophrenia. These factors also share risk for a variety of other disorders and for this reason depression may be trans-diagnostic. We have published a series of studies examining the second pathway.,, The summary is that it is the way a person appraises the meaning and significance of their psychotic experience, including their subordinate relationship to voices, or persecutors and the impact of the diagnosis on social status that underlies the development of depression. We have shown that this is the case even during the acute phases of illness where insight is not totally lost., Therefore, of Birchwoods 3 pathways it is the first, depression as intrinsic to psychosis itself, that may now need further exploration.

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    Treatment Options For Schizoaffective Disorder

    A multi-faceted treatment program is generally recommended for schizoaffective disorder, including:

    • medications antipsychotic medications are usually given first. Antidepressant or mood stabilising medications are used once the psychotic symptoms are under control. Sometimes antipsychotic medications and antidepressants are used at the same time. Anticonvulsant medication can also help treat mood disorder symptoms
    • electroconvulsive therapy is used to treat depression by inducing controlled seizures via small electrodes placed at specific locations on the head
    • psychological therapy which usually includes learning practical strategies to help avoid or identify future episodes
    • psychosocial counselling to help the person avoid the common pitfalls of mental illness such as unemployment, poverty and loneliness
    • support from family and friends understanding and support from loved ones is very important. Family and friends are advised to learn as much as they can about schizoaffective disorder to help the affected person and themselves. Support groups and counselling services are available for relatives and friends of people with mental illness.

    Risk Factors For Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia

    No one knows what causes bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, genetics are probably a risk factor, as both conditions likely run in families. This doesnt mean that youll definitely inherit the disorder if your parent or sibling has it. Your risk increases, however, if multiple family members have the disorder. But knowing theres a risk increases the chance of early detection and treatment.

    Environmental factors may also contribute to your risk, but this connection isnt entirely understood yet.

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    How Should I Take Care Of Myself When It Comes To Schizoaffective Disorder

    Perhaps youve noticed signs of schizoaffective disorder in yourself or a loved one. Those symptoms may include prolonged hallucinations, delusions, depression or manic episodes. The first step is to talk to a healthcare provider. Getting diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible helps improve symptoms and promote a good quality of life. Be sure to follow your providers treatment instructions:

    • Attend therapy sessions, including individual and family therapy.
    • Stay in contact with your provider, who can help manage and adjust your treatments as necessary.
    • Take medications as directed. Talk to your provider to help manage side effects from the medications.
    • Treat substance use disorders, if necessary.

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    How Is Schizophrenia Differentiated From Bipolar Affective Disorder

    Schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder may be difficult to distinguish from each other. Patients with manic-depressive illness predominantly have disturbances in their affect or mood. Psychotic symptoms may be prominent during a mania or depression.

    In classic manic-depressive illness, the psychotic symptoms are congruent with mania or depression, and the person has periods of euthymia with no psychotic symptoms between the episodes. However, some patients have periods of psychotic symptoms in the absence of depression or mania. In these cases, schizoaffective disorder is diagnosed.

    How Does Schizoaffective Disorder Affect People

    This lifelong illness can affect all areas of a persons life. A person with schizoaffective disorder can find it difficult to function at work or school. It also affects peoples relationships with family, friends and loved ones.Many people with schizoaffective disorder have periodic episodes. There are times when their symptoms surface and times when their symptoms might disappear for a while.

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    Cause Of Schizoaffective Disorder Is Unknown

    Most mental health experts believe that schizoaffective disorder is a variation of schizophrenia, but the exact cause remains unclear. Current theory suggests that schizoaffective disorder is triggered by a range of factors working in combination including:

    • genetic susceptibility
    • environmental factors such as stress
    • differences in brain chemical and receptor interactions.

    Duration Of Symptoms And Disease


    The psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia tend to be persistent, while in schizoaffective disorder, they tend to come and go.

    In terms of the course of the disease, most people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia have a chronic and persistent course of illness.

    On the other hand, most people diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder experience episodes of symptoms but are more likely to have symptom-free intervals than people who have schizophrenia. This is not a hard and fast rule, however in some people, the opposite is true.

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    Mood Vs Psychotic Symptoms

    In schizophrenia, mood symptoms are not expected to occur without psychotic symptoms. The psychotic symptoms are almost always present, but the mood symptoms come and go.

    In schizoaffective disorder, the psychotic symptoms may or may not be present during the times when a person is experiencing depression or mania. That said, the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder requires that the psychotic symptoms be present for a long enough time when a person is not experiencing any serious mood symptoms.

    Frequency And Ages Affected

    Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.2 percent of people in the United States. Typically, it first appears between the late teen years and early adulthood. Children can also show signs of bipolar disorder.

    Schizophrenia isnt as common as bipolar disorder. It affects 1.1 percent of the U.S. population. People usually learn they have it between the ages of 16 and 30. Schizophrenia isnt usually seen in children.

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    Schizophrenia And Affective Disorder: Are They Genetically Linked

    Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018

    Miron Baron*
    Affiliation:Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Director of Psychogenetics, Department of Medical Genetics, New York State Psychiatric Institute
    Rhoda S. Gruen
    Affiliation:Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Research Scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, USA

    What The Doctor Will Want To Know

    Relationships and Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder

    If you or a loved one are being evaluated for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, a doctor may ask questions which include the following:

    • Personal hygiene. Good or poor?
    • Is the person generally cooperative or easily agitated?
    • Do the facial expressions match the mood?
    • Does the patient make eye contact?
    • Are the movements slow, as if the person is moving through water?
    • Do words and sentences follow a normal thought process?
    • Does the person appear depressed or manic?
    • Does he or she have a grandiose sense of self?
    • Does the patient know his name? Can he tell you the day of the week?
    • Does the patient respond to stimuli that are imaginary?
    • Does the patient have paranoid thoughts?
    • Are they experiencing suicidal thoughts?
    • Has the patient recently used drugs and alcohol?5

    The symptoms of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can be managed through treatment, so its important to find the right care. People with either diagnosis can live healthy and full lives.

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    Assessment Of Functional Profile: The Ucsd Performance

    The UPSA-B, a modified brief version of the UPSA, was developed to evaluate daily functioning in individuals with mental disorders . The UPSA-B consists of two subtests: the financial portion and the communication domain. In the financial portion, participants are required to count out specific amounts of real currency, make change, and request a bank check to pay a bill. Meanwhile, the communication domain asks participants to correctly call directory assistance to obtain a telephone number to reschedule an appointment in a hospital. Three sub-scores are derived from the UPSA-B: Financial skill 1 , Financial skill 2 , and Communication skill . The validity of the Chinese version of the UPSA-B has previously been established in Mandarin-speaking patients with mental illnesses .

    Types Of Schizoaffective Disorder

    Both psychotic and mood disorder symptoms are present in schizoaffective disorder and, just as there is more than one type of mood disorder, there is more than one type of schizoaffective disorder:

    • Manic type: In this type you have both psychotic and manic symptoms occurring within one episode.
    • Depressive type: In this type you have both psychotic and depressive symptoms occurring at the same time during an episode.
    • Mixed type: In this type you have psychotic symptoms with both manic and depressive symptoms. However, the psychotic symptoms are independent and not necessarily related to the bipolar disorder symptoms.

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    Rose Hill Center Can Help You Overcome Both Disorders

    While theres clearly a difference between these two disorders, it doesnt have to change where you get help. At Rose Hill Center, we understand the differences between the two. For that reason, we offer different treatment options at one location.

    At Rose Hill Center, we strive to offer a variety of treatment services for mental health problems. A few of these include:

    What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment


    If you arent happy with your treatment you can:

    • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
    • ask for a second opinion,
    • ask a relative, friend or advocate to help you speak your doctor,
    • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
    • make a complaint.

    There is more information about these options below.

    What can I say to my doctor?

    You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it, giving specific reasons. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

    Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If youre not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why they think its not suitable for you.

    Can I get a second opinion?

    A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

    You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.

    You can find more information about Second opinions by clicking here.

    What is advocacy?

    Advocates help you to deal with and overcome issues that you have. They are independent from the NHS and free to use.

    They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard. There are 3 types of advocates that might be able to help if you are unhappy about your treatment.

    How can I complain?

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    Symptom Dimension View Of Schizoaffective Outcome

    An alternative outlook to help account for the results obtained on outcome of patients with schizoaffective disorders over time involves a dimensional view of symptoms . This approach de-emphasises the importance of specific diagnostic labels and instead focuses on major symptoms such as psychosis, affective syndromes and mood-incongruent delusions.

    Diagnosis Of Schizoaffective Disorder Is Difficult

    Diagnosis is difficult because the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are similar to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. For example, people who are severely depressed can sometimes suffer from hallucinations, while people coming out of acute schizophrenic episodes are prone to depression . A long-term history of the person is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

    The symptoms of mania can easily be confused with the emotions, thoughts and behaviours commonly experienced during a schizophrenic psychotic episode.

    Diagnosis may take some time because it is so difficult to tell the difference between schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Usually, a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder is made when the symptoms of schizophrenia and the symptoms of a mood disorder are present at the same time for at least two weeks.

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    Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia

    There are no blood tests for diagnosing bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Instead, your doctor will do a physical and psychological exam. During the exam, theyll ask you about any family history of mental disorders and your symptoms.

    Your doctor may want to do a complete blood test to help rule out other conditions. They may also request an MRI or CT scan. Finally, they make ask you to agree to a drug and alcohol screening.

    You may need to return for several visits before your doctor can make a diagnosis. These visits will help your doctor fully understand your symptoms. They may ask you to keep a daily record of your mood and sleep patterns. This can help your doctor see if any patterns emerge, such as manic and depressive episodes.

    Treatment for both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia involves therapy and medication.

    For bipolar disorder, psychotherapy may include:

    • learning about changes in mood and how to effectively manage them
    • educating family members about the disorder so they can be supportive and help with overcoming episodes
    • helping you improve your relationships with friends and coworkers
    • learning to manage your days to avoid possible triggers, such as a lack of sleep or stress

    Your doctor may prescribe medications to control changes in mood and related symptoms, such as:

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