How To Differentiate Between Schizophrenia And Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder have same origin but can affect people differently. Know the symptoms and causes of these disorders.
The effect of mental health concerns can have a direct impact on the physical health and abilities to perform day-to-day tasks. In most mental disorders, an individual has an abnormal interpretation of reality. However, the main concern is to diagnose such conditions, as most mental disorders are categorised the same. The outcome to mental disorders may be the same, but symptoms may seem to be similar. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders are two mental disorders which are completely different from each other, but often mistaken as one. Both have different characteristics, varied symptoms and treatment methods. Let us know about these two mental health disorders from Psychologist Dr.Tanu Singh from Healthcare Clinic, Lucknowand how different are they from each other.
Talk With Others Who Understand
MyDepressionTeam is the social network for people with depression and their loved ones. On MyDepressionTeam, more than 138,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with depression, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.
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Schizoaffective Disorder Vs Schizophrenia
Comparing schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia is important. Far too often, people lump these mental disorders together. In reality, theyre completely different disorders that cause different symptoms.
For example, people who have schizophrenia have a hard time telling the difference between reality and fiction. They might see or hear voices that arent really there. To them, the voices and imagery are as real as it comes. However, others cant see nor hear these nonexistent things.
With schizoaffective disorder, people feel detached from reality. While it makes them see or hear things that arent there, it also affects their mood a great deal. In fact, two common types of schizoaffective disorder are bipolar and depressive disorders.
With that said, its important to note that these disorders share some other symptoms. However, theyre still completely different and often require different treatments.
Can Schizoaffective Disorder Turn Into Schizophrenia
For the most part, no, schizoaffective disorder does not turn into schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder is a separate condition that, although considered a chronic or life-long condition, usually becomes less severe with age.
As they get older, people with schizoaffective disorder may experience fewer and less severe symptoms, especially when theyre middle-aged. The same cannot be said about people with schizophrenia.
Fortunately, while there is no cure for either condition, both are treatable and manageable with medication and behavioral therapy.
Schizoaffective Disorder Vs Schizophrenia Treatments
Both mental disorders are often treated with antipsychotic medications to help patients manage their hallucinations and delusions. However, schizoaffective disorder is typically treated with a mood stabilizer as well to help patients with their other symptoms.
Talk therapy can also be used to help patients heal. If patients also struggle with substance abuse, dual diagnosis care can be a highly effective treatment.
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are often thought to be the same thing, and while they have many similar symptoms, they have distinguishing characteristics. Both include having delusions and hallucinations, but schizoaffective disorder also typically involves mood disorder symptoms such as mania or major depressive episodes. Treatment is possible with antipsychotics for both, but mood stabilizers for schizoaffective disorder are also normally prescribed. Alta Loma Transformational Services treats patients with both of these disorders as well as co-occurring substance abuse disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out and get help today. Call .
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Types Of Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder can be broken down into two types depending on the type of mood disorder symptoms which are present. Schizoaffective bipolar type presents itself with symptoms of mania and/or mixed episodes. Schizoaffective depressive type presents itself with only depressive episodes, not manic episodes.
Computer Generated Transcript Of Schizoaffective Disorder Vs Schizophrenia Episode
Announcer: Welcome to Inside Schizophrenia, a look in to better understanding and living well with schizophrenia. Hosted by renowned advocate and influencer Rachel Star Withers and featuring Gabe Howard.
Rachel Star Withers: Welcome to Inside Schizophrenia, a Psych Central Podcast, which is proud to be with Healthline.com. Im your host, Rachel Star Withers here with my wonderful co-host, Gabe Howard.
Gabe Howard: Hey, everyone.
Rachel Star Withers: And in todays episode, we are going to be exploring the differences between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, Gabe, it seems simple at first and then it got really complicated. I feel like thats like all of our episodes. Like when I first look at the topic, Im like, oh, this will be easy. And then when I like really research and get into it, what happened? This is confusing.
Gabe Howard: I think that were definitely explaining why mental illness is so difficult to understand, people think depression and sadness are the same thing, right? So lets move that aside. Its like schizoaffective and schizophrenia. They both have schizo, so therefore they must be the same thing. But, yeah, thats completely false.
Rachel Star Withers: Were going to be exploring all of that, and we also have the wonderful Dr. Michelle Maust from MindPath Care Centers, wholl be joining us to give us the doctors perspective on all of this.
Gabe Howard: And she is wonderful. Shell be coming up a little later in the show.
Gabe Howard: I do.
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Schizophrenia Vs Schizoaffective Disorder: Overview
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are related conditions, and because the names are so similar many believe the latter is a subtype of the former. Schizoaffective disorder sufferers often receive a schizophrenia diagnosis when the condition is in its early stages, which helps reinforce this conception.
But the relationship between the two disorders is not so simple. There are similarities between schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, but there are also significant differences that make it impossible to categorize one by referring to the other. In fact, despite schizophrenias notoriety, schizoaffective disorder is the more complicated condition to diagnose and treat.
What The Doctor Will Want To Know
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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Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder
People with schizoaffective disorder can display all of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. This includes psychotic or positive symptoms , negative symptoms such as lack of motivation or flat affect, and cognitive symptoms like confusion.
There are two types of schizoaffective disorder, each with slightly different symptoms: the bipolar type and the depressive type.
Common Questions About Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is a psychiatric condition, combining the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders . These symptoms hallucinations, delusions, psychosis and episodes of mania or depression can occur together or at different times.
Depending on the symptoms, schizoaffective disorder can be broadly defined as schizophrenia with a mood component, or a mood disorder with psychosis.
The course of schizoaffective disorder usually features cycles of severe symptoms followed by periods of improvement with less severe symptoms.
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Can Schizophreniform Disorder Lead To A Schizophrenia Diagnosis
Yes, some people diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder develop schizophrenia or related diagnoses. In fact, one study showed that about 50% of those diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder went on to be diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder within two years. However, this does not always happen.
Some people experience schizophreniform disorder and never develop schizophrenia.
Signs And Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder
The signs of schizoaffective disorder most typically occur during the later years of adolescence. However, there have been some rare cases of childhood schizoaffective disorder diagnosed. People with schizoaffective disorder will show recurrent episodes of psychosis and mood disorder symptoms. Note that the psychotic episodes that occur with schizoaffective disorder are not part of the patients personality nor are they permanent.
The symptoms of psychosis can include paranoid thoughts and behaviors, becoming delusional, and hallucinating. With the depressive type of schizoaffective disorder, patients will also show symptoms such as lethargy, deep sadness, and changes in eating or sleeping behaviors. With the bipolar type of schizoaffective disorder, patients will show symptoms of depression alternating with mania. Manic symptoms can include a lack of need to sleep, hyperactive behaviors or thoughts, and extreme highs.
It can be very difficult to recognize schizoaffective disorder because it presents symptoms of mood disorders and psychoses. Further, many patients with schizoaffective disorder also have comorbid disorders, meaning that other mental health disorders such as anxiety are also present.
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Understanding The Differences Between Schizoaffective Disorder And Schizophrenia
If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out and get help today. Call
Have you ever heard of schizophrenia? Most likely, you have, but there is a good chance you have not heard of schizoaffective disorder. Many individuals often confuse these two mental disorders as being the same due to stigmas and lack of mental health education in schools. While they may sound similar, these disorders have distinguishing features. By understanding them, more people can get the help they need, and we can erase stigmas.
Causes Of Schizoaffective Disorder
The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is not known. However, most experts believe that schizoaffective disorder occurs because of imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain. Evidence shows that schizoaffective disorder is likely genetically inherited. Further, external factors such as drug abuse, prenatal exposure to drugs or toxins, or childbirth complications, could result in schizoaffective disorder.
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How To Diagnose Schizoaffective Disorder And Schizophrenia
Doctors will attempt to diagnose these tough conditions after a thorough check of your symptoms. They may determine that you have schizophrenia if you have at least two of these symptoms:
- Confused speech or bizarre thoughts
- Negative symptoms, which include a lack of emotion or withdrawal from social activities
- Unusual body movements
Even the most advanced physicians can have difficulty deciphering the difference between the two. Your doctor will likely diagnose you with schizoaffective disorder if you display these symptoms:
- Symptoms that resemble a mood disorder on a regular basis
- Hallucinations or delusions that last for two weeks without mood disorder symptoms
- Mood problems like mania or depression that occur at the same time as schizophrenia symptoms
Find Effective Mental Health Services At Rose Hill
To treat severe mental health conditions, a residential treatment center provides a safe, stable, and secure environment for residents to learn how to manage their symptoms to lead their best life successfully. For schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia treatment in Michigan, turn to Rose Hill Center. We offer a full spectrum of comprehensive care on a 400-acre rural campus. To find out if our treatment center is right for you or your loved one, call us today at . At Rose Hill Center, we provide residents with a place to live and grow.
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Demographic And Clinical Characteristics
Table 1 provides demographic information for the three study groups and clinical statistics for patients. One-way analysis of variance and frequency analysis showed that the three groups did not differ significantly in terms of age, gender distribution, years of education or first language. The two patient groups did not differ significantly in the proportion taking first versus second generation anti-psychotic medication, benzodiazepines or mood stabilizers. The differing frequencies of anti-Parkinsonian medication approached but did not reach significance. Mean daily doses of the three most commonly prescribed anti-psychotic medications did not differ between patient groups =1.32, P=.19 olanzapine: t=0.50, P=.62 clozapine: t=1.12, P=.27). The patient groups also did not differ significantly in the severity and duration of illness as indexed by the number of years since psychotic symptom onset or hospitalizations. Similarly, there were no differences in the severity of positive or negative symptoms and general psychopathology. However, schizoaffective disorder patients showed elevated depression scores relative to schizophrenia patients. The PANSS data suggest low-average symptom severity relative to the original normative validation study . In addition, a lower proportion of schizophrenia patients were living independently, although there were no significant differences in frequency of employment.
What Is Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is also a mental health disorder in which a person interprets their reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may lead to a combination of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior.
Individuals with this condition may experience impaired thinking and daily functioning. They may also exhibit incoherent speech and disorganized behavior, which generally leads to a flat emotional affect in which the person shows little to no emotion and tends to speak less than the average person.
Other signs of schizophrenia include deficits in memory, attention, ability to process new information, and difficulty problem-solving. This can be a distressing and debilitating condition when it goes untreated.
Like people with schizoaffective disorder, those diagnosed with schizophrenia often require lifelong care. Therefore, the earlier one seeks schizophrenia treatment, the higher their chances of recovery and independent living despite their symptoms.
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How Is It Treated
Treatment for schizoaffective disorder involves:
- medications, like mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications
- trouble with everyday activities or functioning
Cognitive symptoms are more subtle, but affect memory and thinking:
- impaired executive functioning
- trouble learning information and then using it
- lack of insight about or awareness of their symptoms
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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Finding Mental Health Treatment
While theres clearly a difference between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia, both conditions can be properly managed with professional treatment. At our inpatient mental health rehab, we offer various forms of mental health care for individuals diagnosed with mood or psychotic disorders.
Included in our Boca behavioral health services is therapy of all kinds, including top-rated programs like dialectical and cognitive behavioral therapy. Patients receiving treatment at our mental therapy center will have the opportunity to work with our trained and highly-skilled team of professionals to understand their conditions, learn how to manage their symptoms, and develop the skills they require to live happy and fulfilling lives.
Our mental treatment center is here to help. Call Banyan Mental Health today at to learn how you or a loved one can get started today.
What Is The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia Or Schizoaffective Disorder
Dr. Bostwick answers the question: ‘Bipolar Disorder And Schizophrenia?’
— Question: What is the difference between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder?
Answer: These distinctions are often more important in the textbooks than they are in reality.
But basically a bipolar disorder — a bipolar person will have, between episodes of mania, periods of time when they are completely normal, when their mood is reasonable, when they are back to baseline. Also, both schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, by definition, include elements of psychosis, which bipolar disorder doesn’t have to have. With schizophrenia — the thought disorder — or the psychosis, is present all the time. In schizoaffective disorder, the person essentially has the thought disorder all the time, with mood episodes superimposed upon it.
So you can have a situation in which a person is psychotic and not depressed or manic, but then is manic along with psychotic. So you can think of the psychosis as running in the background all the time in schizoaffective disorder with these mood episodes happening intermittently as well. Again the final piece of that would be in the bipolar disorder. Technically, the psychosis should only be present when the person is either manic or depressed. Not when they’re euthymic or having a normal mood in between episodes.
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