Schizoaffective disorder is a serious mental illness that has features of two different conditions like schizophrenia, and an affective mood disorder that may be abserved as major depression, feeling loniliness or bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that alters the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Depression is an illness that is marked by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or hopelessness, as well as problems concentrating and remembering details. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes, including severe highs of emotions like mania and lows depression.
The mood disorder is either bipolar disorder (bipolar-type schizoaffective disorder) or depression (depressive-type schizoaffective disorder). Psychotic features and mood disturbances may occur at the same time or may appear on and off interchangeably. The course of schizoaffective disorder usually features cycles of severe symptoms followed by a period of improvement, with less severe symptoms. The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can be severe and need to be monitored closely.
Schizoaffective disorder can be difficult to diagnose because it has symptoms of both schizophrenia and either depression or bipolar disorder. There are two major types of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar type and depressive type. To be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder a person must have the following symptoms. A period during which there is a major mood disorder, either depression or mania, that occurs at the same time that symptoms of schizophrenia are present. Delusions or hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a major mood episode. Symptoms that meet criteria for a major mood episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the illness.