Schizoaffective disorder symptoms look like a mixture of two kinds of major mental illnesses that are usually thought to run in different families, involve different brain mechanisms, develop in different ways, and respond to different treatments: mood (affective) disorders and schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder can be managed effectively with medication and therapy. Co-occurring substance use disorders are a serious risk and require integrated treatment.
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. Signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may include, among others: Delusions having false, fixed beliefs Hallucinations, such as hearing voices, Major depressed mood episodes, Possible periods of manic mood or a sudden increase in energy and behavioral displays that are out of character Impaired occupational and social functioning Problems with cleanliness and physical appearance Paranoid thoughts and ideas.
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. Symptoms that meet criteria for a major mood episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the illness. The abuse of drugs or a medication are not responsible for the symptoms.