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 is a chronic mental health condition characterized primarily by symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of a mood disorder, such as mania and depression. 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. Depending on the type of mood disorder diagnosed, depression or bipolar disorder, people will experience different symptoms: Hallucinations, which are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Schizoaffective disorder symptoms vary from person to person. People who have the condition experience psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions as well as a mood 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. The abuse of drugs or a medication are not responsible for the symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder is treated and managed in several ways: Medications, including mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications and antidepressants Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or family-focused therapy Self-management strategies and education.