Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health disorder in which symptoms of both schizophrenia and mood disorder are experienced. Therefore schizoaffective disorder is a combination of both schizophrenia, as well as a mood disorder. It is very rare, affecting less than 1 percent of the population in the world. It afflicts both men and women equally. In men, the schizoaffective disorder can occur at a young age.


Schizoaffective disorder is of two types. The types are:

  • Bipolar: In this type, there are episodes of mania along with depression.
  • Depressive: In this type, there are episodes of major depression only.


The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder differ greatly from person to person. They may be severe or mild. The common signs and symptoms are:

  • Delusions
  • Paranoid thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Hyperactive mood
  • Lack of personal care
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Incoherent speech because of difficulty in communication
  • Impaired academic, social, and occupational functioning
  • Difficulty in sleeping


The causes of this disorder are still not known. However, there are certain risk factors that may increase the chance of developing this condition, these risk factors are:

  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Drug abuse
  • Brain chemistry
  • Extreme stress


The goal of the treatment in schizoaffective disorder is to help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life. This is done through a combination of medication, psychotherapy and life skills training. Medications include drugs like Antipsychotics, Antidepressants, and Mood stabilizers. Psychotherapy includes individual therapy as well as family or group therapy. Life skills training such as social skills training and vocational training are very important because they help in reducing social isolation and help in managing finances. In severe cases of psychotic and manic episodes, hospitalization may be required, especially if a person is at risk of causing harm to oneself or others.

There is no cure for this disease so the treatment is very long term. With the right treatment, symptoms can be managed and people can live fulfilling lives.

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