Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Schizoaffective Disorder is getting common across the globe. An individual with Schizophrenia and mood disorders is said to have Schizophrenia-affective Disorder. Further, There are several primary symptoms of Schizophrenia in this condition, including hallucinations, delusions, and change in behavior. Similarly, It may also include manic episodes.
Imagining Schizoaffective Disorder combined with substance abuse could make treatment more difficult. patients of dual diagnosis(those with mental Disorders and addiction issues) face an enormous challenge.
Schizoaffective Disorder is characterized by the presence of many psychopathologies, including Schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Often times, Schizophrenia is mistakenly diagnosed as bipolar disorder or depression at first.
The cause of Schizoaffective Disorder isn’t known for sure, although scientists suspect that it’s linked to Schizophrenia. Both conditions can be seen together, but they are treated as one.
There are only .03% of people who have Schizophrenia, an extremely rare condition.
Schizoaffective Disorder studies say both men and women are equally likely to get it, but men tend to develop it at a younger age. Many people with the disease suffer relapses, even with the help of doctors. Frequently, people with it have substance abuse problems as well.
It can be challenging to treat Schizophrenia and substance use Disorder together for a variety of reasons:
It is important to understand what you are actually treating when you try to treat depression symptoms in someone with this diagnosis. Could it be Schizoaffective Disorder? Does alcohol addiction lead to depression? When treating patients with psychological disorders and substance abuse, it is very important to distinguish the two. This is one of the reasons individuals with dual diagnoses need to seek help from dual diagnosis centers.
An Addiction Risk
The general population is less likely than those with severe mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia, to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Schizoaffective Disorder studies say drug use will not be available to these individuals on an occasional basis.
A causal drug use can quickly turn into a problem for them. Therefore, by the time they seek help, their addiction is probably in a more advanced state, making treatment more difficult.
Loneliness and Isolation Have a Role to Play
Schizoaffective Disorder sufferers are prone to feeling isolated. The disease tends to make those suffering from it lonely. They will not regularly interact with their coworkers even if they maintain a job (which is challenging). A secluded environment like this is fertile ground for addiction to drugs and alcohol. An individual’s drug use or alcohol consumption could spiral out of control if a close friend or family member was not watching.
Treatment for Schizophrenia and Addiction: Which Comes First?
Professionals must identify the symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder and addiction in order to be able to treat both conditions. It can be challenging to differentiate mental illness symptoms from those of addiction because the symptoms are so similar.
However, if the individual’s symptoms are not fully understood it is possible to misdiagnose the problems, thereby slowing down the recovery process even further.
Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
A psychiatrist must exclude other mental disorders before treating Schizophrenia and must determine that you don’t have substance abuse, a medical condition, or medications.
The Following Factors May Be Considered when Diagnosing Schizophrenia:
- Physical exam. To rule out other conditions that could cause symptoms and to look for complications, this test may be performed
- Tests and screenings. A test that uncovers conditions that share similar symptoms and a drug and alcohol screening may be necessary. If a doctor feels it’s necessary, a CT or MRI scan may be requested.
- Psychiatric evaluation. In medical and mental health settings, a physician will examine appearance, demeanor, and thinking and ask about delusions, hallucinations, drug use and suicide risk. Additionally, family and personal histories are discussed.
- Schizoaffective Disorder diagnosis criteria. The American Psychiatric Association publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5, which provides guidelines on how to diagnose mental illness.
Psychotherapy and life skills training are generally effective treatments for Schizoaffective Disorder. Symptoms, severity, and type of Disorder determine treatment. Bipolar Disorder is generally treated differently than depression. Hospitalization may be necessary in some cases. The symptoms can be managed with long-term treatment.
Most medications prescribed for this condition are aimed at reducing psychotic symptoms, stabilizing mood, and combating depression.
Among Them Are:
- Antipsychotics. Currently, paliperidone (Invega) is the only agent specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat Schizoaffective Disorder. For mental illness, the doctor might also prescribe antipsychotic drugs for Disordered thinking or hallucinations.
- Medication that stabilizes mood. It is possible to stabilize moods when Schizoaffective Disorder is bipolar.
- Antidepressants. Antidepressants can relieve depression and other mood disorders associated with sadness, hopelessness, or difficulties sleeping and concentrating.
Treatment with Psychotherapy
Pharmacological Treatments Aren’t the Only Option. Psychotherapy Can Also Help. Among the Types of Psychotherapy:
- Therapy on an individual basis. A psychological assessment may help patients reduce symptoms and normalize thoughts. It is helpful for people with Schizoaffective Disorder to build trust in therapy in order to gain a better understanding of their condition and learn how to manage symptoms. During a counseling session, participants concentrate on coping strategies, establishing goals and real-life planning.
- Families or groups may benefit from therapy. Schizophrenia patients with real-life problems may have better treatment outcomes if they can share their problems with others. Schizoaffective Disorder studies say besides reducing social isolation, supportive groups can also aid in promoting appropriate medications use, promoting better social skills, and providing a reality check during psychotic episodes.
Training in Life Skills
A Higher Quality of Life Can Be Achieved by Learning Social and Job Skills:
- Social skills training. In this program, the goal is for participants to improve their communication skills, social interactions, and their ability to engage in daily activities. In settings such as the workplace or the home, it is possible to cultivate new skills and behaviors.
- Supported employment and vocational rehabilitation. Schizoaffective Disorder sufferers can receive assistance with preparing for, finding, and keeping employment.
Schizoaffective Disorder studies say the overnight hospital stay is sometimes necessary when a crisis occurs or someone is seriously ill in order to provide safety, nutrition, adequate sleep, and other personal care.
EECT (electroconvulsive Therapy)
Psychotherapy and medications do not work as well for adults suffering from Schizophrenia. ECT may be considered as a treatment option.
Support and Coping
Schizoaffective Disorder is a chronic condition that needs regular care and assistance.
Individuals Suffering from Schizoaffective Disorder Can Profit from The Following:
- Acquaintance with the disease. Education regarding Schizoaffective Disorder can assist the person in adhering to the prescribed treatment plan. Additionally, education will assist friends and families in comprehending the condition and being more compassionate.
- Have an eye out for warning signs. Identify factors that can exacerbate symptoms or make everyday operations more difficult. Prepare a strategy for what to do if symptoms reappeared. Consult a physician or psychiatrist if necessary to avoid a deterioration in the condition.
- Participating in a support community. Schizoaffective Disorder studies say support networks may assist in establishing relationships with people that are experiencing similar difficulties. Additionally, support services may assist families and friends in coping.
- Inquiring into available social programs. These programs will be able to assist in obtaining subsidized accommodation, obtaining transportation, and completing everyday tasks.
- Additionally, abstain from recreational narcotics, cigarettes, and alcohol. This may exacerbate Schizoaffective Disorder symptoms or cause drug interactions. Seek adequate therapy for a drug use Disorder if possible.
Scheizoaffective Disorder: Types
They Are Divided Into Two Types. Each Exhibits Some Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
- Bipolar type: Manic episodes and major depressions
- Depression type: Only major depressions
Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms
They May Range from Mild to Severe and May Vary Greatly Between Individuals. Among Them Are:
- The belief that a thing is factual despite knowing it is false, a delusion
- Schizoaffective Disorder researches say depression manifests itself in feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or emptiness
- Hearing voices is an example of a hallucination (a sensory perception that doesn’t seem to be real)
- Keeping up appearance (keeping clean and tidy)
- Mania is when a person’s energy level bursts or their joy is out of character. Schizoaffective Disorder studies say they tend to have racing thoughts or risky behavior
- The inability to answer questions correctly or only answering partially or only giving answers unrelated to the question
- The answers were incomplete or unrelated, or there were language difficulties.
- Working, studying, or socializing in an irritating way
A Study of Schizophrenia’s Causes
Researchers Still Do Not Know What Causes the Disease. Schizoaffective Disorder Is Associated With:
- Genes: A tendency to inherit Schizoaffective Disorder features is inherited from your parents
- The circuits in the brain that manage mood and thinking may have problems with Schizophrenia and mood Disorders. A decrease in Dopamine levels is associated with Schizophrenia, which is needed to perform these tasks
- Schizoaffective Disorder studies say believe factors like viral infections as well as highly stressful situations may contribute to the onset of Schizophrenia when a person is at risk. The exact mechanism is not clear
- Drug use: Using drugs that alter consciousness. Psychoactive or psychotropic drugs are sometimes called psychoactive drugs
Addiction, Substance abuse, and co-existing Mental illness are dealt with every day at the Dual Diagnosis Centers and even complex cases such as Schizoaffective Disorder are dealt with with skill and dedication. Staff members can get an individual to open up by providing a safe, supportive environment.
He or she can begin providing vital information by opening up to those around them. Many people who have been treated in these facilities have found it to be non-confrontational, engaging, and highly effective. Contact us to know more about Schizoaffective Disorder.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.