Schizoaffective Disorder

Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists -  - Mental Health Clinic

Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists

Mental Health Office located in Costa Mesa, Orange, Dana Point & Huntington Beach, CA

Schizoaffective disorder is a complex condition in which you have symptoms of schizophrenia together with symptoms of bipolar disorder or depression. The experts at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists have the experience needed to evaluate all of your symptoms and determine an accurate diagnosis. Then they customize your treatment based on how this confusing disorder affects you. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, or Orange, California today.

Schizoaffective Disorder Q & A

What is schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition in which you have schizophrenia and a mood disorder. There are two types of schizoaffective disorders:

  • Bipolar type, which combines symptoms of schizophrenia with episodes of mania and sometimes major depression
  • Depressive type, which combines schizophrenia with episodes of major depression

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder typically begin in adolescence or young adulthood, where they make it hard to function in all areas of your life, whether you’re at home, work, school, or socializing.

What symptoms develop due to schizoaffective disorder?

If you have schizoaffective disorder, you’ll have one or more symptoms from these categories:

Schizophrenia symptoms:

  • Psychosis (lose touch with reality)
  • Delusions (believe something is true when it isn’t)
  • Hallucinations (see, smell, feel, taste, or hear something that doesn’t really exist)
  • Disorganized speech (switch topics, jumbled speech, speech that doesn’t make sense)
  • Disorganized behavior (perform repetitive or senseless movements or you become catatonic)
  • Negative symptoms (no emotion, loss of interest in activities, lethargy)

 

Bipolar mania symptoms:

  • Extreme energy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Feeling irritable
  • Participating in risky behaviors like overspending

 

Major depression symptoms:

  • Low energy level
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts

In some patients, the overall impact of their symptoms leads to the neglect of their personal care, including cleanliness and their appearance.

How is schizoaffective disorder treated?

The overlapping symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders — plus the fact that depression can appear in both types of schizoaffective disorder — make it hard to diagnose the condition. However, the team at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists has extensive experience evaluating the symptoms and identifying schizoaffective disorder.

Treatment for schizoaffective disorder includes medication, psychotherapy, or both. Your provider may prescribe mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, or antidepressants, depending on the type of schizoaffective disorder and your symptoms.

In most patients, optimal results are achieved when medication is combined with therapy. The team uses many different therapeutic techniques, so they recommend the one that’s best for you.

If you have major depression that doesn’t respond to medication, your doctor at Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists may recommend transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS may also treat auditory hallucinations. When you receive TMS, repetitive pulses of electromagnetic energy are used to boost nerve activity in your brain.

If you develop any of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, mania, or depression, call Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists today.