According to the American Psychiatric Association, schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness wherein the individual displays features of schizophrenia concurrent with either a major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder. The affective part of the name refers to the simultaneous display of symptoms of the mood disorder of either bipolar or depression. When a person is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, either bipolar type or depressive type will be specified to indicate which mood disorder is experienced. If bipolar disorder is specified, the individual may experience just the manic episode or both episodes of mania and depression. Schizoaffective disorder is often misdiagnosed because it shares the properties of multiple disorders. Fortunately, there are treatment options available. When you reach out to our schizoaffective disorder treatment center in Los Angeles, please contact Silicon Beach Treatment Center today at 866.520.4881.
Signs and Symptoms of Clinical Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is indicated by the experience of two of these symptoms:
- Disorganized speech
- Disorganized motor
- Negative symptoms (reduced emoting).
They may also experience at least one of either delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. These symptoms must be significantly present for most of the time during one month. Simultaneously, they may experience symptoms of a major depressive episode or a manic episode.
What Is a Major Depressive Episode?
The individual will experience five or more of the following symptoms for two weeks, and at least one symptom will be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure. The symptoms experienced will markedly negatively impact functioning in social, educational, occupational, or other areas, and the mood disturbance is not attributable to substance use, medication, or another medical condition. These symptoms may include:
- A depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day
- Reduced interest or pleasure
- Marked increase or decrease in weight or appetite
- Marked increase or decrease in sleep
- Significant increase or decrease in psychomotor activity
- Increase in fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Reduction in cognitions, concentration, or decisiveness
- Increased thoughts of death or suicide
What Is a Manic Episode?
During a manic episode, the individual will experience an irritable or heightened or inflated mood with a substantial and unusual amount of goal-directed energy for at least a week, most of the day, nearly every day. The episode of mania will significantly and negatively impact functioning in the areas of social, educational, occupational, or other areas. In addition, the episode will not be the result of substance use, prescribed medications, or another medical condition. The symptoms of manic episodes may include:
- Increased self-concept to the point of grandiosity
- Reduction in the need for sleep
- Pressured speech or excessively talkative
- Racing thoughts or flight of ideas, meaning the individual feels a cross current of several competing ideas at once
- Being easily distracted by inconsequential stimuli
- Pronounced psychomotor activity or goal-driven activity (socially, academically, or sexually)
- Involvement in high-risk activities (such as financial risk or sexual risk)