Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by distorted thinking, actions, understanding reality and relates to others combined with another mental disorder such as major depression or bipolar disorder.
Schizoaffective disorder has a huge impact on a person’s life. It affects his work or school, relationships and basically his day-to-day activities. People who are diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder may have relapses when their symptoms surface. There is no cure for this mental illness, however, the treatment is focused on managing the symptoms.
Schizoaffective disorder has this three forms, schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia – is a brain illness that affects a person’s view of the world. It is now distorted making him incapable of responding accurately to different stimuli that were otherwise normal.
Depression – a mental illness that is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness and remembering details. The patient will no longer be able to concentrate therefore it will make him/her incapable of making wise decisions.
Bipolar disorder – is marked by extreme mood swings such as manic-depressive episode.
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can vary from one individual to the other. These are:
- Delusions – these are strange thoughts and beliefs that an individual won’t let go, even when presented with facts.
- Hallucinations – examples include hearing voices, or seeing things that are not real.
- Disorganized thoughts
- Unusual behavior
- Catatonic or not moving at all
- Lack of facial expression and speech
- Cannot communicate properly
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Insomnia or unable to sleep well
- Restlessness or agitation
- Fatigue or lacking the energy to move around
- Self-blaming or feelings of extreme guilt
- A tendency to commit suicide
- Cannot concentrate or think coherently
Mania or extreme feelings of ‘high’
- Cannot sleep
- Talks faster
- Racing thoughts
- Cannot concentrate as he or she is easily distracted
- Self-destructive behavior
- Very active at work, social life or sexually
Since the schizoaffective disorder is a combination of two mental illnesses it is often times misdiagnosed. The treatment is designed to manage the symptoms to allow the individual to get along in their everyday life.
If you think you are suffering from Schizoaffective Disorder you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Schizoaffective Disorder as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).