Schizoaffective Disorder Essay

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What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
The initial diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder can be somewhat confusing. Many patients and loved ones wonder, “What does that mean?” “How is it different than Schizophrenia?” We’re here to break it down for you. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) Schizoaffective Disorder is classified as: An uninterrupted period of illness during which there is a Major Mood Episode (Major Depressive or Manic) concurrent with the Criterion A of Schizophrenia. The Major Depressive Episode must include Criterion A1. Depressed mood. Delusions or hallucinations for 2 or more weeks in the absence of a Major Mood Episode (Depressive or Manic) during the lifetime duration of the illness. Symptoms that meet criteria for a Major Mood Episode are present for the majority of the total duration of the active and residual portions of the illness. The disturbance is not attributable to the effects of a substance or another medical condition.
I’m sure you’re thinking that you’re more confused now than when you started but not to worry! What all of this means is the person exhibits symptoms of Schizophrenia and also has symptoms of a mood disorder like major depression and/or mania. Some describe Schizoaffective Disorder as Schizophrenia with Bi-polar Disorder. Although it is a little more complicated than that, it is a good overall generalization of the disorder. The symptoms of Schizophrenia include hallucinations such as hearing voices and seeing things that are not there, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and the decrease or lack of speech, movement, or emotion. Along with these symptoms the patient will have periods of depression (disinterest in l...

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...umbers don’t seem to be out there. If anyone happens to find any rates of relapse for Schizoaffective Disorder please send us an email! However, it seems to be agreed that a relapse can happen and is more likely to happen if no medication is taken. This is one reason that it is extremely important to be sure the patient continues any prescribed medications. No medication should ever be stopped without speaking to your doctor. Remember, your doctor has your best interests at heart so it is important to keep him or her up to date on your situation.
Symptoms of a relapse will be the same as the symptoms of the first episode. There will be mood changes such as depression and mania. If these symptoms come back contact your doctor immediately. Don’t let a relapse discourage you. There are always going to be speed bumps but the important thing is to keep pushing forward.
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