Schizoaffective disorder

Sizoaffective disorder is a chronic and serious mental illness which is characterized by symptoms of both schizophrenia and mood disorder.

It is combined with symptoms of

1) mania

2) hypomania and/or

3) depression

In this case , the person suffers from a set of schizophrenia symptoms such as delusion, hallucinations or paranoid thoughts. Mood disorder symptoms as mood swing, depression or mania can occur.


There are two types:-

1) Bipolar type

2) Depressive type

Males are more suffering than females. Around the age of 18 for male and 26 is in female.

Schizoaffective disorder is considered incomprehensible cases.

Each case is characterized by a mixture of symptoms of different behaviour and episodes that are differ from person to person.

The schizoaffective disorder is characterized by Cycles of acute symptoms followed by a period of improvement with fewer acute symptoms.

Depressive type schizoaffective disorder is characterized by episodes of major depression without mania

Bipolar type schizoaffective disorder is characterized by major depression and episodes of mania.


Symptoms of this case may vary from one person to another person.

These symptoms are: –

1) sensory hallucinations

2) troubled speech

3) difficulty in thinking

4) delusion

5) Depressive symptoms

6) thinking you are being controlled

7) mood disturbances

8) mania

9) disorganised thinking

10) lack of drive

Disorganised thinking

A depressive episode of the schizoaffective disorder requires six or more symptoms over a two week period.

1) difficulty in concentration

2) depressed mood

3) the feeling of guilty or worthlessness

4) thought of death or suiside

5) decreased sleep

6) loss of appetite

7) lack of energy

8) slowing of movement

9) the lack of pleasure

Similarly, a manic episode of schizoaffective disorder requires a period of irritable or elevated mood for atleast three of the following symptoms.

These are:-

1) increased energy

2) increased activity

3) increased self- esteem

4) more goal- directed activity

5) engaging in risky behaviour

6) speedy thoughts

7) less Sleep

8) becoming talkative

9) irritability

10) being easily distracted

The general signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder is :

1) hallucinations

2) delusion

3) major depressive episode

4) unusual behaviour

5) sudden increase in activity

6) deficiency in the job and social performance


The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. But, there are some factors that can lead to this disorder:-

1) Genetic factor

2) Environmental factor

3) Delayed development of brain

4) Birth defects

5) Taking drugs

6) Exposure to toxins

Risk factors

One of the most important factor that increase the risk of developing the schizoaffective disorder is a close relatives ( blood relative) who suffer from one of the following:

1) schizophrenia

2) bipolar disorder

3) clinical depression


People with schizoaffective disorder are at increased risk of:-

1) suicide or suicidal thoughts

2) family and personal conflicts

3) social isolation

4) anxiety disorder

5) manic and depressive behaviour

6) excess drug abuse and alcohol consumption

7) major health problems

8) unemployment


There is no specific tests for diagnose schizoaffective disorder:-

But, a) physical examination

b) medical history

c) Lab test

d) MRI test

These tests make sure that another type of illness is not causing the symptoms.


It is treated with a combination of Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medications and skill therapy. The electroconvulsive therapy is also useful for some patients.

So, mental illness is very serious and sometimes fatal. So, there is help and hope for recovery.

Dr S.k.jha


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