What is Schizoaffective Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

 Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition and a type of psychotic disorder. Today, we’ll discuss what is schizoaffective disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder? 

Schizoaffective disorder comprises the signs of both schizophrenia and mood disorders like bipolar disorder or depressive disorder. Many people with schizophrenia are misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder or depression.

Researchers don’t know whether schizoaffective disorder condition is happening due to mood disorder or schizophrenia. Many experts treat and view this condition as a combination of both mental health conditions.

According to an estimate, a very limited number of people roundabout .03% of the population would get schizoaffective disorder. The condition impacts both males and females equally, but males develop this condition at an early age. Your therapist would help you to deal with it, but many people diagnosed with this condition would have relapses. Many people with the condition also experience substance use disorder.

Types of Schizoaffective Disorder 

It has got two main types, and every type has the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder 

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder vary from person to person, and their severity would range from mild to severe. Some of them are as follows;

  • Having difficulty in a social setting, school, and work
  • Communication and speech issues, they would give irrelevant answers to the questions, and partial answers to the questions, and the doctors call it disorganized thinking
  • Manic episodes suddenly like risky behavior, racing/fast thoughts, happiness or elevated energy level, or jumpy out-of-character
  • Limited personal care like not remaining clean or working on your appearances
  • Hallucinations comprise hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there
  • Depression signs like feeling worthless, sad, or empty
  • Delusions mean believing in the false and wrong facts and refusing to give them up

Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder 

Researchers don’t know the exact and precise causes of schizoaffective disorder. Some of the main possible causes are as follows;


The condition has a genetic tendency and the person would get it from their parents.

Brain Structure/Chemistry

If people have mood and schizophrenic disorders, they would have problems with their brain structure or circuits that control and manage their thinking and mood. The schizophrenic condition has got associated with a lower level of dopamine, and it’s a brain chemical that allows you to manage various tasks.


Many researchers think that highly stressful situations and viral infections play a significant role in the development of this condition; if you’re at the risk of developing it. It’s not clear how it happens.

Drug Use

It may be because of taking mind-altering drugs.

The condition starts in the early adulthood or late teen years, approximately at the age of 16 to 30 years. It rarely happens among children, and it’s more common among females than males. However, it integrates the symptoms of two mental conditions. You can easily confuse it with mood or psychotic disorder.

Some doctors and therapists misdiagnose the condition as schizophrenia. The others consider it a mood disorder. Resultantly, it’s highly difficult to know how many people actually have this schizoaffective condition. It is rare than both schizophrenia and mood disorders along

Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder 

The treatment plans for the schizoaffective disorder are as follows;

Electroconvulsive Therapy

It’s a very good treatment option for adults that aren’t responding to the medications and psychotherapy. It comprises of submitting electric current quickly to your brain. Your doctor would give your general anesthesia medicine to go to sleep during the process. It causes seizures briefly, and your doctors would do it to notice the changes in the brain chemistry and would reverse some of the conditions.


If the psychotic episode is at an extreme level, then it requires hospitalization. Especially if the person is threatening to harm himself or others, or the one is suicidal.

Skills Training

Here the focus is on teaching various daily routine life skills like self-care or grooming, social skill, work-related skills and expertise, and home and money management.


The objective of counseling or talk therapy is to allow you to learn more about your mental illness, set recovery goals, and manage routine life problems and issues relevant to your condition. Family therapy also helps families that are treating their loved ones with this condition.


The medicine plan depends on the severity of the condition whether you have bipolar disorder or depression along with the signs of schizophrenia. Your doctor would prescribe antipsychotic medicines for hallucination and delusional thinking. Some of the other medicines are as follows;

  • Invega
  • Paliperidone
  • Antidepressants for mood disorders symptoms

Conclusion: What is Schizoaffective Disorder? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is schizoaffective disorder; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that the condition badly impacts your life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the therapist as soon as you can.