Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective Disorder
July 22, 2021

Schizoaffective Disorder

A condition in which an individual experiences symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood disorder.

Schizoaffective disorder is a condition in which an individual experiences symptoms of schizophrenia (such as hallucinations) as well as symptoms of a mood disorder (mania or depression). Untreated Schizoaffective disorder can greatly affect the ability to function in all aspects of life and relationships. There are two types of schizoaffective disorder: 

The bipolar type includes episodes of manic and depression.

The depressive type which includes only episodes of depression.


Schizoaffective disorder can cause the following symptoms:

  1. Hallucinations: hearing or seeing things that are not there
  2. Delusions: believing something that is completely contrary to facts
  3. Incoherent speech
  4. Unusual behavior
  5. Depression symptoms: feeling sad and worthless
  6. Periods of manic mood with increased energy and out of character behaviors
  7. Impaired functioning in work and social situations

Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder

The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown but research shows genetics is largely a factor. Additional risk factors include:

  1. Taking mind-altering drugs
  2. Having a close family member who has had schizoaffective disorder
  3. Experiencing a life-altering stressful event


Doctors typically utilize a combination of the following three treatment methods to address Schizoaffective disorder:

  • Prescription Medications such as antipsychotics, mood-stabilizing medications, and antidepressants 
  • Psychotherapy can be used to help normalize thought patterns and may incorporate family members as well to address coping with symptoms 
  • Life Skills Training which may include social skills training and/or vocational training to increase functional involvement in all areas of life