What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic mental health illness that affects thoughts, emotions, and actions. Those with schizoaffective disorder often experience both psychotic episodes and mood instability.
An accurate diagnosis relies on medical professionals that have experience and a deep understanding of this disorder.
It’s important to remember that it is not your fault you experience a mental health condition.
What are the types of schizoaffective disorder?
The two types are based on the associated mood disorder the person has:
- Bipolar disorder type: This condition features one or two types of different mood changes. People with bipolar disorder have severe highs (mania) alone or combined with lows (depression).
- Depressive type: Patients who have depression have feelings of sadness, worthlessness and hopelessness. They may have suicidal thoughts. They may also experience concentration and memory problems.
- Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing or imagining things that aren’t there
- Delusions: False, fixed beliefs
- Disorganized Thinking: Only partially answering questions or responding to questions with unrelated answers
- Manic Behavior: For the bipolar subtype, people can experience feelings of euphoria, racing thoughts, risky behavior (sexual, financial) or sudden increase in energy and behavior that’s out of character
- Depressed Mood: For the depressive type, people can experience feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and other symptoms of depression
- Impaired Functioning: Occupational, academic, social
Strategies to support recovery:
Exercise Regularly and Follow a Nutritious Diet Plan
Exercise and a proper diet are equally beneficial for you health, body, mind, and spirit. A nutritious, well-balanced diet that excludes excessive sugar and fat, and all drugs and alcohol, will help you regulate your moods and keep you focused on preserving your health.
Loneliness is a breeding ground for depression. Being in the company of loved ones, on the other hand, increases a person’s energy, breeds a sense of optimism, and can even boost immune system functioning.
Join a peer support group
This gives you an opportunity to meet other people who understand and share the same challenges. You’ll learn strategies that work for other people, and be able to practice your social skills in a non-judgmental atmosphere. These can be found online or in your community.
Avoiding drugs and alcohol
Alcohol and non-prescription drugs may help you feel better in the short term, but in the long term, they can have a major negative effect on your mental health, making symptoms worse and reducing your chances of recovery.
It is important that you avoid cannabis if you have experienced psychosis before, as it can cause a relapse.
Therapy is a highly effective way to process your emotions and combat certain types of negative thinking.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the leading form of psychotherapy for those living with schizophrenia. CBT can help you to check the credibility of your beliefs, as well as learn to tolerate hallucinations and other uncomfortable symptoms.