The cause of schizoaffective disorder is not known. It may be due to genes or environment. This may make changes in the brain.
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Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may vary between people. There may be symptoms of depression, mania, or psychosis.
Depressive symptoms may be:
- Low mood
- Loss of interest in activities
- Weight loss and lack of hunger
- Problems focusing
- Sleeping problems
- Feeling uneasy, worthless, or guilty
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Manic symptoms may be:
- Racing thoughts
- Lots of activity and talking
- Being distracted
- Not needing sleep
- Inflated self-esteem or big ideas
Psychotic symptoms may be:
- False beliefs
- Seeing, feeling, or hearing things that are not there
- Strange speech, thinking, and behavior
- Total calmness
- Lack of expression, speech, or motivation
The person may have problems with basic self-care. They may not wash or bathe. They may not keep jobs and relationships.
The goal is to ease symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. Treatment will depend on the type of symptoms. A combination of treatments may be used.
Options may be:
- Medicines, such as:
- Antipsychotics—if psychosis is present
- Mood stabilizers
- Counseling, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy—to help with coping
- Social skills training
- Support groups
- Family counseling—to help family to provide support
- Lifestyle changes, such as:
- Healthy diet, physical activity, and relaxing
- Not using drugs or alcohol
Outcomes vary. Many people will get better. Some will have lasting or worsening symptoms.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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