When most people hear about schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, they assume that they’re the same disorders. After all, many disorders have multiple names. However, it’s important to know that there are differences between schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia. Understanding the differences can help people seek the schizoaffective disorder treatment center in Michigan they need.
Schizoaffective Disorder vs Schizophrenia
Comparing schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia is important. Far too often, people lump these mental disorders together. In reality, they’re completely different disorders that cause different symptoms.
For example, people who have schizophrenia have a hard time telling the difference between reality and fiction. They might see or hear voices that aren’t really there. To them, the voices and imagery are as real as it comes. However, others can’t see nor hear these nonexistent things.
With schizoaffective disorder, people feel detached from reality. While it makes them see or hear things that aren’t there, it also affects their mood a great deal. In fact, two common types of schizoaffective disorder are bipolar and depressive disorders.
With that said, it’s important to note that these disorders share some other symptoms. However, they’re still completely different and often require different treatments.
Understanding the Subtle Differences
The difference between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia is often hard to spot. The reason is that a lot of the symptoms overlap. For example, doctors typically characterize schizoaffective disorder by the mood disorders that accompany it. However, it’s not uncommon for people with schizophrenia to experience manic or depressive moods as well.
If both experience mood disorders, how can specialists tell the difference? The key difference between schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia is the prominence of the mood disorder. With schizoaffective disorder, the mood disorder is front and center. With schizophrenia, it’s not a dominant part of the disorder.
Another difference is the psychotic symptoms that people experience. With schizophrenia, the psychotic symptoms are dominant. With schizoaffective disorder, episodes of psychosis may occur.
However, it takes trained professionals to spot the differences between the two. After all, the symptoms typically start when people reach their 20s. Also, they can cause hallucinations and delusions.
A Difference in Treatment Styles
Why is it so important to know the differences between schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia? One reason is that both disorders require different approaches to treatment. Treating people for one condition when they suffer from the other does little to help.
For schizophrenia, most treatment revolves around antipsychotic medications, such as chlorpromazine and haloperidol. Schizoaffective disorder treatment also relies on antipsychotics, but the most common one that doctors prescribe is Paliperidone. In fact, it’s the only FDA-approved drug for this disorder.
With that said, there are some similarities in treatment as well. For example, attending therapy while taking appropriate medication is essential. Therapy can help people work through other issues that accompany these disorders. However, it isn’t enough on its own, so they still have to take medication.
What Causes These Disorders?
After years of research, doctors still don’t know what causes schizophrenia. They think that chemical imbalances of dopamine and glutamate might play a role. Also, they know that people with schizophrenia often have physically different brains than those who don’t. This might indicate that it happens during the development of the brain itself.
Doctors haven’t studied schizoaffective disorder for nearly as long. However, they’ve made more breakthroughs. For example, doctors believe that the genes that control the body’s natural sleep and wake cycle contribute to this disorder.
Rose Hill Center Can Help You Overcome Both Disorders
While there’s clearly a difference between these two disorders, it doesn’t have to change where you get help. At Rose Hill Center, we understand the differences between the two. For that reason, we offer different treatment options at one location.
At Rose Hill Center, we strive to offer a variety of treatment services for mental health problems. A few of these include:
Don’t let one of these mental disorders keep you from living a full life. Learn more about the differences between schizoaffective disorder vs schizophrenia. Contact Rose Hill Center today at 866.367.0220.