Schizoaffective disorder presents with symptoms of both schizophrenia and mood disorders like bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder (MDD) and is often initially misdiagnosed. Schizoaffective disorder is frequently confused with schizophrenia, but they are two distinct disorders that significantly impact functioning, especially when left untreated or misdiagnosed. Reaching out to a qualified schizoaffective disorder treatment program can help you determine a proper diagnosis and course of treatment.
There is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, but with proper treatment, affected individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. At Rose Hill Center, we provide the most current treatment approaches available. Our highly-skilled staff has the knowledge and experience to help individuals with schizoaffective disorder understand their disorder and manage symptoms to lead a better quality of life. Contact us today to learn more. Call 866.367.0220.
The Importance of Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in twenty-five Americans has a severe mental health disorder such as schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD). Unfortunately, nearly half of those who need mental health therapy do not receive it.
Among the reasons people do not seek or receive mental health therapy are the following:
- Distrust of the mental health system
- Lack of education about mental illness and treatment
- Barriers such as lack of transportation or ability to pay
- Lack of mental health care providers, especially in rural areas
- Shame and fear associated with the stigma of mental illness
- Lack of insight into the need for treatment
- Hopelessness or the belief they cannot be helped
These issues are compounded among ethnic minorities, the elderly, people in rural areas, and those with less education and income. The symptoms of untreated schizoaffective disorder can worsen over time, impacting a person’s ability to function at work, school, in social situations, and at home. Individuals with untreated schizoaffective disorder often suffer from loneliness and isolation. The suicide rate for individuals with schizoaffective disorder is significantly higher than the general population.
Schizoaffective Disorder Coping Skills
Getting an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. A unique feature of schizoaffective disorder is that psychotic symptoms and mood disorder symptoms do not co-occur. Instead, psychosis alternates with mania or depression, creating a distinctive pattern that helps professionals provide the proper diagnosis.
Residential treatment for schizoaffective disorder is the best choice for successful healing and long-term management of symptoms. Individuals with schizoaffective disorder need to develop coping skills to manage their disease beyond treatment. Lifestyle changes incorporating healthy habits go a long way in maintaining physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. These healthy habits include regular exercise, following a sleep routine that ensures enough rest, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet.
Other schizoaffective disorder coping skills include:
- Taking medications as prescribed and carefully monitoring their effects
- Avoiding isolation
- Continuing life skills training
- Practicing holistic wellness practices like yoga and meditation
- Working with family members to create a calm, safe, and stable home environment
- Actively participating in aftercare programs
- Being honest about thoughts and feelings
Like all mental health disorders, schizoaffective disorder impacts each individual differently. It is best not to compare yourself to others because you can always find someone doing better than you. Instead, focus on yourself and ensure that your needs are being met. Avoid negative and “what if” thinking, resulting in a negative outlook. Embracing positivity and optimism can go a long way toward lasting good mental health.
Signs of Schizoaffective Disorder
The signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can range from mild to severe and vary between individuals. Proper diagnosis can be challenging because the signs and symptoms mirror other mental health conditions. This process can be confusing and frustrating for affected individuals and their families.
There are behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and physical symptoms:
- Behavioral symptoms – Include impaired occupational functioning, catatonia, mutism, disordered behaviors, difficulty in social situations, self-harm, and suicide attempts.
- Cognitive symptoms – Include an inability to focus, difficulty concentrating, disorganized thinking, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, racing thoughts, and poor insight.
- Psychosocial symptoms – Can include depressive episodes, anxiousness, suicidal thinking, decreased motivation, manic episodes, and extremely high or low self-esteem.
- Physical Symptoms – Can include disrupted sleep, flat affect, changes in eating habits, poor hygiene, and significant weight gain or loss.
Genetics seems to play a substantial role in the development of schizoaffective disorder. Individuals with this disease commonly have co-occurring substance use disorders that medical professionals must treat simultaneously.
Contact Rose Hill Center for Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment
Rose Hill Center is recognized as one of the nation’s premier residential mental health treatment centers. While there is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, you can learn to manage your symptoms to work, have healthy relationships, and lead a happy and meaningful life with appropriate treatment. Contact our team today to learn more about your treatment options. Use our online form or call 866.367.0220.