Mental health diseases are not neat and tidy by nature. Like so many other forms of ailments, they affect everyone who suffers from them differently. One of the most difficult mental health challenges to face is schizoaffective disorder. This mental health condition involves the presence of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder. People who face this situation must get help from medical professionals in order to be able to manage it properly.
SoCal Empowered is an inpatient Orange County schizoaffective disorder treatment facility. We handle even the most difficult cases, and we understand what it takes to help people turn things around and gain as much control over their lives as possible. Below we’re going to provide you with an overview of this mental health problem in hopes that you may recognize something either in you or someone you love and get the help you need as soon as possible.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition that is chronic, which means that those who suffer from it will never completely overcome it. Instead, people in this position must learn to treat and manage it as best they can. People who suffer from schizoaffective disorder must deal not only with schizophrenia, which in itself is a very difficult challenge, but also some type of mood disorder that coexists with schizophrenia. Common examples of mood disorders present in these cases include mania, depression or bipolar disorder.
Unfortunately, people with schizoaffective disorder are often misdiagnosed, and one of the most common mistakes made is to diagnose either schizophrenia or the mood disorder, but not both. That can lead people down the wrong path of treatment, as simply focusing on one of these problems is not going to help with either of them.
People who suffer from schizoaffective disorder can face varied symptoms based on the different types of mood disorders that can arise with schizophrenia. However, there are some commonalities present, and these symptoms can be broken down into loose categories.
These categories of schizoaffective disorder symptoms include:
People with schizoaffective disorder often suffer from delusions. These delusions can include thoughts that otherwise ordinary events have special meaning. In addition, patients can suffer from thoughts of suicide or even the belief that they are superior beings.
These schizoaffective disorder symptoms will depend largely on the mood disorder that’s present, but patients may feel a range of intense emotions that range from euphoria, ambivalence, anxiety or sometimes-wild mood swings.
People suffering from schizoaffective disorder can experience voices inside their heads consistent with schizophrenia, depression, hallucinations and paranoia among many others.
Given all the different symptoms that are involved with schizoaffective disorder, people suffering from it can experience a wide range of behavioral issues. These can include withdrawal from people close to them and the world in general, impulsive acts or decisions, or even self-harm.
As far as the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder overall are concerned, most people who suffer from it experience this condition in differing stages of intensity. It’s common for people to endure a period of time when these symptoms are basically overwhelming only to seemingly “improve” and enjoy periods of time when those symptoms are not nearly as severe.
Fortunately, schizoaffective disorder is relatively rare in prevalence as compared to other mental health challenges. Experts estimate that approximately 1 out of every 300 people suffer from it. If that number is applied to the United States, though, it still reveals that approximately 1 million people face this struggle every day. For the sake of reference, that’s roughly equivalent to the population of San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the United States.
Generally speaking, the majority of people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder are diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is when the symptoms initially arise. As mentioned above, many people are initially misdiagnosed, and someone may experience symptoms for months or even years before obtaining an accurate diagnosis.
Given that schizoaffective disorder is a chronic condition, that means that it can only be managed and not cured. Fortunately, there are treatment options for people forced into this situation, and these treatments can be effective. However, any treatment plan must involve a commitment from the patient and his or her support network that includes family, friends and treating professionals.
Medication is an option for people with this condition. To date, there has only been one drug approved by the FDA to treat schizoaffective disorder, and it’s known as paliperidone, with the brand name of Invega. It is an antipsychotic medication that can help stabilize a person’s mood and minimize symptoms of depression. Some experimental medications have been used with some success, but those approaches remain in the very early stages.
In addition to medication, ongoing psychotherapy has also proven effective in treating schizoaffective disorder. Every treatment plan in this regard is different for every person, as symptoms are unique to the individual and behavioral issues are also individualistic in nature. For instance, it’s common for patients to engage in substance abuse, which in itself may require treatment.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love may be suffering from this disease, the time to get help is now. The condition will not simply go away or get better with time, but instead will persist and affect a person’s life in just about every way as well as those close to the patient. Fortunately, you’re one contact away from deciding if our Orange County schizoaffective disorder treatment center is the right fit for your situation.
All you need to do is contact us to tell us more about what’s happening. We’ll be able to recommend a course of action. If that course of action includes staying with us for a time, we will work directly with your insurance carrier to determine coverage before you commit to anything. If you’re not necessarily in need of an inpatient Orange County schizoaffective treatment center like ours, we will help you find the right resource to help you. Contact us today to begin the process of taking back control of your life.