People who have schizoaffective disorder can experience persistent hallucinations and delusions for a significant amount of time. They also experience episodes of mania or depression associated with bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. This complex disorder can be distressing and interfere with a person’s well-being. However, with treatment and support, people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder can manage their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.
Bronson Behavioral Health Hospital, located in Battle Creek, Michigan, offers inpatient schizoaffective disorder treatment for adults. We can help you find your footing and begin a lifelong healing process.
What Is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is characterized by the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and the mood symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression. The disorder can be categorized into two mood subtypes, including:
- Bipolar type: People who have bipolar type schizoaffective disorder experience psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking, along with mood episodes that alternate between mania and depression. During manic episodes, a person may exhibit an elevated or agitated mood, increased energy, and impulsive behavior. Depressive episodes can cause a person to have persistent sadness and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. The mix of symptoms attached to each phase varies from person to person.
- Depressive type: Those who have depressive type schizoaffective disorder experience symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking, along with phases of low energy and difficulty concentrating. As with bipolar type symptoms, depressive type schizoaffective disorder symptoms vary in type and severity depending on the person.
Typically, people begin experiencing the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder during late adolescence. However, sometimes children can have schizoaffective disorder as well.
Because the mix of psychotic and mood symptoms associated with schizoaffective disorder can be so specific to each person, it is important to consult a behavioral health professional who can offer insight and clarity.
Signs & Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder
People who have schizoaffective disorder experience a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms.
Whether they have bipolar or depressive type, people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder experience various combinations of the following symptoms:
- Hallucinations: Seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, and tasting things that are not present
- Delusions: False beliefs that are not based in reality, often including the idea that someone is trying to control you or a sense of grandiose identity
- Disorganized thinking and speech: Difficulty organizing thinking and speech, making it hard to express ideas in conversation
- Negative symptoms: A decrease in or absence of typical functioning, including reduced emotional expression, social withdrawal, lack of motivation, decreased speech, and the reduced ability to experience pleasure
- Cognitive impairment: Difficulties with mental processes such as memory, attention, concentration, planning, and problem-solving
Depending on the subtype of schizoaffective disorder a person has, the mood episodes will be different. Those who have bipolar type schizoaffective disorder have various combinations of hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and negative symptoms, along with phases that can include these symptoms:
- Elevated or agitated mood
- Increased energy levels
- Reduced need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Impulsive behavior
- Feelings of grandiosity
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
People who have depressive type schizoaffective disorder have various combinations of delusions, hallucinations, negative symptoms, and disorganized thinking, along with phases of symptoms that can include:
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Observable physical restlessness
- Slowed movement and speech
- Inappropriate feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
- Recurrent thoughts of death by suicide
One of the main features of schizoaffective disorder is the co-occurrence of mood and psychotic symptoms. These symptoms can vary in type, intensity, and duration, with periods of stability in between episodes.
Because people who have schizoaffective disorder have shifting symptoms, it’s crucial to get a diagnosis and treatment plan from a qualified mental health professional.
Schizoaffective Disorder Statistics
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports the following statistics on schizoaffective disorder:
- Men seem to begin experiencing schizoaffective disorder symptoms at a younger age than women.
- Medication and therapy can effectively treat schizoaffective disorder.
- 3 out of 1,000 people have schizoaffective disorder.
- People who have schizoaffective disorder often have co-occurring substance use disorders.
A report published by the National Library of Medicine provides the following schizoaffective disorder statistics:
- Approximately 50% of people who have schizoaffective disorder also have a co-occurring depressive disorder.
- Nearly 5% of people who have schizoaffective disorder die by suicide.
Potential Effects of Schizoaffective Disorder
People who struggle with schizoaffective disorder may have difficulty determining what is real and what is not. These unsettling symptoms, along with episodes of mood disorders, can make it very difficult to function well on a basic level. Those who have untreated schizoaffective disorder can experience the following effects:
- Functional difficulties: People who suffer from schizoaffective disorder can find it difficult to keep a job or go to school. Managing daily tasks and engaging in social relationships may also be challenging.
- Co-occurring disorders: When a person has untreated schizoaffective disorder, they can be at an increased risk for developing a co-occurring mental health condition, such as a substance use disorder, anxiety, or a personality disorder.
- Poor quality of life: Untreated schizoaffective disorder can impact a person’s quality of life, particularly during periods of functional impairment.
- Social isolation: Especially when experiencing the psychotic or depressive symptoms associated with schizoaffective disorder, people may isolate themselves from friends and loved ones.
- Strained relationships: Schizoaffective disorder can make it hard to build or maintain relationships.
With effective treatment, people who have schizoaffective disorder can improve their symptom management and overall outcomes, reaching a level of stability and satisfaction. It is possible to heal and achieve your therapeutic goals.
Therapies & Services We Use To Treat Schizoaffective Disorder
Bronson Behavioral Health offers inpatient schizoaffective disorder treatment for adults age 18 and older. Intensive inpatient services can be ideal if your symptoms are disrupting your life. Bronson’s schizoaffective disorder treatment plans include various combinations of the following:
- Medication management: If medication is part of your treatment plan, you can meet with a psychiatrist at Bronson daily. Other mental health professionals may also assist you daily.
- Individual therapy: Based on your treatment plan, you may take part in individual therapy with a certified counselor who can listen to your experiences and feelings and provide constructive feedback and support.
- Group therapy: Bronson Behavioral Health offers daily group therapy sessions led by our behavioral health staff. These sessions allow patients to meet their peers and discuss their experiences and feelings as they build social skills and encourage one another.
- Family therapy: When appropriate, Bronson provides family therapy. Working with a counselor, the patient and their family can learn coping skills and other strategies.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients recognize and modify negative thought patterns to build adaptability. Therapists may use this modality in individual, group, and family sessions.
Getting Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment at Bronson Behavioral Health
Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, Bronson Behavioral Health provides superior care for adults who have schizoaffective disorder. Our new facility features comfortable and safe rooms, state-of-the-art technology, and full-time care for you or your loved one. We want to help you stabilize and form a strong foundation for ongoing healing. Our schizoaffective disorder treatment center features the following:
- Multidisciplinary team of caregivers: Working together, our team of mental health professionals offers diverse and clinically excellent care. Our staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers, registered nurses, and physician assistants.
- Safety: For patients who are experiencing symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, a safe environment can be crucial for healing.
- Co-occurring disorder treatment: People who have schizoaffective disorder often have co-occurring disorders. We offer treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. Addressing both disorders at the same time can greatly improve treatment outcomes.
- Compassionate care: It can be distressing to suffer from schizoaffective disorder. Deciding to receive treatment can also be an overwhelming step in the healing process. The compassionate staff at Bronson Behavioral Health is here to support you.
As your schizoaffective disorder symptoms shift in type and severity, it can feel destabilizing. At Bronson Behavioral Health, we want to help you manage your symptoms and build a foundation for a functional and happy life. If you have questions about whether our inpatient treatment is the right option for you, please contact our staff. We look forward to helping you in whatever way we can.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Bronson Behavioral Health Hospital.