Schizoaffective disorder is a type of schizophrenia that involves not only schizophrenic symptoms but also mood disorder symptoms. Although there is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, treatment options help patients live a comfortable life. Without proper treatment, patients may live in isolation or rely heavily on friends and family.
The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unclear, but the condition is thought to result from a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Neurotransmitters help pass electrical signals and also help control the mood.
Similarly to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder is thought to stem from variations affecting brain development in the childhood. Genetics, family history, advanced paternal age of conception, environmental factors, and drug exposure are also believed to play a role in the onset of schizoaffective disorder.
Schizoaffective disorder treatments
Best treatment for schizoaffective disorder combines medications and therapy options. Medications for schizoaffective disorder include antipsychotics, mood-stabilizing medications, and antidepressants.
There are also different therapies that can help aid in the treatment of schizoaffective disorder. These include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
This type of talk therapy looks at our reactions to our feelings, and involves changing our behavior as a means of improving how we feel. Cognitive behavioral therapy is primarily a scientific approach to talk therapy completed in the short term.
Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT)
DBT combines treatments from cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation. It can take place in a private or a group setting. DBT works best for people with eating and personality disorders.
This type of therapy explores how early life experiences influence our present-day thinking. By understanding one’s past, one can make appropriate changes in one’s future.
By using a whole-person approach, problems are solved using a variety of practices and theories, along with working on a person’s full potential. This type of talk therapy is best suited as a treatment for depression and addiction, but humanistic therapy can work to overcome any specific problem as well.
The symptoms and severity of schizoaffective disorder will help determine the type of medications and therapy a patient will need.