Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options in San Diego

Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms

What Is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a challenging mental health condition that involves symptoms of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. It’s not uncommon for people with this disorder to experience symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and depression. Schizoaffective disorder symptoms can be debilitating when left untreated or inadequately managed. Individuals with this disorder frequently have difficulties at work, school, and personal relationships. Some people with the disorder may need daily assistance.

Alter Mental Health offers mental health treatment in San Diego and support for patients who have schizoaffective disorder. We treat various mental health conditions at our accredited mental health treatment center. We provide residential and outpatient treatment plans designed to support patients, helping them manage their condition and enjoy improved symptom relief. With schizoaffective crisis stabilization and personalized treatment, patients can build a foundation for recovery.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health condition that can involve debilitating schizophrenic symptoms like delusions or hallucinations and mood disorder symptoms that are depressive and even manic. Schizophrenic disorder is a unique condition as it embodies symptoms of more than one disorder. Unlike related conditions, schizoaffective disorder combines symptoms from other disorders, making it challenging to manage. Moreover, schizoaffective disorder symptoms can vary from individual to individual. The course of the disease may also vary from one person to another, but it does involve psychosis, mania, and depression. Even though there is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, the condition can be treated with medication and therapy. Medication efficacy and schizoaffective therapy success can improve a patient’s quality of life.

Top Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder symptoms can be treated at Alter Mental Health in San Diego. Schizoaffective symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Disorganized speech
  • Paranoia
  • Odd/unusual behavior
  • Slowed movement
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing thoughts
  • Reduced energy level
  • Not taking pleasure in formerly enjoyed activities
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feeling restless or agitated
  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid speech
  • Dangerous or reckless behavior
  • Easily distracted
  • Increased energy levels

Fortunately, there is treatment for schizoaffective disorder symptoms. Medication and psychotherapy can improve symptoms and help patients manage this condition to enjoy increased quality of life. Improved condition management may also result in greater autonomy for patients as they develop more excellent capability to manage symptoms.

Root Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder

The root causes of schizoaffective disorder are still being studied. The fact is, medical researchers continue to be puzzled by this condition and its exact causes. According to current medical research, there are various causes of schizoaffective disorder, including:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry/brain structure
  • Environment (i.e., exposure to emotional trauma, chronic stress)
  • Drug use

A traumatic brain injury can cause the condition, as can an imbalance of brain chemicals. Some studies indicate poor fetal nutrition during pregnancy could also impact the disorder’s development. It is known that if schizoaffective disorder symptoms begin to occur, it’s important to seek mental health treatment as the symptoms can become debilitating.

Schizoaffective symptoms,  Schizoaffective Disorder

Diagnosing Schizoaffective Disorder

To diagnose schizoaffective disorder, mental health providers will perform a psychological and physical health exam while noting what symptoms the individual has experienced. Although lab tests cannot diagnose the disorder, they can eliminate the possibility of other causes of present symptoms. The occurrence of mood disturbances and psychosis episodes are hallmarks of the disorder.

Generally, if a patient experiences hallucinations and manic or depressive symptoms, they will be referred to a mental health care specialist for diagnosis. A psychiatrist can diagnose the disorder based on criteria such as the presence of symptoms and the length of time between the active phases of the disorder and residual phases. Once the condition is diagnosed, clinicians will develop a personalized treatment plan to help each patient experience symptom relief. Medications and psychotherapy can help clients manage their short- and long-term conditions.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment in San Diego

It can be challenging for mental health clinicians to diagnose schizoaffective disorder. Our San Diego treatment center features mental health specialists who can diagnose and treat schizoaffective disorder. Diagnosing the disorder is difficult because the various symptoms associated with the condition may not be present together. For instance, an individual may not be experiencing psychotic symptoms during the depressive period of the disorder. Therefore, it’s important for clinicians to accurately account for previous symptoms that could aid in the disorder’s diagnosis. Otherwise, the wrong diagnosis could be made.

Once the disease is diagnosed, clinicians can discuss the condition and treatment options with the patient and review the long-term prognosis. Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic condition, which means that it cannot be cured. However, it can be effectively managed, usually with medications and ongoing psychotherapy. Alter Mental Health San Diego can help diagnose the disease and provide treatment.

Alter Mental Health’s Role in Treating Schizoaffective Disorder

Alter Mental Health offers numerous treatment options for mental health disorders like schizoaffective disorder. There are cutting-edge treatments available that can positively impact the management of this condition. At Alter Mental Health, we offer evidence-based therapies and holistic care that can benefit patients with symptom relief and improved long-term management of their condition.

Our San Diego mental health treatment center is renowned for its positive healing environment, experienced clinicians, and multi-type treatment options. We individualize treatment to ensure that all our patients can get the support they need to achieve their disease management and recovery goals. Although schizoaffective disorder may be challenging to diagnose, it can be treated successfully with medication and psychotherapy. The key is not to put off treatment. It’s crucial to discuss mental health symptoms with a medical provider to obtain a diagnosis and manage symptoms before they become severe and possibly debilitating.

FAQs About Schizoaffective Disorder Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

What distinguishes schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia?

Schizoaffective disorder is often confused with schizophrenia because it includes similar symptoms, such as disorganized thinking, hallucinations, and delusions. However, schizophrenia does not involve clinical mood disorder symptoms. Schizoaffective disorder does have manic or depressive symptoms that are hallmarks of the disease. If the mood disorder symptoms are not present, patients may be diagnosed with schizophrenia, providing other associated conditions are ruled out as well. Schizoaffective disorder is also similar to bipolar disorder as it involves depressive and manic symptoms. However, bipolar conditions will not include psychosis symptoms.

Are there genetic tests for schizoaffective disorder?

There are no precise tests for schizoaffective disorder; however, brain structure and chemistry alterations may be present in people with mental health conditions like schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia. Medical providers may perform various tests, including genetic tests, to rule out other disorders and narrow down symptoms that allow them to diagnose accurately. Schizoaffective disorder is not easy to diagnose because unless all symptoms are present–or have occurred recently, the condition could be misdiagnosed as either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Consequently, clinicians are very careful when they conduct medical histories for mental health patients, as past symptoms can point to schizoaffective disorder, even if present symptoms point to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

How can Alter Mental Health San Diego support patients?

Alter Mental Health provides a wide range of mental health treatments. If you have mental health symptoms, especially symptoms that are serious or symptoms that persist for more than two weeks, it’s important to investigate them. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.