What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective Disorder is a condition that features symptoms of schizophrenia paired with symptoms of a mood disorder. The symptoms that manifest differ depending on the nature of the mood disorder. While those diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder-depressive type will experience feelings of depression such as emptiness or worthlessness, those diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder- bipolar type will experience symptoms of mania, such as racing thoughts, euphoria, or increased impulsivity. More generally, people with schizoaffective disorder may experience visual or auditory hallucinations, false beliefs that persist despite contradictory evidence (delusions), and disorganized thinking, regardless of the subtype. In order to be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder rather than schizophrenia or a mood disorder, a person must experience symptoms of a mood disorder, either mania or depression, while simultaneously showing symptoms of schizophrenia, they must have an ongoing delusion or hallucination in the absence of mood disorder symptoms, and they must show symptoms of a major mood episode for the majority of the total duration of their illness. Lastly, these symptoms must persist without substance abuse, indicating that no drug is responsible.