Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by the symptoms of thought, behavior, and social problems. Mood Disorder means the disturbance/change in the person’s mood. There are four basic forms of mood disorders: Depression, Cyclothymia (a mild form of bipolar disorder), SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and Mania.
Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder
The symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder may vary from person to person. These may be mild or severe. Check this post in which some patients have described their life living with this disease.
- Delusions i.e. False Beliefs like someone is trying to harm you
- Hallucination i.e. seeing or hearing things that are not present
- Strange or Unusual Thoughts
- Changes in appetite and energy
- Disorganized Speech
- Changes in mood
- Problem in sleeping
- Sadness or Hopelessness
- Memory weakness
- Speaking so fast that others can’t understand or interrupt
- Thoughts of Suicide
Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
A person will be referred to diagnosis only if the above mentioned symptoms are seen for at least 2 weeks. There are no specific laboratory tests to diagnose Schizoaffective Disorder but the doctor may use various tests like X-rays or blood tests to know the cause of such symptoms.
If a doctor does not find any definite cause, then the patient will be referred to a Psychiatrist or Psychologists. They use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a patient.
According to American Psychiatric Association, the criteria to diagnose Schizoaffective Disorder is mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which includes
- Schizophrenia along with mood symptoms
- A mood disorder along with symptoms of schizophrenia
- Both a mood disorder and schizophrenia
- A psychotic condition other than schizophrenia, plus a mood disorder
Proper Diagnosis is very important to determine the best treatment method for a person who is suffering from Schizoaffective Disorder.
Listed below are some clinical trials investigating new treatments for Schizoaffective Disorder.
- Augmenting Zyprexa With Naltrexone to Ameliorate Metabolic Side-Effects
- Effects of Modafinil on Brain Function in Patients With Schizophrenia
- Modafinil for Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia
- A Study of Varenicline for Prevention of Relapse to Smoking in Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder