Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder represents the DSM's attempt to describe a disorder characterized by both the psychotic thought problems of schizophrenia, and the mood problems of depression or bipolar disorder. It may be diagnosed when the following conditions are met: 1) Psychotic symptoms sufficient for the diagnosis of schizophrenia are present, and 2) One or more major depressive episodes, manic episodes, or mixed mood episode occur. Though even a residual symptom presentation will generally qualify for this disorder, there do need to be active hallucinations or delusions present for at least two weeks in a row.

Doctors differ on whether it is better to diagnose schizoaffective disorder, or to diagnose a bipolar or major depression disorder and schizophrenia separately. No definitive answer as to which practice is better can be determined at this time, because it is not known for sure at this time if schizoaffective disorder describes a single disease entity or not.

The following diagnostic criteria must be met before a diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder is warranted, according to the DSM-IV-TR:

A) An uninterrupted period of illness during which, at some time, there is either a Major Depressive Episode, a Manic Episode, or a Mixed Episode concurrent with symptoms that meet Criterion A for Schizophrenia. Note: the Major Depressive Episode must include Criterion A1: depressed mood.

B) During the same period of illness, there have been delusions or hallucinations for at least 2 weeks in the absence of prominent mood symptoms

C) Symptoms that meet criteria for a mood episode are present for a substantial portion of the total duration of the active and residual periods of the illness

D) The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition


  • sharon malfatt

    my son, age 29, is diagnoisedwith this. he was put on invega,cymbalta. they have changed his dosage a number of time. he did so much better on risperdal, but the dr, says the invega does not affect the liver. he is still struggling but we hope the dosage of 12 mg of invega and 20 of cymbalya will make him even out. does he need other theerpy with this medication? please, i am struggling myself with this dr. does this sound correct?

  • Anonymous-1

    I know what this young man has went through. i was an outpatinet program for 10 years and psycologlist forced to me take hadol or receive any social services ro assitanat which i i had to followed their orders... i kept hearing the voices down and up which they increas and decrease the doses.etc.. This went on seven years after my mind snapped and i deloped Tardive dyskinesia which is no cue--i only take the medication when i needed..but have use other natual atlerntive such as fish oil, supplemental vitiams vitiams E &C. as well as eating raw fruits and vetgeables. it has been five years since i had another attacked. I'm get off or refused the medication becasuse it does help, but we shoudl have other alternative in making ourselves is a procees..nothing comes overnight...we must have the patient to change to the will to change..everthing strts with the mind.

  • ray

    well heres the thing i was diagnosed with bipolar for 5 years until they finally realized i had schizoaffective disorder.they started me on risperdol,1 mg morning 2 mg night 1500 mg depakote er at night ritalin 20 mg 3 daily and the best medicine of them all fluoxetine awesome med it took the depression out of me in 8 days i have dysthyumia disorder also,but that cocktail seems to work verey well.

  • Anonymous-2

    My 21 year old was diagnosed with everything so far. 7 years of hospitalizations and many horrible side effects from medications.

    He will not take any meds any more and is definitely schizoaffective -- probably will be in jail soon. I have sought help everywhere and now it is in the hands of the police which are well aware of his condition.

    My 17 year old just was released from Psych ward same symptoms. He was diagnosed with dsythemia depression -- mood disorder. Induced psychosis by marijuana and alcohol. They are mean, impatient people and I am miserable. Both of them are 6' 4" and intimidating.

    Both have allergies and no medications work. Therapy and relaxation without drugs and alcohol is all we have.

    Good luck to you!

  • G.

    We can hope and pray that progress will be made with the treatment of this illness. I am no doctor, but I wish that the diagnosis would be both bipolar I or II and schizophrenia rather than schizoaffective. People that I have known with this disorder seem to believe that it's bipolar with a side order of additional problems. I think the two diagnoses together would solidify the fact that this is a very serious illness (not that bipolar disorder isn't).