Schizoaffective disorder - About
What is schizoaffective disorder?
About 1 in 200 people develop schizoaffective disorder at some time during their life, and it is more common in women than in men. People with schizoaffective disorder experience mood symptoms such as depression or mania (like in bipolar disorder) and symptoms of schizophrenia, including 'psychosis'.
What are the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder?
People with schizoaffective disorder will experience psychosis as well as mania, depression or both.
Signs of mania include:
- Elevated or irritable mood
- Inflated sense of self-importance
- Decreased need for sleep
- Being more talkative
- Racing thoughts
- Being easily distracted
- Being over-involved in activities that can have negative consequences (e.g. sexual behaviour, drug use or spending sprees).
Signs of depression include:
- Lasting sad or empty mood
- Feeling hopeless and worthless
- Loss of pleasure in activities which you once enjoyed
- Disturbed sleep
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Thoughts of suicide
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty making decisions and concentrating.
Psychosis is a key element of schizophrenia. In order for you to be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder you have to have some symptoms of schizophrenia. This is likely to include psychosis.
Signs of psychosis include:
- Delusions (fixed false beliefs)
- Hallucinations (sensing something that is not there)
- Confused thoughts and speech.
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