Schizoaffective disorder - What is schizoaffective disorder?
What is schizoaffective disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that can affect your mood and behaviour. You may have symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. These symptoms may be mania, depression and psychosis.
About 1 in 200 people develop schizoaffective disorder at some time during their life. It is more common in women than in men.
What are the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and how is it diagnosed?
You will be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, who will assess if you have symptoms of mania, depression and schizophrenia. These are described below. You have to have symptoms of bipolar and schizophrenia to get a diagnosis. Psychiatrists will use the following guidelines to diagnose you:
- International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) produced by the American Psychiatric Association.
Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are:
Symptoms of mania can include:
- feeling happy or positive even if things are not going well for you
- feeling more active, energetic or restless
- being more irritable than normal
- feeling much better about yourself than usual
- talking very quickly, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
- being easily distracted and struggling to focus on one topic
- not needing much sleep
- thinking you can do much more than you actually can
- doing things you regret later
- doing things you normally wouldn’t which can cause problems, such as going on spending sprees, being sexually promiscuous, using drugs or alcohol, gambling or making unwise business decisions
- being much more social than usual
- being argumentative, pushy or aggressive
The symptoms of depression can include:
- low mood
- having less energy, feeling tired or "slowed down"
- feeling hopeless or negative
- feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
- being less interested in things you normally like doing or enjoying them less
- difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- feeling restless or irritable
- sleeping too much or not being able to sleep
- feeling more or less hungry than usual or changing weight
- thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the way you think. Symptoms can have an effect on how to cope with day to day life. Psychosis is a symptom of schizophrenia. Symptoms include:
- hallucinations - hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there
- delusions – believing things that are not true
- finding it hard to think straight
- feeling less emotions
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