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What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

June 15, 2013

Most people know of schizophrenia; this is a psychosis that is commonly associated with severe symptoms, like hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.

A similar term, but different disability, is schizoaffective disorder. The Mayo Clinic defines schizoaffective as “a condition in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms… and of mood disorder symptoms, such as mania or depression.” This disability is hard to understand because of its combination of mental illness and mood disorders.


For one week, Disability Living is blogging about schizoaffective disorder to build awareness and bridge understanding of this serious medical condition. Also, we want to learn more from you who live with this disorder or care about someone who does.

9 Upcoming Blogs about Schizoaffective Disorder

1. Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder are overlooked for a number of reasons, or are misdiagnosed. Not receiving proper treatment for this mental health disorder can be devastating to a person’s quality of life.

2. What Causes Schizoaffective Disorder? Like the disorder itself, there may be more than one trigger.  A couple theories that doctors and medical researchers have latched onto are genetic influences, chemical unbalance, and environmental factors.

3. Is Schizoaffective Disorder Treatable? Treatment for Schizoaffective disorder is usually twofold. Individuals need to balance their biological makeup with medication and become equipped with coping skills. This is why psychotherapy is often included in these types of treatment plans.

4. Talking to Your Doctor about Your Mental Health is necessary if you or someone you care about is experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. For accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment options, it is important to be honest and detailed when speaking with your doctor or psychiatrist.

5. Schizoaffective disorder and substance abuse is a dangerous blend. This mental abnormality and emotional disturbance is only complicated further when an individual abuses drugs or alcohol. This is because depression and delusions can be triggered by substance abuse.

6. Schizoaffective Disorder and Work is not an impossible combination. The Disability Living post is excited to share the inspiring story of Keris Myrick. She is a woman who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and has discovered that work is actually a form of therapy.

7. Schizoaffective Disorder and Companion Animals: though medication and therapy are important aspects of treatment, a companion animal may be an additional form of therapy with surprising benefits.

8. Schizoaffective Disorder and Romantic Relationships require balance so the mental illness and emotional struggles do not become damaging. While individuals who live with Schizoaffective Disorder need to do everything in their power to remain healthy, romantic relationships are not out of the question.

9. Schizoaffective Disorder and Family Support: when a family member is diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, he or she may need support in maintaining a treatment plan. This will create the best environment for your loved one.

Schizoaffective disorder is a confusing issue to grapple with. Yet every year, a number of Canadians are diagnosed with this severe brain abnormality. Instead of looking past those who suffer from mental and emotional struggles, let’s embrace solid information and sound advice. In learning more about schizoaffective disorder, we can continue to raise awareness about the prevalence of disability and grow our community of support.

What do you want to say to the Disability Living community this week? Reply on any blog post with your story, advice, comments, concerns, or questions.

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