Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Depression is an illness that is marked by feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or hopelessness, as well as problems concentrating and remembering details. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes, including severe highs (mania) and lows (depression).
People with schizophrenia can have a hard time telling what’s real and what’s not. They may see things that aren’t there or hold firm beliefs that fly in the face of fact. Understanding schizophrenia’s nature can help patients and their loved ones regain a sense of control.
Schizoaffective disorder is a lifelong illness that can impact all areas of daily living, including work or school, social contacts, and relationships. Most people with this illness have periodic episodes, called relapses, when their symptoms surface. While there is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, symptoms often can be controlled with proper treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder?
A person with schizoaffective disorder has severe changes in mood and some of the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking. Psychotic symptoms in schizoaffective disorder occur even when mood symptoms are no longer present, and reflect the person's inability to tell what is real from what is imagined. Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may vary greatly from one person to the next and may be mild or severe. Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may include: