Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that has symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders. Those living with schizoaffective disorder often experience psychosis, mania, and depression that can significantly impair their ability to cope with daily life. To reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, people with schizoaffective disorder must participate in comprehensive treatment plans that include medications, skills practice, and psychotherapy.

Without treatment, some people with schizoaffective disorder will turn to drugs and alcohol to alleviate their symptoms, only to worsen their mental health condition in the long run. At Moving Mountains Recovery, we understand the importance of treating co-occurring disorders and providing holistic care to address the underlying factors contributing to addiction. We believe that by addressing the root causes of addiction and providing comprehensive care, individuals can achieve lasting sobriety and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

For some, schizoaffective disorder and its treatment may be unfamiliar. This article will explore schizoaffective disorder symptoms, how it’s treated, and how to find the help you need to manage it. Reach out to the Moving Mountains Recovery team now to learn about our holistic schizoaffective disorder treatment programs in New Jersey.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a rare mental illness that has symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders. The condition may impair people’s ability to maintain healthy relationships, work, and manage daily responsibilities. People with schizoaffective disorder must learn how to manage their symptoms and often require ongoing support for the rest of their lives. With proper treatment, people with schizoaffective disorder can have full, satisfying lives that include work, healthy relationships, and a balanced lifestyle.

What are the Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder?

Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. People with schizoaffective disorder may experience extreme mood changes, including depression, mania, or both. Some also experience psychotic symptoms that may coincide with mood changes or happen independently.

  • Unclear thinking
  • Delusions (false beliefs not based in reality)
  • Hallucinations (perceived sensations of things that do not exist, such as hearing voices or seeing things that are not there)
  • Difficulty discerning between reality and your imagination
  • Disorganized thoughts and speech
  • Odd behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Lack of emotions in facial expressions or tone of voice
  • Low motivation
  • Slowed movements or inability to move
  • Feeling low or sad
  • Recurrent thoughts of death
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Shame or guilt
  • Low energy
  • Loss of pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Believing you are worthless
  • Appetite changes with weight loss or gain
  • Trouble with thinking and concentration
  • Changes in sleeping patterns–sleeping too much or not sleeping enough
  • Distractibility
  • Rapid or excessive talking
  • Increased activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Agitation
  • Self-destructive behaviors like driving recklessly, spending money irresponsibly, or having unsafe sex

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may come and go throughout a person’s lifetime, but the condition is chronic and cannot be cured.

Diagnosing Schizoaffective Disorder

The first step toward getting schizoaffective disorder treatment in New Jersey is to get a proper diagnosis. If you notice the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder in yourself or someone you love, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Your medical provider will evaluate you to determine if you meet the criteria for a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. The evaluation will consist of:

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  • Medical history
  • Mental health history
  • Physical exam
  • Lab testing

Your doctor will use this information to rule out other disorders and provide an accurate diagnosis. Once you have a diagnosis, you may seek schizoaffective disorder treatment in New Jersey.

Treatment for Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a complex mental illness that can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Mental health experts believe that schizoaffective disorder may have an underlying genetic cause but may also involve brain chemistry and structure, environmental factors like stress and trauma, and drug abuse.

Treatment for schizoaffective disorder typically involves a holistic approach, allowing people to address this condition’s social, emotional, and physical symptoms.

Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is a critical aspect of treatment for schizoaffective disorder. During therapy sessions, you will work with a trained mental health practitioner to learn about the condition, set goals, and develop skills to manage everyday challenges.

Family therapy can also be beneficial and allows family members to learn about schizoaffective disorder and how to best support a loved one living with it. A combination of individual and family therapy can enhance your quality of life and create a more supportive, healing environment.

People with schizoaffective disorder may take prescription medications to help them reduce or manage their symptoms. Antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs can help treat the mood-related and psychotic symptoms common in this condition.

People with schizoaffective disorder may have trouble managing daily life. Practical skills training can improve your ability to manage money, household responsibilities, work, and social skills.

People with schizoaffective disorder can typically manage their symptoms in an outpatient treatment program. However, some people may require inpatient care to stabilize symptoms and receive intensive treatment and supervision. After completing an inpatient program, many people continue to receive support from schizoaffective disorder treatment programs on an outpatient basis.

Find Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment in New Jersey

If you or someone you love lives with schizoaffective disorder or needs to get a diagnosis, you are not alone. The support and treatment you need are only a phone call away. Contact the Moving Mountains Recovery specialists today to learn about our effective, holistic mental health treatment programs.

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