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Co-Occurring Schizoaffective Disorder

A co-occurring substance use disorder complicates the treatment of schizoaffective disorder tremendously. Individuals suffering from schizoaffective disorder are often misdiagnosed, receiving treatment for either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. As these treatments fail, individuals feel lost and turn to drugs and alcohol for relief, perpetuating a cycle of missed diagnoses and ineffective treatment episodes. The dual diagnosis treatment program at Creative Care features a full psychological and diagnostic evaluation upon admission. We see the substance use issues as another symptom of the underlying co-occurring schizoaffective disorder and treat our clients holistically, gently unearthing the hidden roots of these conditions. Our clients begin to see drugs and alcohol as the failed solution they’ve always been and learn to manage the symptoms of co-occurring schizoaffective disorder with healthy, positive coping mechanisms. To learn more about our residential dual diagnosis program, call us today.

Common Questions About Co-Occurring Schizoaffective Disorder

Co-occurring schizoaffective disorder is a chronic mental health condition that displays symptoms of schizophrenia along with mood disorders like bipolar and depression. As it features symptoms of multiple disorders, it can be difficult to diagnose. Depressive-type schizoaffective disorders have episodes of psychosis along with symptoms of depression. Bipolar-type schizoaffective disorder includes symptoms of mania. The condition tends to manifest in the teen and early adult years. Individuals suffering from schizoaffective disorder are at a high risk of developing a co-occurring substance use disorder.

Symptoms of co-occurring vary according to type. Symptoms of schizophrenia are present in both, as are signs of substance use disorder. These include:

  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Delusions and paranoia
  • Social withdrawal
  • Periods of high energy and activity
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings and agitation
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Substance use that causes problems with work, school, and relationships
  • Continuing to use these substances despite their negative consequences

Scientists believe that there is a strong genetic component in the development of schizoaffective disorder. However, the overlap with other mental health conditions makes it difficult to determine a single cause. Additionally, individuals with schizoaffective disorder have a high rate of co-occurring substance use disorders.

Dual diagnosis treatment for schizoaffective disorder dramatically improves recovery outcomes. It is helpful in these cases to look at the substance use issues as part of the schizoaffective disorder. It’s a dysfunctional coping mechanism for an untreated mental health condition. Dual diagnosis treatment attends to the conditions as a holistic entity, removing drugs and alcohol from the equation and teaching positive adaptation strategies in their stead as individuals learn to manage their schizoaffective disorder.

We have over 30 years of experience helping individuals manage and overcome co-occurring conditions like schizoaffective disorder. For compassionate, innovative treatment, call Creative Care today.