Taking a Closer Look at Schizoaffective Disorder

Creative Care has over 30 years of expertise treating mental health conditions with a biopsychosocial approach, a psychoanalytic frame, and evidence-based practices to get patients and their families on the road to recovery. These conditions have ranged from anxiety and depression to less-common disorders, such as those on the schizophrenia spectrum. This week, we will be taking a closer look at schizoaffective disorder, the importance of a complete psychological profile in diagnosing it, and effective ways to treat and manage it.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder features symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions and auditory or visual hallucinations, as well as symptoms of mood disorders, like manic or depressive states. As a result, it can be difficult to diagnose. Those who suffer from schizoaffective disorder often receive incorrect diagnoses of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, resulting in reduced efficacy of treatment. Additionally, rates of co-occurring substance use disorders are high in individuals struggling with schizoaffective disorder. For example, a meta-analysis revealed a co-occurrence of schizoaffective disorder with alcohol use disorder at a rate of 24%. Compare this to the 12% of the general population presenting with alcohol use disorder. This can further exacerbate problems with diagnosis and treatment. It also highlights the need for a comprehensive assessment by a psychiatrist and seasoned clinicians. The team at Creative Care ensures diagnostic accuracy through psychological evaluation, physical examinations, and clinical observation.

Treating Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic mental health condition, meaning it requires long-term treatment. However, a combination of the proper medication and therapy can help alleviate symptoms and teach clients how to manage them, greatly improving their quality of life. Studies have shown cognitive therapies to be particularly effective. A study  by Drury et al revealed a faster rate of symptom reduction with cognitive therapy during the twelve-week period following admission to treatment than with an equal amount of activity therapy and support. Furthermore, those who received cognitive therapy continued to display fewer symptoms than the control group after a nine month follow up. With cognitive therapy, clients are more likely to follow their prescribed medication regimen, learn to recognize negative thoughts and how to implement new coping strategies, and go on to live productive, fulfilled lives.

Innovative, Creative Care

Since 1989, Creative Care has been an oasis for individuals who need cutting-edge, innovative care with the extra support, accountability, and direction to heal. We are ready to listen and every client who walks through our doors gets a comprehensive assessment upon admission. Additionally, a mental health treatment plan may include: 

  • Individual therapy 
  • Psychiatry sessions 
  • Medications
  • Family or couples therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Nutrition group
  • Equine group
  • Skills-based groups 
  • Yoga and other relaxation therapy

If you or someone you love is struggling with schizoaffective disorder, please consider reaching out to Creative Care. Begin your journey to recovery today.