Treatment for Schizoaffective Disorder

Living with any mental health disorder proves challenging, but some can feel more complicated than others. People who deal with schizoaffective disorder often experience many complicated symptoms and don’t always know the extent of help available to them. New View Wellness in Atlanta understands the need for quality treatment for schizoaffective disorder in our community. As a result, we created a structured outpatient mental health programs that provide multiple types of therapy to help people understand and manage their illness. 

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is classified as a mental health disorder that does not have a cure. However, with professional treatment, the symptoms can be managed and the quality of the person’s life can improve. This illness is not common, affecting only 0.3% of the population. Schizoaffective disorder is often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or another type of mental illness such as bipolar disorder.  For those who have it or know someone who does, it becomes important to find an effective treatment for schizoaffective disorder. Treatment includes a combination of different types of therapy that help the individual identify their symptoms and learn to minimize them whenever possible. As well, prescription medications can help people feel better and manage their symptoms.

A woman needing treatment for schizoaffective disorder.
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Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder

Someone in need of treatment for schizoaffective disorder will show telltale signs. The signs are ones often seen in people with schizophrenia and mood disorders. While not everyone has the exact same set of symptoms, common ones to look out for include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Trouble focusing on tasks
  • Isolating from others
  • Episodes of mania such as euphoria
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Depression
  • Lack of interest in personal hygiene
  • Change in eating habits
  • Change in sleep patterns

Risk Factors of Schizoaffective Disorder

As with any mental health disorder, people often wonder what caused them to develop their condition. There isn’t one exact cause that makes a person develop schizoaffective disorder. Instead, it can be just one thing or a combination of contributing factors. A common risk factor involves the person’s particular brain chemistry. How their brain functions may be different than the way people without schizoaffective disorder operate. Studies on this are ongoing but brain structure is considered to be a high risk for having mental health issues. 

In addition, highly stressful life events can contribute to a person developing schizoaffective disorder. Emotionally impactful events like a death in the family, physical or sexual abuse, being in an accident, or a financial crisis can all contribute to the onset of the illness. Another risk factor is the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD. Those who engage in long-term usage of psychoactive drugs increase their chances of developing schizoaffective disorder.

Is Schizoaffective Disorder Genetic?

Genetics can play a mighty part in whether or not a person develops a mental health disorder. This proves true for mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, as well as schizoaffective disorder. Someone who has a family history of schizoaffective disorder has an increased risk of developing it. However, a genetic history does not guarantee someone will develop it. Part of the treatment for schizoaffective disorder includes doing a thorough assessment to understand what makes someone develop their mental illness. The admitting clinician will discuss the person’s family history and whether or not genetics might be a causal factor.

How Is Schizoaffective Disorder Treated?

Treatment for schizoaffective disorder can make a real impact on improving the person’s mental well-being and helping ease some of their symptoms. Treatment should take place in a professional setting that can include either a residential or an outpatient program. Therapists will provide a variety of types of therapy modalities that help the individual understand their disorder. Treatment will also include options for FDA-approved medications that help minimize symptoms such as anxiety or depression. This combination approach helps people feel more in control. Participating in family therapy also helps family members know how best to support their loved ones.

A woman in treatment for schizoaffective disorder.

Treating Schizoaffective Disorder with Psychotherapy

Using different types of psychotherapy helps people with schizoaffective disorder manage their symptoms, develop healthy coping skills, and feel supported. Common types of therapy that provide optimal care for schizoaffective disorder include:

Individual Psychotherapy: The person works one-on-one with a trusted therapist who creates a safe space for them to discuss their experiences, emotions, thoughts, and fears. The individual learns what power they have to improve their symptoms and live a more fulfilling life. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): A version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that helps teach coping skills to use when a person feels stressed or triggered. DBT also promotes regulating emotions and getting along better with others.

Family Therapy: Family members come together under the guidance of a therapist who helps them understand the specifics of schizoaffective disorder and how it affects their loved ones. From there, they learn how they can assist in helping the person improve their mental health to the best of their ability.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT helps teach people to recognize distressful emotions and thoughts without automatically reacting negatively to them. Instead, they learn to act with healthy intentions rather than impulsively or to their own detriment. 

Find Treatment for Schizoaffective Disorder Today

Has living with schizoaffective disorder taken its toll on you or a loved one? You’re not alone, and you do not have to suffer in silence or on your own. New View Wellness in Atlanta offers treatment for schizoaffective disorder that features a multi-disciplinary approach. Our team of compassionate, experienced therapists works with you to maximize your ability to have a meaningful life and enjoy better mental health. We also offer access to FDA-approved medications that give better control of the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.

Contact us today to talk about how we can help you or someone you love who needs help improving their mental health. We can show you how to live up to your full potential. 

A man checking in for treatment for schizoaffective disorder.
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