Schizoaffective disorder is a serious illness that manifests through a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms. Although symptoms vary from person to person, most experience hallucinations and depression. Ongoing schizoaffective disorder treatment helps to manage this condition, so the person has a better quality of life.
Medications address mood episodes. Therapy gives a person space to talk through reducing symptoms and normalizing thought patterns. Additional therapies such as family and social support and ongoing self-care are equally useful in treating schizoaffective disorder.
Being Diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder
Ruling out other mental health disorders is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis for schizoaffective disorder treatment. Displaying symptoms of more than one mental illness makes it tricky to get an accurate diagnosis. Mistaking it for a mood disorder or schizophrenia is not uncommon because the person really has a combination of both.
Determining a diagnosis may start with a physical exam to rule out other problems. A doctor may order tests and screenings to exclude conditions with similar symptoms. An MRI or CT scan may also be part of this process.
The next part is usually a psychiatric evaluation to check the person’s mental status. A mental health professional will observe appearance and demeanor. They will also ask questions such as the person’s:
- Potential for suicide
Being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder is not a death sentence. Prognosis is good with the right treatment plan. A person has a better chance of getting better with long-term commitment to treatment. This may include a combination of medication, therapy and family support.
Medication Options for Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment
Medication options are the cornerstone for treating schizoaffective disorder. They are used to relieve a broad range of symptoms, for anxiety treatment and to stabilize a person’s mood.
Antipsychotics are commonly used when a person has delusions and hallucinations. These medications also work for relief from mood episodes.
Antidepressants may be used for a depressive-type schizoaffective disorder. They may also improve negative schizophrenia symptoms such as apathy or social withdrawal.
Mood stabilizers are another medication that mental health professionals may prescribe. A person with bipolar-type schizoaffective disorder may benefit from having these in their treatment plan.
Therapies for Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment
Medications help with many symptoms but is not enough to effectively manage schizoaffective disorder. Therapy is another crucial component for treating a person with this condition. Many types of behavioral and other therapies exist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy targets a person’s negative behaviors and thoughts. This helps the person recognize patterns and learn how to change them. This action-oriented type of therapy helps with developing healthy coping skills.
Family therapies are also useful when the person relies on relatives for support. Involving family members is often effective. Therapy and education teaches those close to the person about the disorder and how to be supportive. Specifically, developing better relationships with each other is part of necessary positive changes for managing schizoaffective disorder.
Integrating Schizoaffective Disorder Treatments
Treatment options for a person with a complex mental illness like schizoaffective disorder offer greater possibilities for recovery. Moreover, integrating medications and therapies is one of the best ways to harness the full potential of treating this condition.
An individualized plan addresses the full scope of a person’s needs in a meaningful way. In fact, residential programs typically offer the best environments where this can happen.
Take the Next Important Step
Silver Pines Treatment Center offers comprehensive care for people struggling with schizoaffective disorder. Furthermore, our holistic approach creates a strong foundation for ongoing wellness.
For example, we provide substance abuse and mental health treatment services such as:
Don’t let mental illness dictate your life. Take the step and contact us at 866-345-2147 to start your journey toward healing. With schizoaffective disorder treatment, you can find balance in your life.