Schizoaffective disorder is a deviation in the work of the nervous system of the brain, which implies the combination of schizophrenia and affective psychosis. Such a disorder is not often diagnosed in people with mental disorders. An in-depth study of the causes of this disorder and the nature of its manifestation is still ongoing. But it is reliably known that genetics is an important motivating factor in the development of the problem. If a relative of the first or second line was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia, then the risk of developing schizoaffective disorder increases.
According to statistics, lonely people who are not surrounded by attention and care are prone to such a mental illness. The motivating factor may be the abuse of narcotic substances and alcohol.
Let us single out several factors noted by experts regarding the predisposition to the development of schizoaffective disorder:
– Women are subject to this mental deviation more often than men;
– Until adulthood, the disease practically does not occur; – Lonely residents of large cities have a higher risk factor, unlike villagers.
How Bipolar Disorder Manifests
The difficulty of diagnosing the problem lies in the fact that it is characterized by symptoms of both schizophrenia and affective disorder. It all starts, as a rule, with auditory hallucinations. A person can hear distant voices, consider that all the people around him comment on his actions. In a neglected state, the patient thinks that others are reading his thoughts. This causes panic attacks and fear.
The disorder continues with the manifestation of such symptoms as the sudden freezing of the patient in one position, delirium and the loss of the semantic component of his speech.
In addition, schizoaffective disorder occurs with the presence of symptoms characteristic of affective mental disorders. For example, the need for sleep gradually decreases, the speed of reproducing words increases, grandiose plans begin to arise and megalomania develops.
Such mixed symptoms greatly overload the nervous system. If nothing is done, then there is a great risk for the patient to lose awareness and adequacy.
How is the disorder treated and is there a positive prognosis
This mental illness comes in cycles. Attacks last a short period, and remission is long enough. But gradually personality changes appear if treatment is not started. As long-term medical practice has shown, it is possible to live with schizoaffective disorder while being in society. The situation of such a person is better than that of a patient with an acute form of schizophrenia.
For treatment, cyclic drug courses are prescribed, as well as courses of psychotherapy. It is important to maintain the stability of the emotional state in order to prevent the development of suicidal thoughts (this is common in advanced forms of mental illness).
The psychiatrist, after examination, prescribes courses of neuroleptics and other forms of drugs. The patient is placed in the hospital only for acute attacks and cases when there is a risk of suicide or there is a danger to others. Normothymic drugs , antidepressants and antipsychotics can prolong the period between remissions of deviations. Therefore, it is impossible to stop treatment without the consent of the doctor.
Even if the patient has a mental deviation against the background of this disorder, then professional psychotherapy will help to adapt to society.