Schizoaffective Disorder: a clinical paper

Schizo-affective disorder is a mixture of two kinds of major mental illnesses, mood disorders and schizophrenia. The patient meets criteria for either major depression or bipolar disorder and criteria for schizophrenia. The illness usually begins in early adulthood and is treated with both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. The diagnostic criteria for schizo affective disorder is an uninterrupted period of illness during which, at the same time, there is either 1) major depressive episode, 2) a manic episode, or 3) a mixed episode concurrent with symptoms that meet criteria for schizophrenia. The type is usually specified as either bipolar type, if it includes mania or a mixed state or depressive type if the disturbance only includes major depressive episodes.
Criteria for Major depressive episode is as follows:
Five or more of the following has been present for at least 2 weeks and represent a change in functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure. Depressed mood is present most of the day, nearly every day, marked diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities during the day, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day, diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide. The symptoms do not meet criteria for mixed episode or cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important area of functioning. The symptoms are not due to drugs or a general medical condition or caused by bereavement, i.e., after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist longer than 2 months.
The criteria for Manic episode is a distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week. During the period of mood disturbance, there are three of the following symptoms: inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, more talkative than usual, insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day, psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day, flight of ideas or racing thoughts, distractibility, increase in goal-directed activity, and excessive involment in pleasurable activities that have a potential for painful consequences (e.g. unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, foolish investments.) The symptoms do not meet the criteria for mixed episode and are not caused by drugs or a general medical condition.
Criteria for mixed episode are met both for a manic episode and major depressive episode for nearly every day for one week. The disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others or there are psychotic features. The symptoms are not due to the direct effects of drugs or a general medical condition.
Criteria A for schizophrenia is the following symptoms that last for at least 1 week: delusions, hallucinations (auditory and visual), disorganized speech (incoherence), grossly disorganized behavior or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms such as affective flattening, alogia, or avolition. Only one symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person’s thoughts or behaviors, or two or more voices conversing with each other. During the same period, there have been delusions or hallucinations for at least 2 weeks in the absence of prominent mood symptoms and meet the criteria for a mood episode that are present for a substantial portion of the illness. The disturbance is not caused by drugs or a general medical condition. (from http://www.psychologynet.org/schizaff/html).

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3 thoughts on “Schizoaffective Disorder: a clinical paper

  1. It’s just the criteria, I have it on my main page under DSM disorders I’ve been diagnosed with. I have another post on why and how I meet the criteria. Not technical to me, but then again I’m a genius or so I am told.

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  2. This is me, at least one of my “main” disorders. I say it and people are like what is that and I explain a combo of bipolar and schizophrenia. I have the bipolar sub type. Not many know about it, thanks for spreading the word.

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