Drug Treatment for Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder, also known as schizoaffective disorder not otherwise referred to as bipolar disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by a complex interaction of psychological symptoms, including at least one major depressive episode, hallucinations or delusions, and at least one hypomanic episode. The term “schizoaffective” was first used in 1982 by Dr. Gerhard Kohlhammer, who described it as an “affective disorder with mood disorders.” In addition to these symptoms of mania and depression, another distinctive feature of this condition is the existence of a distinct shift of perception with regard to reality and time. The term “schizoaffective” entered the language through an article written by Dr. phenomenologist Sigmund Freud, in which he described a condition similar to schizophrenia, with a distinction in that the patients’ perceptions of reality did not vary with time, unlike the patients of schizoaffective disorder. From these descriptions, the name “schizoaffective” was developed.
Schizoaffective disorder shares some characteristics with the other major category of mental illness called bipolar type (Bipolar I disorder and II disorder), in which there is a change of consciousness with regard to time and place, as well as symptoms related to mood and anxiety. However, unlike in bipolar type I disorder and II disorders, schizoaffective disorder shows a recurrent pattern of symptoms over a long period of time, without any periods of remissions. These periods of remission may last for several years, or an entire lifetime. In addition, these periods of remission are usually followed by periods of symptoms, which may increase in severity, before being replaced by periods of remission again. In addition, there are occasions when these symptoms occur in response to stress or traumatic events.
Schizoaffective disorder can have a profound impact on the quality of life of a person suffering from it. A loved one of a person who has schizoaffective disorder can experience depression, mania, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, violent behavior, or bipolar type behaviors. Due to these symptoms, the family of a person with schizophrenia can be very strained. The effects of schizoaffective disorder can be particularly difficult for children who are the victims of these afflictions.
Schizophrenia can present itself in two forms: acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term). In acute conditions, the schizophrenic patient experiences only short periods of psychosis, or a small number of episodes. Chronic conditions often last for a lifetime. The chronic form of the schizoaffective disorder often involves a shift in the symptoms of psychosis, which can lead to an uncharacteristic change of mood symptoms (i.e. hallucinations, or a decreased need for sleep or pleasure) over a long period of time.
For people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder, treatment usually takes place in a hospital. But may also require living in a facility for a period of time. The first step toward treatment is identifying and treating the particular symptoms that you experience. Psychotherapy may help you understand your feelings and thoughts more clearly. It may also help you gain a better understanding of your illness and how it affects your life. Therapy can also teach you how to deal with the frustrating changes in thought and emotion that occur as you go through your day.
Medications can help treat symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. Antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal (e.g., Risperdal) can relieve the symptoms of psychosis. They can also reduce the number of psychotic symptoms during an episode. Steroids, tranquilizers, antidepressants, and various neuroleptic drugs (antipsychotics) can also help treat these symptoms. Your doctor will be able to determine which drug(s) will be most effective. If your symptoms are extreme and there are other options available. These medications can still help control and reduce the frequency of the psychotic symptoms you experience.
Certain types of medications used to treat schizoaffective disorder. These include Risperdal, olanzapine, quetiapine, or carbamazepine. They can also be combined with mood stabilizers, anti-psychotic medications, and anti-nausea/progestogen drugs. Medications that act on the brain chemical dopamine can provide relief from hallucinations and improve your mood. These medications include clonidine, mesoridazine, olanzapine, quetiapine, haloperidol, and chlorpromazine.
As treatment methods and medications change for patients with schizoaffective disorder, the need for effective coping strategies also change. Individuals with this condition should work with their healthcare providers to develop and maintain healthy routines and work patterns. This can include a change in diet and daily activities, as well as avoiding environments and substances that trigger symptoms. With the right assistance and strategies, individuals with schizoaffective disorder can manage symptoms and live a safe and healthy life.