Schizoaffective Disorder

  • Medical Author:
    Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD

    Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Schizoaffective Disorder Medication Treatment

Risperidone (Risperdal)

Risperidone is an atypical antipsychotic drug that is used for treating schizophrenia, bipolar mania and autism. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs include Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Quetiapine (Seroquel), Ziprasidone (Geodon), Aripiprazole (Abilify) and paliperidone (Invega).

Quick GuideSchizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizoaffective disorder facts

  • Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic condition that is characterized by both psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations) and mood problems.
  • There are two kinds of schizoaffective disorder: bipolar and depressive.
  • There is no known single specific cause for schizoaffective disorder.
  • Schizoaffective disorder symptoms and signs include those of schizophrenia in addition to a manic episode or a major depressive episode.
  • The typical treatment for schizoaffective disorder involves the individual taking an antipsychotic drug and possibly a mood stabilizer in addition to psychoeducation.
  • For people who do not respond to the typical treatments, some may respond to non-medication medical treatments like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

What is schizoaffective disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that involves persistent psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations or delusions, occurring together with mood problems of depressive, manic, or mixed episodes. The term schizoaffective was first used in 1933 by Jacob Kasanin and has been included in every edition of the mental health diagnostic manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), since 1952. Statistics on how often this condition occurs range from 0.32% in the general United States population up to as much as 9% of psychiatrically hospitalized people. Schizoaffective disorder is thought to occur at least as often as schizophrenia and less often than bipolar disorder.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2017

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