Schizoaffective Disorder (cont.)
How Is Schizoaffective Disorder Treated?
Treatment for schizoaffective disorder typically involves medication to stabilize the mood and treat the
psychotic symptoms. In addition, psychotherapy (a type of counseling) and
skills training may be useful for improving interpersonal, social and coping
- Medication: The choice of medication depends on
the mood disorder associated with the illness. The primary medications used to
treat the psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as delusions,
hallucinations and disordered thinking, are called antipsychotics. The
mood-related symptoms may be treated with an antidepressant medication or a
mood stabilizer such as lithium. These medications may or may not be used in
combination with an antipsychotic medication.
- Psychotherapy: The goal of therapy is to help the
patient learn about the illness, establish goals and manage everyday problems
related to the disorder. Family therapy can help families deal more effectively
with a loved one who has schizoaffective disorder, enabling them to better help
their loved one.
- Skills training: This generally focuses on work and social
skills, grooming and hygiene, and other day-to-day activities, including money
and home management.
- Hospitalization: Most people with schizoaffective disorder
are treated as outpatients. However, people with particularly severe symptoms,
or those in danger of hurting themselves or others may require hospitalization
to stabilize their conditions.
What Is the Outlook for People With Schizoaffective Disorder?
There is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, but treatment has been shown
to be effective in minimizing the symptoms, and in helping the person better
cope with the disorder and improve social functioning.
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