Patients with this mental health condition experience symptoms characteristic of schizophrenia including delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behaviour, and/or negative symptoms (ex. lack of drive or motivation). However, the patient also experiences episodes of depression or mania, with mood symptoms lasting for the bulk of duration of illness. What differentiates schizoaffective disorder from a depressive or bipolar disorder with psychotic features though, is that the psychotic symptoms are present for at least two weeks during which there are no mood disorder symptoms.
While the prevalence of schizoaffective disorder is thought to be less than schizophrenia, it is associated with a lifetime risk of suicide of 5%, and many affected individuals often are also diagnosed with anxiety disorders and substance use issues too.
To get better insight into schizoaffective disorder, how it affects someone's life, and the counselling and therapy patients can go through as part of their treatment, check out the book What A Life Can Be (more information below).
Those interested in psychiatry, and those curious to know more about schizoaffective disorder.
A fascinating look into the world of schizo-affective disorder which, at times, is funny, heartbreaking, but above all uplifting. Dr. Carolyn Dobbins describes the onset and progression of this debilitating disease and gives readers hope.
As a therapist, Dr. Dobbins leads the reader throughout the life of a real client who has battled and triumphed. Dr. Dobbins reflects on the life of her client in interactions during counseling sessions. She meets, head-on, the utter seriousness of the undeserving stigma this client, who refused to be a victim, has faced. The book breaks through the stigma and gives all readers much to think about as mental illness affects us all.
Included at the end are facts about serious mental illness, the 6 A's of self help and Dr. Dobbins' message to her counseling colleagues who may be surprised, as all readers will be, by the ending. In an advance review, the National Alliance on Mental Illness said this book is told in an unorthodox but very effective manner." and that "people are more than their illness". Dr. E Fuller Torrey, author of Surviving Schizophrenia, said "an inspiration for all who have ever experienced psychosis". Dr. Thomas G Burish, a professor of psychology and Provost of Notre Dame University said this book is "powerful and revealing, and provides a unique insight into chronic mental disease". He added that the book is "a probing, liberating story". (Goodreads)
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