Understanding the Cross Between Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

symptoms of schizoaffective disorder

Verywell / JR蜂


Schizoaffective disorder is a chronic mental health disorder that combines symptoms of psychosis (e.g., hallucinations and妄想) with symptoms of mood disorders (e.g., mania and/or depression). Depending on what type of mood symptoms are present, it is diagnosed as either bipolar type or depressive type.


Individuals with the disorder tend to have periods of improvement followed by periods of worsening of symptoms.

Whether you have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder or are worried that someone you know may have this disorder or has been recently diagnosed, it is important to understand the common symptoms, how a diagnosis is made, and how treatment can help to reduce symptoms and improve functioning in daily life.



Depressive Symptoms

  • Psychological:悲伤,无价值感,无助,烦躁,精神不振,对日常活动丧失兴趣,注意力无法集中,内疚,自责,死亡的想法或自杀
  • Physical:Poor appetite, weight loss or gain, sleeping too much or too little,


  • Psychological:Risky or self-destructive behavior (e.g., spending sprees, reckless driving, risky sexual practices), euphoria, irritable mood, racing thoughts, grandiose, easily distracted
  • Physical:Increased energy and/or more active than usual (e.g., at work, socially, sexually), talking more or faster than unusual, reduced need for sleep


  • Psychological:Paranoia, delusions,hallucinations, disorganized thinking, impaired communication, lacking emotion in facial expressions and speech (negative symptoms), low motivation (无动机)
  • Physical:动作迟缓或没有运动(紧张症),个人卫生差

While the psychotic symptoms listed above describe how schizoaffective disorder appears to an outsider, it is also helpful to learn what these symptoms feel like to a person with the disorder.

Disorganized Thinking

If you are experiencing disorganized thinking, you may feel like your thoughts are fuzzy or everything feels disconnected. When you speak, you may not be able to remember what you were talking about, so it's hard for people to follow what you say. You may also feel like your thoughts are not within your control.

Thinking You Are Being Controlled

You may think you are being controlled by outside forces like aliens, God, or the devil. You may feel someone is inserting thoughts into your head or that your thoughts are being removed. You might also feel like others can hear your thoughts or access them.





Suicidal Ideation and Prevention

Suicidal ideation and behavior can also be a problem for some people with schizoaffective disorder. If someone you know is in danger of attempting suicide or harming another person, stay with that person while you call 911 or your local emergency number. The other alternative is to take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room if you believe that you can do so safely.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact theNational Suicide Prevention Lifelineat1-800-273-8255从一个训练有素的顾问的支持和帮助。如果您或亲人有即时危险的,请拨打911。

For more mental health resources, see ourNational Helpline Database


There are a number of potential complications of having schizoaffective disorder, including:

  • 社交隔离
  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • 失业
  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Health problems
  • Trouble adhering to treatment
  • Impaired academic and occupational functioning
  • 自杀念头和企图


We don't know precisely what causes schizoaffective disorder. However, it is proposed that it can result from a combination of risk factors that affect brain development prenatally and throughout childhood and adolescence. This includes:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry and structure
  • Life stressors (death in family, loss of job, end of marriage)
  • 精神或精神药物的使用(例如,LSD)
  • Viral infections including while in the womb
  • Birth defects


与分裂情感性障碍的人也可以生活在重叠的障碍,如注意力缺陷多动障碍,焦虑症,post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),anxiety disorders, and substance and alcohol abuse.

A共同发生障碍can exacerbate the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and make a person less likely to follow his or her treatment plan. This is why proper diagnosis and integrated treatment is essential when it comes to managing and coping with a dual diagnosis.

Schizoaffective disorder is often confused with other mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. These are two distinct disorders, however, each with its own diagnostic criteria and treatment. While they do share many symptoms, the main difference is that there is a prominent mood component with schizoaffective disorder.


Schizoaffective disorder overlaps with other conditions so it can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes, it is incorrectly diagnosed as simply bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, which is why it is important for your mental health professional to have a full history of your symptoms prior to making a diagnosis.



  • Delusions
  • 幻觉
  • Disorganization
  • "Negative" symptoms

In addition, you must have had delusions or hallucinations for two or more weeks in the absence of a mood episode. The mood symptoms must also be present for most of the duration of your illness.


治疗for schizoaffective disorder can help you to live a more fulfilling life. Treatment may come in the form of medication, therapy, or hospitalization, depending on your particular symptoms.


药物s such as mood stabilizers (e.g., lithium), antipsychotics (e.g., paliperidone), and抗抑郁药(例如,氟西汀)可以被处方用于分裂情感性障碍。服用抗精神病药物将有助于你感到平静如幻觉和妄想将减少。

It's important to continue taking medication even if you feel well, as these medications help to stabilize your symptoms and prevent a recurrence of them.

Most often, people with schizoaffective disorder need to take medication for the rest of their lives.


治疗如cognitive-behavioral therapy(CBT),家庭治疗,团体治疗, or skills training may be used to treat schizoaffective disorder. During therapy, you may learn about your illness, set goals, determine how to manage daily issues, and develop skills to interact with others, find a job, manage your finances and home, and manage your personal grooming.

If your family attends therapy with you, they will learn how best to support you with your symptoms. In this way, therapy can help you to better self-manage your illness.



However, medication and therapy can help to reduce relapse and disruption to your life and the lives of those around you. This is why it is important to keep in contact with your doctor or psychiatrist to ensure that your treatment regimen is optimal.

When to Get Help

If someone you know is displaying symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, it can be hard to know how to help. While you can try to talk to your friend or relative, you also can't force him or her to seek treatment. Instead, try offering encouragement and practical advice such as looking up numbers of doctors to call or investigating avenues to receive treatment in the community.

In addition, persons with this disorder may be disconnected from reality. In the event that the person is struggling with basic necessities of life such as food and shelter, or there are imminent safety concerns, you can call 911 and ask to have that person evaluated for treatment.

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