Schizoaffective disorder (abbreviated as SZA or SAD) is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal thought processes and deregulated emotions. The diagnosis is made when the patient has features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either bipolar disorder or depression, but does not strictly meet diagnostic criteria for either alone. The bipolar type is distinguished by symptoms of mania, hypomania, or mixed episode; the depressive type by symptoms of depression only. Common symptoms of the disorder include hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and disorganized speech and thinking. The onset of symptoms usually begins in young adulthood, currently with an uncertain lifetime prevalence because the disorder was redefined, but DSM-IV…show more content… Beliefs should not be considered delusional if they are in keeping with cultural beliefs. Delusional beliefs may or may not reflect mood symptoms. Hallucinations are disturbances in perception involving any of the five senses, although auditory hallucinations, or "hearing voices", are the most common. A lack of responsiveness or negative symptoms include lack of spontaneous speech, reduced intensity of outward emotional expression, loss of motivation, and inability to experience pleasure. Negative symptoms can be more lasting and more debilitating than positive symptoms of psychosis.
Mood symptoms are of mania, hypomania, mixed episode, or depression, and tend to be episodic rather than continuous. A mixed episode represents a combination of symptoms of mania and depression at the same time. Symptoms of mania include elevated or irritable mood, inflated self-esteem, agitation, risk-taking behavior, decreased need for sleep, poor concentration, rapid speech, and racing thoughts. Symptoms of depression include low mood, apathy, changes in appetite or weight, disturbances in sleep, changes in motor activity, fatigue, guilt or worthlessness, and suicidal thinking.
Genetics, neurobiology, early and current environment, behavioral, social, and experiential components appear to be important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs may cause or worsen symptoms. People with