Schizoaffective disorder

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Schizoaffective disorder

Question

What is schizoaffective disorder? How is it treated?

Barbara
Texas

Answer

Psychiatrists use the term "schizoaffective disorder" to describe people who have prominent features of both depression or bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It's not known if schizoaffective disorder is a unique, distinct illness or just a combination of mood disorder and schizophrenia. Research is ongoing to better resolve this question.

In schizoaffective disorder, it's important to treat both components of the disorder. Treatment usually includes:

  • Antidepressants
  • Mood-stabilizing medications such as lithium
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Ongoing counseling and psychotherapy

Last Updated: 06/02/2005
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