Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective ($)

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems. The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. Changes in genes and chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) may play a role. Some experts do not believe it is a separate disorder from schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder is believed to be less common than schizophrenia and mood disorders. Women may have the condition more often than men. Schizoaffective disorder tends to be rare in children. The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are different in each person. Often, people with schizoaffective disorder seek treatment for problems with mood, daily function, or abnormal thoughts. Psychosis and mood problems may occur at the same time, or by themselves. The course of the disorder may involve cycles of severe symptoms followed by improvement. The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can include changes in appetite and energy, disorganized speech that is not logical, false beliefs (delusions), such as thinking someone is trying to harm you (paranoia) or thinking that special messages are hidden in common places (delusions of reference), lack of concern with hygiene or grooming, mood that is either too good, or depressed or irritable, problems sleeping, problems with concentration, sadness or hopelessness, seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations), social isolation and accelerated speech (speaking so quickly that others cannot interrupt you). To be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, one must have psychotic symptoms during a period of normal mood for at least 2 weeks. The combination of psychotic and mood symptoms in schizoaffective disorder can be seen in other illnesses, such as bipolar disorder. Extreme disturbance in mood is an important part of schizoaffective disorder. Other conditions can mimic schizoaffective disorder, such as abuse cocaine, amphetamines, or phencyclidine (PCP), seizure disorders and steroids (steroid psychosis). Treatment can vary. In general, your health care provider will prescribe medications to improve your mood and treat psychosis. Antipsychotic medications are used to treat psychotic symptoms and antidepressant medications or "mood stabilizers" may be prescribed to improve mood. Talk therapy can help with creating plans, solving problems, and maintaining relationships. Group therapy can help with social isolation. Support and work training may be helpful for work skills, relationships, money management, and living situations. People with schizoaffective disorder have a greater chance of going back to their previous level of function than do people with most other psychotic disorders. However, long-term treatment is often needed, and results can vary from person to person. Complications are similar to those for schizophrenia and major mood disorders and include abuse of drugs in an attempt to self-medicate, problems following medical treatment and therapy, problems due to manic behavior (for example, spending sprees, overly sexual behavior) and suicidal behavior. (Source: National Institutes of Health)

This Award-for-the-Cure will go the researchers who cure schizoaffective personality disorder. Make your donation by entering the number of dollars you wish to give in the "Qty" box below.

 

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