I have already written about schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder (types 1 and 2); to understand schizoaffective disorder, it is helpful to first be familiar with those other three disorders.  Schizoaffective disorder is characterized with symptoms like schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, as well as symptoms of bipolar or major depressive disorder, such as depressive episodes.

NAMI lists the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinations: hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Delusions: false, fixed beliefs that remain despite evidence that the belief is untrue
  • Disorganized thinking: such as switching topics quickly and seemingly for no reason
  • Depressed mood: sadness, feelings of emptiness, lethargy, etc.
  • Mania: (if bipolar type) potential feelings of euphoria, endless energy, etc.

The video above is a really powerful look at one person’s experience not only living with schizoaffective disorder, but being diagnosed with it.  Since this disorder has symptoms similar to a mood disorder, as well as symptoms related to schizophrenia, it can often be tough to diagnose.

Treatments for schizoaffective disorder include medications and in some cases, like Lauren mentions in the video, electroconvulsive therapy.  Therapy is also helpful in treatment. This video (and the others on her youtube channel) serves as a great way to share hope for those living with this disorder, as well as help end stigma by educating the viewers.