Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are both mental health disorders with some similarities but a few key differences. Schizophrenia is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and catatonic behavior. On the other hand, schizoaffective disorder includes a combination of schizophrenia symptoms and mood disorder symptoms such as depression or mania. Distinguishing whether you have schizoaffective disorder vs. schizophrenia can help determine the best course of treatment.
Whether you think you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, the symptoms can be unsettling and disrupt your life. Bayview Recovery’s schizophrenia treatment center in Washington can help you get your life back on track. Reach out to us today at 855.478.3650 to schedule an assessment so you can get a proper diagnosis and individualized treatment plan.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that can involve the following symptoms:
- Catatonic behavior – This can involve a lack of response to one’s surroundings or unusual behavior, such as pacing in a pattern and repeating or echoing words.
- Delusions – These are false beliefs, such as believing the government or aliens are spying on you. Delusions are common in schizophrenia as well as other psychotic disorders.
- Disorganized speech – A person with schizophrenia may seem to speak gibberish or ramble on about things that do not make sense.
- Hallucination – These false perceptions occur when a person sees or hears things that are not there. You may hear voices telling you to do something, often things you would typically not do.
These symptoms of schizophrenia may be mild or severe but are usually present in all types of this disorder. People struggling with schizophrenia may also appear apathetic or withdrawn from social situations.
What Is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is similar to schizophrenia but with the addition of depressive symptoms. Some common symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include:
Schizoaffective disorder is often referred to as a hidden disorder because there are many cases where people do not know they have it. Since schizoaffective disorder involves depression and mania, it can sometimes be mistaken for bipolar disorder.
Schizophrenia vs. Schizoaffective Disorder
Since these mental health conditions share similar symptoms, you may be unsure how to distinguish between schizoaffective disorder vs. schizophrenia. People with schizoaffective disorder have symptoms of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either bipolar disorder or depression. In other words, they experience psychotic symptoms but also extreme mood shifts.
The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. However, it is thought to be a combination of genetics, environmental factors, and biological changes in the brain resulting from a disruption in normal functioning. Like other affective disorders, there may be differences in the structure and function of certain brain areas triggering symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness characterized by profound thinking, feeling, and behavior disruption. A person with schizophrenia may have delusions and hallucinations but will not have mood disorder symptoms.
Getting a proper diagnosis is essential to receive the best treatment for your situation. Treatment for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder will involve medication and therapy, although the medications for each may differ. Antipsychotic medications can help minimize delusions and hallucinations, which is helpful for both conditions. However, a person struggling with schizoaffective disorder may also benefit from adding antidepressants or mood stabilizers.
Find Schizophrenia Treatment in Washington at Bayview Recovery
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are often mistaken for one another or other mental health disorders. Bayview Recovery can provide a thorough assessment to determine what type of treatment you need to support your mental health. Contact Bayview Recovery today at 855.478.3650 to discuss our treatment options for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and schedule an intake assessment.