A medical or mental health doctor can assess an individual for symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. Symptoms may appear different in each individual due to the potential for mood disturbances, as well as psychotic behavior occurring at the same time. These symptoms may occur in cycles alternating from severe behavior followed by a period of improvement. Mood disturbances may consist of depression, bipolar disorder, sudden increase in energy level, irritability, and poor temper control. Psychotic behavior may consist of hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions (false beliefs), paranoid thoughts, and disorganized thinking processes. In addition, individuals may experience sleeping problems, attention and memory problems, and changes in appetite, lack of interest in personal hygiene or physical appearance, and experience thoughts of homicide or suicide.
A doctor will suspect that an individual has schizoaffective disorder if they experience delusions or hallucinations for at least two weeks regardless of mood symptoms being under control. If you feel that you, or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, please contact a doctor, mental health organization or emergency care. If you experience thoughts of suicide or homicide, please go to the nearest emergency department for help.
More Answers from Dr. Cynthia Washington