Todays topic is ‘Schizoaffective Disorder’ in relation to Borderline Personality Disorder, (Very Informative). Now this disorder mixes with BPD & Bipolar Disorder like a filthy Rat, going from 1 building to the next. The title of this disorder would suggest Schizophrenia in some sense, which is somewhat correct, But there is a world of difference between Schizoaffective & a full blown Schizophrenic. Now Iv been diagnosed with this in my medical history alongside, Chronic Depression. These titles all have weight attached to them because they are serious diagnosis to get handed to you so they hold a lot of power within them.
Schizoaffective Disorder mainly surfaces with people with Bipolar & Schizophrenia but it does rear its ugly head with Borderliners too, Now Bipolar and BPD and Schizophrenia all MIX together, They are all like family relatives in a sense, because if BPD goes untreated it develops into Schizophrenia, FACT. Now I was at that point a few years ago, I was diagnosed has Schiz affective and I was told after they discovered I’m borderline, they said quoting ‘From reading your notes & learning about you, it is lucky we diagnosed you and discovered NOW, that you have BPD, Because all your signs was showing Schizophrenia and we was on that thought process and was in stages of setting up medication and treatments for your Schizophrenia but then we learnt that actually you have BPD, and it was perfect timing you came to us when you did because if you had NOT of come to us, then you would of developed this we are 95% sure of this’ Now I remember that in great detail because it was a shocking and moving thing to hear, because at that time I was so ill and so bad in my head, and the things I seen and heard well it was getting bad.
They also said to end it off they said ‘Now we have caught it jus before it was going to develop, there is little chance it will surface and we can nip it in the bud before it begins to take life’ Now the wording does sound like they are talking about something physical like a Tumor, and that is fantastic that they are speaking in such ways. Because if you have read my blogs you know I say there is NO DIFFERENCE between mental & physical. So iv dealt with this Schiz affective for several years now, this is entirely separate to full blown Schiz. This schiz affective does still play a part in my life and its under control. In my early years of them trying to identify what was wrong with me, they got to a point where they was stuck they thought I had Bipolar at first, turned out wrong, they thought I was delusional ,wrong, they thought I was just depressed and didn’t need any help other than meds, wrong, they did think I had personality disorder but NOT Borderline, their is a HUGE difference between the 2. Like night and day.
Quick example – Borderliners feel everything at a rate of lets say 200%, which a normal person would feel things emotionally between 50-95% id say, but id say we are around 200% which you can clearly see the massive difference and damage it can cause. Now Personality Disorder is strictly that person is , Person A, Person B , Person C. all with different names and everything you name it, everything is different that is a full blown Personality Disorder. Big Big difference between Borderline and PD. There is also fringe Personality Disorders too such has – SPILT Personality, that is a blend of the 2 in my opinion it takes from both BPD & PD, which is quiet destructive for the person in that position. Also Schizoaffective, affects all 3 of them Personality disorders, it affects them the same. That’s Schiz Affective only tho remember that please.
Schizoaffective doesn’t just affect people who suffer with any mental illness they also affect so called ‘normal People’ But the rate of diagnosis are Low very Low, because when its discovered you have to be ready and able to take it on with treatment and now to discredit anyone, but the majority of ‘Normal People’ Who find this out then choose not to get it treated, because they would be STIGMAISED has MENTALLY ILL, and nobody wants that stigma, specially if your seen in the community has a ‘Normal Person’ For then people to find out you go to Place Z, and that’s for the mentally unstable then the stigma you then face from your peers and family and friends is a little too much to take on. So to settle that they would rather go untreated. Now I’m not saying this is a fact, just iv seen it for myself not just with 1 person or 10 people, but from a greater number than that.
That is a KEY point tho isn’t it the STIGMA attached to getting help is sometimes WORSE than the Actual disorder/illness you have. Words from someone who knows. The STIGMA is 10x worse Trust ME. Because its like that old phrase ‘A psychopath is screaming the world is coming to an end, the world is coming to an end, and the whole community knows he’s unbalanced, so they ignore him, even tho what he is saying is the damn truth, Nobody pays attention’ Now if a governmental figure came on TV to announce the very same thing you’d believe them wouldn’t you! I think that proves my point. Once your labelled with a mental illness no matter how much sense you make, sometimes its not enough because all people see is the LABEL.
Now I’m going to give you some information of schizoaffective Disorder.
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that affects your moods and thoughts. This section explains the condition, possible causes and treatments. This guide is for people with the diagnosis as well as their carers and friends.
- Schizoaffective disorder has some symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
- Your symptoms can be mania, psychosis and depression.
- Your genes, circumstances and stress may all play a role in developing schizoaffective disorder.
- There are different treatments for schizoaffective disorder.
- Your mental health team should offer you medication, talking therapies and a self-management programme.
What is schizoaffective disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that can affect your mood and behaviour. You may have symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. These symptoms may be mania, depression and psychosis.
About 1 in 200 people develop schizoaffective disorder at some time during their life. It is more common in women than in men.
What are the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and how is it diagnosed?
You will be diagnosed by a psychiatrist, who will assess if you have symptoms of mania, depression and schizophrenia. These are described below. You have to have symptoms of bipolar and schizophrenia to get a diagnosis. Psychiatrists will use the following guidelines to diagnose you:
- International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) produced by the American Psychiatric Association.
Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are:
Symptoms of mania can include:
- feeling happy or positive even if things are not going well for you
- feeling more active, energetic or restless
- being more irritable than normal
- feeling much better about yourself than usual
- talking very quickly, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
- being easily distracted and struggling to focus on one topic
- not needing much sleep
- thinking you can do much more than you actually can
- doing things you regret later
- doing things you normally wouldn’t which can cause problems, such as going on spending sprees, being sexually promiscuous, using drugs or alcohol, gambling or making unwise business decisions
- being much more social than usual
- being argumentative, pushy or aggressive
The symptoms of depression can include:
- low mood
- having less energy, feeling tired or “slowed down”
- feeling hopeless or negative
- feeling guilty, worthless or helpless
- being less interested in things you normally like doing or enjoying them less
- difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
- feeling restless or irritable
- sleeping too much or not being able to sleep
- feeling more or less hungry than usual or changing weight
- thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the way you think. Symptoms can have an effect on how to cope with day to day life. Psychosis is a symptom of schizophrenia. Symptoms include:
- hallucinations – hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there
- delusions – believing things that are not true
- finding it hard to think straight
- feeling less emotions
There are five types of schizoaffective disorder:
A diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder manic type means you have symptoms of schizophrenia and mania at the same time when you are unwell.
A diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder depressive type means you have symptoms of schizophrenia and depression at the same time when you are unwell.
A diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder mixed type means you have symptoms of schizophrenia, depression and mania when you are unwell.
Other schizoaffective disorders
Schizoaffective disorder, unspecified
This includes schizoaffective psychosis.
What causes schizoaffective disorder?
Psychiatrists do not know what causes schizoaffective disorder. However, research shows that genetic, biological and environmental factors increase your risk of developing the illness.
Schizoaffective disorder is more common if other members of your family have schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder. Recent research shows that people with schizoaffective disorder have more similar genetic makeup that people without this disorder. This suggests that genetics may have a role to play in the development of schizoaffective disorder.
An imbalance in neurotransmitters may cause schizoaffective disorder. Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain. Doctors prescribe medication to try to fix this imbalance.
Environmental factors are things that happen in your life, like childhood experiences and stress from your job, relationships and lifestyle choices. A mix of environmental factors may be linked to developing schizoaffective disorder.
Research shows that being treated badly in your childhood can make psychosis more likely.
Stress can cause mental illness and make you unwell in the future. If you have schizoaffective disorder, think about what seems make you unwell. By managing your triggers you can help to manage your symptoms.
How is schizoaffective disorder treated?
The treatment for schizoaffective disorder will depend on what your symptoms are. Someone who has a lot of symptoms will get antipsychotic medication. The main treatments for long-term symptoms are medication and talking therapies. If someone has depressive symptoms they are likely to have antidepressant medication. If someone has manic symptoms they may have mood stabiliser medication.
The treatment for schizoaffective disorder is usually a combination of:
- antipsychotic medication,
- antidepressant medication,
- mood stabilisers, and
- talking therapies.
What treatment should I be offered?
Your doctor may prescribe you medication to treat your symptoms. The medication they prescribe you will depend on the type of schizoaffective disorder you have. Your medication may be a mix of antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers.
If you are very unwell you may have a larger dose of medication. Your doctor may also prescribe you sedative and sleeping tablets. You will normally only have these for a short time because they are addictive.
You may forget or not want to take your medication every day. You can ask your doctor about a depot injection. You get this every two to four weeks and then you don’t have to take tablets.
If your mood changes from depression to mania regularly, your doctor may offer you a mood stabiliser like lithium or Depakote.
Your doctor may offer you antidepressants. Antidepressants can trigger manic episodes for some people. This is known as ‘switching’. If you take antidepressants your doctor should monitor your symptoms.
Therapy and social support
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produces guidelines about how the NHS should treat health conditions. Its guideline on psychosis and schizophrenia also applies to people with schizoaffective disorder.
The guidance says the NHS should offer you therapy and social support as part of your recovery. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the main treatment NICE recommends. CBT can help you to manage your symptoms and reduce the chances of becoming unwell. NICE recommends that the NHS should offer you family therapy if you are in close contact with your family members. Family therapy might reduce the risk of you becoming unwell again and being admitted to hospital.
NICE guidance says that supportive psychotherapy or counselling will not help with your symptoms. However, your team should think about your circumstances and what you want when deciding what treatments to offer you.
What risks and complications can schizoaffective disorder cause?
The risk of suicide is higher in the first few years after someone is diagnosed schizoaffective disorder. It is important that you get the right treatment for your symptoms of depression and have a good crisis plan.
Most treatments suggested by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) reduce the risk of suicide. Your psychiatrist may offer you clozapine. This medication may reduce suicidal feelings for people with schizophrenia.
Information for carers, friends and relatives
Support for you
Whether you are a carer, friend or family member of someone living with schizoaffective disorder, you can get support
You can get peer support through carer support groups or sibling support groups. You can search for local groups in your area or the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service can search for you.
You can ask your local authority for a carer’s assessment if you need more practical support to care for someone. As a carer you should be involved in decisions about care planning. There are rules about information sharing and confidentiality which you need to be aware of.
Supporting the person you care for
You might find it easier to support someone with schizoaffective disorder if you understand their symptoms, treatment and self-management skills. You can use this information to support and encourage them to get help and stay well.
You should also be aware of what you can do if you are worried about someone’s mental state or risk of self-harm. You should have details of their mental health team and also discuss a crisis plan with them.
Id like to thank you for taking the time to read todays blog on Schizoaffective Disorder.