Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment

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Schizoaffective disorder is considered by most mental health professionals to be a form of schizophrenia, but it is characterized by both schizophrenia symptoms (particularly psychosis) and a mood disorder (depressive or manic symptoms).

People with schizoaffective disorder tend to respond best to a comprehensive treatment plan that includes both medication and psychosocial interventions (such as counseling or training in social skills).

Medication

Pharmacological treatment for schizoaffective disorder generally includes both antipsychotics and antidepressants or mood stabilizers. The newer atypical antipsychotics, such as risperidone, clozapine, olanzapine, tend to be prescribed more often than older conventional antipsychotics. Only one medication, the antipsychotic paliperidone (Invega), has been approved by the FDA specifically for schizoaffective disorder.

Psychosocial Interventions

Cognitive behavioral therapy, one of the most frequently used and best studied forms of psychotherapy, can be helpful in treating schizoaffective disorder. Other forms of talk therapy and family or group therapy can also be good options. Supportive groups can be very useful in limiting social isolation, and including family in therapy can help everyone better cope with the presence of schizoaffective disorder in their lives.

In addition to psychotherapy, training in social, work, and general life skills can be very helpful for people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder. Learning how to solve problems, maintain relationships, manage money, and make plans for the future can help people with schizoaffective disorder build a promising future.