Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder of an endogenous nature, combining the symptoms of schizophrenia and signs of affective disorder. This disease is characterized by abnormal mental processes and a decrease in the emotional sphere. The general symptoms of the disorder include disorganized speech, confusion of thought processes, paranoid delusions, as well as auditory hallucinations.
The disease in question is usually diagnosed on the basis of the presence of schizophrenic symptoms and manifestations of a mood disorder (affective disorder). At the same time, schizoaffective disorder does not fully comply with the clinical criteria given pathologies that form the basis of this disease. However, the symptoms are quite pronounced, despite its vagueness. Today, the pathology described is referred to as the borderline group of ailments between mood disorder and schizophrenia. The prevalence of the deviation in question is significantly lower among the inhabitants of rural settlements than among the inhabitants of megalopolises.
The causes of the disease
Today, the real causes of the analyzed deviations are not known for certain, however, several etiological factors can be identified, with the existence of which this disorder is found more often. This factor is primarily considered a genetic predisposition.
The study of the genetic factors responsible for the occurrence of this violation is often carried out on twins, since it is rather difficult in the realities of our time to distinguish the effect of genetics from the influence of the environment.
Scientists have identified a risk gene that causes schizophrenic abnormalities. This gene in the prevailing majority is found in each individual, but remains as if in a "sleeping state". Thus, almost every human subject may experience schizoid manifestations of various levels of severity. In addition, the occurrence of the described gene is often due to genetic mutations in the parents.
There is a certain dependence of a shase-affective deviation on the quality of life in a certain territory or in a settlement, where racial discrimination, poverty bordering on poverty, forced migration are found. These factors are prerequisites for the occurrence of schizoid symptoms. The symptoms of the described disorder are often found in lonely people who lack the support and care of their closest relatives as well as help from unauthorized persons.
Chronic abuse of alcoholic liquids and drug addiction are often accompanied by schizoid deviations, in addition, it is rather difficult to identify what was primarily a destructive slavery or disorder. Alcohol-containing substances and most psychotropic drugs most often stimulate the occurrence of schizoaffective disorder, as well as the individual in an effort to eliminate negative feelings trying to hide in the nirvana of drunken dreams.
It should be noted that the affective deviation is characterized by an increase in the volume of dopamine production with initial narcotic doses or debut weeks of binge. In the subsequent activation of its production gradually decreases until the absolute disappearance. The consequence of this is the absence of the effect of alcohol-containing drinks or drug products.
Often, attacks of schizoaffective disorder are triggered by exposure from outside, when it is possible to identify the connection between the exacerbation of the disease and the psycho-traumatic conditions.
Types of schizoaffective disorder
Based on the picture of the disease, the following types are distinguished:
- manic type - characterized by a poor prognosis, the patient is socially dangerous, as a result, only inpatient treatment is recommended;
- depressive schizoaffective disorder - similar in symptoms to depressive states of a protracted nature or moderate course;
- mixed type, combining schizophrenic symptoms and the clinic of affective psychosis.
Other schizoaffective disorders and schizoaffective disorder of unclear etiology are also identified.
By the nature of the increase in symptoms of the disease, the following types are distinguished: predominant type, the actual attack of pathology, remission.
The most common schizoaffective disorder is characterized by prolonged duration (about eight months).
Schizoaffective disorder of manic type is characterized by the presence of a period of maximum increase in the severity of the main symptoms. This stage is called the period of manic frenzy. It is at the described stage that the patients speak as if they are talking. Replicas as if "bump" on each other. Speech is characterized by confusion. It seems that patients feel a strong internal agitation, as a result of which the speech apparatus does not cope with the transmission of the volume of phrases.
This type of illness is characterized by manic symptoms and schizophrenic manifestations in one seizure. Mood disorder shows up as a reassessment of one’s personality with ideas of greatness. Often, agitation may be accompanied by aggressive behavior and ideas of persecution. There is also increased energy, concentration, loss of adequate social inhibition.
Unlimited fun, increased activity against the background of reduced need for sleep, accelerated flow of speech, thoughts and actions, ideas of delusional orientation are typical manifestations of this type of disorder.
The peculiarity of the depressive type of the disease under consideration is characterized by the presence of symptoms of schizophrenia and signs of depression. The patient simultaneously suffers from apathy, depressed mood, insomnia, auditory hallucinations, lethargy, delusional ideas. Weight is reduced due to loss of appetite, the patient feels hopeless. Often, you can observe the deterioration of cognitive functions. The described condition often without adequate and timely medical intervention often leads to the formation of addiction or suicidal attempts.
This type is characterized by a less pronounced clinic than the previous one, but it has a longer duration of attack attacks.
Mixed variation of the analyzed disorder is characterized by a change of apathy and fear of bouts of happiness, or vice versa.
Symptoms of the disease
The main manifestation observed in the considered deviation is considered to be a constant change of mood. Moreover, such a kaleidoscope of moods is characterized by a sudden change, uncontrollability and unpredictability. After a while, the distraction of attention, hallucinations are added to the described clinic, the ability to control one’s actions and decisions is lost.
Schizoaffective psychosis is fraught with the fact that the individual ceases to recognize the differences between reality and his own contrived world. The boundaries of reality are erased from him, as a result of which imagination takes the leading position. This is the result of serious transformations in brain processes.
Symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are, as easily expressed, and clearly manifested. Only immediate relatives can notice insignificant behavioral changes, and serious transformations become visible to everyone around them.
At the considered deviation the following symptoms can be observed:
- depressed mood;
- depressed state;
- partial or complete disappearance of appetite;
- sharp weight changes;
- excessive addiction to alcohol-containing liquids;
- a complete mismatch of the alternation of rest and sleep;
- the disappearance of interest in being;
- dispersed attention;
- loss of control over their own thoughts;
- illogical expression of emotions;
- baseless experiences;
- fast fatiguability;
- suicidal tendencies;
- an inferiority complex;
- a feeling of deep hopelessness;
- blurred intelligence;
- strange incorrect behavior;
- thoughts of death.
Also, the patient is able to witness hallucinations, he stops caring for his own appearance, does not monitor health. There may be obsessions. At the same time, the speech of such patients is made incomprehensible and confused due to an infinite avalanche of thoughts. In addition, the patient may suffer from stuttering or "swallow" the end.
The first manifestations of the described disorder can occur at any age. The clinical picture is characterized by the presence of schizophrenic manifestations and signs of affective disorder.
More often, schizoaffective disorder occurs in the female sex, in children the described pathology is extremely rare. Manifest seizures throughout the disease alternate with affective attacks, may also be interspersed with delusional states against the background of the relative preservation of social adaptation and work activity.
In the dynamics of deviations emit: the pre-stage stage, manifest attacks and remission.
The development of pronounced attacks is often observed after psychogeny, the occurrence of delusional states occurs due to apathodynamic depressions, it can also occur as a result of cheerful manias or classical depressions.
In anticipation of the development of delusions of perception, affective delusions often appear, lasting up to 14 days. If schizoaffective disorder is observed for eight months and is characterized by bright positive manifestations, the patient is indicated the appointment of disability.
Treatment and prognosis
Corrective effect of the described disease involves the use of therapeutic interventions that combine pharmacopoeial treatment and psychotherapeutic methods. Prescription drugs used in order to arrest or reduce the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, namely: hallucinatory complex, delusions, mental insanity. Shown here are antipsychotic drugs with thymoleptics.
When a depressive type of the described deviation is detected, antidepressants are prescribed (eliminate anguish, eliminate apathy, anxiety, relieve irritability) and normotimic drugs (stabilize mood). The use of electroconvulsive therapy is sometimes indicated.
Treatment of schizoaffective disorder involves the appointment of funds aimed at correcting psychoses (neuroleptics), drugs used in depressive moods and delusional states (antidepressants), substances used to normalize mood (mood regulation).
The effectiveness of the struggle with the considered deviation increases the use of psychotherapeutic techniques. Their action is aimed at identifying the causes that gave rise to the condition, as well as their awareness directly to the patients. In addition, the therapy of the described psychosis involves the appointment of a number of rehabilitation measures, based on the interaction with the closest relatives suffering from this type of deviation.
Psychotherapeutic effects are focused on the elimination of causative factors, as well as on overcoming the psycho-traumatic incident. For example, if an individual who has a history of schizoaffective disorder is dependent on alcoholic beverages or other psychoactive substances, then therapy should be given special attention. Psychotherapeutic effects can be initiated only after the patient leaves the state of psychosis, when a critical look at one's own illness and the state is restored.
In general, the prognosis of the considered deviation is considered favorable, but it is due to the peculiarities of affective symptoms and delusional manifestations.
Many are frightened by the menacing sound of the name of the disease in question. Individuals confronted with it often wonder: schizoaffective disorder, how to live? First of all, it is believed that social well-being is more likely when, when a manifestation of a violation occurs, the patient is already bound by family ties. Then the patient has the adoption of relatives and their support, which stimulates him to fight for a healthy existence.
The modern, progressive development of medicine and its achievements have made schizoaffective psychosis just a common ailment, and not a deplorable verdict. Today, due to adequate therapeutic interventions, the number of seizures is significantly reduced and the time of remission increases.
Of all the pathologies of the schizophrenic spectrum, the favorableness of the deviation in question is undoubtedly superior to other pathologies. With early detection, correct diagnosis with the use of psychological testing and specialized survey, you can promptly select adequate treatment, thus avoiding prolonged loss from everyday existence.