Schizoaffective disorder is difficult to diagnose, in large part because it shares characteristics of two mental health disorders – schizophrenia and a mood disorder, either bipolar or depression. Though schizoaffective disorder is estimated to affect only one-half of one percent of the population, it is one of the two most common of the severe psychiatric disorders, the other being schizophrenia. The majority of psychiatric hospitalizations are for these two similar but different disorders. Schizoaffective disorder treatment is specialized and usually involves a combination of medication to manage symptoms and individual counseling, peer support, and life-skills education.
There is a schizoaffective disorder treatment program in Colorado at Mile High Recovery Center, which offers both mental health and addiction treatment programs in Denver. To learn more about schizoaffective disorder treatment programs, reach out by phone – 303-268-2144 – or online form. We are happy to help.
Signs of Schizoaffective Disorder
Though similar in many regards to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder is its own diagnosis. The presentation of symptoms among those with this diagnosis can appear very different from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms and warning signs are:
- Hallucinations (perceptual experiences others do not share)
- Delusions (beliefs others do not share)
- Disturbed thinking often reflected in jumbled or disordered communication
- Mood disorders such as major depression and/or mania
- Apathy and general lack of motivation
- Inability to feel pleasure, also known as anhedonia
In addition, you will note that those with schizoaffective disorder also exhibit an inability to maintain work, relationships, or self-care. Many are likely to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, which can lead to addiction and thus a dual diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and substance use disorder.
What to Expect at a Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Center
Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder share many of the same recommended treatments. When someone finds schizoaffective disorder treatment in Denver at Mile High Recovery Center, they may be treated with many, if not all, of the following.
- Antipsychotic medication to reduce psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations
- Mood stabilizing medications such as anti-depressants or lithium to treat the affective symptoms (depression or bipolar)
- Skills training to help manage daily tasks such as money management, grooming and hygiene, work and social skills.
- Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment to prepare and support the client in seeking and holding down a job
- Family therapy to involve the family in both healing together and supporting the client
- Peer support opportunities to provide emotional support and prevent isolation and loneliness
- One-on-one therapy to manage day-to-day schizoaffective disorder and achieve a positive quality of life
Mile High Recovery Center–Find Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment in Denver
At Mile High Recovery Center, we offer a range of therapies for schizoaffective disorder treatment in addition to medication management by an MD.
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a variation on behavioral therapy models and emphasizes the importance of acceptance rather than changing thought patterns, which is difficult for those with psychosis.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help reduce the presenting (also called positive) symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, such as delusions and hallucinations.
- Psychoeducation helps clients with this diagnosis understand the disorder, how it affects the brain, and how their treatment plan will work.
- Family therapy is excellent for those with schizoaffective disorder. Through education and compassionate sharing, the family can learn some simple skills, such as modifying their communication style to better support the client, and the client can feel validated and cared for. We also recommend that the family of those who suffer from serious psychiatric disorders seek their own therapy in order to care for themselves in the face of a challenging situation.
Evidence-based schizoaffective disorder treatment provided by experienced and compassionate staff–that is what you will find when you reach out to Mile High Recovery Center. Use our online form or call us at 303-268-2144 to begin the conversation.