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Saturday, August 23, 2008 Kathy, Community Member, asks

Q: What is the difference between Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder?

I've been diagnosed (several years ago) with Schizoaffective Disorder. A friend of mine says this is just the "New" word for Schizophrenia. What is the difference really?

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Answers (5)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
8/24/08 5:36pm

Hi Kathy,

 

Schizophrenia is strictly a thought disorder that could also affect mood to some degree.

 

However, in schizoaffective, the concurrent mood disorder is significant enough for a patient to be given the diagnosis schizoaffective. 

 

Schizoaffective is a combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder, which is either depressive or manic, hence it's commonly thought of as a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar.

 

The underlying mood disorder would have to great, whereas a person with schizophrenia could have delusions and be depressed, but the depression isn't a strong feature.

 

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia 21 years ago, and it was only recently, through working with my current psychiatrist, that I realized the schizophrenia medication, at the right dose, would quell my moods when they were out of balance.

 

Again, schizoaffective carries with it a mood disorder that is a dominant feature of the symptoms the person experiences.

 

Next week, the second blog I post will be called "Dealing with Feelings" and perhaps reading it will help you understand the connection between thoughts and moods, at least in how I've experienced them in my recovery.

 

Best regards,

cb

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Janet, Community Member
8/23/08 8:39pm

I too suffer from schizoaffective disorder and here is my understanding of this illness. I believe schizoaffective is somewhat of a combination of schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. For me what that means is that while living with this disorder I have had hallucinations, delusions , heard voices and offer from time to time I have had depression. I am no professional but since I have been living with this illness for over half of my life that is my understanding of schizoaffective disorder.

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xylar, Community Member
8/24/08 10:16am

I have recently been diagnosed with this disorder so am obviously new to it well  ive had it for years but only diagnosed recently. I have found different comments about it on the internet so it would be pleasing to hear from people who actually have it . Currently im looking at it as having schizophrenia and a depressive disorder but please remember i am a patient . I would say i have the schizophrenia / depressive  type  instead of the schizophrenia / bipolar type. I have audible halucinations and am basicaly never happy and very rarely excited about anything also have delusions well thats a tag, to me my thoughts are real. Sorry for not actually answering your question but its good to at least be aware of similarly minded people.

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cuco, Community Member
8/ 5/11 1:39pm

In Schizoaffective Disorder, the mood symptoms are part of the illness and of long duration. The mood symptoms could be depression or "mood swings". The Psychosis and mood symptoms alternate.

 

In Schizophrenia, persistent mood symptoms are not part of the illness.

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alone spirit, Community Member
1/15/14 2:19am

schizophrenia is different from schizoaffective disorder in term of mood episodes and their duration.

Key Difference: Schizoaffective Disorder is a mental condition in which a person exhibits a recurring abnormal mood and psychotic components. The disorder is constant and does not go away. The person may constantly happy and then depressed or they may be a mix of both happy and depressed at the same time. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is associated with hallucinations, paranoia, delusions and disorganized speech and thinking. Schizophrenia causes the patient to believe and see things that are usually not there, they may also develop certain characters and scenarios in their head which causes paranoia in the patient.

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We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Kathy, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/15/14, First Published: 08/23/08