Sunday, 6 May 2012

Schizoaffective disorder

A disorder having characteristics of schizophrenia and affective disorder (depression). Patients experience psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions, and symptoms of elevated or depressed mood. Untreated, patients become disenfranchised and are unable to hold jobs or perform their normal daily responsibilities.

Symptoms vary widely but include: very good or bad mood, abnormal thoughts, changes in appetite and energy, belief that someone on TV or radio is speaking directly to them, believe secret messages are hidden in common objects, disorganized speech that is not logical, false beliefs (delusions), feeling that everyone or one person or agency is out to get them (paranoia), irritability, poor temper control, lack of concern with hygiene, sleeping problems, seeing or hearing things (hallucinations), trouble concentrating.

Therapy can vary depending on the severity of symptoms. The primary treatments are psychotherapy and medications. Medications used include: antipsychotics to treat psychosis, lithium and anti-seizure medications for mood stabilization, and anti-depressants.
Tests may be done to rule out other causes of the symptoms such as thyroid disease, electrolyte problems, drug abuse, and adverse drug interactions.

Other Specific Tests:
Thyroid studies, urine and or serum toxicology screen