Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness having amalgamated symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood disorder. Its characteristic feature may be hallucinations and delusion of schizophrenic origin together with depression and mania of mood disorder.
At least 20 to 50 out of every 10000 individuals may be suffering from this mental condition. Researchers are unable to conclude the exact underlying etiology, however, the risk is more in people with family history of this condition or certain environmental factors triggering mood disturbance.
If left untreated, it leads to personality deterioration both at social level and workplace. Such people require comprehensive involvement of a psychiatrist, home attendant and a psychologist. With treatment it is possible to help the patient live and sustain the quality of life.
What Are The Causes Of Schizoaffective Disorder?
The exact reason of schizoaffective disorder is still not clearly understood by physicians. It has been observed more in females than in males.It is believed that this disorder arises due to genetic and environmental causes.
- Environmental cause: Any type of physical or mental stress can give origin to this disorder. E.g. Infectious disease, pregnancy, abortion, postpartum stage, unemployment, examination, death of a relative, marriage, divorce, financial loss etc can be a trigger for such schizoaffective disorder. This disorder occurs more in people with low income, living in overcrowded areas and in people separated from society. If the person’s screening power for thoughts does not work or he is hypersensitive to stress, then the chances of developing this disorder becomes more.
- Genetics: The risk of suffering from this disorder increases if someone in the family who is suffering from bipolar mental disorder, schizophrenia, or schizoaffective disorder.
- Toxin and viral illnesses: The infant in the womb may be exposed to viral infection in mother, drugs and toxins consumed by mother may have an impact and child’s health later in life. Schizoaffective disorder is suspected to precipitate it.
Symptoms Of Schizoaffective Disorder
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder may be a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorder. Both the symptoms may develop at the same time or may occur alternately. In between the episodes there is a period of remission where the patient has improvement in his condition or they may not be severe.
- Psychotic symptoms: Patient may experience hallucination. He has perceptions of things which are not there. Perception can affect any or all five senses; seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting or smelling. For example a person may hear his name being called when he is listening radio. He may have sensation of an insect crawling under his skin.
- Delusion: Patient has fixed beliefs which others may not share. Suspicion is the key. He feels that someone is reading his mind. He is being constantly surveyed. He has belief that a person is dead or dying. He is being prosecuted by friend and neighbors or spouse. He may have delusion of grandiose; possessing wealth, great beauty, having influential friend, being an important figure.
- Mood symptoms: The person may have manic mood disorder or depressive mood. It may be mild to severe. He may become excessively angry. He has inappropriate suspiciousness towards others but in contrast to schizophrenia, he is able to tell the reasons for the suspiciousness. Manic patients remain happy and make excessive plans and become victim of inappropriate grandiosity. Other patients may have depression or sad mood, hopelessness, guilt, decrease in sleep, loss of appetite and libido etc are found.
Homeopathic Remedies For Schizoaffective Disorder
Homeopathy system of medicine is helpful in treating schizoaffective disorder greatly, aside from many other main line treatment which consists of psychotherapy, psychiatric drugs etc. Homeopathy believes in treating the condition from inside out.
- In this system the drugs which are consumed are believed to enhance the subdued vital force in the body to heal the condition. There are many medicines in homeopathy such as Stramonium, Hyocymus, lycopodium, Sulphur, Phosphorus etc.
- Other alternative treatment such as occupational therapy, arts, music therapy, psycho-restructrual therapy, helps in treatment of this disorder.
- In order to get better results the patient has to be brought early to a homeopath and the psychiatrist.