Schizoaffective disorder is a combination disorder that includes schizophrenia and mood disorders, and for this reason, it is difficult to diagnose patients that fall into the spectrum.
While occurrences of schizoaffective disorder are rare, having this condition may increase the risk of substance-abuse, addiction, and related disorders. Self-medication is a common practice which tends to overuse and dependence on substances.
The bipolar type of schizoaffective disorder includes symptoms such as depression, manic episodes, extreme mood swings, delusions and paranoia.
The depressive type of schizoaffective disorder includes symptoms such as deep sadness, low energy levels, and negative moods.
Only 0.3% of the population are diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder, and there is not enough research to determine the causes of this disorder.
Some possible causes include:
Schizoaffective disorder tends to run in families, and genes are thought to be responsible for this condition. Individuals who are already affected by schizoaffective disorder also tend to be at risk for other mental illnesses.
Neuroimages of brains show that malformations or abnormal occurrences in the brain such as small brain volume may cause mental health issues such as schizoaffective disorder.
Babies in the womb who have been exposed to addictive substances such as nicotine, alcohol and other drugs have been shown to develop mental health challenges later in life. Babies with issues during delivery, such as restricted oxygen supply to the brain, may also be at risk.
Certain mind-altering drugs such as LSD, PCP and magic mushrooms have powerful effects that may temporarily cause psychotic and other disorders. Long-term use or abuse create long-lasting effects, sometimes lasting for several years.
Diagnosis can be challenging because of the presence of a combination of symptoms. Dual diagnosis and treatment provide comprehensive treatment plans that include medical treatments, addiction treatments, evidence-based therapies and mindfulness based practices. Antipsychotics and antidepressants are commonly prescribed for schizoaffective disorder symptoms, and behavioral therapies such as CBT, DBT and EMDR are effective in helping to change negative patterns of thinking and behaviors.
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Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.
Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.
I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.