Schizoaffective disorder is an illness during which the person has symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder (affective disorder) at the same time (Harvard Mental Health Letter). Some people with schizoaffective disorder are functionally impaired for their entire lives; some have brief hospitalizations during their lives, but most do generally "well in day-to-day living- (Schizoaffective disorder). Schizoaffective disorder is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and development of the disease is thought to come from genetic and environmental factors (Facts about schizoaffective disorder).
People with Schizoaffective disorder a "roller-coaster ride of symptoms- (Knowledge Base: Schizoaffective disorder). Schizoaffective disorder is defined as an:.
Illness during which the patient has symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder at the same time. Major depression, mania, or a mixture or alternation of depressive and manic symptoms must last for at least two weeks along with two of the following, for at least a month: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and negative schizophrenic symptoms. (Harvard Mental Health Letter).
Negative symptoms are the "absence of thoughts, perceptions, or behaviors- (Facts about Schizoaffective Disorder) that are usually present in the general population without mental illness. Examples of negative symptoms are inattention, poverty of speech, apathy, blunted/flat effect, and anhedonia.
Positive symptoms are symptoms that are not present in the general population without mental illness (Facts about Schizoaffective Disorder). Positive symptoms are hallucinations (auditory are the most common), delusions, and thought disturbances. Thought disturbances are characterized by difficulty following patient's speech, jumping from topic to topic, stopping in the middle of sentences, and making up new words (Facts about Schizoaffective Disorder).