Schizoaffective Disorder Myths & Facts

Myth: Schizoaffective disorder is the same as schizophrenia

Fact: While schizoaffective disorder is now widely recognised as a ‘variant’ of schizophrenia, it is currently recognised an illness where symptoms are prevalent from both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia such that a diagnosis with either of these two illnesses alone is eliminated. It is a disorder in which mood swings, similar to those found in bipolar disorder are present together with symptoms of schizophrenia (delusions, hallucinations, disorganised speech, disorganised behaviour and negative symptoms).

Myth: Schizoaffective disorder is a new name given by psychiatrists who cannot work out whether you have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia

Fact: The term schizoaffective disorder was coined in 1933 by Dr Jacob Kasanin. It is therefore not a new name but there is uncertainty whether it is a distinct variety of psychotic illness. While there is debate within the scientific community regarding the precise definition of schizoaffective disorder or whether any mood disorder needs to be present, the condition is currently recognised as a combination of illnesses with symptoms related to both depression/mania and delusions/hallucinations. As mentioned above, the illness is now widely recognised as a ‘variant’ of schizophrenia and new research could shed light on possible amended definitions in the future.

Myth: Schizoaffective disorder can be cured

Fact: There is currently no cure for schizoaffective disorder but it is a serious illness that can be managed and treated. There is the possibility of recovery with medication and rehabilitation. There is hope.