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Schizoaffective disorder (0)

The term schizoaffective disorder was coined by Dr. Jacob Kasanin in 1933. Schizoaffective disorder is a perplexing mental illness distinguished by a combination of symptoms of a thought disorder or other psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions (schizophrenia component) and those of a mood disorder (depressive or manic component). The coupling of symptoms from these divergent spectrums makes treating patients who are schizoaffective difficult.

Schizoaffective disorder is defined using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria or by International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) coding. Schizoaffective disorder has features of both schizophrenia, including hallucinations, delusions, and distorted thinking, and a mood component, such as depression or mania.

The diagnosis is made when the patient has features of both illnesses but does not strictly meet diagnostic criteria for either schizophrenia or a mood disorder alone. Unfortunately, determining if a patient has 2 separate illnesses (schizophrenia or a mood disorder), a combination of illnesses (schizophrenia and a mood disorder), or perhaps even a distinct and separate illness apart from schizophrenia or a mood disorder is difficult. Making the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder can be difficult because it encompasses 2 other diagnostic entities, namely schizophrenia and mood disorders. An accurate diagnosis is made when the patient meets criteria for major depressive disorder or mania while also meeting the criteria for schizophrenia. Moreover, the patient must have psychosis for at least 2 weeks without a mood disorder.