Schizoaffective disorder is a mental illness that affects a person’s mood, thoughts and behaviour. Around one in 200 people develop schizoaffective disorder and some point in their life.

What are some of the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder?

A person diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder may experience symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar – these can include psychosis, mania and depression.

Symptoms of mania may include:

  • Feeling euphoric, excited, confident or adventurous
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Feeling energetic or restless
  • Talking quickly
  • Difficulty concentrating / being easily distracted
  • Being more sociable than usual

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Feeling down, hopeless, empty or upset
  • Low self-esteem, lack of confidence, feeling worthless
  • Lack of motivation and inability to enjoy things
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleeping too much / difficulty sleeping

Symptoms of schizophrenia may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Confused thoughts and feelings
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Loss of motivation

Despite sharing similar symptoms to schizophrenia and bipolar, schizoaffective disorder is recognised as a separate diagnosis.

Find out more about the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder at Rethink Mental Illness.

What’s it like to live with schizoaffective disorder?

Everyone’s experience is different, but the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can affect how someone deals with day to day life. People may feel disorientated, confused and frightened or experience racing thoughts, agitation or take more risks.

There may be times where they struggle to look after themselves, but also periods between episodes where they feel well.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Rethink Mental Illness website to find out more about schizoaffective disorder, including information on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and recovery.

You can also find information about schizophrenia on Mind's website.