Schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a debilitating and frightening form of bipolar disorder that accounts for only 5 percent of people diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Because of its complex nature, schizoaffective bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, when in fact it is a combination of both illnesses and, at the same time, an illness in itself.
If you are suffering from schizoaffective bipolar disorder, you will simultaneously experience the psychosis of schizophrenia (delusions and auditory hallucinations) and the extreme mood swings of bipolar disorder.
According to the Center for Reintegration, research indicates that schizoaffective bipolar disorder is caused by a combination of genetic, neurological and environmental factors.
If psychoaffective bipolar disorder is suspected, your doctor will first perform diagnostic tests to rule out any physical reason for your behavior. The diagnosis of pyschoaffective bipolar disorder will be confirmed through analysis of your clinical symptoms by a psychiatrist.
Treatment for this complex illness has enjoyed recent advancement. Along with psychotherapy, treatment typically includes a drug cocktail of antidepressants, anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers.
Schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a condition that requires lifelong management. However, with the right combination of medications and a good support system, people with schizoaffective bipolar disorder can lead productive, healthy lives.