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The Disease called "Schizoaffective Disorder" was invented with the advent of the USA's DSM III but it was not until the DSM III r came out that actual guidelines for diagnosing this disease were invented. The DSM IV replaced the DSM III, the DSM IV contains many more mental "diseases" than the DSM III, new diseases are being invented / discovered all the time it seems.
Schizoaffective disorder is one of the most confusing and controversial diagnostic categories in psychiatry. There is little agreement on what it actually is. Since there is no test or specific anatomical lesion for any "mental illness" we are stuck with the DSM IV and clinicians subjective interpretations of it when we or our loved ones are labeled. In most cases simply switching doctors will cause you or your loves ones to be given a different diagnosis. In the rest of the world is stuck with the ICD 10 classification. The ICD 10 classification is below
Here are the current guidelines for what schizoaffective disorder is in the DSM IV
DSM-IV Criteria for Schizoaffective DisorderSchizoaffective Disorder 295.7
Psychotic Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition, a delirium, or a dementia; Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder; Substance-Induced Delirium; Delusional Disorder; Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
The ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders
World Health Organization, Geneva, 1992
F25 Schizoaffective Disorder
These are episodic disorders in which both affective and schizophrenic symptoms are prominent within the same episode of illness, preferably simultaneously, but at least within a few days of each other. Their relationship to typical mood (affective) disorders and to schizophrenic disorders is uncertain. They are given a separate category because they are too common to be ignored. Other conditions in which affective symptoms are superimposed upon or form part of a pre-existing schizophrenic illness, or in which they coexist or alternate with other types of persistent delusional disorders, are classified under the appropriate category. Mood-incongruent delusions or hallucinations in affective disorders do not by themselves justify a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.
Patients who suffer from recurrent schizoaffective episodes, particularly those whose symptoms are of the manic rather than the depressive type, usually make a full recovery and only rarely develop a defect state.
A diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder should be made only when both definite schizophrenic and definite affective symptoms are prominent simultaneously, or within a few days of each other, within the same episode of illness, and when, as a consequence of this, the episode of illness does not meet criteria for either schizophrenia or a depressive or manic episode. The term should not be applied to patients who exhibit schizophrenic symptoms and affective symptoms only in different episodes of illness. It is common, for example, for a schizophrenic patient to present with depressive symptoms in the aftermath of a psychotic episode (see post-schizophrenic depression). Some patients have recurrent schizoaffective episodes, which may be of the manic or depressive type or a mixture of the two. Others have one or two schizoaffective episodes interspersed between typical episodes of mania or depression. In the former case, schizoaffective disorder is the appropriate diagnosis. In the latter, the occurrence of an occasional schizoaffective episode does not invalidate a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder or recurrent depressive disorder if the clinical picture is typical in other respects.
F25.0 Schizoaffective Disorder, Manic Type
A disorder in which schizophrenic and manic symptoms are both prominent in the same episode of illness. The abnormality of mood usually takes the form of elation, accompanied by increased self-esteem and grandiose ideas, but sometimes excitement or irritability are more obvious and accompanied by aggressive behaviour and persecutory ideas. In both cases there is increased energy, overactivity, impaired concentration, and a loss of normal social inhibition. Delusions of reference, grandeur, or persecution may be present, but other more typically schizophrenic symptoms are required to establish the diagnosis. People may insist, for example, that their thoughts are being broadcast or interfered with, or that alien forces are trying to control them, or they may report hearing voices of varied kinds or express bizarre delusional ideas that are not merely grandiose or persecutory. Careful questioning is often required to establish that an individual really is experiencing these morbid phenomena, and not merely joking or talking in metaphors. Schizoaffective disorders, manic type, are usually florid psychoses with an acute onset; although behaviour is often grossly disturbed, full recovery generally occurs within a few weeks.
There must be a prominent elevation of mood, or a less obvious elevation of mood combined with increased irritability or excitement. Within the same episode, at least one and preferably two typically schizophrenic symptoms (as specified for schizophrenia [F20], diagnostic guidelines (a) - (d)) should be clearly present.
This category should be used both for a single schizoaffective episode of the manic type and for a recurrent disorder in which the majority of episodes are schizoaffective, manic type.
F25.1 Schizoaffective Disorder, Depressive Type
A disorder in which schizophrenic and depressive symptoms are both prominent
in the same episode of illness. Depression of mood is usually accompanied
by several characteristic depressive symptoms or behavioural abnormalities
such as retardation, insomnia, loss of energy, appetite or weight, reduction
of normal interests, impairment of concentration, guilt, feelings of hopelessness,
and suicidal thoughts. At the same time, or within the same episode, other
more typically schizophrenic symptoms are present; patients may insist,
for example, that their thoughts are being broadcast or interfered with,
or that alien forces are trying to control them. They may be convinced
that they are being spied upon or plotted against and this is not justified
by their own behaviour. Voices may be heard that are not merely disparaging
or condemnatory but that talk of killing the patient or discuss this behaviour
between themselves. Schizoaffective episodes of the depressive type are
usually less florid and alarming than schizoaffective episodes of the
manic type, but they tend to last longer and the prognosis is less favourable.
Although the majority of patients recover completely, some eventually
develop a schizophrenic defect.
There must be prominent depression, accompanied by at least two characteristic depressive symptoms or associated behavioural abnormalities as listed for depressive episode; within the same episode, at least one and preferably two typically schizophrenic symptoms (as specified for schizophrenia), diagnostic guidelines (a)-(d) should be clearly present.
This category should be used both for a single schizoaffective episode, depressive type, and for a recurrent disorder in which the majority of episodes are schizoaffective, depressive type.