For many people, schizoaffective disorder treatment involves a complicated regimen of medications along with regular psychiatric treatment in order to manage those medications. Different medications are used to manage different symptoms. There are very few schizoaffective disorder treatment plans that are intended to lead to recovery, although if substance abuse played a part in causing the symptoms, ceasing substance abuse sometimes helps to completely resolve symptoms.
Schizoaffective disorder is a complex disorder with a wide variety of symptoms, including mania, depression, and delusions. Managing these symptoms is the main goal of treatment. Each state must often be treated by a different medication, and the medications a person needs will likely change as the disorder goes through different phases. As such, schizoaffective disorder treatment requires close monitoring by a psychiatrist.
Paliperidone and risperidone are antipsychotic medications used as schizoaffective disorder treatments. These medications are also used to treat schizophrenia. Depending on the situation, a psychiatrist will usually prescribe these drugs in combination with others in order to manage psychotic symptoms. It is important to note that these two drugs have serious permanent side effects, such as tardive dyskinesia, so some people do not consent to take them.
For aspects of this disorder that manifest as depression, antidepressants are often prescribed. There are restrictions on what types of antidepressants can be prescribed because some types can turn depression into psychosis. Lamictal, for example, is popular because it is an anticonvulsant and does not induce mood cycling. Not all patients react in the same way to these medications, and while a certain schizoaffective disorder treatment may be perfect for one person, it may be disastrous for another.
Manic symptoms must be managed using different medications, which include lithium, carbamazepine, and other substances. Benzodiazepines are also prescribed for this purpose. Manic medications, like depression medications, are often difficult to fit to a certain person. While medications like benzodiazepines might be effective, they are not usually safe to use over a long period of time. This makes finding a sustainable schizoaffective disorder treatment even more difficult.
Medication is essential in managing schizoaffective disorder, but the human component of treatment is important as well. Talking about problems with the disorder, offering encouragement, and giving the patient a reason to get better are all essential aspects of treatment. More importantly, regular meetings with a psychiatrist are required in order to manage the large number of medications needed for the constantly changing symptoms of this disorder. Even with proper treatment, many people who suffer from schizoaffective disorder will require hospitalization and intense treatment at some point.