What Is It


If you or your loved one has schizoaffective disorder, then you don’t need a definition, because you know what it is first-hand (and it has probably been explained to you by a doctor).  Nonetheless, for anyone reading this who does not know what it is, I am going to give a simple definition:

Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of a thought disorder (psychosis) and a mood disorder (either depression or mania).  With schizoaffective, there has to be a period of psychosis without the mood symptoms present.

For a more in-depth explanation, you may reference the NAMI website at:


There are specific criteria in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) about the types of symptoms and the timing of the symptoms, but that is beyond the scope of this site (I suggest talking with your doctor about it if you are interested in knowing how the illness is diagnosed).

Also, there is an interesting video on Khan Academy with a simple explanation of how it is diagnosed, and the mainstream understanding of the treatment and prognosis for schizoaffective disorder: