Schizoaffective Disorder is an “Other Psychotic Disorder” that is part of the schizophrenia cluster. Professionals in the field do not seem to agree completely on what Schizoaffective Disorder is, and the criteria for diagnosis are a complex mixture. Yet many people receive this diagnosis every year.
A person diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder must, first of all, have experienced a period of illness in which there was demonstrated one of the following three scenarios: 1) a major depressive episode, 2) a manic episode, or 3) a mixed episode and, at the same time, symptoms meeting Criterion A for Schizophrenia. Criterion A states the patient must have evidenced, for a considerable part of a month-long period, at least two of the following: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms (i.e., affective flattening, alogia, and avolition). In addition, there are qualifications placed on duration of the symptoms presented and specifications of what cannot be the cause of the symptoms.
Features associated with Schizoaffective Disorder are learning problems, euphoric mood, depressed mood, hypoactivity, hyperactivity, guilt, obsession, eccentricity, etc.