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Schizoaffective Disorder

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Schizoaffective disorder is a long-term mental illness that may change how you think, feel, and act around others. You may not know what is real and what is not real.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Even with treatment, your symptoms may come back or not go away. If schizoaffective disorder is left untreated, your condition may get worse. It may affect the way you think of yourself and how you get along with others. Your condition may make it hard for you to do your normal activities. You may be at increased risk for diabetes and heart and lung disease. Your risk for alcohol or drug abuse increases. You may have thoughts of hurting or killing yourself or others.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Your caregiver will examine you. He will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. He will ask if you were given the care that you needed when you needed it. He will ask if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Your caregiver will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. He will also ask about your hobbies and goals, the people in your life who support you, and how you feel about treatment. The answers to these questions help caregivers plan your treatment.

Medicines:

  • Antipsychotics: These medicines help decrease psychotic symptoms or severe agitation. You may need antiparkinson medicine to control muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness caused by antipsychotic medicines.

  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Antidepressants: These help decrease or stop the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and behavior problems.

  • Mood stabilizers: These help control mood swings.

  • Anticonvulsants: These help control seizures. They may also be used to decrease violent behavior and control your mood swings.

  • Blood pressure medicines: These help decrease motor tics (uncontrolled movements). They may also help you feel calmer, more focused, and less irritable.

  • Anticholinergics: These decrease the side effects of other medicines.

  • Sedative: This medicine is given to help you stay calm and relaxed.

Tests:

  • Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.

  • Blood and urine tests: Blood and urine tests may be used to check for drug or alcohol use, or infection. Your blood sugar, blood cholesterol (fat), and how your liver, kidneys, and thyroid are working may be checked to see if the medicines your are taking are doing damage. If you are female, a pregnancy test may be done. You may need to have these tests done more than once.

Therapy:

  • Assertive community treatment: A team of caregivers and support groups in your community help you with your therapy.

  • Cognitive behavior therapy: This therapy helps you to change certain behaviors. It will help you handle symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. It can help you learn how to get along with others, and help you cope with and handle your disease.

  • Compliance therapy: This is a therapy to help find ways to make it easier for you to take your medicines and get treatment.

  • Counseling: This helps you learn self-care, how to decrease your symptoms, and prevent them from coming back.

  • Family intervention: This program lets your family be part of your therapy.

  • Skills training: This training helps you learn how to get along with other people. You will also learn how to do everyday activities and skills you need to live on your own.

  • Supported employment: This is a form of therapy where you are placed into a job that fits your skills. It will help give you independence and self-confidence.

Electroconvulsive therapy:

This is a type of shock therapy, also called ECT. This therapy passes a small amount of electricity to the brain.

Restraints for behavior management:

There are 2 types of restraints that may be used while you are in the hospital. They will only be used if caregivers feel you are in danger of hurting yourself or others. Physical restraints, such as cloth or leather bands, may be put on your wrists or ankles and tied to something else. Other things will be tried first before physical restraints, such as going into a quiet room or into seclusion. Caregivers may use chemical restraints, which is medicine used to help you calm down and relax. Restraints will never be used to punish you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Schizoaffective Disorder (Inpatient Care)

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