Psychosis refers to symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, and bizarre and inappropriate motor behavior (including catatonia) that indicate loss of contact with reality.
Doctors consider schizoaffective disorder when people have both psychosis and mood symptoms (such as depression or mania). The mood symptoms should be present for more than half of the total duration of illness and occur with two or more of the following symptoms of schizophrenia:
For doctors to differentiate schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality (psychosis), hallucinations (usually, hearing voices), firmly held false beliefs (delusions), abnormal thinking... read more and mood disorders Overview of Mood Disorders Mood disorders are mental health disorders that involve emotional disturbances consisting of long periods of excessive sadness (depression), excessive joyousness or elation (mania), or both... read more , they may need to do a long-term assessment of the person's symptoms and the nature of their progression.
Because schizoaffective disorder often leads to long-term disability, people often require comprehensive treatment, including antipsychotic drugs Antipsychotic Drugs Psychosis refers to symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, and bizarre and inappropriate motor behavior that indicate loss of contact with reality. A number... read more , psychotherapy, and community support.