Self-management

Coping and support

Schizoaffective disorder requires ongoing treatment and support. People with schizoaffective disorder can benefit from:

  • Learning about the disorder. Education about schizoaffective disorder may help the person stick to the treatment plan. Education also can help friends and family understand the disorder and be more compassionate.
  • Paying attention to warning signs. Identify things that may trigger symptoms or interfere with carrying out daily activities. Make a plan for what to do if symptoms return. Contact the doctor or therapist if needed to prevent the situation from worsening.
  • Joining a support group. Support groups can help make connections with others facing similar challenges. Support groups may also help family and friends cope.
  • Asking about social services assistance. These services may be able to help with affordable housing, transportation and daily activities.

Also, avoid drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Drugs, tobacco and alcohol can worsen schizoaffective symptoms or interfere with medications. If necessary, get appropriate treatment for a substance use problem.

Oct. 26, 2016
References
  1. Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Aug. 6, 2016.
  2. Schizoaffective disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizoaffective-Disorder. Accessed Aug. 6, 2016.
  3. AskMayoExpert. Schizoaffective disorder. Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  4. Lindenmayer JP, et al. Antipsychotic management of schizoaffective disorder: A review. Drugs. 2016;76:589.
  5. Schak KM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 9, 2016.