Teen Schizoaffective Disorder
Teen schizoaffective disorder is a psychological disorder in teens, marked by abnormal thought processes and erratic emotions. This disorder includes the symptoms of schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder. Many euphoric symptoms are exhibited in this disorder such as those symptoms exhibited with mania and hypomania. A conclusive diagnosis is only possible by keeping the teen under careful observation and monitoring his/her behavior over a period of time.
Symptoms of Teen Schizoaffective Disorder
Initially, the teen’s symptoms may appear to be typical teenage behavior including moodiness, aloofness, irritation etc. However, when these symptoms escalate to intense levels, more careful observation is necessary. Some matters to take note of include:
Routine behavior changes: Teens may lose concentration as they get carried away with their thought processes, often imagining and believing fantasy to be reality. They may begin to develop hallucinations and negative thought processes in relation to their loved ones, such as, someone is stealing from them, or the evil spirit is in pursuit.
Living in their own world: Teens may develop a paranoia that people talk about them and they are in danger. They may lose touch with the present and live in the past. They appear detached and non-responsive, while at times becoming very moody and lashing out with great outbursts. Generally they speak incoherently with very little or no emotion registering on their face.
Physically different: Physically they may appear lacking in grooming and uncomfortable in their They may exhibit unfitting responses, such as laugh at a sad movie, or cry at a comedy. Making acquaintances and maintaining old friends is extremely difficult for them as they crave and prefer their isolation. They develop indifference towards other human beings. Teens with schizoaffective disorder will behave in unpredictable manners and at times become physically threatening.
Causes of Teen Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder is seen mostly in female teens, and it is seldom found among the younger population. Experts believe that this disorder has genetic and hereditary links. The disorder in family history is likely to trickle down in the teenagers of future generations. There is also a possibility of mental chemical imbalances that contribute in addition to the genetic factors.
Other causes for schizoaffective disorder are believed to be prenatal exposure to toxins, as well as a childhood trauma, anxiety, and intense stress. Substance abuse and alcohol addiction are also the possible culprits for this disorder.
Methods applied for the Diagnosis of Schizoaffective Disorder
The diagnosis of this disorder begins by ruling out other possible health conditions responsible for the shifts in mood and behavior. Once those are ruled out, observation of behaviors over a period of time by an expert team of clinicians and therapists can help to achieve a conclusive diagnosis.
Treatment of schizoaffective disorder
The treatment for teen schizoaffective disorder includes a range of different approaches, such as, psychological, talk therapy, meditation, group therapy, medication, and personal in-house care.
Talk Therapy: Talk therapy begins by talking deeply with the patient to reach the crux of the issues such as the root causes of the hallucinations, delusions, mania, anxiety and other tendencies described above in the symptoms.
Medications: Mental Health Physicians will carry out all kinds of diagnostic physical tests, and infuse antipsychotic medicines such as antidepressants, Haldol, and Respirdal etc. They will also suggest physical exercises, balanced and nutritious diet plan, as well as personal hygiene.
Treatment at Hillcrest
Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a licensed, residential mental health facility in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, specializing in the treatment of teen schizoaffective disorder, and guided by expert mental healthcare professionals and therapists who are committed to the long-lasting and sustained healing of each client, both during and post treatment. At Hillcrest, teen residential treatment is dynamic, multi-layered, varied and eclectic. In addition to individualized therapeutic programs designed specifically to suit each client’s condition and temperament, a range of extracurricular activities and hobbies are also offered to ensure healthy and fun outlets for each client depending on their skills and talents.
Hillcrest’s individualized approach allows for personal attention and care of the highest of standards for each client. By recognizing the unique nature and experience of each client, and valuing the distinct abilities and character traits that your loved ones bring to the Hillcrest program, positive healing attributes are maximized and strengthened, allowing each client to flourish while at Hillcrest, and moreover, to learn to nurture those positive characteristics to achieve independence and constructive impactful change upon re-entry and re-integration into the outside world.