Schizophrenia Community
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Schizoaffective (new?)

Hi. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in my mid teens, about 4 years ago. At that time I had experienced 2 psychotic episodes associated with my mood changes, but it was just tagged as just being associated with the illness. My semi-new pdoc has switched me to the new Latuda, and has talked with me about Schizoaffective (Bipolar type) Disorder. He is not making an official diagnosis because (he says) more time is needed, although he's thought my previous diagnosis was not "on point" exactly before. My question is general, if anyone is comfortable sharing their experience or information/knowledge of Schizoaffective, I would appreciate hearing what some others deal with and experience. Also, if there are any key "personality" traits that you seem to find common among some of us, do share. And I know Latuda is fairly a new atyp antipsy, if anyone has experience with this medication, don't hesitate to share. I am a little wary about this one, for I had not even heard of it until a few days ago. (have not started yet, due to titration off another med)

8 Responses
675718 tn?1530033033
i have schizophrenia and i experienced trial+error on my meds abilify made me fat, geodon gave tardive dyskinesia and i now take respiridone, cogentin and zoloft for PTSD.realize that every pill you take at your own risk and under the supervision of a doctor. as for personality i don't know about that one i do know that i have flat-effect (emotionless) my friends hate it cuz they think i do not have fun when we are together they can't seem to get me to smile+laugh. anyways i am sure ILADVOCATE will come by to talk to you about schizoaffective disorder when he wakes up :)
Avatar universal
Thanks. and yes, I'm unfortunately, like you, experienced with trial and error with meds. I have been on atleast 10 already myself. I do appreciate your post! Best of luck to you!
Avatar universal
Good luck to you!  I have had several different diagnoses over the years, but finally a psychiatrist settled on schizoaffective disorder, and I think that this is correct.  I find that I have gotten angry over the years (what you describe) only when I am stressed.  I take anti-anxiety medication, in addition to antipsychotic, which has helped tremendously.  Buspar, for those who can take it (not everybody can), is getting a lot of attention right now.

For me, the most important thing was getting on the right medication.  Of course, that is easier said than done.  It takes patience for trial and error, and of course it takes time to get over a psychotic episode.  I would recommend searching the web on your own, but just don't get carried away, because there is misinformation.  I do not know anything, I am sorry to say, about the new medication that you are taking.

Take a b-complex and vitamin c multi-vitamin.  There are anecdotal reports on the web that this combination can protect against tardive dyskinesia.  I have taken one Stresstabs multi-vitamin as long as it has been on the market, and I do not have tardive dyskinesia after 39 years on typical antipsychotics (which are more likely to cause TD than atypicals).  The specific report on the web was from one physician who gave this combination to numerous patients, and after 28 years there was little evidence of tardive dyskinesia in her patients.

Be determined to get out of bed and give each day your best shot.  Find a good psychiatrist and a good therapist, and I recommend journaling a lot.  If you are inclined, try meditation and yoga for their calming effects.  If you practice a faith, that too will help.  

Give it time!  You will get better, just to put more time between you and the psychosis.  Also, as you are doing, reach out to others who will be supportive.
585414 tn?1288941302
  Yes I have not taken that specific medication but the main difference between bipolar with psychotic features and schizoaffective disorder is that in bipolar with psychotic features a person has the potential of episodes of psychosis during mood swings and in schizoaffective disorder its all the time. So a person basically needs a working antipsychotic and mood stabilizer within their psychiatrist's discretion (atypical antipsychotics are FDA approved for both capacities). I do know that I had many of the standard symptoms of schizoaffective disorder from difficulty relating to people (negative symptoms) to psychotic thoughts (positive symptoms not as in good but as in things that shouldn't be there that are) and trouble processing and understanding ideas (cognitive symptoms) before my current recovery from schizoaffective disorder (and still experience some of these concerns). I also reacted differently from one medication to the other. Also the prognosis for schizoaffective disorder is better than schizophrenia leading some researchers to believe that it might that there might be a spectrum from bipolar to bipolar with psychotic features to schizoaffective disorder. One issue I still have is finding a working mood stabilizer though things have improved in that area for me.
  As regarding side effects weight gain and the potential of diabetes are a side effect that can occur with all atypical antipsychotics. Tardive dyskinesia can occur in all antipsychotics the atypicals less so than the typicals at a direct statistical rate. You can find the information on the medication website itself, there is a good website google "patient education tardive dyskinesia" note as the website itself says "some of these medications are medically necessary" and a full overview of that as well as all other medical conditions on Emedicine that you could discuss with your psychiatrist. Also as I have posted before there is continuing research into antipsychotics that will have a better side effect profile and more favorable recovery rate (google "A New Class of Antipsychotics, Psychiatric Times"). Today I was with a family member of mine who has standard bipolar and they have not started treatment yet and the life they have had without treatment and how it effects them shows following up is the best thing to do but also as I have, working with your psychiatrist to find the medication that is right for you and will best help you is as well.
585414 tn?1288941302
  Yes must add that every psychiatrist does a regular movement disorders test for tardive dyskinesia and if its found Clozaril is still an option that won't cause it. Best I can say is not a matter of personality traits but genetics as the whole spectrum from bipolar to schizoaffective disorder runs throughout my family and more research is being done on the causes of this.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for all of the information from you all. That is a lot to take in, but I do greatly appreciate it and am working with my psychiatrist very well. He always listens to me very well, and we make decisions together regarding treatment. However this last appt he asked me if I had thought about anything to take differently. I respond to the atypical antipsychotics for hallucinations pretty well. But I do struggle with finding the right one that truly control/manage my moods as well. Hopefully soon I can find the right combination, and if not soon, then just hoping eventually. We all know it can be a pain. I am planning on making an appt with my psychologist. I have not been to her in a year now, but think it's time to start back, for as long or little as needed. Thank you again for your help and advice and sharing!
Avatar universal
I was first diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but now I'm diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder with prominent negative features which I'm told isn't even a subtype from the DSM which I was told I was pegged with basically because I don't have enough criteria for a major mood disorder related to the subtypes in the DSM (except I have significant anxiety) and they figure I should be diagnosed with it because mine is seemingly higher functioning to them which they think this basically because I managed to keep both jobs I had in my life for a significant amount of time before I got placed on disability, but in reality this was due to bad management at them, any normal work place would've fired me because I didn't even know I had a diagnosable mental illness at the times they could've fired me to explain my actions, although I WAS fired from my last job because I basically freaked out over what I perceive as major changes that they were downplaying as minor and I did some things...  My personal hygiene and social interactions and all that which are required to degrade for six months or longer for the schizophrenia diagnosis are still god awful even on medication and were virtually non-existent and/or extremely twisted in the months before I got on medication for the first time.  One of my best friends has told me that I "don't work socially" and I only regularly talk to people online.  I've had whatever this mental illness is practically my whole life and I realized over the years it slowly became worse until I could no longer function at all.  I also don't understand why they pegged me with "prominent negative symptoms" as a subtype because I'm told that means the negative symptoms are more of a concern but when I'm not medicated I start having positive symptoms quite a great deal of the time and even while medicated some still breakthrough.  I guess maybe my negative symptoms are just that more prominent than my positive symptoms while on medication.  With that being said, I've experienced just about everything the schizophrenia side of my diagnosis can cause but I've only experienced what could actually be called depression when I'm overwhelmed or it is appropriate to the situation that sparked it.  I could write pages upon pages (which I have) about the schizophrenia side of it, but I'll just generalize it.  I've experienced hallucinations, delusions, confusing my thoughts with reality, extreme paranoia although I can easily forget it but if I'm reminded of the focus of my paranoia then it flares up again really bad which also happens with my delusions, lack of motivation, loss of the ability to feel pleasure, poverty of thoughts, poverty of speech, echolalia, echopraxia, catatonia, distorted and fragmented thinking, alogia and probably other things I can't think of at this time because I'm bad at making lists on the spot.  If you wish for me to elaborate on any of those, I'll do so.  I may not obsess over my paranoia and delusions 24/7 but they both have caused me to actually have full blown panic attacks where I'll seclude myself and do things like sit there rocking back and forth babbling to myself and rapidly breathe and get all sweaty and many other things associated with panic attacks that I'm too tired right now to get in to so I'm going to close here.  Thanks for asking.  Even though I have all this information on myself, my insight isn't all that great.  I've slowly figured all this out through help from other people and with 22 years of experiencing it day to day and even today I still learn something new about my illness practically every week or less.
Avatar universal
Oh yeah I also forgot to add, I don't bother to contest or bring up my questions I still have about my diagnosis given to me because it's just a name and nothing more and I basically stopped caring about trying to keep up to date about it.  It doesn't change what is wrong with me in the slightest.  I'm getting the proper medication for it so that's all that matters.
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675718 tn?1530033033
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