Schizoaffective disorder is a mental health disorder in which an individual experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms and mood disorder symptoms. Individuals with schizoaffective disorder may experience symptoms that can be severe enough to disrupt parts of their daily life, including the ability to maintain a job, keep fulfilling relationships, or function on a daily basis at school. Currently there is not a clear understanding of this disorder, which is the result of the combination of schizophrenia symptoms plus bipolar or depressive features presenting quite differently in each person with the disorder.
Valley Behavioral provides a wide array of treatment options that have been effective in treating individuals who are struggling to keep their life in order as they battle the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. Our staff is dedicated to providing every patient with individualized care that is designed specifically to meet his or her unique needs. Together we can work to get the symptoms of your schizoaffective disorder under control so that you can have a brighter future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
It can be extremely difficult to watch someone you love suffer with a mental illness, especially if you are at a loss for what you can do to help. If you believe that your loved one is struggling with schizoaffective disorder then it is important for you talk to them about your concerns. While you will not be able to force your loved one intro treatment, you will be able to offer them encouragement and support. Here are some tips that may be helpful when you approach your loved one about getting professional help:
- Listen to concerns with an open mind
- Talk about how treatment can help and explain that this disorder is treatable
- Don’t confront delusional or inappropriate thoughts
- Be empathetic and nonjudgmental
- Pick an appropriate time and place
- Ensure them that you will be there to provide your support
If you are able to convince your loved one to get treatment, offer to help them find a treatment program that would work best for everyone involved. Go to doctor appointments with them and help them to tour or get information about treatment programs that treat schizoaffective disorder. Additionally, continue to be there to support them throughout the entire recovery process while at the same time encouraging medication adherence and continued therapy.
Why Consider Inpatient Treatment at Valley Behavioral Health System
The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder vary from person to person, but most individuals who are diagnosed with this disorder will experience psychotic symptoms – such as hallucinations and paranoid thoughts – as well as mood disturbances like depressed or manic moods. If left untreated, those with schizoaffective disorder may end up leading lonely lives and may have trouble holding down a job or successfully completing school. Additionally, those with this disorder often end up having to rely heavily on family or end up living in group homes. Treatment can help manage the symptoms of this disorder and improve overall quality of life.
While there is no cure for schizoaffective disorder, with proper treatment and support an individual suffering from it will be able to lead a happy and successful life. An inpatient program that specializes in treating mental health disorders such as schizoaffective disorder will be able to offer the medication needed to stabilize presenting symptoms, as well as provide therapy that can help an individual learn interpersonal, social, and coping skills. When you enter an inpatient program, you are removing yourself from the stressful influences of the outside world and allowing yourself to focus completely on healing. Most inpatient programs will offer education, individual therapy, group sessions, and family counseling. By working with a treatment team you will get the additional support you need in order to remain successful with your recovery.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Valley Behavioral, we make sure that our patients know that they are the number one priority. We want to be held at the highest level of accountability so that we can make sure that all of our patients are receiving excellent, life-changing treatment. Our team of caring staff provides a full continuum of care, which consists of therapists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, educational and recreational specialists, and other qualified mental health professionals all under the direct supervision of board-certified psychiatrists. At Valley Behavioral Health, we want you to take comfort in knowing that that all of your needs will be taken care of.
Types of Treatment Offered at Valley Behavioral
When you arrive at our treatment center, you will participate in a comprehensive assessment so that we can learn all the pertinent information required for providing an appropriate level of care recommendation. Once you have been provided with the recommendation, you will meet with a team of care managers who will work with you in developing an individualized treatment plan that will guide you through the treatment process. At Valley Behavioral, we use a variety of therapeutic techniques that are tailored to meet the needs identified in your treatment plan. Examples of the therapeutic techniques used include:
Medication management: Medication is typically used to stabilize the mood symptoms and treat the psychotic symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. The types of medication used will depend upon the mood disorder associated with the illness. Medication will be monitored at all times during the course of treatment by our psychiatrists and medical professionals and will be altered if necessary.
Individual therapy: Individual therapy sessions are held at least once a week in a confidential setting where you will be able to discuss any specific concerns or issues you may have. This time may be spent learning how to manage everyday problems related to your disorder and the emotions surrounding them.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a major part of the treatment process here at Valley Behavioral System. These sessions are held on a daily basis where you will meet with other patients who are struggling with similar issues and talk about a variety of different topics. Some of the topics we cover in groups include social skills and ways in which to cope with symptoms.
Family therapy: Family involvement is a crucial part of the treatment process as it helps to ensure that the recovery process will be successful. Family sessions can help families more effectively deal with a loved one who has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, allowing them to be more helpful toward their loved one. During inpatient treatment, family therapy sessions occur once each week. Family visitation time is made available twice per week during your stay, but family members are able to call you at any time.
In an attempt to incorporate all aspects of our patients’ well-being into the treatment process, we offer therapeutic recreational programs that are meant to assess, educate, and assist patients in striving to improve their physical lifestyle. Some of the individual activities involved in this program include:
- Arts and crafts
- Relaxation techniques
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
The discharge process begins from the moment you are admitted into the program. This helps us to better ensure that a plan for continuing care is already in place when you leave our inpatient program. Our care coordinators are available to work with you in scheduling follow-up appointments with your therapist and psychiatrist based on the recommendations of the treatment team that worked with you during your stay. Stepping down from inpatient treatment can include beginning a partial hospitalization program (PHP), which meets 4 days per week, or an intensive outpatient program (IOP), which meets 3-5 times per week depending on your individual needs. These two programs are for adults only. Additional examples of aftercare plans can include traditional outpatient therapy and meetings with your psychiatrist for medication management.