Schizoaffective disorder is a psychotic illness that is characterized by a variety of disruptive and distressing symptoms, including symptoms of schizophrenia (such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, diminished emotional expression) as well as either a major depressive episode or a manic episode. Schizoaffective disorder can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s life, with effects including impaired occupational functioning, restricted social contact, and problems with self-care. People who struggle with schizoaffective disorder typically first experience the symptoms of this disorder during early adulthood, but the disorder can manifest later in life as well.
At Westend Hospital, we understand the many ways that schizoaffective disorder can impact a person’s life, and we are proud to provide specialized programming, implemented by talented and experienced professionals, that has helped many men and women experience a significantly improved quality of life.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone you care about is suffering from schizoaffective disorder, then you know how difficult this experience can be, both to the afflicted individual and to his or her friends and family members. What you may not realize, though, is that you can play an important role in improving the quality of your loved one’s life. Please consider the following:
Your best first step is to educate yourself. Speak with experts, consult mental health advocacy organizations in your community, visit reputable websites, and learn as much as you can about the following issues:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. This will expand your understanding of how this disorder is impacting your loved one’s ability to think and act.
- Research the types of treatment that have improved the lives of others who were experiencing schizoaffective disorder.
- Identify specific programs that provide the type of care that is best suited to meeting your loved one’s unique needs.
Ideally, you should not take on the full responsibility for getting your loved one into treatment. If there are other reliable individuals who also care about your loved one, include them in this process. This will allow you to share the workload as well as providing you with a source of emotional support.
When you have acquired a basic understanding of the issue, are familiar with the types of treatment that are most promising, and have identified specific sources of professional help, it is time to have an open and honest discussion with your loved one. This may not be an easy conversation to have, but it is important.
Let your loved one know that he or she has the unwavering support of all who are participating in the conversation. Reiterate that your primary concern is his or her continued wellbeing. Prepare for a variety of responses, including acceptance, denial, or even anger, and manage your expectations accordingly. Understand that your loved one is dealing with a complex mental health challenge, and that it may take a concerted effort to get him or her to agree to enter a treatment program.
When your loved one is in treatment, participate in family therapy, family support sessions, and similar opportunities. These activities will help you to process the impact that your loved one’s illness has had on your life and will also provide you with important information on how best to support your loved one during and after he or she is in treatment. Remember that treatment is just one step in the long process of managing the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder. Prepare to be an active positive presence in your loved one’s life every step of the way.
Why Consider Treatment at Westend Hospital
Schizoaffective disorder can cause significant difficulties in a person’s life, including robbing an individual of the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, get and keep a job, achieve financial independence, and otherwise participate in a productive and satisfying life. People who are experiencing schizoaffective disorder may feel that they have lost control over their lives, and may have difficulty expressing the fear and frustration that they are feeling. Depending upon the type and severity of symptoms, individuals who have schizoaffective disorder may be at increased risk for suicide. In some cases, people with untreated schizoaffective disorder turn to substance abuse in misguided attempts to either self-medicate or numb themselves to their continue psychological suffering.
Of course, substance abuse only exposes these individuals to greater problems, including health damage, cognitive impairments, and chemical dependency. The good news is that the risk of continued damage can be significantly reduced by getting proper professional treatment. At Westend Hospital, talented and compassionate treatment professionals can provide life-changing care to men and women who have been struggling with schizoaffective disorder and can help them to experience a considerably improved quality of life.
Types of Treatment Offered at Westend Hospital
At Westend Hospital, we are proud to provide life-changing treatment to adults ages 30 and above who are struggling with a range of mental health disorders, including but not limited to schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.
When a man or women enters Westend Hospital, he or she can expect to receive world-class clinical services, to be provided with an individualized treatment plan that has been designed specifically to meet his or her unique needs, and to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Throughout an individual’s time at Westend Hospital, he or she will work closely with talented and compassionate professionals who will be focused on monitoring his or her progress and offering the personalized care that will alleviate his or her schizoaffective disorder symptoms and improve his or her quality of life.
While an individual is receiving care for schizoaffective disorder at Westend Hospital, the following elements may be incorporated into her his or her treatment plan:
Medication management: The symptoms of certain mental health disorders respond well to treatment with prescription medications. If a client is experiencing a disorder or disorders that may be treated with such medications, he or she can receive effective and responsive medication management services while being treated at Westend Hospital. Services provided to medication management clients include three weekly meetings with a psychiatrist as well as round-the-clock nursing supervision and care.
Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions between a client and his or her therapist can provide invaluable opportunities for individuals to process successes and setbacks, discuss issues related to the treatment of schizoaffective disorder, and address matters that the client may be unwilling to bring up during group therapy sessions. At Westend, individual therapy sessions are conducted on an as-needed basis based upon the preferences of each client and the determinations of his or her treatment team.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a foundational element of treatment at Westend Hospital. During group therapy sessions, clients who have been struggling with schizoaffective disorder have the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights, learn from the experiences of others, and practice healthy interpersonal communication skills, all under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals. At Westend Hospital, group therapy sessions may be led by a nurse, social worker, or activity therapist. Groups are held on a daily basis. While the specific content of any group will be influenced by the contributions of group members, the following are among the general topics that may be addressed:
- Anger management
- Coping skills
- Grief therapy
- Medication compliance and management
- Relapse prevention
- Stress management
Activity therapy: Clients who are being treated for schizoaffective disorder at Westend Hospital also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activity therapy sessions. Activity therapy features several innovative and interactive techniques that can help individuals to manage their symptoms. Activity therapy also offers customized instruction in how to make the healthiest and most productive use of a client’s leisure time, and provides clients with new skills that they can develop and enjoy long after they have returned home.
Family therapy: At Westend Hospital, we are keenly aware of the impact that a client’s struggles with schizoaffective disorder can have on loved ones, and we also understand the essential role that family members can play in a client’s continued progress during and after he or she is in treatment with us. For these reasons, we are proud to provide family therapy sessions on an as-needed basis. Conducted by an experienced social worker, family therapy sessions allow loved ones to address personal concerns, strengthen familial bonds, and learn how best to support the client’s continued healing after he or she has returned home.
The goal of Westend Hospital is to provide clients who have been struggling with schizoaffective disorder with the assessments, treatment, and continuing support that they need, based upon their unique strengths, needs, and goals. To learn more about our programming, please contact us at your convenience. We look forward to answering all of your questions and helping you determine if Westend Hospital is the perfect place for you or someone you care about.