Schizoaffective disorder may be defined as mental disorder characterized by deregulated emotions and abnormal thought processes (Malaspina et al., 2013). This diagnosis is formed if a patient has symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder, accompanied by both mood disorder and schizophrenia. However, a person suffering from schizoaffective disorder does not usually show the criteria applied for one of the above-mentioned cases alone. Thus, these cases are difficult to diagnose.
The symptoms that are applicable to bipolar disorder include hypomania, mania, or mixed state. The depressive part of schizoaffective disorder includes only depression. Other features of schizoaffective disorder involve paranoid delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech (Malaspina et al., 2013). This disorder becomes evident during young adulthood and is enhanced by neurobiological and genetic factors as well as by environment and social impacts. There is no isolated organic cause for this disorder, but substance abuse and anxiety disorders may provoke schizoaffective disorder. Other social conditions that may create a risk for schizoaffective disorder are poverty, long-term unemployment, and homelessness. People with this disorder do not demonstrate any of health promoting behaviors such as inclination to physical exercises or healthy eating, that is why their lifetime is shorter as compared with other people and the suicide rate among those suffering from the disease is higher.
Contemporary treatment of schizoaffective disorder includes antipsychotic medication and mood stabilizer medication, as well as antidepressant medication. In some cases both kinds of treatments are applied. In order to improve outcomes of medication, long-term social and psychological support is usually provided. Medication is determined to reduce the symptoms of mood disorder and psychosis, however regular exercises and hospitalization are also needed. Apart from the above-mentioned treatment electroconvulsive therapy may be recommended for those patients who experience severe depression and psychotic symptoms in case they do not get better after medication that includes antipsychotics. In order to stabilize the patients with schizoaffective disorder psychological treatment via psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy is effective. Intensive case management is very helpful as it reduces hospitalization and adjusts patients’ social functioning. Psychiatric rehabilitation is focused on solving community integration problems.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety is also called social phobia. It is the most common psychiatric disorder that is diagnosed in 12% of Americans (Kessler et al., 2005). This disorder causes fear in some social situations that makes patients’ daily functioning difficult. Social anxiety disorder appears at early age, which makes the patients be inclined to drug abuse, depressive illnesses, and other psychological disorders.
The symptoms that follow social anxiety disorder are abnormal sweating, excessive blushing, palpitations, nausea, and trembling as well as stammering that is present in case of rapid speech (Kessler et al., 2005). In case of intense discomfort or fear, panic attacks may occur. Additional problem that accompanies social anxiety disorder is depression; however, it may be prevented if disorder is diagnosed on early stages. People suffering from social anxiety disorder may try to reduce fear by over-consuming alcohol and other drugs. Frequently patients with this disorder do not receive medical help, which makes them self-medicate and leads to eating disorders, alcoholism, and other types of substance abuse.
The treatment of social anxiety disorder is conducted in several steps. The first step includes cognitive behavioral therapy or medications for patients who do not want or can not participate in therapy. Therapy may be provided in groups or individually. The purpose of such therapy is to change the patient’s physical reactions and thought patterns in anxiety-including situations. Medications that may be recommended include antidepressants, beta blockers and benzodiazepines, as well as kava-kava, though it is considered to be risky. Cognitive and behavioral components that are included in therapy extent the effects of each other and rise patient’s self-awareness. One of the key elements of this therapy is gradual exposure that is unpleasant for the patients but seems to be effective, because the patients are confronted to their severe fears in appropriate manner. There is also self-help technique that contains the principle of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is conducted by the patients on their own via websites and books.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Paranoid personality disorder is defined as mental disorder that it accompanied by paranoia as well as suspiciousness and mistrust towards other people. The researchers have found out that there is genetic contribution to this disorder as well as genetic link between schizophrenia and paranoia personality disorder. People who suffer from this disorder are likely to have a lack of self-confidence and tend to believe that others are deceptive.
People who suffer from this disorder may be hypersensitive and may easily feel slighted. They make contact with the world by scanning the environment with the purpose to reach suspicious object that justifies their fears and biases. Their capacity for meaningful emotional involvement is reduced; they experience isolated withdrawal that leads to schizoid isolation. In this case some patients may not be inclined to suspiciousness and hostility towards others (MacManus & Fahy, 2008). There are five different subtypes of this disorder, namely obdurate, fanatic, querulous, insular, and malignant one (MacManus & Fahy, 2008). An obdurate subtype includes compulsive features as the patient is self-assertive, self-righteous, and dyspeptic. Fanatic subtype demonstrates narcissistic features; people with this disorder are irrational and flimsy, pretentious and arrogant. Querulous subtype possesses negativistic features and is jealous, argumentative, and unaccommodating. Patients with insular subtype have avoidant features and try to self-protect from both real and imagined threats and dangers. People with malignant subtype usually demonstrate sadistic features.
There are sufficient difficulties in treating paranoia personality disorder because of reduced levels of trust towards the therapist. Psychotherapies combined with antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications are helpful in case the patient does not reject intervention. As some patients do not allow interventions, medications are frequently applied without additional group or individual cognitive behavioral therapies.