Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

UW Health psychiatrists and psychologists address schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex mental illness with disturbances in how you think, feel, act and communicate. It often lasts longer than six months.
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The exact cause is unknown. It may be genetics, the environment, social factors, illness or stress.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The symptoms are different for each person. You may have one or more of these symptoms: 
  • Thoughts that are not connected (disordered thinking)
  • False beliefs (delusions)
  • Hearing and seeing things that others don’t (hallucinations)
  • Bizarre motor activity
  • Being out of touch with reality
  • Little moods or emotion (flat affect)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Odd speech habits
  • Decreased energy
  • Little focus on hygiene
  • Rocking behaviors at times 
Treatment of Schizophrenia
Treatment is often long-term and may include: 
  • Medications
  • Community support programs
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Counseling
  • Skill training
  • Medical and psychiatric follow-up and support
  • Hospitalization
  • Crisis service
Is There a Cure?
At this time, there is no cure. Many people with treatment can lead happy, healthy and productive lives. Active research is helping to learn more about the causes and cures for schizophrenia.
What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a psychotic illness, which combines disorders of thought and mood. The symptoms include all the symptoms of schizophrenia, but the symptoms are highs and lows like bipolar disorders.