If you have schizoaffective disorder, you probably are aware of the damage this mental disorder is causing in your life. The combination of schizophrenia symptoms coupled with symptoms of either bipolar disorder or depression can feel unbearable at times. The hallucinations you hear may tell you hateful things or advise you to do things you wouldn’t normally do while the delusions may leave you convinced of untrue things even in the face of conflicting information. You may have these psychotic features and the symptoms of either depression or mania at the same time, which can make daily life impossible. If you’re struggling with schizoaffective disorder, it’s time to get your life under control and return to your home as a happy, healthy person.
Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas has years of helping people who have schizoaffective disorder learn symptom management, ways of coping with the psychotic features, and can teach you ways to rebuild your life. Our serene, welcoming campus provides you with the ultimate warm environment to allow you the space to learn, grow, and heal.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment
If your loved one has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, you can see the damage this disorder is causing in their life. Symptoms may, at times, become so severe that they’re unable to care for themselves and must be supported by you. Being a caregiver can be extremely rewarding, but it can also place a tremendous burden on the family. The love and support you provide your loved one can make all the difference in the world, but you may not know what to do. You may know your loved one needs inpatient treatment, but may not know what you can do to help. Here are some tips for gently guiding your loved one into treatment:
Learn all you can: It’s important that you learn as much as you can about schizoaffective disorder so that you can accept the limitations it places upon your loved one and develop appropriate expectations for what treatment can and cannot do.
Seek support: You don’t need to go through this alone. The emotions you’re struggling with and the burden you may feel can feel overwhelming which is why support is so vital during this time. Join a support group for loved ones of those with mental illness and find a therapist who can help you process your feelings and refer you to additional community resources.
Guide treatment: It’s unlikely that your loved one will recognize when he or she needs inpatient treatment, so it’s important to take control of the situation and find a treatment center that works best with your loved one’s needs. Make an appointment with the center to tour the campus and bring along your loved one to assuage any fears and anxieties about inpatient treatment.
Why Seek Treatment at Vantage Point
If you have schizoaffective disorder, the symptoms have probably prevented you from enjoying many things in life; you may be unable to hold down a job due to the hallucinations, shoddy work performance, and repeated absences. Interpersonal relationships may be challenged as the hallucinations and delusions make it harder for you to communicate with those with whom you are closest. You may find that you’re increasingly relying upon others to help you lead your daily life and you want to change – you just don’t know how. Seeking an inpatient treatment center for schizoaffective disorder is one of the most positive steps you can take in your recovery journey.
An inpatient program that ensures safety and security 24 hours a day can allow you to fully relax and engage in the treatment process. You’ll have an entire multidisciplinary team that works individually with you to create a plan of care for your stay and afterward, ensuring that you remain on your journey toward recovery. Additionally, an inpatient center allows you to escape the stress, triggers, and anxieties of your home environment and focus upon what matters most – getting better.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point of Northwest Arkansas, we understand that treatment of schizoaffective disorder can be a tremendously challenging process. We never approach treatment with a cookie-cutter plan of care; we get to know each client we treat as a unique individual and adapt the treatment plan to meet all the needs of each client. Vantage Point strives to meet the needs of each of our clients in order to maximize his or her cognitive and emotional functioning to enhance and rebuild his or her life. At Vantage Point, we treat all of our clients as they are one of our own family.
Treatment Options Offered at Vantage Point
When you first come to us for help with your schizoaffective disorder, you’ll undergo a number of assessments that will assist us in best understanding your unique needs and how best we can help you. The medical examination will allow us to determine if you’re struggling with any undiagnosed physical problems and begin treatment. Our psychological evaluation will allow us to determine the severity of your schizoaffective disorder and ascertain if you’re struggling with comorbid, co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety. We’ll take the results of these evaluations and sit down with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us that meets your current and ongoing needs.
Medication is often used in the management of schizoaffective disorder and specific drugs will depend upon whether you are suffering the manic or depressive subtype of this disorder. Often, we use several different medications at once to help reduce symptoms. Common medications used to treat depressive-type schizoaffective disorder may include a combination of antidepressants and antipsychotic agents, while manic-type schizoaffective disorder is treated with a combination of a mood stabilizer and an antipsychotic agent. The usage and monitoring of medication will be based upon the treatment team’s findings.
Individual therapy can help you best come to terms with the limitations of your disorder and determine new ways you can help manage your symptoms. You’ll also work on ways of coping with stress, development of new coping strategies, and how best to prevent relapse.
Group therapy can be very helpful for people with schizoaffective disorder as it will allow you to work with others who are struggling with similar conditions so that you can each grow and learn from one another. Groups may include topics such as skills-training, medication management, management of hallucinations, and any triggers you may have for relapse.
Family therapy is vital for people who have schizoaffective disorder, especially if the disorder has made living alone an impossibility. Family therapy will allow your loved ones to learn more about schizoaffective disorder, teach loved ones ways to spot a relapse, and educate your loved ones about the importance of medication and regular follow-ups.
As we focus our energies upon healing the whole person, we offer a number of experiential treatment methods designed to complement our traditional therapeutic approaches. These may include:
- School-based programming (for children and adolescents)
- Expressive therapy
- Recreational activities
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
As your time with us draws to a close, you’ll work closely with your loved ones and our discharge planner to determine the next best steps for you and your family. Some clients feel they’d like more time to work through their challenges and opt to join a residential program. Others may discharge to an intense outpatient program such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or partial hospitalization program (PHP), both of which allow for therapy during the day and a slow reintegration back into the home in the evenings and on weekends. Still, others may feel they’ve made enough progress that they’re ready to return home with referrals to our traditional outpatient therapy program and community resources.