Mesa, Arizona’s Preferred Schizoaffective Disorder Hospital

Opening May 2024

Schizoaffective disorder is a rare mental health concern that can involve symptoms of psychosis and episodes of mania and depression that are typically associated with bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder. This complex disorder can be distressing. However, with the help of trained professionals, people who have schizoaffective disorder can learn to manage their symptoms and live healthy, happy lives.  

At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital in Mesa, Arizona, we offer premier inpatient programming for adolescents ages 11-17, adults age 18 and older, and senior adults age 55 and older who are suffering from schizoaffective disorder. In our inpatient programs, patients can develop new skills and strategies that can help them form a foundation for ongoing healing.  

What Is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is characterized by a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms. Those who struggle with schizoaffective disorder can experience persistent symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions, for an extended period of time. They can also experience symptoms of mania and depression that are often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder or depressive disorder.  

Schizoaffective disorder is generally classified into two subtypes that are determined based on the mood disorder symptoms someone is experiencing: 

  • Bipolar type: Bipolar type schizoaffective disorder is characterized by a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder symptoms. Those who have this type of schizoaffective disorder experience symptoms of mania and periods of depression along with psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. 
  • Depressive type: Depressive type schizoaffective disorder is characterized by symptoms of schizophrenia and major depression. Mood symptoms of this type of schizoaffective disorder include intense sadness and hopelessness, and psychotic symptoms of this disorder include hallucinations and delusions. 

Typically, those who have schizoaffective disorder develop symptoms during late adolescence. However, some people begin experiencing symptoms during childhood. Schizoaffective disorder can be challenging to diagnose because it shares characteristics with other mental health concerns. Additionally, symptoms can vary widely from person to person. For these reasons, it’s important to consult a trained professional if you believe that you or a loved one may have schizoaffective disorder. 

Signs & Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder

Someone can be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when they’ve experienced symptoms of psychosis and a mood disorder simultaneously for a minimum of two weeks. People who have schizoaffective disorder experience symptoms similar to those associated with schizophrenia, including: 

  • Hallucinations, including seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, or tasting something that isn’t present 
  • Delusions, or false beliefs that are not based in reality 
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and expressing ideas  
  • Reduced speech and social withdrawal 
  • Difficulties with cognitive processes like memory, attention, and problem-solving 

Additionally, people who have schizoaffective disorder experience mood disorder symptoms, such as: 

  • Elevated or distracted mood 
  • Increased energy 
  • Inflated self-confidence 
  • Talkativeness 
  • Rapid speech and racing thoughts 
  • Restlessness 
  • Decreased need for sleep 
  • Engagement in risky behaviors 
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed 
  • Low energy 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Hopelessness 
  • Sleeping too much or too little 
  • Changes in weight and appetite 
  • Suicidal ideation 

Those who have schizoaffective disorder experience some combination of psychosis and mood disorder symptoms. These symptoms can vary from person to person in combination, severity, and duration. Often, those who have schizoaffective disorder also have periods of stability in between episodes, which can make self-diagnosis problematic. If you or a loved one is experiencing any combination of these symptoms, receiving a diagnosis and treatment from a qualified mental health professional can lead to life-changing improvements.  

Schizoaffective Disorder Statistics

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported the following facts on schizoaffective disorder in the United States: 

  • Schizoaffective disorder is a rare mental health concern that is often incorrectly diagnosed as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 
  • Around .3% of the population has schizoaffective disorder. 
  • People can manage symptoms of schizoaffective disorder effectively with medication and therapy. 
  • Those who have schizoaffective disorder can be at risk for developing co-occurring substance use disorders. 

The National Library of Medicine reported the following information about schizoaffective disorder in the United States: 

  • Schizoaffective disorder is one of the most frequently misdiagnosed mental health disorders. 
  • Approximately 30% of those who have schizoaffective disorder begin experiencing symptoms between the ages of 25 and 35. 
  • Schizoaffective disorder affects more women than men. 
  • Around 10%-20% of inpatient hospitalizations for psychosis are for those who have schizoaffective disorder.  

Potential Effects of Schizoaffective Disorder

Untreated schizoaffective disorder can severely impact someone’s well-being. People who have schizoaffective disorder may have difficulty determining what is real and what is not. Additionally, they can struggle with mood disorders that can further complicate psychosis symptoms.  

In general, those who are living with untreated schizoaffective disorder can find it very difficult to function well. The effects of untreated schizoaffective disorder can include: 

  • Difficulty attending school or work 
  • Social isolation 
  • Feelings of hopelessness 
  • Loss of pleasure 
  • Legal problems 
  • Financial difficulties 
  • Inability to live alone or perform basic self-care tasks 
  • Homelessness 
  • Strained interpersonal relationships 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Co-occurring mental health concerns and addictions 

If you or a loved one has schizoaffective disorder, there is hope. By receiving effective care at a schizoaffective disorder treatment center like Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, you can live a more satisfying life.  

Benefits of Receiving Care at Our Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Center

Receiving treatment at a qualified inpatient treatment center can help people who have schizoaffective disorder learn to manage their symptoms and make life-changing improvements. At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, we provide inpatient schizoaffective disorder programming that can help those who are experiencing crisis-level symptoms stabilize and begin to heal. Those who participate in inpatient programs like ours can experience the following benefits: 

  • Improved relationships 
  • Better coping skills 
  • Reduced symptoms 
  • Increased productivity at work or school 
  • Enhanced life skills 
  • More self-awareness 
  • Improved overall health 
  • Better social skills  

How We Treat Schizoaffective Disorder at Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital

At Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital, we offer inpatient programming for adolescents, adults, and senior adults who are suffering from schizoaffective disorder. Stays in our inpatient programs are short, as our goal is to help patients stabilize so that they can return home or step down to a lower level of care. The typical length of stay in our inpatient programs is five to 13 days, though the actual length of time someone spends in our programming varies based on their treatment progress.  

At our state-of-the-art hospital in Mesa, Arizona, we offer a safe and comfortable environment where patients can focus on healing. Patients who participate in our inpatient programming receive specialized care from a team of physicians, psychiatrists, registered nurses, recreational therapists, and dietitians. This multidisciplinary team works together to provide evidence-based therapies and effective services that can help our patients develop new skills and build self-confidence.  

Before someone receives treatment in our inpatient program, they complete a thorough evaluation that gives us insight into their background, symptoms, and therapeutic needs. Using this information, we create a customized treatment plan for them. A patient’s treatment plan at Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital may include: 

  • Medication management services: If medication is part of a patient’s treatment plan, they can meet with a psychiatrist daily. They can also receive assistance from our team of nurses. 
  • Group therapy: Group therapy is a significant part of our inpatient schizoaffective disorder treatment program. Patients participate in four daily group therapy sessions, where they can receive support from peers and experienced counselors. These sessions give patients the chance to learn more about topics like coping strategies, life skills, and medication education.  
  • Basic medical care: Our team of physicians and nurses can provide basic medical care for patients who need it. 

To help promote their continued progress, we provide each of our patients with a detailed aftercare plan when they’ve completed treatment at our hospital.  

Discharge planning begins after a patient has been admitted to one of our inpatient programs. Our team continually evaluates and adjusts each patient’s aftercare plan as needed to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate referrals and resources when they leave our treatment center. A patient’s aftercare plan may include referrals to an outpatient program such as a partial hospitalization program or intensive outpatient program as well as recommendations for community resources in their local area.  

If you or a loved one needs inpatient care for schizoaffective disorder, please contact us. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to go over our programming with you or help you begin the admissions process. We look forward to connecting you with the care you need and deserve.  

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Agave Ridge Behavioral Hospital.