Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

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191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘thought disorder’

I’m not Schizophrenic I am Schizoaffective

Posted on: May 12th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Schizophrenic or Schizoaffective?

I’m not Schizophrenic I am Schizoaffective

Schizophrenic or Schizoaffective? What do you think? Although such disorder is a mental illness that is closely related to schizophrenia, the two problems are distinctly different diagnoses. Many people mistakenly believe that schizoaffective disorder is a subtype of schizophrenia but this is not the case. They are both separate mental disorders that have their own unique set of symptoms.

People who are schizoaffective often receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the early stages of their illness because the two problems are so frequently confused. There are many similarities between the two illnesses which can cause some physicians and psychiatrists to misdiagnose their patients. However, there are also significant differences that make it possible to categorize one separately from the other.

Even though schizophrenia is the more well-known disorder that is often considered very severe, the truth is that schizoaffective disorder is much more complex and difficult to diagnose and treat. A diagnosis of the schizoaffective disorder can be problematic because it combines characteristics of different disorders. However, with the right treatment it is still possible for a schizoaffective individual to improve their condition and function as well as they can.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Someone who is schizoaffective is experience a hybrid of different conditions that combines characteristics of schizophrenia and certain mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression. The fact that it is a hybrid condition affecting a person’s mood is what sets it apart from schizophrenia which is related to thoughts and behavior but not directly to a person’s mood. Schizoaffective disorder blends different health conditions and affects a person completely including their thoughts, feelings, behavior and mood.

One way to understand how schizoaffective disorder combines different characteristics of disorders is to think of it as a part of a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum would be schizophrenia and on the other would be a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder. Schizoaffective disorder would fall somewhere in the middle of these two illnesses.

People with such disorder can often exhibit symptoms that are experienced by people with bipolar disorder including extreme mood swings. They will feel the high of mania and the low of depression through different phases of their life in a similar way to bipolar disorder. However, a schizoaffective person will also experience symptoms normally associated with schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions.

Understanding the Symptoms of this Disorder

A schizoaffective person, may suffer unnecessarily if they receive an inaccurate diagnosis of either schizophrenia or a mood disorder. They need treatment for all of their symptoms rather than one aspect of them so it is important that they have a correct diagnosis in order to improve. These are some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder:

  • Auditory hallucinations in the form of voices that may be hostile or accusatory
  • Delusions or false, irrational beliefs that cause fear, paranoia and mistrust of others
  • Disorganized thinking as exhibited by thought or speech patterns that lack coherence
  • Thought blocking where the mind suddenly goes blank
  • Excessive, repetitive or agitated body movements that have no obvious purpose

As well as manic symptoms such as:

  • talking too fast
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Inflated self-esteem and delusions of grandeur

They might also have depressive symptoms including:

  • Low energy and motivation
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Talking too much or too little
  • Trouble completing projects
  • Apathy about school, work or relationships
  • Feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of suicide

Diagnosing Schizoaffective

Because there are many different sets of symptoms and one individual may not exhibit all of them it can be very complex to recognize and diagnose schizoaffective disorder. It requires more extensive exploration of a patient’s medical and psychological background. Psychiatrists must be cautious about diagnosing someone as schizoaffective and have enough expertise in order to make an official diagnosis.

In order for someone to receive a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder they will need to have experienced psychotic episodes for at least a month that involved delusions, hallucinations or disorganized thinking. They will also need to have a mood disorder that is dominant more than half of the time. If either mania or depression have been present for an extended period of time along with psychotic episodes then they will most likely be diagnosed as schizoaffective.

Although schizoaffective disorder is complex, like most mental illnesses it is treatable with the help of medication and psychotherapy. Antipsychotics can be helpful for any schizophrenic symptoms and antidepressants or mood stabilizers can help treat a mood disorder. Individual psychotherapy along with group therapy can be very beneficial to help treat the sources of their symptoms.

An inpatient treatment program for a period of time can be very helpful in allowing a person, to learn to manage their disorder and minimize their symptoms. If you think you or someone you love might have this disorder then contact a mental health professional for assistance.

Do I Have a Thought Disorder and Can It Be Treated?

Posted on: February 27th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments


Thought Disorder

People who experience symptoms affecting the way they think and perceive things may have a mental health condition known as a thought disorder. When an individual is having issues with putting together sequences of ideas in a way that is affecting their daily life and their behavior then they may need treatment from a professional therapist. Even though a thought disorder can be a serious illness, it is possible to use treatment as way to help manage the symptoms and improve the condition.

There are many different issues that can occur when you have a thought disorder and it can affect people in various ways. At the core of a thought disorder are issues with illogical, problematic or incoherent patterns of thinking. These irregular thinking patterns may cause the person to behave in ways that interfere with their ability to function normally.

Normal thinking follows a certain flow starting with a thought, followed by stringing together different thoughts on that subject and then the delivery of a thought pattern. When someone has a thought disorder it disrupts aspects of the thought process so that it doesn’t flow in a logical pattern. Thought disorders come in many forms including illnesses like schizophrenia which can be debilitating if not properly treated.

Recognizing a Thought Disorder

These are not often discussed and people may not be familiar with what constitutes the illness. In order to recognize a thought disorder in yourself or your loved one it can be helpful to look through the various symptoms and signs associated with the problem. These are some of the common symptoms of a thought disorder-

  • Incoherent, rapid or illogical speech
  • Bizarre thoughts or false beliefs
  • Continual interruptions in a person’s train of thought
  • Delusions that persist in spite of evidence against them
  • Hallucinations or seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there
  • Unusual speech patterns in which the individual discusses several unrelated topics
  • Inability to convey an idea or tell a story
  • Paranoia that includes fearful or suspicious thoughts

When you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one then it may indicate a problem with thinking patterns and a possible thought disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to meet with a psychiatrist for an assessment so that they can diagnose what type of thought disorder you have. More serious thought disorders such as schizophrenia may require inpatient treatment to resolve issues of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.

How Thought Disorders are Treated

A person’s thought disorder can accompany a different type of mental illness including bipolar disorder, schizotypal personality or psychosis. In order to manage the symptoms of a thought disorder and the associated mental illness it is imperative that the individual receive an accurate diagnosis. Knowing what condition is connected to the thought disorder can help make treatment more effective.

Once you receive a diagnosis and have been evaluated by a professional they can start to determine what type of treatment plan will be most effective. A psychiatrist may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment or regular therapy sessions to address the symptoms. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how much it interferes with regular functioning.

If you have a thought disorder you can discuss with your psychiatrist what the best options are for medication. Taking a regular prescription medication may be necessary with a thought disorder to regulate mood and minimize hallucinations and delusions. Different medications such as antipsychotics may be helpful in managing a thought disorder but it is important to work with a psychiatrist to find the right dosage.

People who have thought disorders can greatly benefit from psychotherapy in order to help address some of the behavioral and emotional issues that can occur as a result of their disrupted thinking patterns. A therapist can help guide the individual through their thoughts and feelings so that they improve their quality of life and make it easier for them to function in day to day. The individual may see a lot of improvement while staying in an inpatient treatment center that will provide them with daily therapy sessions for intensive recovery.

Receiving a diagnosis of a thought disorder may seem devastating but with regular treatment and medication it is possible to minimize symptoms and stabilize a person’s mood or behavior. Treatment is very important for a thought disorder because if the symptoms become worse they may be lead to risky or dangerous actions. However, having a thought disorder does not mean that the person cannot lead a normal and fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love seems to be experience symptoms of a thought disorder, contact a mental health professional to start a treatment plan.