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yesterday I saw my new pdoc, and well he is really great, but Iam confused, bc I was recently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and he diagnosed me with a totally different one, schizoaffective disorder, bc he says that I have not only schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder, so that is why he gave that to me, bc he says that anyone with symptoms of both mdd or bipolar, and symptoms of schizophrenia, get this diagnosis, is it a dual diagnosis?? does it mean I have schizophrenia, and mdd??? Bc I have always been diagnosed with mdd since i was younger, and just recently got teh schizophrenia diagnosis, adn this new pdoc , suddenly says I shouldnt have been given those seperately I should have been diagnosed early on with schizoaffective disorder, why is this??? do any of you understand what my pdoc is saying?? Iam so confused.

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From Nami.org

To diagnose schizoaffective disorder, a person needs to have primary symptoms of schizophrenia (such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior) along with a period of time when he or she also has symptoms of major depression or a manic episode. (Please see the section on Mood Disorders for a detailed description of symptoms of major depression or manic episode). Accordingly, there may be two subtypes of schizoaffective disorder:

(a) Depressive subtype, characterized by major depressive episodes only, and

(b) Bipolar subtype, characterized by manic episodes with or without depressive symptoms or depressive episodes.

Differentiating schizoaffective disorder from schizophrenia and from mood disorder can be difficult. The mood symptoms in schizoaffective disorder are more prominent, and last for a substantially longer time than those in schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder may be distinguished from a mood disorder by the fact that delusions or hallucinations must be present in persons with schizoaffective disorder for at least two weeks in the absence of prominent mood symptoms. The diagnosis of a person with schizophrenia or mood disorder may change later to that of schizoaffective disorder, or vice versa.

Just from various information that I've read over the years, schizophrenia and it's symptoms may appear later in women. I really don't know much about schizoaffective. Sorry.

Here is the google search I did for the schizoaffective information:


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there is a big wide fuzzy line between SZ with bipolar and SZ with depression. The Pdocs and psychologists still don't have a good handle on exactly what is going on there. One point of view is that the diagnosis follows which symptom is more prominent. For example, if SZ symptoms predominate with some depression then dx is Schizophrenia with depression. If depression predominates with some SZ symptoms, then Schizoaffective with depression. [i did my best to be accurate. I can't go much deeper into SZ, since it is very difficult to understand].

In the end the exact diagnosis is not what is important. Let the docs wrangle over that. What is important is getting good med treatment for your symptoms. Because a good doc should be treating your symptoms and how you feel rather than a diagnosis label in the book.

I assume that the new pdoc didn't change any meds since you didnt' mention it.

Don't let the labels get you down. Take heart that you have a pdoc who seems to be up to-date. You are still you.

best. a.m.

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