- Schizoaffective disorder is a complex condition combining features of schizophrenia and mood disorders, affecting seniors significantly.
- Causes may include genetics, chronic mental illness, substance abuse, trauma, and severe, regular stress.
- Seniors with a family history, existing mental conditions, substance abuse habits, traumatic experiences, and stress are at higher risk.
- Home care, medication, therapy, and exercise are suggested measures for managing schizoaffective disorders among seniors.
- Early diagnosis and professional help are crucial to managing the condition and improving seniors’ quality of life.
As people age, their bodies undergo several changes. One of the most significant changes that occur is in your mental health. Schizoaffective disorders are medical conditions that affect a person’s mood and personality.
In some cases, the disorder can be mild, but in most cases, it can lead to severe mental health problems. Sadly, many seniors are susceptible to this mental condition. So, what are the reasons for schizoaffective disorders among seniors? Here’s what you need to know about the disorder, its reasons, and how to deal with it.
What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective disorder is a complex mental health condition that combines features of both schizophrenia and affective illnesses, such as depression or bipolar disorder. It involves changes in mood, cognition, behavior, and motivation. People with this condition may experience delusions and hallucinations. They may also exhibit disorganized speech or behavior. Here are some common reasons for it:
Aging in itself is not the only factor that can contribute to schizoaffective disorders in seniors. In most cases, genetics also play an essential role in this illness. If you have a family history of the disorder, you are at higher risk of developing it later. Genetics means that you have inherited certain genes predisposing you to develop the condition.
2. Chronic Mental Illness
Seniors with chronic mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia are also at a higher risk of developing schizoaffective disorders. These conditions affect how you perceive yourself and the world and can manifest in unusual ways. It is essential to manage these conditions early to avoid developing severe schizoaffective disorders later in life.
3. Substance Abuse
Another factor that contributes to schizoaffective disorders among seniors is substance abuse. Substance abuse refers to using drugs or alcohol in excess. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, seniors can be more susceptible to substance abuse due to several reasons, such as loneliness, social disconnection, and other challenges.
Trauma is an event that causes severe emotional distress. Seniors who have experienced significant trauma, such as sudden loss of family and friends, natural calamities, emotional abuse, and many more, have an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. These conditions can lead to schizoaffective disorders when left untreated.
Finally, seniors who experience severe stress regularly are at higher risk of developing schizoaffective disorders. Stress affects your mental health, including mood disorders, anxiety, and other conditions. It is essential to manage stress in seniors to avoid the development of severe schizoaffective disorders.
Dealing With The Disorder
Thankfully, you can deal with the disorder as a senior in various ways. Here are four ways:
Professional help can certainly make a huge difference in your recovery. A local home care service that can visit you at home may be the best option for seniors. Home caregivers can provide support and care in various ways, from companionship to helping with daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or shopping.
If you are suffering from a mental health disorder like schizoaffective disorder, there is no shame in seeking medication to help manage symptoms. Talk to your doctor about medication to help you manage the condition.
Therapy is another option for managing schizoaffective disorders as a senior. Consider talking to a therapist or psychotherapist about your condition and how it affects your life. You need not feel ashamed of discussing mental health issues with someone, especially if that person can help you manage it better.
Finally, exercise is a great way to improve your mental health. Regular physical activity can lower stress and anxiety levels and enhance mood. So, try to get up and move around as much as possible! This could mean walking in the park or swimming at the local pool.
Schizoaffective disorders are severe mental health conditions that can affect seniors significantly. However, you can manage it better with the right help and support. If you think you may be suffering from this disorder, don’t hesitate to seek professional help immediately. Remember, early treatment is key for managing schizoaffective disorders in seniors.