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Question
Posted by: Zoë | 2005/07/28

schizophrenia- is he wrongly diagnosed?

Good day Doc

What is the difference between schizophrenia and schizo affective disorder?

My husband was diagnosed in 2001 with schizophrenia; his grandma died they were VERY close and he had a very difficult time at work; he couldn¡¦t cope anymore; he mistrust people and I could make sense of his paranoia; because of the mistrust everything were a threat to him he was place at Denmar for 4 weeks. He was put on Zyphrexa 15mg

He doesn¡¦t have psychotic episodes or heard voices or hallucinates

This year his Dr told him it is now a schizo affective disorder.

He still sleeps for hours on end and get suspicious sometimes but that¡¦s about all side affect I can pick on his schizophrenia OR disorder. As far as paranoia concerns it about only when were driving on the highway and he sees any white car park along the road he immediately screech to a speed limit of about 60 because it is a traffic cop¡K.. I don¡¦t even classified it as paranoia ƒº

His doctor told us that he must stay on medication for the rest of his life. He is so stabilized at the moment we only go to his Dr. to renew his medication prescription. He doesn¡¦t feel the need to go to a psychotherapist; he is very well adapted.

He is at the moment busy with a 9 week programming course and gets on al his exams over 90% ¡V I¡¦ve heard about people who were diagnosed that they can¡¦t even tie their own shoes. They don¡¦t even have the ability to work and someone must look after them constantly.

Is my husband just lucky to be stabilized or is he wrongly diagnosed?

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Our expert says:
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Actually, Zoe, this is a very complex and technical question. Schizo-affective disorder includes both scizophrenia features and those of an afective disorder ( such as Depression ) --- yet it has for long been considered that someone with schizophrenia might also become depressed.
From your description, it sounds as though the main feature of his illnes may have been paranoia / suspiciousness, and you're not describing notable afecive features. But schizophrenia is a very complicated and variable disorder. In some way's it's like Cancer --- a word that scares all of us, but which includes a wide range of conditions, from some that are so tame and untroublesome that one may have such forms of cancer for decades without major problems ; to some that are so horrible one may be dead in a short time. Similarl, Schizophrenia can include some states which are relatively limited and allow the person to lead a rather normal life, with the proper help, and others which require complex treatments and may leave a person still severely handicapped.
I don't see any paticular reason o suppose that your husband was wrongly diagnosed, but if you have soem doubts, you need to discuss them in more detail with the doctor who made the diagnosis, and especially ask for an opinion about the "prognosis", the medical term for the outlook for the future. If he has achieved stabilization relatively easy, that's fortunate, but entirely possible.

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