Although the exact reasons underlying development of Schizoaffective (SA) Disorder are not known clearly, it is assumed that this psychiatric diagnosis corresponds to an assorted group of patients, some with deviant, anomalous types of schizophrenia, while a few others with exceptionally severe sub-types of disorders of mood.
There is not much evidence to corroborate the fact that this particular neurological disorder is nothing but a distinctive form of what is called as a psychotic illness. In fact, it seems to be a co-occurring or comorbid schizophrenia associated with severe disorders of mood. Accordingly, SA disorder lies on the continuum between serious bipolar and unipolar depression disorders and schizophrenia.
Following are some of the main factors that are thought to be the major causes of schizoaffective disorder in human beings:
- Genetic Factors: The risk of having the illness and passing it onto the next generations may be attributed to certain defective or unstable genes. An individual’s risk for contracting the illness is enhanced by the interaction of normal genes with unfavorable environmental and biological factors. Advanced parental age at time of birth is also believed to be one of the main reasons behind genetic mutations causing disorders of the Schizophrenia spectrum in the newborn in later years of life.
- Drug Abuse or Medications: Research has shown that overuse of drugs, such as cannabis or marijuana can lead to morbidity and development of the aforesaid disorder. In 2009, a certain Yale study clearly stated that in people exhibiting a severe psychotic disorder, use of cannabinoids can intensify symptoms, have a strong negative impact on the development of the disorder, and trigger relapse. Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are believed to be the cause of psychosis.
- Other causes: A recent research has also provided evidence to establish over consumption of alcohol as one of the major reasons behind schizoaffective disorder. It is also claimed that abuse of certain drugs for self medication of conditions, like depression, anxiety, hypertension, loneliness, and boredom, can also lead to the establishment of disorders with prominent psychotic symptoms.
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