Schizoaffective disorder



Schizoaffective disorder

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders


Schizoaffective disorder


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

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Schizoaffective disorder

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 35-year-old woman is brought to the physician by her spouse due to a depressed mood for the majority of the last two years. The patient agrees and tells the physician that she feels her mood has been particularly low in the last month. She states she is often fatigued and cannot seem to concentrate on small tasks, such as following conversations. She also finds it difficult to fall asleep at night. The patient’s spouse adds that her appetite seems poor, and she often leaves food untouched at meals. The patient tells the physician that she is hearing voices telling her that this is the punishment she deserves. The voices have also told her to harm herself and have told her that her spouse is planning to poison her. About 18 months ago, the patient was hearing voices telling her to harm herself for a period of three weeks, but she did not have depressive symptoms at that time. She is not currently taking any medications. She does not drink alcohol or use recreational drugs. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis in this patient?  

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Schizoaffective disorder p. 583


Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder, in which people experience abnormal thought processes, hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and deregulated emotions. The diagnosis is made when the patient has features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder, usually belonging to either bipolar disorder or depression. The bipolar type is distinguished by symptoms of mania, hypomania, or mixed episode; whereas the depressive type presents with symptoms of depression only. Treatment for schizoaffective disorder typically involves a combination of medications, such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, and psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.


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