In addition, delusions or hallucinations must occur in the absence of a major mood episode (depressive or manic), and mood symptoms must be present for the majority of the illness. These disturbances must not be related to substance use or medication.
There are two types of schizoaffective disorder:
- Bipolar type: A manic episode (persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood) is part of the schizophrenic presentation. Major depressive episodes may also occur.
- Depressive type: A major depressive episode (depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure) is part of the schizophrenic presentation.
The disorder may occur in a variety of temporal patterns. The following is a typical pattern: An individual may have pronounced auditory hallucinations and persecutory delusions for at least 2 months before the onset of a major depressive episode. The psychotic symptoms and the full major depressive episode are then present for at least 3 months. Then, the individual recovers completely from the major depressive episode, but the psychotic symptoms persist for at least another month before they disappear.