Schizoaffective disorder is a psychotic disorder in the scizophrenia spectrum. It is an “affective” disorder as well, which means it involves mood swings, such as mania and depression. Basically, it is like having both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder at the same time.
There are two types of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar and depressive. The first you get both mania and depression, the second only depression.
It differs from bipolar disorder in that you can have psychotic symptoms outside of either mania or depression. In bipolar disorder, you only have psychotic symptoms during your mood swings, if you have them at all.
I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. This means I experience both mania and depression, and can have psychotic symptoms at any time, even if I’m not manic or depressed. Most of the time I do not experience any psychotic symptoms, although I have for long and short periods of time in the past. I take antipsycotics that control it well most of the time.
What does it feel like to be psychotic? It feels like you are in a dream that you can’t wake up from. It feels like you are in a different reality. Just like dreams, there are good experiences and bad. It isn’t always a nightmare. But it always feels strange.