Diagnosing SZA rather that SZ

Do doctors diagnose SZA instead of SZ due to stigma?

What your thoughts on that?

Schitzooaffective sounds less intimidating that Schizophrenia


essentially they are the same. schizoaffective is less intimidating as a term. it sounds good. schizophrenia sounds awful.

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I don’t think so, they simply don’t diagnose if they are afraid of stigma.


I like to think it has nothing to do with stigma. I know for me (I have sza), the mood swings and manic and depressive states were very obvious. Are still obvious. So it was an easy call. I hope that doctors don’t make a diagnosis based on stigma. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, though.

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Other than those working in the mental health field, most of the public have never heard of the term Schizoaffective.

It’s just not used very often.

Most people are familiar with the Schizophrenia term.


That’s why I usually refer to myself as sz + bipolar instead of SZA.


Sometimes clinicians and doctors don’t tell their patients the diagnosis because it would be harmful if they knew. But I don’t think there is a reason to say sza instead of sz. In fact that could be really bad because sza requires additional medications that sz doesn’t even need. The major difference between the two being the mood component for sza which may require a mood stabilizer just like they would for a regular bipolar diagnosis. So it would be unwise to misrepresent the diagnosis in my opinion. If a pdoc ever lied about my diagnosis for any reason I would never trust them or see them again.


I know in the U.K. it has become the fashion just to say psychosis and not sz


If I didn’t have mood swings and hypomania, along with mild depression, I wonder if they’d diagnose me as SZ instead.

It is still very common even in continental Europe…

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It’s impossible to get rid of a sza diagnosis. I haven’t had any mood symptoms in over six and a half years and my pdoc still considers me sza. And probably always will. Regardless of how stable my mood remains. Simply because of my history of unstable mood.

If you don’t want to be diagnosed sza, I have some advice for you: don’t ever become too irritable or overly happy, persistently sad, or God forbid, suicidal.

Sza isn’t such a bad diagnosis. We’re usually more functional than sz’s. That’s something to rejoice in.


Just means you have a mood element too.

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I’m sza because of the sz symptoms+ I’m severely depressed (also one of my alters is very manic but idk if it effected my diagnosis) but I don’t think my diagnosis comes from stigma

When people ask my Dx I just say Bipolar (I’m SZA with BP type)

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Yep so do I. However Schizoaffective is rare so they actually dont know what it means so i just tell them sometimes

I think when I tell people I have Schizoaffective they just assume the worst and possible think SZA is a worse condition then SZ because they’ve never heard of it.

Not for me man, i find its way less on stigma to say Schizoaffective.

Saying Schizophrenia sends pure terror to them

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Im an arshole actually.

When i was younger about 15 i remember I went to a friends house to visit and his mom was shouting in the room next door.

All my friends told me she has Schizophrenia and yes I assumed she was a crazy, vicious dangerous person.

a few years later i ended up with it. Serves me right.

I just assume now that, that is what people think of me if i tell them.


Sounds like my mother… :slight_smile:

Well I was first diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder because Mother said I had mood swings. I really didn’t perceive them, but I told the psychiatrist what Mother said. I’m now diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but take Prozac too. I was taking an antidepressant when I got out of the hospital. I was somewhat stable at the time, so the psychiatrist I see now didn’t take me off of it. My paperwork says schizophrenia but am I really. Schizoaffective?

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