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Difference Between Schizoaffective Disorder and Dysthymia

schizoaffective_bookSchizoaffective disorder vs Dysthymia

Schizoaffective disorder refers to specific psychiatric diagnosis which refers to a particular mental disorder. This particular disorder characterizes repetitive rounds of depressed and elevated mood swings or the vice versa. It might occur along with disturbed levels of perception at alternate intervals. On the other hand, dysthymia or dysthymic disorder refers to an unceasing mood disorder that is categorized within the spectrum of depression syndromes. Dysthymia is the opposing symptom to that of hyperthymia.

The distortion component of perception in the schizoaffective disorder is medically termed as psychosis. Psychosis is a stage which tends to influence each of the five senses, including taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing. One of the most common effects of this disorder can be seen in auditory perception leading to hallucinations, weird delusions, and paranoia along with disorganization in the speaking and thinking process. This obviously leads to occupational dysfunction in the patient’s social life. Dysthymia, on the other hand, portrays a chronic level of continued depression. But according to medical practitioners, dysthymia is a lot less severe than most of the other major depression disorders that patients complain of. Dysthymia by nature is chronic and continues to persist as an illness for very long times.

As far as the treatment of schizoaffective disorder is concerned, there are a number of phases of treatment. The stages involve, common hospitalization, application of antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, lithium, and anticonvulsants and not to forget the Electroconvulsive therapy. This refers to the medical treatment, whereas there is also a parallel psychosocial treatment for this illness. This includes supportive psychotherapy, group therapy, behavioral therapy and family therapy as well.

On the other hand, the treatment of dysthymia is generally carried out using drugs which prove to be effective in treating most of the common Major Depressive Disorders. Patients suffering from Dysthymia respond well to tricyclic antidepressants, classical and reversible antidepressants, SSRI antidepressants, etc.


1)Schizoaffective disorder refers to a psychiatric diagnosis referring to a unique mental disorder. Whereas dysthymia refers to continuous mood disorders that fall within the spectrum of depression.
2)Schizoaffective disorder is also often termed as psychosis which influences and affects the senses. Dysthymia on the other hand is a chronic kind of depression that is not as severe as a major depression disorder.
3)Schizoaffective disorder is treated with lithium, antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs whereas dysthymia is treated with tricyclic antidepressants, classical and reversible antidepressants.

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