Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 10/09/2020

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Symptoms, Signs & Effects of Schizoaffective Disorder

If you or your loved one are struggling with schizoaffective disorder, Vermilion is here to help. Learning about schizoaffective disorder can help you or your loved one manage its symptoms.

Understanding Schizoaffective Disorder

Learn about schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is an appropriate diagnosis for someone who experiences psychotic symptoms in addition to mood disturbances. Often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder due to similar symptoms present, schizoaffective disorder involves delusions or hallucinations and depression or mania. Psychotic symptoms must occur in the absence of mood disturbances and the depression or mania must be pervasive throughout the duration of the illness.

Sufferers of schizoaffective disorder may experience a great deal of dysfunction in their lives which can sometimes lead to a decreased life expectancy. Coping with mood disturbances is difficult enough for a person, but adding on the additional distress of living with uncontrollable delusions or hallucinations can cause a great deal of turmoil within an individual. Even attempting to complete the most mundane of tasks could prove exceedingly difficult in comparison to a person who is not experiencing symptoms of schizoaffective disorder.

When seeking treatment to alleviate symptoms, it is important to inform the mental health professional of all symptoms present. Untreated mood disturbances and psychotic symptoms can wreak havoc on a person’s life and ability to function normally. Reporting full history of symptoms and changes in functioning is imperative in making an accurate diagnosis and receiving appropriate and effective treatment for schizoaffective disorder.  

Statistics

Schizoaffective disorder statistics

The prevalence of schizoaffective disorder, while not as high as schizophrenia, is said to be .03% of the population. Of that percentage, more women are affected than men. And due to the distress caused by the symptoms, those with schizoaffective disorder have a 5% chance of attempting suicide in their lifetime.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for schizoaffective disorder

Experts agree that there are a number of factors that play into an eventual diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Since there has not been a single identifiable cause of schizoaffective disorder, one must consider the following as an explanation for schizoaffective disorder’s origins:

Genetic: A person with a family history including a psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder itself, has a greater likelihood of receiving a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. Being that family history is a consideration, experts agree that schizoaffective disorder does in fact have a genetic component.

Physical: Through the use of neuroimaging, it has been found that people with schizoaffective disorder have a decreased brain volume than those without the disorder. Additionally, if the part of the brain that controls a person's development is damaged in any way, there is an increased risk for developing schizoaffective disorder.

Environmental: Research has found that complications during birth, resulting in damage to the brain, could increase a person’s chance of developing schizoaffective disorder. Moreover, it has been realized that pre-birth exposure to viruses or other chemical toxins could also render a person vulnerable to eventually showing symptoms associated with the disorder.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of psychotic or bipolar disorder
  • Preexisting mental illness
  • Complications during birth
  • Exposure to viruses or toxins while in utero
  • Substance use
  • History of trauma or abuse
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder

Because a number of symptoms associated with schizoaffective disorder resemble those in other mental disorders, an accurate diagnosis is key. Recognizing all of the signs and symptoms present is integral in making the right diagnosis, thus leading to the application of correct treatment modalities. Below are some signs and symptoms that are often present in a person suffering from schizoaffective disorder:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Impairment in social situations
  • Decreased work performance
  • Disordered behaviors
  • Catatonia
  • Mutism
  • Self-injury
  • Attempts at suicide

Physical symptoms:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Flat affect
  • Lack of good hygiene
  • Changes in eating
  • Disrupted sleep

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Lack of insight
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Lack of focus
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Memory problems
  • Racing thoughts

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Decrease in quality of interpersonal relationships
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Financial difficulties
  • Development of other mental illnesses
  • Self-injury
  • Death
Effects

Effects of schizoaffective disorder

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder can have adverse effects on a person’s life if the disorder goes without treatment. Appropriate treatment is also key to reducing these effects. Some examples of potential effects are:

  • Development of another mental illness
  • Problems in interpersonal relationships
  • Financial strife
  • Substance use
  • Self-injury
  • Death
Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizoaffective disorder and co-occurring disorders

It is possible that someone with schizoaffective disorder can experience symptoms associated with another mental illness. Other disorders that can occur alongside schizoaffective disorder are:

  • Substance use disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder