Schizoaffective Disorder Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Nov 18, 2021
  • Author: Guy E Brannon, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

The diagnosiso of schizoaffective disorder is made when the patient has features of both schizophrenia and a mood disorder but does not strictly meet diagnostic criteria for either alone. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to determine whether a patient has 1 of the 2 illnesses (schizophrenia or a mood disorder), a combination of the 2 (schizophrenia with a mood disorder), or perhaps even another separate illness. [19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24] Ongoing reevaluation over the course of the illness is important for confirming the diagnosis. [25]

In addition to the conditions listed in the differential diagnosis, other problems to be considered include the following:

  • Steroid use

  • Temporal lobe epilepsy

  • Complex partial seizure disorder [26]

  • Neurosyphilis [27]

  • Thyroid problems

  • Alcohol abuse or dependence

  • Metabolic syndrome [28]

  • Delirium

  • Narcolepsy [29]

  • Tobacco use [30, 31]

Differential Diagnoses