Syndrome characterized by a combination of psychotic and mood symptoms in which psychotic symptoms occur in conjunction with either a manic or depressive episode, followed by at least two weeks of psychotic symptoms without prominent mood symptoms.
A psychotic disorder in which prominent depressive or manic symptoms occur together with psychotic symptoms at some times and psychotic symptoms which occur in the absence of mood symptoms at other times during the same two week period
is diagnosed when symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations, delusions, etc.) happen concurrently with all necessary symptoms of Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression. The diagnosis is only appropriate when the psychotic symptoms continue in the absence of mood symptoms for at least two weeks, since mood disorders can produce psychotic symptoms all by themselves. Some professionals consider schizoaffective a “nosoligist’s loophole” and prefer to diagnose schizophrenia and a separate mood disorder. www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/ Schizoaffective_Disorder.htm
Schizoaffective disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis describing a situation where both the symptoms of mood disorder and psychosis are present. The disorder usually begins in early adulthood, and is more common in women.