Welcome to Just Answer !
Well, i can sense a feeling of frustration and bewilderment in you , regarding your preoccupation and uncertainity about being a Schizo affective patient or not. I will try to be as honest and comprehensive about the whole issue as possible , but i will request you to listen to me with an open mind and without jumping to hasty conclusions.
Now, let me first throw some light on Schizoaffective disorder , so that you can have a brief background knowledge about the diagnosis. Well, although one cannot predict a new born to have schizo affective diagnosis at the time of birth itself , but yes ,Schizo affective disorder has a strong Genetic predisposition , meaning that if there is a close relative of the child whose suffering from Schizo affective disorder or schizophrenia , then the child , due to genetic loading from that particular close relative , stands at high risk of becoming Schizo affective herself / himself, but the revealation of schizoaffective symptoms occur usually at adolescence , as uptill adolescence , no meaningful cognitive (thinking process), and affective ( mood) functions had taken place and these are brought into light as the child's social ( friends, family) , and occupational ( school) life becomes increasingly demanding, and when he/ she is not able to keep up with others and stands out due to the condition. So, i hope you can relate to what i have explained here.
Also, what does Schizoaffective disorder entail or mean, well it is a combination of Schizophrenic symptoms ( such as lack of insight , delusions , hallucinations, paranoid ideation, loose associations, etc) and affective symptoms ( Such as manic symptoms like excessive self confidence , excessive degree of happiness, or elation, disinhibition, easy distractibility , hyperactivity but low productivity , increased libido (sexual drive) and appetite , loss of judgemental and decision sense, etc AND/ OR depressive symptoms like low mood , low self esteem, inability to feel pleasure , lack of interest , inititaive , hope and confidence, negative and suicidal thoughts , feeling of worthlessness, and helplessness, decreased appetite, sleep and libido.
Now , coming to your question about , whether a psychiatrist should take into account one's IQ, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS, before diagnosising a Schizo affective disorder , to this i would say , yes, the psychiatrist needs to assess all this, infact it is a part of the clinical interview which he/ she takes with the patient , and is included along with other things such as cognitive testing , test of insight,reality and reasoning , orientation testing and assessment of personality etc, in the psychiatrist's scheme of things.
Now, addressing your question , about , if a person is diagnosed with Schizo affective diagnosis , will he/ she have it all throught his/ her life and whether he/ she will have to take anti psychotics all throughout their lives. Now, to this , i would say that , unfortunately , once a person is diagnosed with a Schizo affective diagnosis , he will have it throughout his life , it is like having been diagnoses with Diabetes or hypertension , once a person is diagnosed with such conditions , he / she has to live with it throughout life , but one can control the undesired / untoward symptoms of these conditions, Likewise, Anti psychotics and Mood stabilizers are the mainstay of treatment for Scizo affective disorder and are to be taken for a long duration of period , in order to keep off from the symptoms of the condition, although , once a person has been stabilized , showing no symptoms for a long time , then , the doctor can think of reducing the drug doses or stopping them altogether .
Now, lastly addressing your doubt whether you really are a case of Schizo effective disorder or not , and the fact that your main concern is your inability to keep up with your peers at work place and the episodes of ' being spaced out', which reinforces your belief in having this disorder , plus you have mentioned previously you have been diagnosed with it .
Well, although i am not refuting your previous diagnosis of Schizo affective disorder , but to me you are unlikely candidate for schizo affective disorder and to me you seem to be more like a case of Affective disorder such as bipolar and / or ADD ( ATENTION DEFICIT DISORDER) and the reason i cite for my probable diagnosis is due to the fact that in you there is no loss of insight or impaired reality testing , and the way you have narrated your detailed history to me with full of understanding about your condition and objectivity , would have been next to impossible for a schizo effective patient to carry out, except if you had been stabilized on the drugs for a long time and currently have been symptom free. So, if this is not the case ,i would ask you to get yourself Re - evaluated by a psychiatrist , as the episodes of spacing out or inability to keep up with scholastic performances or with peers is also seen in ADD or bipolar , so in order to confirm , you need to have a Reassessment of your condition by a psychiatrist ,.
So, i again suggest you to go for a Re- evaluation of your condition by a psychiatrist and things will become much clearer for you then.
I wish you best of health.
I hope my answer serves your query according to your satisfaction.