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Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1072
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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my niece has skitzo affective disorder with psycosis.She is

Customer Question

my niece has skitzo affective disorder with psycosis.She is anerexic and bulemic.She had a baby at 17 which DCFS gave custody/perm. guardian ship to" US", her aunt and uncle and i just had a few questions, please.The baby girl was newborn (actually 13 days old ,legally when we got our precious baby,she now is 16 mos. old and doing great) and now is 16 mos old, when DCFS contacted us to come get her.Is there anything that can be inherited from this mental disorder, we have no contact with the bio mom (usually hospitalized) or on street drugs,, she's on the street alot of the time.So also Our daughter,is very, very hyper, extremely.Could this be a problem with her at this early an age?Just curious because the only info we have about the disorder is through the internet. Any thing about this disorder we should know that would help us be the best parents we can, would be greatly appreciated!Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 4 years ago.
Hello, and thanks for visiting JA.

The causes of schizoaffective disorder are not clearly understood, but some authorities suspect that there may be a genetic factor involved, that it can be passed from parent to child. That, however is far from being a proven fact. Even if a genetic pre-disposition to the disorder is passed on, ther is absolutely no certaintay that the disorder will ever be triggered.

It is also thought that social and environmental factors may play a part. The disorder is also very rare in children, and I don't think you have anycause to worry. If however, the hyperactivity worsens, or if the baby shows any behavioral disorder in the next year or so, I would have her checked oout by a pediatrician.

Right now, though, I think you can relax.

Best wishes,
NormanM
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I asked for all information on skitzoaffective disorder specifically.We actually know nothing much about it and what does it mean? We're clueless but know her mom is very, sick, in an abusive way, in an anerexic way and bulemic.She;s like a street person and hears voices she's on meds but is so very sick and we don't understand what it means to have a skitzo affective disorder with psycosis.And he answered it can be inherited ,maybe they are not sure. Is that the the answer of another specialist also? Or does he know? I am not paying till i get an answer i asked for .If it cannot be answered KINDLY REFUND THE CC VISA 15.00. OR DON'T FILE IT, PLEASE.i have used y'll before and know some answers are more difficult and need to be presented in front of a proffesional face to face.PLease let me know! THank YOU, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Tamara replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition that causes both a loss of contact with reality (psychosis) and mood problems. Schizoaffective disorder most commonly affects cognition and emotion. Auditory hallucinations, paranoia, bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social and occupational dysfunction are typical. Symptoms usually begin in early adulthood, which makes diagnosis prior to age 13 rare.

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are different in each person.
Often, people with schizoaffective disorder have problems with mood, daily function, or abnormal thoughts. Psychosis and mood changes may occur at the same time, or off and on by themselves.
The psychotic symptoms can last for at least 2 weeks without any noticeable mood problems. The course of the disorder involves cycles of severe symptoms followed by improvement.

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include:
  • Changes in appetite and energy
  • Believing that someone on TV or the radio is speaking directly to you or that secret messages are hidden in common objects (delusions of reference)
  • Disorganized speech that is not logical
  • False beliefs (delusions)
  • Feeling that everyone or one person or agency is out to get you (paranoia)
  • Irritability and poor temper control
  • Lack of concern with hygiene, grooming
  • Problems sleeping
  • Seeing or hearing things (hallucinations -- especially "hearing voices")
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Very good or bad mood
Treatment can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the symptoms. Generally, the Dr. will prescribe medications to stabilize mood and to treat the psychosis. Usually the combination of antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing medication controls both depressive and manic symptoms, but some people may also need antidepressants.

The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder is unknown. Changes in genes and chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) may play a role. Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, psychological and social processes are important contributory factors. Some recreational and prescription drugs may cause or worsen symptoms. Current research is focused on the role of neurobiology, but no single organic cause has been found.
Schizoaffective disorder is believed to be less common than schizophrenia and mood disorders. Women may have the condition more often than men.
Although mood disorders are somewhat common in children, schizophrenia is not. Therefore schizoaffective disorder tends to be rare in children.

I hope this information is more along the lines of what you were looking for. Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
graphicTamara, just one more question then, thanks you so much, this has helped enormously!!Thanks again, if we don't know what we are dealing with and no-one tells us only the very basics, we had to make alot of decisions on the basic knowledge we had. WE let Desi(she's 16 mos now) and doing great, see her bio mom at the beginning when she was like 1 to 5 mos, we would bring her to see her and her mother desis bio gramma, and her bio mom would always be dirty, high, and i know she loved her daughter but we had to think of Desi. So we decided to start meeting at the DCFS office, the fist time we met and the lst she brought a lawyer ,with her mom(Gramma) and bio mom. We have never wanted to go that route but if something happened to me,she would probably go to her gramma.Her gramma had quadtruple open heart surgey,& has NEVER asked us if Desi needed ANYTHING, EVER. She's into witchcraft and is a very mean person. I don't want to see that happen!(ps: no father is involved she was raped by an ex boyfriend and his friends,he's in jail) So my question is should i seek Adoption for her or does having papers that say you ,Sherrie Perez are the sole perm. Guardian and custodian of Destiny------------until she's 18 years of age, sufficent? I don't ever want to loose her and i love her so very much, and would go back to court and recommend my husband as Guardian(perm,) if something happend to me, he wasn't a US citisen at the time only reason he wasn't put on the papers, he is now. What is your opinion?Should we go for the adoption or stay with Perm,Guardianship? PLease help.I wish i could pay more but only have a bit of extra money.Thanks again for so much information!!!S P Wink
Expert:  Tamara replied 4 years ago.
Hi Sherrie - I think it would be best if you were to talk with an attorney about that situation. I really don't know about all that from a legal perspective. However, from a mental health perspective, it's certainly not unheard of that people can change their mind, or get their "act together" and decide that they want their kids back. So from that perspective (if I were in your shoes) I would do whatever possible to ensure that I kept custody of Desi, including adoption, if that's possible. The system is a mess, and it's not very functional, or predictable. So cover your bases however you can. Also carefully consider how much contact you want Desi to even have with her bio mom. If you have the option to not do so, then give that some thought. The less they see her, the less they think about her, and the fewer problems you will have in the long run. Good luck with everything. Please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1072
Experience: 20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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