Schizoaffective disorder is a rare psychiatric condition in which a person experiences psychosis and a mood disorder. Per the Cleveland Clinic, the disorder is one of four types of schizophrenia, so not everyone who has schizoaffective disorder will have the same symptoms. There is a bipolar type and a depressive type. A mental health professional can offer insight into telling them apart.

Delusions and hallucinations are the main markers of the disorder. Both indicate the person has lost contact with reality. Mania and depression are also symptoms, says National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). According to the Cleveland Clinic, people who have schizoaffective disorder can experience depression (low mood, sadness), mania (racing thoughts), and hypomania (a milder form of mania).

The exact cause of schizoaffective disorder isn’t known. However, it is thought that genetics and chemical imbalances in the brain could play a role. Stress is also a factor, as well as substance use. Psychoactive drugs, such as LSD, have been linked to the condition.

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include ones denoting psychosis. Among them are:

  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia (paranoid thoughts)
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mania
  • Inability to move around normally (catatonia)
  • Disorganized speech, verbal communication problems
  • Unorganized behaviors, thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating, focusing
  • Appetite changes
  • Poor hygiene
  • Hyperactivity
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Increased social isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts

Schizoaffective disorder is not fully understood and can be mistaken for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder due to the symptoms they share. For this reason, schizoaffective is studied less than the other two conditions. Still, it is important to get a proper diagnosis so a person can receive the treatment they need.

People in Florida communities, including Fort Lauderdale, are living and managing schizoaffective disorder. According to a 2019 report from the Florida Department of Health’s Community Health Assessment, 7,482 people were hospitalized in the county for schizophrenic disorders, illustrating the need for services.

Therapy and medication, such as antidepressants, are used in treatment programs for schizoaffective disorder. It is important that a person with the disorder get the help they need as soon as possible. Without it, it can be challenging to go to hold a job, go to school, or manage interpersonal relationships and social settings. Treatment can make a difference.

Vista Pines Treatment in Fort Lauderdale

If you or your loved one has schizoaffective disorder and you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area, you can start your recovery journey with Vista Pines Health. We are a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility located in Pembroke Pines, Florida, serving people in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding South Florida communities. 

Here, at our facility Arete Recovery, which we share a campus with, you can undergo medical detox and enter a treatment program when you finish. You will be matched up with a treatment setting that considers your needs and what you require to recover from and manage your condition. 


Medical detox is a critical step in recovery. During this intensive phase of treatment, Vista Pines’ health professionals will evaluate your physical and mental health needs. If you have been self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, we will ensure you get medical support to help you get through an uncomfortable withdrawal period. 

During this time, we will monitor you 24/7 and treat any complications that could arise. Our medical professionals understand the unique needs and challenges that accompany this period of recovery. We may give you medications that ease your symptoms or start you on a tapering schedule that allows the body to adjust to the absence of a regularly used substance. Medical detox assists in this process. You will have the support you need to help you regain medical stability so that you can move on to the next phase of treatment.


Vista Pines Health’s private and comfortable environment is a safe place where our clients can focus on addressing their mental health disorders. Our 20-bed facility is a safe and welcoming space that offers a break from the outside world so our patients can learn more about their disorder and what is involved in receiving treatment for it.

Our clinicians use psychotherapies, medications, or both to help our clients receive optimal recovery services. Each person is treated as an individual, and we personalize their program according to their needs. If you have additional disorders along with schizoaffective disorder, we can advise you of that and treat you for those, too.

Treatment Methods

fort lauderdale schizoaffective treatment

At Vista Pines Health, we use therapeutic modalities that address schizoaffective disorder and healing for the whole person. The psychotherapies below help us treat our patients, although we could provide others according to the patient’s needs. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

We use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help our patients see how their thoughts and feelings lead to or influence their actions (behavior). The idea is to understand how inaccurate, distorted, or self-sabotaging thinking can lead one to behave in a way that is not beneficial to them. 

CBT helps our patients change their outlook on life so that they can have clarity as they choose their thoughts and next steps. We aim to help them feel in control of themselves and empowered to choose healthy responses and coping mechanisms over adverse ones.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

We also use dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help people in recovery who have schizoaffective disorder. DBT is a form of CBT that focuses on helping people learn to accept their disorder without judgment. The psychotherapy also encourages them to learn how to practice validation of the self as well as trust-building and mindfulness. 

DBT focuses on four primary skill sets that a person with schizoaffective can apply to their daily lives: distress tolerance (calming any troubling thoughts); emotional regulation (controlling one’s stress levels); interpersonal effectiveness (managing one’s feelings about others); and mindfulness (being present in the moment).

Dual Diagnosis

Dual diagnosis refers to having a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder at the same time. This condition is also referred to as co-occurring disorder or comorbidity. When a person has a dual diagnosis, they must receive treatment help for both conditions. If not, they will continue to struggle. At Vista Pines Health, we treat each illness individually in the same period. If you are a dually diagnosed patient, we will personalize your treatment plan to include therapies and services that rehabilitate both conditions. We will use CBT and DBT or possibly other therapies that have helped dual diagnosis patients. 

Vista Pines’ residential setting provides the place you need to get the attention from professionals who understand the complexities of the psychiatric or psychological care you require. We can also prescribe medications you may need to help you manage your condition.

Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment in Fort Lauderdale FAQ

We know that you likely have questions as you consider getting treatment for schizoaffective disorder. In this space below, we answer frequently asked questions we get about the recovery services we offer as well as general questions about addiction and mental health treatment in general. Please call us or reach out online if you have questions that aren’t answered here or if you need further information. We would be glad to help.

How Long Is Rehab?

Your rehab program will last as long as needed to ensure your specific needs are met. This and several other factors will shape your rehab timeline. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) advises that treatment is more effective when people spend at least 90 days in rehab or longer. Vista Pines Health will customize your treatment program to your needs and will work with you to ensure you get the most out of your program.

Does Vista Pines Health Provide Transportation?

Vista Pines Health realizes that transportation could be a barrier for people considering treatment. Our team will work with you to help you get to our facility. Since we accept out-of-area clients who live outside the South Florida area, we can arrange to pick you up from an airport in our area once you arrive. You are responsible for your making and paying for your flight arrangements. We can also get you back to the airport when you have finished your treatment program. 

How Much Does Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Cost?

Treatment costs for schizoaffective disorder vary by person as no two people have the same exact needs. Your treatment costs will be unique to you, so you will need to consider your program, medications, services, incidental expenses, and other items when determining your costs. Where you receive treatment and for how long will affect how much your tab is. If you have a substance use disorder in addition to schizoaffective disorder, you will need treatment for both, which could extend the length of your program.

We will go over all costs with you to ensure you understand the finances involved. Knowing what to expect is also important to receiving treatment. We encourage you to think about the benefits of treatment and not the costs. Your health and well-being are important, and those should be the main priority. We can help you review your options for ensuring you meet the costs of treatment.

Do I Have to Travel?

Yes, you will have to travel to our Pembroke Pines facility to participate in the program. We provide all services on campus, but if you are required to receive services off-site for some reason, we will arrange for transportation. You can speak with us about your transportation concerns during a call with one of our representatives. 

What Insurance Carriers Does Vista Pines Health Take?

Vista Pines Health accepts coverage from many major insurance providers. We can verify for you whether your insurer is in-network with us, or you can call your provider directly to check if your benefits will cover your treatment costs. You can also ask about the out-of-pocket costs you would be responsible for during your treatment. Some of the in-network providers we accept coverage from are:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • Blue Cross, Blue Shield
  • CareFirst BlueChoice
  • Cigna

Generally, anyone who needs treatment should be able to receive help under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires insurance providers to cover treatment services for those with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. We want to get started as soon as possible on providing treatment for schizoaffective disorder.  Reach out to us as soon as you can.

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