Though I have read little concerning the connection between mental illness and sleep, I have always believed there to be a strong connection between the two. This idea stems from the personal experiences I have had with my sleep disorder, and how it seems to effect my mood and thinking.
Sleep Problems Aggravate Mental Illness Symptoms
The medication I take may be central to my rehabilitation, but without quality sleep I am still seemingly doomed to a world of psychosis. These two different treatments, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure, a breathing therapy) and antipsychotic medication, must be exercised together for me or neither will work well. This is why I consider my sleep disorder treatment to be a central component of my overall therapy. These experiences have convinced me that mental illness treatment should be closely coordinated with any physical ailments that someone might be experiencing, particularly if such physical ailment could aggravate a mental illness.
Successful Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder
Overall, the magic bullet for treating my Schizoaffective Disorder was not a particular form of treatment or medication, but a blend of several different ones that seemingly work together. I would imagine that there are different reasons and triggers for someone to start having psychotic episodes. Currently genetics and biology dominate as the root cause of Schizoaffective Disorder, but I’ve always believed that this is an oversimplification of a complex situation. Whatever the causes behind a particular case of Schizoaffective disorder, it is the treatment and rehabilitation that are most important. In widening the spectrum of reasons for the illness, you are also widening possible different treatments for it.
I am neither a clinician or researcher, and I am speaking only through experience, but I do think that some psychiatrists and psychologists should take a more broad approach to treating Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder. I once spoke with a well-known researcher who seemed to be looking for a magic bullet that would fix the disorder, and took a more unified approach into its treatment and causes. If he were to ever find such a treatment, I would throw a huge party for all my mentally ill friends and be forever grateful. Unfortunately, I would be surprised if he or anyone ever did.