Affective stress: understanding psycho-affective disorder?

Written by: Loris Vitry (holistic coach)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)

Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Affective stress: understanding psycho-affective disorder?
New: This anti-stress breathing technique is very effective for turn off anxiety (and no, it's not deep breathing).

Affective stress is a state of acute stress characterized by different symptoms.

It usually occurs as a result of painful events that are synonymous with anxiety, mental suffering, emotional stress, suffering, psychological stress, mental suffering and life stress.

The state of emotional stress can be declared beyond a period of 3 to a month after the painful event, since emotional stress involves anxiety related to reliving or reacting to the painful event.

This article aims to explain everything about emotional stress in order to help understand psychoaffective disorder.

Psychoaffective disorder: What is it?

Psychoaffective disorder, the result of emotional stress is a term used in psychiatry to refer to a mental disorder.

It is also called schizoaffective disorder, acute psychotic disorder, or dysthymic schizophrenia.

It is a disease characterized primarily by numerous episodes of mood disturbances and schizophrenia.

Mood disturbances affect cognition, affect emotion and cause hearing abnormalities, delusions, unorganized language, inconsistent thoughts, paranoia, social and personal integration difficulties.

These symptoms appear most often in adulthood, but can also occur in adolescence.

They can all occur at the same time or at different times.

The prevalence of psychoaffective disorders is between 0.5 and 0.9 in 100 people.

To date, there is no test performed on this disorder, although changes in metabolism are observed in the process of metabolism of BH4, glutamate, dopamine in people with psychoaffective disorders.

It should be emphasized that neurobiological, environmental, psychological and even social factors can intervene in the manifestation of the disease.

Likewise, taking certain medications can cause, exacerbate and worsen the symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms of psychoaffective disorders

You have to distinguish psychoaffective disorder from a simple mood disorder.

It differs from mood disorder in that we speak of a psychoaffective disorder when psychosis meets criterion A for schizophrenia.

This encounter gives rise to symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions which are the classic symptoms of psychosis and cognitive symptoms.

Delusions are characterized by the perception of false beliefs such as: the belief that a trivial event has special and personal significance or the belief that others are inferior.

Sound hallucinations are the most common, but sometimes they involve all five senses.

We speak of hallucination when the patient experiences a dysfunction of perception.

Other symptoms can also be seen.

These are mainly different mood disorders such as:

  • Manias: they involve disorders like megalomania, strong irritability, great agitation, high-risk behavior (self-harm, impulsivity), persistent insomnia, impaired concentration, rapid thoughts and language and jerky.
  • Depression, the result of chronic anxiety, is characterized by apathy, changes in diet, disturbed sleep, deep hopelessness, mood swings, severe asthenia, low mood and low mood. recurrence of suicidal thoughts.
  • Mixed state: Mixed state is a mixture of manic and depressive symptoms occurring at the same time.
  • Hypomania: a mood disorder characterized by depressive and manic episodes.

Affected people therefore generally have complex symptoms: cognitive, psychological, behavioral, and signs of mood.

Hence the need for a medical diagnosis to determine exactly whether it is a simple mood disorder or not, especially since a period of improvement can follow a period of severe crises. .

This diagnosis does not require any laboratory or imaging test and is made on the basis of the symptoms reported by the patient’s family, symptoms and other clinical signs.

It is also based on the behavior of the patient and their experiences with these symptoms.

The causes of psychoaffective disorders

The causes of psychoaffective disorders are not yet fully understood.

Nonetheless, it is recognized that there is a group of people with severe form of schizophrenia and others with severe mood disorders.

There are also indications that schizophrenia is a psychotic illness.

Genes interacting with certain environmental, biological and social conditions are believed to be at the origin of psychoaffective disorders.

Thus, the psychological state of people with the disorder is very similar to that of people with schizophrenia and mood disorder.

On the other hand, prolonged anxiety, painful events, taking drugs, taking high doses of alcohol can cause a psycho-emotional disorder, accentuate and worsen it.

Treatment of psychoaffective disorders

Several treatments are possible to help the patient.

They are primarily therapy-based and usually begin with seeing a doctor.

A psychologist is then consulted for psychotherapy characterized by an extensive program of talk therapy.

The goal is to help the patient to access the cessation of his suffering.

The psychologist will therefore be primarily concerned with treating mental disorders through speech therapy.

They can also use psychoeducation to support, comfort and enhance the person through mental health education.

Psychological and social rehabilitation being essential, as far as healing is concerned, the psychologist can also use family therapy.

Furthermore, when there are risks that persist for the patient and those around him, it is necessary to proceed to hospitalization.

Psychotherapy does not aim so much to cure the symptom, but to describe and understand the psychic functioning of the patient. The latter could resort to a psychiatrist for the treatment of mental disorders using drugs.

This is because people with psychoaffective disorder usually respond to a combination of medication and psychological support.

As for drugs, it consists of taking mood stabilizers, antidepressants, neuroleptics, antiepileptics, inhibitors which generally relieve the patient.
More specifically and by way of example, the neuroleptic alleviates the symptoms of certain thought disorders and improves them.

The antiepileptic drug prevents seizures, relieves pain and treats symptoms associated with certain memory problems.

The inhibitor helps cure depression and anxiety.


Although psychoaffective disorder is serious, it can be overcome.

As soon as symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention to make sure it is indeed a mood change.

If the disorder is confirmed, it is best to practice the recommended solutions.

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