What happens to people with schizoaffective disorder if they don't get treated?

Downward Spiral. Schizoaffective disorder, like schizophrenia, is a chronic debilitating mental illness. Without treatment, those who suffer from this disorder may lead lonely lives and have difficulty holding down a job or attending school. They will rely increasingly on family or public mental health services. They have the greatest risk of suicide of all psychiatric disorders with a rate of 20-25%.