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Living With Schizoaffective Disorder

I was first diagnosed with Bipolar 1 about seven years ago, after my first psychotic break. I began to hear voices and have strange religious delusions (I was an atheist!) and was admitted to a psychiatric facility. I was put on antipsychotics and given a diagnosis. It was only a few years later that I was rediagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder.

Now, my newest doctor wants to rediagnose me as Schizophrenic, although I think he’s wrong. I definitely have a mood disorder, with both mania and depression. The difference between Bipolar 1 and Schizoaffective Disorder is that I still have hallucinations and delusions apart from mania and depression.

It is unusual to start having a psychotic disorder so late in life (I was diagnosed at 37). Usually it starts in the teens or early 20’s.

It is very hard to live with. The medications don’t always prevent psychotic episodes, although they are usually milder than when I am off meds. But not always. I’ve been continuously on meds for four years, but I’ve still had to go inpatient twice this year.

It’s hard living with this disorder. I rarely leave the house, because an episode can come on any time. I never travel. I will be missing my parents’ 50th anniversary this weekend because I don’t want to travel so far away. There is also the stigma involved, especially when everyone knows I am Schizoaffective. I have embarrassed myself and my boyfriend in public more than once. It is hard to deal with, especially since the hallucinations and delusions are scary.

But I am dealing with it the best I know how, and trying to live my life. I am very comfortable at home, and most of my days go well.

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What do you think?

Legend

Written by riverwild

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12 Comments

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  1. I sympathize with what happened to you. I can empathize with how tense your life was before and during this time. But you seem to have started to recognize and understand it. If I may just give an advice, in addition to continuing medical efforts, maybe you should also do self-healing, and this has nothing to do with religion. In your context, self-healing is not really a healing but an attempt to recognize the true nature of yourself; to find the meaning of life, your privileges relate to it and the various reasons that have caused it. That way I hope and who knows you will be more receptive, grateful, and maybe, in the end, can take advantage of it as your strengths. But if this suggestion does not make sense to you, just ignore it. Regards.

      • Self-healing is a self-healing process by oneself based on a strong motivation through certain methods such as contemplation and meditation. Basically human consists of 4 dimensions; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. According to the spiritualists, up to 80% of the problems in our lives have root causes in the spiritual dimension.
        Exercise independently or with expert guidance (initially as an introduction or so on in a sustainable way) is basically aimed at making yourself always feel relaxed and peaceful, consciously controlled, aware of our own energy, and especially knowing and understanding our own spiritual dimension. It does not have to be related to religion.
        I don’t know where you live, but I am sure that there are people, groups or organizations that can help you in this regard. I can’t be too long to explain this, but to add information, you can search through search engines about such thing. For a mere introduction, you can read it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-healing. Regards.

        • I do a lot of contemplation. I used to meditate quite a bit. But I had strange experiences while meditating, that may or may not have been “spiritual ” experiences. It is hard to tell what is a real experience, or an experience of my disorder. So I stopped meditation.

          But I do contemplate quite a bit, trying to figure myself out. Thanks for the comments. You should really write a post about these subjects!

          • Unfortunately, it is difficult for us to talk intensely. If only someone who is expert and able (non-medical) to analyze your experience in meditation, may be very helpful. But I am absolutely sure, in time you will understand what is really happening to you and why.
            Actually, all my writings in Virily always revolve around such things, although I write them as life wisdom or a symbolic prose, but it seems that the theme is less popular. Regards.

  2. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share this piece. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you to experience what you do, let alone have the courage to speak about it.

    It’s interesting to hear the difference between the disorders that you were diagnosed with. I think there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about what bipolar, schizoactive and schizophrenic actually mean

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