What it’s like to have schizoaffective disorder

Smartcat, the company that designed the theme “Athena Pro” seems to have died, yet they left everything up so it’s a cash cow. It’s a cash cow at this point. Maybe when they’re motivated they’ll respond to my ticket to fix the image loading problem, but in the meantime I’m just going to switch themes. The last ticket hadn’t been responded to after a month, so go figure.

Anyway, what was the point of this post… Stigma, I suppose. When I explain schizoaffective disorder to people, they’re usually confused, but if you say it’s “basically schizophrenia AND bipolar” (or depression), they usually get it, or at least, they think they get it. If you do a google search for any mental illness, you’ll come up with a lot of things, and there is truth to it. However, for every person the experience of mental illness is different. However, more to the point is that there are symptoms which are not included on the sites that describe what these illnesses are about. This is a very strong reason for an argument against self-diagnosis. You simply cannot diagnose yourself; seek the help of trusted psychiatrist. Just as illnesses are different, every psychiatrist is different and likely has an interest or a specialty in a certain area. You should make note of this, because it can make the difference between having your life back or living in misery.

I’ve often heard that mental healthcare in the state of Florida is some of the worst in the US. However, I’m not sure I agree with this. The concept of the Baker Act is great. However, it is abused, there is no doubt. Essentially when you are Baker Acted, you are stripped of your rights as a citizen with the exception of a few new rights: among the most important right is probably the right to deny treatment. That said, if you do deny treatment, there are likely going to be consequences. At a minimum, a Baker Act lasts 3 days, however your psychiatrist can renew the Baker Act if he or she should so choose. It’s similar to dealing with the police: keep your mouth shut, and cooperate.

Schizoaffective disorder can be described as schizophrenia and bipolar (or depression), however it is actually not the same. While it is possible to have both schizophrenia and bipolar, this is not the same as schizoaffective disorder. In essence, it boils down the pattern of psychosis and how it correlates to the mood disorder.

In my case, schizoaffective disorder means hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mania/depression. I have auditory, visual, and olfactory hallucinations (olfactory hallucinations are basically smelling things that aren’t there). Yes, I have caught myself talking to hallucinations before, but that is rare.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned meds before, but I am extremely sensitive to my meds. If I miss a dose, I feel it. If I miss more than 1 dose, it’s a spiral down the rabbit hole. The week before last I went off my meds for about 4 days or so. Eventually I just forced myself to take them. At that point, I was honestly concerned I needed to go to the hospital to be titrated, but I just did it myself and now I’m fine. The medicines operate best when they are maintained steady state over a long period of time, which has never been the case for me. I do like the Geodon though. I take Prozac for depression. Like I said, long term equilibrium is key, and if you’re going on a med for the first time, it can take a while for the medication to start functioning. Took about 3 weeks for me, and I was in the hospital when it kicked in and I just went haywire bouncing off the walls.

My sister was bragging she takes 15 pills a day. Well, currently my meds are 8 pills in the morning and 9 pills at night, so 17 pills a day. HAH!

I also have epilepsy, so when I go off my meds, it really gets me. Just lying in bed having seizure after seizure is enough to want to finish yourself, THEN you have a mental illness.

I’m hoping I will be a candidate for a deep brain stimulator (DBS). It’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Well anyway. This post barely gets into any real detail about anything, so look for future posts that do. There’s just way too much to discuss and I’m running low on motivation right now to write anymore.

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