So, I’ve written things about coping techniques like reality checking and whatnot. That’s all great. Even if you think you know, you are still never sure because as time goes on, you forget the context of the situation (which happens very fast). At the end of the day, you just have to learn to put up with it. For instance, I heard the TV in the living room until I walked out of my bedroom to check that it was off (which it was). Little things like that. It’s taken a long time to really be sure that I hallucinate. I think I wrote about this a while back when my mom and her boyfriend went to Key West. I called the cops because I felt threated by what was nothing more than a hallucination. Even though the cops didn’t Baker Act me (hallucinations or delusions on their own will not get you Baker Acted), when they confirmed it had to be a hallucination it scares me. They offered to take me down to the hospital so I went, but even the hospital said I didn’t need to be there. Go figure. So, the cops were very nice and left a card, and they came back to bring me home.
I used to live alone. I never had any problems until I moved from Austin to St. Pete and had several major seizures before they put me on drugs. Being alone, and unconscious from a seizure for 1.5 days nearly killed me. Yet, I lived alone anyway, eventually moving to New York and later Maryland where I lived in a prison for 2 months with a boss who completely did not care (there’s a post about this elsewhere).
But anyway, life goes on. I’ve never been more confident of my diagnosis. Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. There is a paper which claims schizoaffective disorder doesn’t exist, and that it’s just a subtype of schizophrenia. I have to disagree. There IS a subtle difference, you can be diagnosed with both schizophrenia and bipolar, but I usually explain schizoaffective as schizophrenia and bipolar because otherwise people don’t understand. Most people don’t understand most mental illness anyway and if you do the cliche google search you only get a very general list of symptoms. You have to consider side effects of medications, problems with relationships (both friendships and family), etc.
There are things I won’t write here, but they’re not secrets to the people who know. I know that they know that I know. Or at least I think so?
The problem with schizophrenia a lot of the time is that the meds make people feel normal again, and so they think they can stop the meds. I still have hallucinations and delusions even when on meds, so I’ve never gone off meds for those reasons. For me, it’s related to stress. Somehow, for whatever reason, I’ve lost the ability to handle any form of stress. I’ve known this for a while, and many people have repeated this to me independent of each other. I just stop, and that includes taking the meds, and everything goes downhill from there.
So, to sum up, the hallucinations are convincing. What I don’t understand is why other schizophrenics respond to their voices and I don’t. Maybe that’s the difference between schizophrenia and schizoaffective?
I had a therapist tell me that I wasn’t actually hallucinating, I was just hearing my thoughts in my head. Perhaps that was the case back then, I don’t remember now. However I can say this: It is easy to mix up thoughts in your head with hallucinations. So, it’s a game.