I Have Schizoaffective Disorder… So, What Is That Experience Like?

I did a guest post for Mental health 360° today, of which I am proud. It was great fun, and it was a joy working with Caz!

Here is the guest post in its entirety:

https://mentalhealthfromtheotherside.com/2020/04/17/living-with-schizoaffective-disorder/

Caz has a lot to say about mental health herself, as a Mental Health Nurse, with designations in Mental Health First Aid and Mental Health Armed Forces Instruction, among others!

Again, it was great working with Caz.

Check out her site at:

https://mentalhealthfromtheotherside.com/

Below is an abbreviated version of the post I did.

Thank you!


For me, my thoughts are oftentimes quite muddled.

I have confusion much of the time, and when I am clear on my thinking, that is a bonus—something worthy of celebrating!

Usually though, my days are spent listening to music, blogging, being on social media (for my blog), and writing.

I try to stay off of places like Facebook, because I just end up getting upset with others. And, I don’t want to put myself (and everyone else) through that!

I also have to stay away from politics as much as possible too, as nearly all types of politics are triggering.

So, again, I listen to music, blog, spend time on social media for my blog, and write.

And, that’s my typical day!

But, what do I think about? What are my thoughts like?

Pinning my thoughts down isn’t always easy.

Much of the time, I have skewed and warped views or “delusions,” about anything and everything.

“Hallucinations” are also prevalent—where I hear voices—that typically say or yell disparaging things.

I will even have full-blown conversations (a lot of times without my even realizing I am doing so), that focus on things that are largely invasive, and that have a negative undertone to them.

Like, I think a lot about how (I believe) my blog is garnering a lot of negative attention from important people (i.e. the government or people connected to the government), who may somehow use the things I write about, against me.

And, I am in competition with these conversations, in order to have a healthy stream of thoughts (which I don’t 100% of the time get to experience).

I do get lost or stuck a lot with my way of thinking, and as I’ve said, I basically am tasked with interrupting those invasive conversations, as they are unhealthy and unkind.

I deal with all of this stuff every day, but interestingly enough, I do have some amount of happiness and confidence within myself and with regards to the life I live.

That didn’t happen overnight either. In fact, it took all of 20 years to figure out that I can also feel good, while in the midst of psychosis.

What the turning point for me was, was figuring myself out and what I believe, and then slowly introducing the notion of being in an intimate relationship, which I feel that achieving that has been my biggest stabilizing force.

I also feel that relationships (in general) tend to be very elusive to many people living with severe mental illness.

If we could all just begin to look at our mental illnesses as something that we just have, and find ways to challenge ourselves amid them aka try to make our life experiences somehow better, I think that we will win the battle against our diagnoses!

Perhaps that is wishful thinking for a lot of us, and maybe it is, but I always believe in doing something, that places me in an upward and onward direction!

And, yes, it is quite tough!

But, I have noticed that specific improvements do occur, when I am overtly challenging myself and my current levels of insight.

So, how do you feel when you are challenging your mental health experience? Especially as it pertains to wrestling control of your symptoms?

What Can Stable And Functioning Look Like?

I am getting closer to figuring some things out.

It’s about goals.

And, I do better with one goal at a time.

So, for today, it might mean that I have a degree of happiness. Somewhere on the inside… 🙂

I remain symptomatic, however, and I have both delusions and hallucinations.

With schizoaffective disorder, I often get it from every angle.

But, I did wake up today! And, that is something I am working to cherish/build upon!

It would be nice if there weren’t so much fear in my life…

Still, I am “on the path,” which counts for a whole hell of a lot!

What does stable and functioning look like for you?

Doing One’s Best With Severe Mental Illness

I’ve ultimately been living with schizoaffective disorder for over 20 years.

It has totally taken me down, in the sense that I am a fraction of the person I used to be.

Much of my progress has either slowed down or is at a complete halt (depending on the area).

Some people—many people—are unable to handle severe mental illness, due to what it does to them.

There are individuals who succumb to addiction, which makes it even tougher for them to get along.

The only time I engaged in any sort of behavior that one might call “addictive” (aside from eating too much), is when I self-medicated with alcohol, two to three times a week in college.

Those were some pretty challenging days, but all days with this illness are challenging!

I eventually got on a consistent regimen of meds, and gave up alcohol consumption altogether.

It’s hard, and there’s no way around that fact.

All in all, you could say, I am one of the lucky ones!

I am medication compliant, I don’t drink or use street drugs, and I try to have (and live) a better life.

To those close to me especially, they sometimes hear me say that “life sucks.”

And, the fact is… it can and does for many people!

I am self-tasked, though, to do my best—in all things.

Have a great day/night!

People Don’t Understand Schizophrenia And Probably Never Will

I can discuss my symptoms until I am blue in the face. And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind talking about them. It’s what I want to do!

The challenge comes though, when people walk away without a greater understanding of what people like me are battling.

I feel, in instances like these, that I have failed.

Not to worry. It is very uncommon to properly educate someone on chronic mental illness.

They just don’t get it.

I think we tend to gravitate towards things we understand, and for many, chronic mental illness is not it.

What are your thoughts? Who exactly do you think understands these illnesses?