Living with this disorder can be really hard to deal with
What is schizoaffective disorder? It is a mental health disorder in which a person or persons experiences a combination of symptoms that are similar to those of schizophrenia and a mood disorder. It causes people to struggle in their daily lives. It is a disorder that complicated the function of a person's well-being. This may come as a surprise to most people who do not have this disorder and cause people to judge at a quicker pace than normal. A person with this disorder functions on a different level than someone who doesn't have these diagnoses. Leaving people in aww and disgust. There are a variety of symptoms that come along with this disorder. Things such as: hallucinations or delusions, mood disorder, bipolar disorder and even a depressive disorder. There are two types of disorders that are usually connected to these diagnoses, and they are bipolar type or depressive type. Now the schizoaffective bipolar type will have manic or mania episodes and sometimes major depression as well. Than to have schizoaffective depressive type which is the type where you are going to have major depressive episodes. Either way these diagnoses will help you better understand as to why you or a person you may know who has it is going through what they are going through.
Most people don't understand and prefer not to take the time to understand the disorder. A lot of times people like I said will pass judgement and wonder why people with this disorder are acting the way they do. Medication is defiantly needed to help equal out the symptoms and put them at an even tone. If you go unmedicated with these diagnoses it can cause a lot of problems as to getting and keeping a job, trouble in school, conflicts with family and friends and loneliness and even attempts of suicide. People with these disorders may need the help from another person to function properly in daily life. Leaving it hard for them to be on their own.
Symptoms: Delusions: Having false or fixed beliefs despite evidence to the contrary
Hallucinations: Seeing and hearing things that aren't there.
Impaired communication: Such as being incoherent.
Bizarre and unusual behaviors.
Period of manic moods: High energy, low energy, sleeping to much and behaviors that are out of character.
Impaired occupational: Social functioning's, problems with managing personal care.
Causes: More than likely genetic or passed down.
Risk factors: Having close blood relatives, parent or sibling who may have this disorder, stressful events that may cause triggered symptoms and taking mind altering drugs.
Complications: Suicide/suicide attempts/ suicide thoughts
Family and interpersonal conflicts
Alcohol and other drug use
These disorders can cause major health issues for the person that is diagnosed with this disorder and can also cause the person to be homeless as well. I myself suffer from schizoaffective disorder and if i go unmedicated it makes it complicated for me to function properly in everyday life.
How does this disorder make me feel?
It makes me feel like i have truly lost my mind. It is hard for me to function and get anything done. It makes it hard for me to make friends let alone be able to express myself in a proper way without getting frustrated and angry because I can't exactly get what I want to say out the right way. People tend to get very offended by things I say when I am trying to express myself. It has always been easier for me to write down what i am feeling instead of verbally voicing it out. It is so strange how people can get a better understanding when you write something down then when you voice it out. I have gotten into fights and been to jail because of it. Something I am not proud of. I have also tried taking my life several times. This was all due to the lack of medication and being off my meds for a long time. I wish I could be like other people, where they can take medication for a short period of time and then they are good. Not me. I will have to be on medication for the rest of my life. As long as it is helping me, I can't complain because it stabilizes every little thing. Making it easier for me to function somewhat in life.
People who aren't diagnosed with this disorder or mental health illness tend to react in a poor way to someone who has the disorder or mental health illness. They will push aside the feeling of those who are suffering from the illness and make a judgment as to making that person feel as if it is their fault that they have it. I don't see how people can be so cruel to other people and push their feelings down the drain. As a person who suffers from this on a daily basis, I feel for those who suffer from it as well. I see more people who suffer from it helping other people who are struggling with it as well more than those who don't. That is just what i see from my point of view.
A person who doesn't have this mental health disorder will have a harder time understanding and may not even want to know about the persons illness. Everyone's outlook on it is going to be different and their feelings towards the person who has it will be different as well. Then again you do have a few select people who aren't diagnosed with it that are willing to be there and help the person out. I can defiantly say that my man has been very understanding and has been willing to help me through whatever problems I may be having at the time. He has stuck by my side throughout a lot, and I love him so much for that. I know that it is hard on him as well as it is hard on me. There are people out there that are willing to take the time to help those in need with this disorder.
How bad does it get?
It can get pretty intense. Speaking from experience I once again have a hard time functioning and concentrating when I am hearing and seeing things. Sometimes the voices get so loud that I can't block them out and I have to lock myself in my room and steer clear of other people. When the voices talk to me, they never have anything good to say. It is always negative projections that come out. They will tell me how worthless I am and how I am no good and tell me that I deserve bad things to happen. They have even told me to hit people. That is when I will steer clear of people and isolate myself. I have been known to be rude and very bitchy towards people that haven't done anything, and it is my way of protecting them and myself. The visions are even worse than the voices are. what I see are little demon people with hoofs, fur and horns on the head. They are always in plain sight and follow me wherever I may go. They like to taunt me. There was this one time my kids and I were staying in a shelter, and I was waiting in line to get my medication and one of the creatures I see was standing by someone and laughing, they then entered the body of that person and completely changed who that person was to someone who was from my past that I had problems with. I ended up yelling at what I was seeing and not realizing that it wasn't the person from the past but someone random. I can teel you that person looked at me like there was something wrong with me because I was yelling trying to get what I was seeing attention to get away from that person. I felt really bad and apologized for yelling and said that i wasn't yelling at them but what was standing next to them and that I was trying to protect that person from any harm. Once again, I am pretty sure that person thought that I was crazy. I normally can tell the difference from what I am seeing and what is real, but sometimes it gets so bad that I can't tell which is which.
So, tell me in your own words how bad you think that is. I would love to hear your input.
What can I do to help calm the symptoms?
The big one here is make sure I take my medication like I am supposed to. Don't get me wrong medication is always a hit and miss when it comes down to it, but they really do help for the most part. Another way I can help to calm the symptoms down is by using my coping skills and trying to distract myself from focusing on what is there to me and not to someone else. I can also calmly talk to what I am seeing and try to tell them that they aren't real and that they need to leave me alone and go away. The big thing to do is take my medication and let it kick in and distract myself focusing on something else to ease my mind.
These are just a few things that I deal with when it comes to the schizoaffective disorder that I was diagnosed with. I have had the voices and visions ever since I was a kid, but I thought that it was normal to have this and that everyone else was just like me so I payed no mind to it. It started getting worse when I got older, and I had a harder time dealing with it. Knowing what I know now makes it easier for me to calm my symptoms down. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago with schizoaffective bipolar disorder and to this day it makes it hard for me to function. Negative thoughts always creeping in and unwanted feelings as well. So, I feel for all of you that are suffering with it as well because I know the feeling. It isn't easy living life with this disorder. If we all stick together, we can help each other and also pray that things will get better for us. For now, this is a little of my story and a little bit about what the disorder is. I hope that I could ease your mind and I hope that me sharing a little bit about what I am going through on a daily basis helps you feel not so alone. Just always remember that there are other people out there suffering from the same thing. Stay strong and remember you are you and it is going to be ok.