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  1. #1

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with this disorder, not believing this to be true. I don't understand this to the full extent.

    Yes, I admit I heard voices, saw things that apparently were not there. But it was short lived.

    I do experience I believe to some extent, paranoia. I think others can look at me and know what I am thinking. I try to avoid eye contact as I think this way they won't know what's going on in my mind. I think that people are watching my every move. Like someone sent people to watch me. I look out windows wondering who is out there today.

    I do hear things in my head, not sure if its just me though. The things telling how useless I am, to keep taking pills. (laxatives), that this is the answer. To not eat, cause I am fat and ugly enough. They or I tell myself to do this, to be in control. I tell myself that this is my way out.

    But is this really considered schizoaffective? I don't think so. I am a cutter, sometimes. Its the voice inside my head that convinces me that I will better after harming myself, and holds to be true for a short time. (sigh).

    Haunting

  2. #2

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    Yes, I admit I heard voices, saw things that apparently were not there. But it was short lived.
    Psychotic episodes can result from anxiety, depression, mania, or some other negative emotional state...no personality or schizophrenic disorder required. Also, primitive cultures would induce psychosis by sleep deprivation and dancing for long periods of time at a manic pace. Personally, I think schizoaffective disorder is more myth than science:

    The Disease called "Schizoaffective Disorder" was invented with the advent of the USA's DSM III but it was not until the DSM III r came out that actual guidelines for diagnosing this disease were invented.

    Schizoaffective disorder is one of the most confusing and controversial diagnostic categories in psychiatry.
    http://www.schizoaffective.org/whatis.htm
    Regarding paranoia, lots of people are paranoid to some extent without being mentally ill per se...like the late President Nixon. To survive and flourish, our minds usually need something crazy to believe in. It's like the song by the artist Seal:

    In a world full of people there’s only some want to fly,
    Isn’t that crazy?
    Isn’t that crazy... isn’t that crazy... isn’t that crazy...

    Ohh... But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little crazy.. crazy..
    No we’re never gonna to survive unless we are a little... crazy..

    --from "Crazy" by Seal
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    I really enjoy what you write. Kind of a different perspective. But with paranoia, if it drives you to the point of an emotional roller-coaster.... well is that normal?

    I think though, maybe its just my voice inside. As confusing as this may sound. I find myself very up and down. I often feel like I could take on the world, bring on anything. Like as if I can fly. Then boom!!! I hit this feeling of such emptiness, the end seems so close. But then again..... all of a sudden I am wonderwoman. Its a up and down yo-yo type feeling. This happens constantly through out my day. Happy, sad, excited, depressed, elated, despair,....... its annoying to say the least.

    Makes me wonder how sane or insane I am. I find this hard, the emotional upset. I find my thoughts race so bad, simply does not make any sense. The real VS. the unrealistic is what is so confusing. I don't know whats real and what's not anymore. Strange.

    Haunting

  4. #4

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    Lamictal is now a popular drug for mood swings. However, the only thing that helps my mood swings so far is "behavior therapy," e.g. trying to follow the same daily routine regardless of mood.

    The real VS. the unrealistic is what is so confusing. I don't know whats real and what's not anymore. Strange.
    Frankly, I don't think having an objective view of reality and of oneself is exactly a road to happiness, though it would mitigate negatives like paranoia and grandiose thinking. Most happy people I know prefer to focus on an everyday, traditional view of the world and have a greater sense of a fixed personality than is actually true.

    I am now fairly used to the transition from grandiose thinking to self-defeating thinking, so it is no longer significantly distressing. Also, one of my therapists said that grandiose thinking is not all bad, and I have found grandiose thinking to be positive when it gives me more energy to function. It was grandiose thinking, after all, that inspired the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and the other man-made wonders of the world.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    I will not take meds. I won't simply cause of the side effects.

    I do think we need to understand our thinking, how can we get by when we have not a clue to what's going on inside?

    There is without a doubt so many ways to view our lives, the world in general. It comes from within us, no matter our perception of what this may hold.

    Haunting

  6. #6

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    I do think we need to understand our thinking, how can we get by when we have not a clue to what's going on inside?
    Yes, of course. It's surprising that so many depressed people still don't seek any treatment at all. On the other hand, some people focus on their conditions so much that they can't help becoming self-absorbed, increasing their social isolation.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    Haunting, no one can accurately diagnose you online / at a distance, nor should anyone attempt to do so. First, an adequate initial diagnosis requires taking a reasonably complete personal, clinical, and family history, as well as ruling out several medical conditions that can mimic mental disorders. Second, some of the factors that one should take into account in a diagnosis are derived from direct observation of the individual, her reactions, style of communication, etc., etc.

    On the other hand, I disagree absolutely with the view that schizoaffective disorder doesn't really exist, Daniel. And if the phrase "was invented" is intended as a negative comment, the same can be said of any other disorder in the DSM. The last version added several "new disorders" -- but of course the disorders themselves weren't new: it was simply that they were being recognized as separate disorders with separate criteria instead of being lumped in with one or more other disorders where they didn't really fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    Also, primitive cultures would induce psychosis by sleep deprivation and dancing for long periods of time at a manic pace.
    No... they might be able to induce symptoms including hallucinations which mimicked "psychosis". You can also do that by inducing a hyperactive thyroid or through the ingestion of several drugs. But the effects are short-lived and have an identifiable origin which has nothing to do with a psychotic disorder (I'm not talking about substance-induced psychotic disorders here, which can be quite long-lasting).

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunting
    I will not take meds. I won't simply cause of the side effects.
    Then you are condemning yourself to a great deal of unnecessary stress and distress. There are enough choices now in medications that with a bit of trial and error virtually anyone can find some medication or combination of medications that will provide the desired benefits without undesirable side effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    one of my therapists said that grandiose thinking is not all bad, and I have found grandiose thinking to be positive when it gives me more energy to function. It was grandiose thinking, after all, that inspired the pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and the other man-made wonders of the world.
    That isn't grandiose thinking. That's merely thinking big or ambitiously. Grandiose thinking requires a suspension of objective reality to some degree.

  8. #8

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    Of course, in the light of day, I have to agree with Dr. Baxter yet again. At a minimum, disorder criteria like that of schizoaffective disorder makes it easier to discuss a certain set of persistent symptoms.

    Regarding meds:
    Haunting, have you tried some meds, only to feel they didn't work except to give you side effects? If so, there are many other psych drugs to choose from, as you know. For example, the new antidepressant Lexapro is extremely well-tolerated.

    According to what I have read, most psychiatrists, if they were mentally ill and had to choose between seeing a fellow psychiatrist or seeing a psychologist, would naturally prefer to see a psychiatrist because psychiatrists rightly believe that the underlying chemical imbalance is the most important issue in chronic mental illness. Of course, a combo package of both counseling and meds is the most effective treatment. At the very minimum, anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs could help you sleep better, Haunting. Personally, I take meds just to help prevent a relapse when external stresses arise, and I take anti-anxiety drugs if I have problems sleeping.

    Of course, if you have side effects, you can simply ask to be titrated off the drug. (The only drug I would be very cautious with is the antipsychotic/antimanic drug Depakote.)

    Also, who is to say that the supportive clinical environment in which the meds are given along with any placebo effects is not another valid reason for taking them?
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9

    ?

    Sorry Dr. Baxter, I did not intend for someone to diagnos me over the net. I apologize. It kind of the way I phraze my questions. I know this is not possible. I am simply looking for ideas, experiences, suggestions and so on.

    I find mental illness very difficult to understand and when you do not or have not had the proper help in finding these answers, well it is frustrating.

    As to medications, I have been on so many it makes me ill just thinking about it. I was recently on Prozac, but with not eating it was affecting my stomach too much. My doctors were all hesitant in going any further with them, although they do want to look at this. I do fully believe that meds can and will help people. I was on Prozac years ago and helped me a great deal, with of course the counseling.

    I agree with you Dr. Baxter when you say I am condemning myself to a great deal of unnecessary stress and distress. I don't deny this. I have not yet heard of any type of med that does not have the negative side effects that I fear.

    Look at it from my point of view. I have a horrid fear of weight gain, being fat, and panick when the mere thought of food may enter the picture. So you give me meds, only to find it causes weight gain. Not only this, sleep disturbances, which already affect me to the fullest extent. I sleep maybe 3 hrs a night with nightmares. Why set my self up for more problems? When I was on med after med, I could function less then I could without them. I struggled daily with raising my children as I did not have any energy. Yes, my energy is extremely low right now, but I still manage.

    This is very hard to see, I understand where others are coming from. I am not a closed minded individual, (usually). Yes, in my world it is black. The world that I have created for myself. But this is my safety net. I wish you could see inside, what is going on, then maybe.......

    So, I do want to to say that I will be more careful with the questions I pose here, not looking for you all to fix me. I suppose the confusion part is where this may have been mistaken for. I apologize to my fullest extent. I do apreciate all of the feedback. I find it very interesting, and I thank you for this.

    Haunting

  10. #10

    Long time ago was diagnosed with schizoaffective

    Haunting, I did not mean that as a rebuke, merely as a clarification. No need to censor your posts. I also understand that, like other members, some of what you post here is a way of thinking out loud to clarify your own thoughts and get reactions from others and differing perceptions, and I have no wish to cause you to inhibit that.

    If you or any member is doing something that worries me from the point of view of this forum or other members, believe me I will state my concerns very directly. I don't have such concerns about your posts so far.

    I still would suggest to you that what ties all of these problems together is PTSD. Try to investigate EMDR therapists in your area...

    (then again, I think I said I was going to try to help you do that, didn't I?)

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