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Our Mental Health Blogs

Baths vs. Showers and Why this Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath

Baths vs. Showers and Why this Schizoaffective Prefers the Bath

The bath vs. shower debate affects me too. I have schizoaffective disorder and sometimes, dirty hair. Find out why. Read this and vote: bath or shower?A lot of people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other mental illnesses complain that they don’t like to shower when they’re sick. I don’t either—I prefer baths. In my humble opinion, a good hot bath is so much better than a shower, whether or not you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Here’s why.

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Mental Illness Disability Benefit Slashed in Proposed Budget

Mental Illness Disability Benefit Slashed in Proposed Budget

Mental illness disability benefits are first to go when it's time to balance a budget. Some say 'it's just a mental illness'-- and that's stigma. Find out why.Like a lot of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, I make use of the mental illness disability benefit. And I’m really scared of Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which seeks to cut funding for those who are on social security due to a disability. With all his proposed policies, I can find no other conclusion than that Donald Trump wants to punish people for being sick. But it’s not just him. When it comes to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, a lot of people don’t understand why someone wouldn’t be able to work. People don’t understand why those with mental illness would need the disability benefit.

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Summer Blues, Schizophrenia, and Schizoaffective Disorder

Summer Blues, Schizophrenia, and Schizoaffective Disorder

The summer blues affect schizoaffective, bipolar type as often as the winter blues. Or maybe I'm depressed all the time. Learn more about SAD and schizophrenia.With schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, you can experience the “summer blues.” Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. For me, that means I’ve had a schizophrenic psychotic episode in which I thought I was being stalked by famous people, the Italian mafia, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It means that I hear voices. And it means that I have bipolar mood swings, from manic highs to depressive lows. I usually tend to veer to the side of depression. I am a bit of a connoisseur of depression. I’ve experienced different flavors of depression before and after my diagnoses of schizophrenia and then schizoaffective disorder. One of those flavors is the summer blues with my schizoaffective disorder.

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The Stigma of Hearing Voices in Schizophrenia Is Unnecessary

The Stigma of Hearing Voices in Schizophrenia Is Unnecessary

The stigma attached to hearing voices is unnecessary. It's possible to cope with hearing voices, and this is how I self-soothe when it happens to me. Read this.Hearing voices might be the most stigmatized symptom of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. When people hear about it, they imagine “what the voices tell you to do,” and even go as far as assuming that the voices command those of us hearing them to kill people. Just for the record: my voices don’t tell me to do anything, and even if they did I wouldn’t comply because I know they’re not real. Getting the message that the stigma of hearing voices is unnecessary across to people is probably one of the most important things I can do.

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Has Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder Held You Back?

Has Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder Held You Back?

Having schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and evaluating your life at midlife often means wondering if your illness has held you back. Often it hasn't.Because I’m 38, I’m starting to wonder if my schizoaffective disorder has held me back. Of course, you don’t have to have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder to get anxious around midlife. When my mom, who doesn’t have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, turned 40, my little brother cheerfully quipped, “Hey, Mom. Now you’re half dead.” She laughed, but I imagine the words must have stung a little bit. However, for someone with a mental illness, evaluating your life at midlife means wondering how much—and if at all—your schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder has held you back.

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Traveling with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

Traveling with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

You can't travel without schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and it's still with you when you get back home. So is it worth it to travel? Read this.Traveling with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can make vacations tricky. If your symptoms flare up over the vacation, you can’t help but feel disappointed—and disoriented (Coping Skills for Hearing Voices on Vacation). You know you can’t take a vacation from yourself (or your disorder). And, even if the vacation goes well, then you might feel depressed when you get home and it’s all over. This is how recent traveling affected my schizoaffective disorder.

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Not Working Because of Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia

Not Working Because of Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia

Not working with schizoaffective disorder makes me feel worthless. My support network reminds me neither unemployment or schizoaffective defines me. It helps.Sometimes people don’t work because of schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia. When you consider that we currently live in a political climate in which the government seems determined to slash Social Security and mental healthcare coverage, the challenges of working with a mental illness become even more alarming. I am very privileged in that even though I’m not working because of schizoaffective disorder, my support network allows me to live a normal life.

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I Mourn Who I Was Before Mental Illness

I Mourn Who I Was Before Mental Illness

It's hard not to mourn who I was before mental illness took hold. Schizophrenia and its medications changed me. I miss who I was before mental illness.

I have mourned who I was before mental illness. When I was 19 years old and a student at The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a psychiatrist delivered my diagnosis of schizophrenia. Four years later, when I was back in my hometown of Chicago and had just started earning my master’s degree, I was re-diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Here’s how my life changed when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and later schizoaffective disorder and why I mourn who I was before mental illness.

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My Schizoaffective Disorder Is Not My Fault

My Schizoaffective Disorder Is Not My Fault

Having schizoaffective disorder isn't my fault, so why do I blame myself for it? Here are insights to the blame game I play with myself due to self-stigma.I blame myself for my schizoaffective disorder, in reality, I know my schizoaffective disorder is not my fault. I know blaming myself doesn’t make sense—especially since I live to fight mental illness stigma (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Self-Stigma). It doesn’t make sense for a lot of other reasons as well. Here’s why my schizoaffective disorder is not my fault–and why I blame myself for it anyway.

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‘Adulting’ with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

‘Adulting’ with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

'Adulting' can be hard with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. But many schizophrenic adults thrive, and many of the mentally healthy do not. Do you?“Adulting” can be hard enough without schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. When you have a mental illness, even seemingly simple things like keeping the apartment clean add up to be monumental tasks (Guilt, Shame, and Responsibility in Mental Illness). Here’s how my schizophrenic and schizoaffective symptoms get in the way of adult obligations, even though I keep tackling them head on.

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