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Our Mental Health Blogs

Defining Myself Outside of My Mental Illnesses

Defining Myself Outside of My Mental Illnesses

Defining myself outside of my mental illnesses is a full-time job. It's important to have an identity outside of schizophrenia and anxiety. Here's how I do it.

Defining myself outside of mental illness is something I must do. Dealing with my schizoaffective disorder and generalized anxiety disorder can be a full-time job, but I am more than my mental illness symptoms. It’s difficult to define myself outside of mental illness sometimes. Anxiety makes bathing difficult, cooking impossible (luckily, my husband Tom cooks for us), and I’m even afraid to go out in the rain. Through all of this, I try to weave other things into my life that define who I am beyond mental illness.

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The NAMI Walk For Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

The NAMI Walk For Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

The NAMI Walk helps me advocate for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. It's a healing experience. Read about the 2017 NAMI Walk in Chicago.

Ever since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and then schizoaffective disorder, mental health advocacy has become a very important cause for me. One of the ways I advocate for people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder is by participating in the annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) walk in Chicago, a beautiful lakefront trek in the company of thousands of people.

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Business of Schizophrenia: Homelessness and Mental Illness

Business of Schizophrenia: Homelessness and Mental Illness

Schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder doesn’t have to stop you from having a business. Schizophrenic.NYC. founder Michelle Hammer, a native New Yorker, chatted with me about her business and how it helps homeless people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in New York City.

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What Carrie Fisher Meant to Schizophrenics, Schizoaffectives

What Carrie Fisher Meant to Schizophrenics, Schizoaffectives

As someone with bipolar disorder—and, really, as someone with a mental illness in general—Carrie Fisher meant a lot to me and other people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (Carrie Fisher and Manic Depression). I think I speak for many of us in the schizophrenic and schizoaffective community when I say she will be missed—an understatement to say the least. Here is what Carrie Fisher meant to me as a person with schizoaffective disorder.

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Telling Others About Your Schizoaffective Disorder

Telling Others About Your Schizoaffective Disorder

Telling others about your schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia can be tricky, often because of the stigma surrounding these illnesses (Telling Someone You Have a Mental Illness). Other people may have incorrect preconceived notions about these illnesses, such as the myth that a person with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is violent. Here’s how I approach telling other people about my schizoaffective disorder.

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Stigma Against Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

Stigma Against Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

It’s hard enough having schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder but the stigma against schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia is something else to fight. Some people have unfriended me on Facebook because I tell them I have schizoaffective disorder. I didn’t do or say anything “crazy.” Just my open admission that I have the disorder was enough. That’s just one example of what happens when someone is uninformed and clings to stereotypes about what I am like–what anyone is like—who has schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.

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Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia And Violence

Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia And Violence

It is widely assumed that people with mental illnesses like schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia are violent. But this is stigma. Here's the truth.

People so often assume that those of us with mental illnesses like schizoaffective disorder (SZD) or schizophrenia are violent. The fact is that people with a mental illness are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the perpetrator (Appleby, et al., 2001). In the wake of the horrific Orlando shooting, once again mental illness is blamed as a cause for the attack. And, once again, stigma regarding violence among those with mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, is reinforced.

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Antipsychiatry, Stigma And Schizoaffective Disorder

Antipsychiatry, Stigma And Schizoaffective Disorder

Antipsychiatry stigma can affect people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. And having schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder is hard enough without having people tell you that you shouldn’t be taking your medications. Antipsychiatry and stigma is rampant and dangerous not to mention it’s rude to question one’s choice of treatment for an illness. Unfortunately, antipsychiatry is a stigma that everyone with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other mental illnesses runs into at some point.

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Schizophrenia and What a Psychotic Episode is Like

Schizophrenia and What a Psychotic Episode is Like

People may want t to know what a psychotic episode is like in schizophrenia. You may be surprised to learn how innocent they can be.

Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are scary words to a lot of people but knowing that psychotic episode is like might help alleviate that.. They assume that those of us who have these illnesses are violent and that the voices we hear tell us to kill people. This isn’t the case as my own experience with psychosis will show you. People do not need to fear people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder or their psychotic episodes.

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Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Stigma

Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Stigma

As a person with schizoaffective disorder, I am very sensitive to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder stigma. Stigma marginalizing people with mental illness is everywhere, and no one seems to have much of a problem with it except for the mental health community. And stigma is especially rampant against people with diseases like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

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