As part of my schizoaffective disorder, I sometimes suffer from suicidal ideation, which is different from being suicidal. Basically, it means I think about killing myself, but I’ve never made an actual attempt. Still, it’s scary, because 10% of people with schizophrenia and 10% of people with schizoaffective disorder die of suicide. Suicidal ideation in schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia is so scary that one time I decided I had to go to the hospital. Keep reading »

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. Keep reading »

I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. It’s very common for anxiety to accompany bipolar disorder. So that means I have to deal with all the stress, obsessive worries, and other pitfalls of anxiety while dealing with my schizoaffective disorder (and many are in this same situation with schizophrenia). Let me give you a breakdown of what that’s like. Keep reading »

A couple of years ago, after I had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder for some time, I had a very intense mystical experience while praying to Mother Mary. I was kneeling in front of a statue of her when, all of a sudden, it seemed she was radiating rays of white and golden light through my body. The experience lasted for a few minutes. Since I have schizoaffective disorder, the skeptic in me chalked the experience up to my illness but it did get my thinking about schizoaffective disorder and spirituality. Keep reading »

Before I started taking antipsychotics, I was always really skinny — I had never weighed more than 105 pounds in my 19 years of life. It was part of my identity. So was being eccentric — a lot of my identity revolved around being what would now be called the manic pixie dream girl. In case you haven’t heard of this particular dream girl, think of Zooey Deschanel or Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous.” Pretty and petite, yet whimsical and quirky. But now I deal with schizoaffective disorder and weight gain. Keep reading »

I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. But that wasn’t always the case. I was originally diagnosed with schizophrenia. So what does it mean to have schizoaffective disorder versus schizophrenia? For me, it’s meant a long learning curve that was frightening, confusing and reeling in meds changes. My doctor now focuses on symptoms rather than a hard and fast diagnosis. Still, some understanding the differences between schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder is helpful to me and my family. Keep reading »

I have schizoaffective disorder and I hear voices. The first time I heard them 16 years ago, I thought they were faeries. Sometimes I still think that. Faeries are troublemakers. So are my voices. Keep reading »

My name is Elizabeth Caudy. When I was little, I always knew my uncle was different. As I grew older, I was able to grasp that he had schizophrenia. Since I knew schizophrenia ran in families, I was always afraid that I would become schizophrenic. And I did. Keep reading »

Under the spell of delusions and psychosis, many of us have tread the trenches of homelessness. We are fighting a battle on multiple fronts, from the horrifying symptoms that we suffer from, to the poverty and intense stigma that often follows. These varying aspects of schizophrenia can combine together to form nightmare scenarios where we are left confused, alone and living on the streets. Once homeless and ill, we face a new set of problems that include hypothermia, starvation, victimization and lack of medical care.   When this situation arises, we can become desperate and go to extreme lengths to meet our basic needs. Keep reading »

Opening a book entitled Psychos on a Saturday evening in the bargain section of a local bookstore, I came across the rantings of an author that symbolizes the hatred and stigma that people with schizophrenia often face. The defining characteristic of the psychotic, according to this New York Times bestselling author, is a “lack of empathy” followed by deranged criminal behavior. This fundamental and obvious flaw into the nature of the psychotic is still perpetuated to the public, by authors with an abundance of both influence and ignorance. Keep reading »