Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are usually not thought of as having anything to do with sexism. But for me, the depression that would turn into my bipolar disorder that would turn into my schizoaffective disorder was fueled by sexism. I felt ugly and alone–and some have said that loneliness is the seed that grows into mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Keep reading »

People with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are particularly susceptible to suicide, and I am no exception. But I have people in my life to live for, especially my husband and family. I make ways to remind myself of what I have to live for to get me through hard moments. With suicide, one hard moment can be all it takes to end a life. And 10% of people with schizophrenia and another 10% of people with schizoaffective disorder die of suicide. Keep reading »

People with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are no strangers to taking medication. Often, they take multiple medications, like me. I take so much medication I have trouble keeping track of it. But I take medication for my schizoaffective disorder, because it’s part of my treatment plan and it means I can live a full life. Keep reading »

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. Keep reading »

People with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder deal with stigma every day, but they have to deal with ableism as well. Ableism assumes that everyone functions at the normative capacity; and that’s just not true, including for people with a mental illness. For example, a facility without a ramp for people who are in wheelchairs would be a place of ableism. Ableism can also mean teasing someone with schizophrenia about leaving a party early. But self-inflicted ableism and schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder can be the worst stigma of all. Keep reading »

Anxiety can bring about schizoaffective and schizophrenic voices, as I’ve written before. And I’ve written about how much they scare me, even though I know they’re not real. When I say “voices,” I literally mean hearing voices– actually hearing them– even though they aren’t there. It is one of the hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and for me it’s triggered by anxiety. Keep reading »

It’s not easy being married to someone with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Just ask my husband, though, he wouldn’t admit it to you and certainly not to me. But for almost seven years now, he’s gotten me through crisis after crisis caused by my schizoaffective disorder. And he’s been very patient. Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder and marriage can sure be challenging. Keep reading »

Many people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder smoke cigarettes. I should know — I have schizoaffective disorder and I smoked for years. But I didn’t know that as many as 90% of people with schizophrenia smoke cigarettes (Nicotine-Tobacco-Cigarette Smoking Addiction). I’m glad I didn’t know that when I was trying to quit three years ago. Keep reading »

With schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, it’s easy to fall into the trap of self-stigma. When you think about the investigation into the mental state of the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed a plane into the French alps or the comment you overhear in the grocery store about the “crazy” shopper who takes “an hour” to pick the right eggs, suddenly you feel suspect and unreliable, internalizing stigma from the outer culture. This, of course, only serves to make the experience of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and the stigma from the outer culture, worse. Keep reading »

With schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, feeling overstimulated strikes often– in large crowds or even small family dinner parties. What I mean by overstimulated is a sensation that there is too much going on and too much noise. With my schizoaffective disorder, I have felt overstimulated at the family dinner table, at parties, and even at my own wedding. Keep reading »