People with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder become very familiar with the term “functioning.”  Many mental health professionals I’ve worked with say this means you can get out of bed in the morning, shower, and pay the rent. As a person with schizoaffective disorder (a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia), I think life should be about more than just bathing every day and paying the rent. Functioning with schizoaffective disorder means something else to me. Keep reading »

I have schizoaffective disorder, meaning, simply, that I have a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. And I hear schizophrenic voices, even on Easter. It’s hard to say what brings them on. Sometimes it’s a mix of anxiety and over-stimulation; sometimes it’s one or the other. But, whatever the cause, as anyone with schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia who hears voices will tell you, it’s not fun. Keep reading »

Political activism with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can be hard, even when I have the same commitment other people feel. It’s hard to go to rallies or protests where large crowds of loud people can be over-stimulating. But these aren’t the only ways to be politically active if you have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Especially in the age of the Internet, people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder take political action without going to loud, disorienting events. Keep reading »

With schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, self-care can be hard. Things that most people take for granted, like showering, can become a looming, stressful chore. But why? Why is self-care so difficult for people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder? Keep reading »

People with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a much higher chance of having suicidal feelings and dying of suicide than the rest of the population. Knowing this, you would think the minute I had a suicidal thought, I’d go to the emergency room (What To Do If You Are Suicidal). But I’ve been to the psychiatric ward, and as useful as it can be in a time of real danger, I don’t want to end up there again. So what are some tactics people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder can use when suicidal feelings, that don’t seem to require a trip to the emergency room, hit us? Keep reading »

People do a lot of things to help with their schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, including journaling. I believe taking medication and seeing a therapist are the most important strategies. But there are other things to do for self-care besides that. I know a lot of people swear by meditation. I swear by exercise for schizoaffective disorder, as I’ve written about previously. But something new has come into my life that helps with my schizoaffective disorder that I’d like to share with you. Well, it isn’t exactly new. It’s something I’ve been doing on and off since I was five. Recently I’ve decided to get serious about it. I’m talking about journaling with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Keep reading »

As someone with schizoaffective disorder, it’s hard to say whether the Internet is a blessing or a curse. After all, without the Internet, I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it. But what can be the pitfalls of the Internet for someone with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder? Keep reading »

Schizoaffective disorder/schizophrenia and dealing with a crisis can be challenging. My brain is always making up crises. I can’t turn them off even though I know they are part of my schizoaffective and general anxiety disorders. After an initial psychotic episode, I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, and then re-diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Schizophrenia involves serious, but treatable, delusions and hallucinations. Schizoaffective disorder is a type of bipolar disorder, with milder symptoms of schizophrenia and a lot of anxiety that so often accompanies bipolar disorder. I make crises out of situations that are certainly uncomfortable but not “the end of the world” in reality. So, as people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, how do we deal with real crises when our brains are used to making every little thing into a crisis? Keep reading »

Many high-functioning people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have jobs and schizophrenia in the workplace is a real issue. Jobs that they get up and go to and where they work alongside other people. You might work alongside a person with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and not even know it. Don’t worry, we don’t bite (Are People With Mental Illness More Violent?). Keep reading »

Schizophrenic voices on Thanksgiving are not fun. People with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder aren’t the only people who may dread the holidays. In When Harry Met Sally, Harry (played by Billy Crystal) tells Sally (Meg Ryan) that he wishes he could just skip the weeks from Thanksgiving through New Year. But it may be fair to say that if you have a mental illness, your discomfort with the holidays is amped up. I have schizoaffective disorder, and I heard voices on a Thanksgiving spent celebrating with my family. Keep reading »