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Our Mental Health Blogs

Holiday Stress with Schizoaffective Disorder Coping Tips

Holiday Stress with Schizoaffective Disorder Coping Tips

Do you struggle with holiday stress and schizoaffective disorder?Here are some things I do to keep my schizoaffective disorder in check to avoid holiday stress.

Experiencing holiday stress with schizoaffective disorder is understandable. Most people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder have a hard time around the holidays. There’s just so much pressure—to find everyone the perfect present, or even to just weather through holiday parties. But you can take charge. Here are some things I do to beat holiday stress, cope with schizoaffective disorder, and have fun, too.

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What Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type Means for Me

What Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type Means for Me

The symptoms of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type don't look the same for everyone. This is how schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type symptoms affect me.

As some of you may already know, I have received a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. What I have not revealed until this time, is that I am diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. You may ask, “What does a schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type diagnosis mean?”

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Getting Used to Quieter Schizoaffective Voices

Getting Used to Quieter Schizoaffective Voices

I'm hearing quieter schizoaffective voices now, but they are still scary. I'm facing new challenges with the quieter schizoaffective voices, but it will be OK.Quieter schizoaffective voices are new to me, compared to the loud voices I usually hear as part of my schizoaffective disorder — a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. My schizoaffective voices have changed lately. And in a good way. But even the quieter schizoaffective voices usually come on when I’m facing stress in my life.

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Avoid Disaster When Partying with Schizoaffective Disorder

Avoid Disaster When Partying with Schizoaffective Disorder

Partying with schizoaffective disorder means we must avoid things other people don't have to worry about. Here's how I avoid disaster when partying.

How can we avoid disaster while partying when living with schizoaffective disorder? We all know that the desire to party is a fundamental aspect of life. Birthdays happen every year, and often parties are held for events such as Independence Day, Christmas, or even Thanksgiving, not to mention people’s desire to engage in events such as raves and festivals. However, we all know that partying is usually associated with risky behaviors, such as drinking and taking drugs. This is often the last thing a schizoaffective person should be doing. So how can we avoid problems when partying with schizoaffective disorder?

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Effects of Friends’ Suicides On Schizoaffective Disorder

Effects of Friends’ Suicides On Schizoaffective Disorder

Suicide triggered a new direction in my schizoaffective disorder--suicide as an option. Here's how I survive thoughts of suicide with schizoaffective disorder.

Content warning: Frank discussion of suicide affecting schizoaffective disorder.

After I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and then schizoaffective disorder, two of my friends, Josh and then Aaron (not their real names), died by suicide. Their deaths were tragic, unnecessary, preventable, and painful. And their deaths triggered a new direction in my schizoaffective disorder—dying by suicide became an option.

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Introduction to Alexander Crawford, Author of ‘Creative Schizophrenia’

Introduction to Alexander Crawford, Author of ‘Creative Schizophrenia’

Alexander Crawford, new author of "Creative Schizophrenia," talks about how he is successfully treating his schizoaffective disorder. Learn about Alexander.My name is Alexander Crawford, and I’m the new author of Creative Schizophrenia. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder – bipolar type around the time I was 22 years old. Around that time, I was at the University of Chicago and although I was doing fairly well, I had been experimenting with drugs, including what are called “research chemicals” (which are basically just synthetic drugs). The psychosis I suffered around this time was truly devastating, and because of my initial non-compliance with medication, I suffered years of pain, as I exhibited odd, aloof, and completely unrestrained behavior.

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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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Schizophrenia Treatment Benefit: Took Myself Less Seriously

Schizophrenia Treatment Benefit: Took Myself Less Seriously

Schizophrenia treatment has a silver lining. I took myself too seriously before schizophrenia treatment. I missed out on many things. I don't lose out anymore.

When you’re receiving the benefit of schizophrenia treatment due to having a psychotic episode (because of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder), and find yourself on psychiatric medication, it is hard to think that any good may have come out of it. No matter if you racked up two college degrees in spite of it. No matter if you found a loving partner in spite of it. It seems that all the good came in spite of it. But recently I thought of one benefit that came because of getting diagnosed and receiving schizophrenia treatment.

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Thank You to My Parents Who Support Me Through Schizophrenia

Thank You to My Parents Who Support Me Through Schizophrenia

My parents support means so much to me. Thank you, Mom and Dad. I couldn't have recovered this much from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder without you.

A parent’s support is amazing. It’s important for everyone to have a support system – but, for people living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, a support system is critical.  I’ve written a lot about my husband, Tom, but I haven’t written that much about my parents. My parents’ support has been there for me from day one when doctors first diagnosed me with schizophrenia, and again later when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, up until today.

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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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