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Creative Schizophrenia

I mentioned in last week’s article that staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t that hard for me because my schizoaffective anxiety keeps me in so much anyway. However, now the extreme isolation is starting to take its toll.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is definitely taking a toll on my schizoaffective anxiety. I haven’t heard voices because of the stress (thankfully), but this is a case where I can’t tell myself I’m worrying about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.
March 11 is a very important landmark date for me. This year, it marks the eighth anniversary of being smoke-free with schizoaffective disorder. Winning the battle to become smoke-free is no small feat, especially when you have a mental disorder. Here’s how I’m celebrating--as well as some insights I’ve gained over the years since I became smoke-free.
Quite a few people in commenting about this blog have mentioned that they think my schizoaffective voices are spirits or come from the spirit world. Although I am a very spiritual person, I don’t believe my schizoaffective voices are in any way spiritual. Here’s why.
I am not a fan of diet culture. I abhor the idea that thinness is the ultimate ideal, and that all people, particularly women, should strive to be skinny above all else. Yet, here I am, dieting because of weight gained from taking antipsychotic medication for my schizoaffective disorder.
Exercise really helps my schizoaffective disorder, particularly my anxiety. In the past, I've found it hard to exercise in the brutal Chicago winter weather. I’ve now found a way to exercise without even leaving my apartment building that I’d like to share with you.
Living with schizoaffective anxiety sometimes makes me afraid to do pretty much anything. So, I often do things even though I’m afraid because, if I didn’t do them, I couldn’t function. But since, as I’ve said, I’m anxious about doing so many things, I have to work up a lot of courage to accomplish tasks other people do without a second thought.
It’s the time of year when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and schizoaffective disorder really affect me. It’s late winter, the sparkle of the holidays has faded, and my SAD revs into high gear. This is an extension of the depression I experience with my schizoaffective disorder. Here’s how SAD and schizoaffective disorder have been affecting me this year.
I went to a party. It's a big deal because schizoaffective anxiety caused me to stop going to parties for many years. But then my doctor and I did a medication change that made my schizoaffective voices all but disappear. I previously had been hearing the voices as often as twice a week, sometimes more, and that made me dread parties and the thought that voices might erupt in the middle of one. This medication change has made me a lot more confident about doing things, so, when my husband Tom and I were invited to go to a party, I decided to go.
Because of my schizoaffective disorder, I often don’t enjoy the holidays. I get anxious, stressed out, and overwhelmed. But during this past holiday season, things went relatively well, despite my schizoaffective disorder. I actually enjoyed the festivities instead of just getting through them. I have a few ideas as to why and I’d like to share them.