The Depression Behind My Schizoaffective Disorder
Wednesday, May 16 2012 Dan Hoeweler
Though this blog has focused primarily on my issues with reality, depression lives behind my schizoaffective disorder. I currently struggle with depression the most. Even on antidepressants, I still suffer from severe bouts of depression which disrupt my social life and work.
Schizoaffective Disorder Takes a Back Seat to Depression at Least Once a Year
When depressed I can spend months rarely leaving my house and shunning the outside world. I feel an unjustified sickness in my stomach towards people, society and my environment. Friends and colleagues leave messages on my phone asking me where I am at, and if I am still alive.
These bouts of depression hit primarily in the winter months, and have not gone away despite the large amounts of medications that I take. They tend to not be severe enough to land me in the hospital, but aren’t exactly pleasant either. One positive aspect of being a part time writer, is that it is an occupation which I am able to perform during these semi-debilitating months.
I have suffered depression for so long, that I cannot count the number of bouts that I have suffered from over the years. I can tell you that a year has not gone by in which I have not been depressed for a lengthy time.
Depression Is Perhaps More Difficult to Cope with than Schizoaffective Disorder
Depression, however, is common and easier to understand than something like a psychotic break. Depression is considered the common cold of mental illness, and something believed to be more benign than schizoaffective disorder. As disruptive as psychotic episodes are for me, I am strangely unsure if they are that much more painful than my depressive episodes. This is possibly because I am so wrapped up in my fantasy world, during a psychotic break, that I feel somehow more immune to pain and suffering. During times of severe depression I am very cognizant of the pain that I am feeling.
One of the differences between schizoaffective disorder and other affective disorders is that you can have psychotic breaks even without a mood disturbance. It is considered to be rarer than either major depression or bipolar disorder, and harder to diagnose. From my understanding, there has even been a debate as to whether it should have it’s own category, and instead be considered a sub-type of another illness.
Someday I hope that I will stop having depressive episodes, but I have had them for so long that I cannot imagine that they will ever end. Maybe one day I will find a way out, much like I did for my psychotic breaks. If not, I can still say that I have had an interesting life, even if it is has been somewhat painful.