Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Suicidal Ideation
As part of my schizoaffective disorder, I sometimes suffer from suicidal ideation, which is different from being suicidal. Basically, it means I think about killing myself, but I’ve never made an actual attempt. Still, it’s scary, because 10% of people with schizophrenia and 10% of people with schizoaffective disorder die of suicide. Suicidal ideation in schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia is so scary that one time I decided I had to go to the hospital.
Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and the Hospital
I was living with my fiancé (now my husband), and asked him to take me to our local mental hospital because of frequent suicidal ideations (thoughts) I was having due to my schizoaffective disorder. No one could understand why I needed to be checked into the hospital; after all, I had an engagement ring on my finger. The truth was that my schizoaffective brain had a very hard time grappling with this huge life change. For one thing, except for college, when I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, I had lived with my parents my whole life. For another, I was now going to be sharing my life with another person, and as wonderful as he is, at the time it was a very stressful prospect. We were planning to remain child-free, so at least there wasn’t that added stressor. But, to give you an idea of how stressed out I was, I developed serious acne while I was engaged when otherwise my complexion had been flawless. My fiancé really proved himself when I was in the psychiatric hospital. Some of my relatives even questioned him about whether he knew what he was signing up for. He simply said, “I know.” He visited me every night I was in the hospital and even brought me sushi one night. I will never forget how much my husband cared for me when I was in the hospital for suicidal ideation. We weren’t even married yet and he could easily have walked away from his schizoaffective bride-to-be.
Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Self-Harm
This is really hard for me to write about because I'm sorry to say I've done it. I'm not going to tell you exactly what happened in case it's triggering, but I have self-harmed. The second time I self-harmed, when I was in my 20s, I had abruptly been taken off my antidepressant because it started causing me to have seizures. The first time I self-harmed I was a teenager. It was before I was diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder or on any medications and I was really bored, lonely, and depressed.
How Schizoaffective Suicidal Ideation Affects Me Today
The reason I’m writing this now is that I have been having suicidal ideation and thoughts of self-harm recently. I blame the time of year—I always get really crazy around February and March (which is when I’m writing this). Winter and short days have lingered too long by then. I also blame the current episode on the fact that my antidepressant is being tweaked. Whatever the reason, I would never act on these impulses because I’ve seen what suicide can do and I wouldn’t want to do that to my friends and family, especially my husband. I have a support system that includes my husband, my parents, my therapist, and my psychopharmacologist. However I might feel now, I know I will get through this.
More About Suicidal Ideation and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder
Photo by Elizabeth Caudy.
Caudy, E. (2015, April 7). Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Suicidal Ideation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2015/04/schizophrenia-schizoaffective-disorder-suicidal-ideation
Author: Elizabeth Caudy
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Thanks for blogging, it always helps to learn from others xo I can relate to your hubby and the comments "do you know what your getting into" and the other classic "why don't you just leave?" Lol wish I had a dollar for every time Ive felt or heard that, I'd be rich lol yes it is hard at times when hubby is really unwell and struggling, but aren't all relationships hard? Its hard when your partner has cancer (mine has it too but noone EVER says why don't you leave when I say he has Leukemia, go figure lol) My hubby and I have an incredible high level of trust and honesty, more than I have experienced in any relationship, our communication skills have grown and flourished. We communicate at a level you dont always see in relationships, we have had to do this, but I see it as a bonus. The unconditional love we have is beautiful. I KNOW he loves me with all his heart, I FEEL that xoxo He has taught me to be patient and kind and how we dont always know whats happening in others people lives to make them act like they do. I have learnt kindness and empathy for others, how small acts of kindness can mean so much. He has taught me strength in times of darkness and on really hard days. Those days he fights to stay alive from suicidal and self harm thoughts are days of EPIC battles and he has the strength to get through them, wow I really admire his strength and if he can get through those days then I can get through my tough days. He has taught me how to seperate the person and their illnesses, I know whats him and whats his illnesses. He has taught me to never give up, when you get knocked down you get up again, in the best way you can and start moving forward again. So if people ask me if I knew then what I know now would I still be with him....my answer is definately YES because if we hadnt been on this incredible journey together I would never have know such GREAT LOVE, and the loving relationship we have is sooooooo worth it, I wouldnt want to miss out on experiencing that for anything.
I am glad you are writing, blogging. I hope it helps you with your thoughts. Be thankfuk you have a fiance that loves you enough to go through this with you.