Low Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder

Thursday, January 18 2018 Elizabeth Caudy

I have low self-esteem and schizophrenia. Is my low self-esteem because of schizophrenia? I just don't trust my brain 100% and don't know if I ever will.

I have low self-esteem and schizophrenia (schizoaffective disorder). Unfortunately, I often feel very low self-esteem. I don’t know if it’s because of my schizoaffective disorder, but the schizoaffective disorder sure doesn’t help.

How Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia Are Connected

I Don’t Trust My Schizoaffective Mind

I feel I can’t trust my own mind. I’d say that’s a pretty good trigger for low self-esteem. I’m constantly second-guessing myself and calling up people in the middle of their busy days to ask them if it’s okay that I did something, such as hanging a coat damp with snow across the back of a chair near the radiator to dry. Would I start a fire? Did I do this right? It’s always about really basic, simple things, too: whether I took out the garbage “right” or whether I cleaned up a mess in my apartment “right.”

Most people would say there’s no wrong or right way to clean a spill or take out the garbage, but I find things and fixate on them. For example, should I have tied the knot on the garbage bag tighter? My brain focuses on the minute details to the point where reality is distorted.

I Am Too Hard on Myself

Unfortunately, I also have really low self-esteem about this blog. I hate to admit that to you. It’s just that I care about it so much and I care about helping the people who read it and I want to make it perfect. And, well, nobody’s perfect. I’m constantly getting positive feedback from readers about what a good job I’m doing to zero-in on troubling issues they face too. But I still feel really anxious and insecure about my work.

My friends and family are always telling me I’m too conscientious and too hard on myself. Again, I don’t know if this comes from having schizoaffective disorder. When people tell me this, though, it tends to go in one ear and out the other. Maybe I should start paying attention.

Part of me does pay attention, but I worry that if I stop being so tough on myself about this blog or about any other thing, I won’t be driven to do it as well as I do. Okay, this doesn’t make sense, either. I know that I do my best work when I am relaxed, open, and receptive. And it’s well-known that people perform better when they have confidence.

My therapist recently suggested I talk to myself like I’m my own best friend. A best friend would definitely not say the things I say to myself. Sometimes the things I say to myself work me up into such a frenzy that I hear schizoaffective voices. (Stress brings on the voices.) When I find myself engaging in this kind of negative self-talk, I sometimes ask myself, “Is this worth hearing voices over?” It never is.

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

View all posts by Elizabeth Caudy.

Low Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder

Nicole moore
says:
January, 24 2018 at 8:10 am

This was an amazing blog. Keepup the good work

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