Finding Someone New to Treat My Schizoaffective Disorder
My psychopharmacologist of almost 20 years is retiring, and I have to find someone new to treat my schizoaffective disorder. Lisa (not her real name) is terrific. She’s the one who re-diagnosed me as schizoaffective, bipolar type, instead of as schizophrenic. This was really helpful because mood stabilizers have proven key in helping with the schizoaffective voices I hear.
I remember when I first started seeing her. I was on such a high dosage of my antipsychotic that I felt dead inside. My mind felt like a blank slate. When I was with other people, I felt so numb that I didn’t react to anything they said, and when I did try to contribute to the conversation, I blurted out things that didn’t make sense or didn’t fit in with the conversation. This wasn’t me--this was the medication.
Lisa changed all that with one question. When I first saw her in her lovely office that was nestled in trees surrounding her on the second floor, I felt like I was in a treehouse. She asked me if my first psychotic episode was preceded by mood swings. I said yes, I’d been having ups and downs with my mood since I was a child. She responded that instead of trying to control my symptoms with an antipsychotic alone, we should try a mood stabilizer.
It worked. I went down on the antipsychotic with the new medication and stopped feeling dead inside.
Why I Trust Lisa to Treat My Schizoaffective Disorder
Another thing I love about Lisa is that she really listens to me. If I don’t want to try a medication change she suggests, she respects that and doesn’t pressure me. Also, if I think a medication is having a certain side effect, she listens to me about that, too.
Lisa gave her clients a far-in-advance notice of her retirement so we can find new doctors. I’ve started putting my feelers out. I hope against hope that I can find someone I like as much as Lisa. Both Lisa and my therapist tell me that there’s a shortage of psychiatric practitioners in the U.S. right now. Also, I have some further requirements: I want someone I can reach by train--I live across the street from the el in Chicago--so I don’t have to drive. And of course, I need to find someone who takes my insurance. But, most of all, I want to trust this person.
I’ll leave you with another thing I love about Lisa. She was a champion for me both of the times I quit smoking. I quit once in 2005, when I was in my 20s, but started again, and then I quit for good in 2012. She had been a three-pack-a-day smoker, and knitting helped her to kick the habit. I tried learning to knit, but it wasn’t for me. Nevertheless, she was an inspiration for me when I quit smoking.
I’d like to say I’m excited about this new chapter in my life. But, the truth is that I’m really worried. What if I don’t find someone as great as Lisa is? I guess I’ll just have to trust my instincts and see what happens.
Caudy, E. (2021, May 27). Finding Someone New to Treat My Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2021/5/finding-someone-new-to-treat-my-schizoaffective-disorder