Finding Someone New to Treat My Schizoaffective Disorder

May 27, 2021 Elizabeth Caudy

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.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2021, May 27). Finding Someone New to Treat My Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

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.

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