Standing Up for My Mental Health with Schizoaffective Disorder

March 2, 2023 Elizabeth Caudy

Since I have arthritis in my knees and schizoaffective disorder, the migraines I suffer are a substantial extra load. And now I know what it’s like to have my physical illnesses treated more seriously than my mental illness. This is the story of a time when I stood up for my mental health, and my mental illness was treated seriously.

Standing Up for My Mental Health

I was going to a community event with my mom. It was very busy, so it was hard to find parking, and we had to park my mom’s car a bit of a distance away from the event. This meant I had to walk farther with my arthritic knees and my cane. I was already feeling anxious, and this made it worse. As we walked toward the crowd, I tried to stay to one side so that people could get by me. But this made me feel bad because it made me feel like I was in the way.

I was not doing well. “Mom, I’m not doing so good. Mentally,” I finally confided.

She asked me if I wanted to skip the event and go for a drive instead. I said I thought that would be a good idea.

This was the first time I had spoken up when my schizoaffective disorder was acting up, and I was with another person. This excludes times I had spoken up when I heard voices. I was so grateful to my mother for having taken me seriously. I was proud of myself for speaking up for my mental health, but at the same time, I was sorry for making my mom miss the event. I told her I was sorry, and she said it wasn’t a big deal.

When My Schizoaffective Disorder Is Triggered, I Need to Stand Up for My Mental Health

Then she asked me what had happened. I told her that letting the people walk past me was triggering because it reminded me of times lately when I have been out walking, and people behind me asked if they could get past me. When people do this, I feel like I’m some big barrier in the way of their able-bodied selves.

My mom said that she was sure people didn’t mean it that way--they didn't mean to be rude when they did that. And later, when I talked about it with my therapist, my therapist said people mainly mind their own business and that they aren’t judging me. So, from now on, I will try not to take it personally when people do that.

So, my mom and I drove around for a half hour and talked. I told her how proud I was of myself for speaking up for my mental health and thanked her for taking it seriously. And we drove around and enjoyed the scenery on a beautiful wooded drive in our area. It was a lovely, sunny day.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2023, March 2). Standing Up for My Mental Health with Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 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.

Leave a reply