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Creative Schizophrenia

I am turning 41 years old this April. Getting older is hard for everyone, but it’s especially hard when you have a chronic illness such as schizoaffective disorder. Here’s why.
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in almost two months. That’s pretty exciting news. I started hearing voices much less because my psychopharmacologist increased the dosage of my mood stabilizer. It’s so good to be free of the voices and I don’t take it for granted.
I mentioned in last week’s article that sheltering at home with schizoaffective disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t that hard for me because my schizoaffective anxiety keeps me in so much anyway. However, now the extreme isolation is starting to take its toll.
COVID-19, or coronavirus, is definitely taking a toll on my schizoaffective anxiety. I haven’t heard voices because of the stress (thankfully), but this is a case where I can’t tell myself I’m worrying about nothing, because everyone else in the world is freaking out about the same thing I am.
March 11 is a very important landmark date for me. This year, it marks the eighth anniversary of being smoke-free with schizoaffective disorder. Winning the battle to become smoke-free is no small feat, especially when you have a mental disorder. Here’s how I’m celebrating--as well as some insights I’ve gained over the years since I became smoke-free.
Quite a few people in commenting about this blog have mentioned that they think my schizoaffective voices are spirits or come from the spirit world. Although I am a very spiritual person, I don’t believe my schizoaffective voices are in any way spiritual. Here’s why.
I am not a fan of diet culture. I abhor the idea that thinness is the ultimate ideal, and that all people, particularly women, should strive to be skinny above all else. Yet, here I am, dieting because of weight gained from taking antipsychotic medication for my schizoaffective disorder.
Exercise really helps my schizoaffective disorder, particularly my anxiety. In the past, I've found it hard to exercise in the brutal Chicago winter weather. I’ve now found a way to exercise without even leaving my apartment building that I’d like to share with you.
Living with schizoaffective anxiety sometimes makes me afraid to do pretty much anything. So, I often do things even though I’m afraid because, if I didn’t do them, I couldn’t function. But since, as I’ve said, I’m anxious about doing so many things, I have to work up a lot of courage to accomplish tasks other people do without a second thought.
It’s the time of year when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and schizoaffective disorder really affect me. It’s late winter, the sparkle of the holidays has faded, and my SAD revs into high gear. This is an extension of the depression I experience with my schizoaffective disorder. Here’s how SAD and schizoaffective disorder have been affecting me this year.