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Creative Schizophrenia

Listening to music really helps with my schizoaffective disorder. I try to listen to soothing music, like Tori Amos' more recent work or pretty much anything by Hope Sandoval. A lot of people have suggested I listen to "happy" music. The trouble is, I don't like a lot of happy music because it tends to be in the pop genre, although there are exceptions. Here's how music helps with my schizoaffective disorder.
My early signs of schizoaffective disorder showed up when I was as young as 11. But I wasn't diagnosed with schizophrenia until I was 19, and then re-diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, four years later. However, there were definite early signs of schizoaffective disorder with bipolar symptoms during my preteen years.
I know I write a lot about how my family helps me cope with my schizoaffective disorder, but it's important to have friends, too. A lot of my friends live in different parts of the country or are really busy with their children while my husband Tom and I are childfree. Also, it doesn't help that I have a tendency to isolate. But I do have an old friend from high school with whom I'm still close and we go out for tea or coffee almost every week. Her name is Casey, and seeing her really helps me cope with my schizoaffective depression.
Yesterday, I forced myself to drive in the rain. My schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid to drive in the rain. I know a lot of people don't like driving in bad weather. But, for me, the dislike is a lot more intense. I didn't have a problem with it until my schizoaffective anxiety got really bad. And then, yesterday, I made myself drive in the rain. Here's what came of that.
Most people think that the reason taking medication for schizoaffective disorder is difficult is because of the side effects such as weight gain or fatigue. While these problems offer major factors, many other causes contribute to the challenge. What I’m going to focus on in this article is that taking medication for schizoaffective disorder can be physically hard to take and hard to organize. That said, I believe one of the reasons I’m doing so well after 20 years with schizoaffective disorder can be credited to my compliance with medication. Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years that can make taking medication for schizoaffective disorder easier.
I love to read, and certain books helped bring me out of the cavern of depression I fell into after my first schizoaffective episode. That’s when I first went on an antipsychotic medication that caused weight gain and made me physically, emotionally, and mentally lethargic. Books about people dealing with mental illnesses such as schizoaffective disorder helped bring back my spark and made me feel that I, too, could make art about my illness. Here are some books that helped me then and that continue to help me as I go back to and re-read them again and again.
I'm having suicidal thoughts less often now. Even though I’ve written more than a couple of articles about feeling suicidal with schizoaffective disorder, lately, I’m happy to say, I have gotten beyond feeling that way. I’m not exactly sure what is making things better—for a long time, it was so pervasive. But I'm having suicidal thoughts less often, and I have some insights that I would like to share with you as to why I haven’t been feeling this painful schizoaffective symptom.
My schizoaffective anxiety is worse in summer when it gets hot. That really stinks because summer is supposed to be the best time of the year. It wasn't always this way--it didn't start happening until a few years ago. Here's how I cope now that my anxiety is worse in summer.
After a hiatus from politics, I’ve come to realize once again that I need feminism for my mental health. The reason I’m rediscovering it is directly linked to my schizoaffective disorder: Feminism helps me to accept the weight gain that comes with the atypical antipsychotic medications I take. And it gives me perspectives on a challenging time in our world as a whole.
I have schizoaffective disorder, and my schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid to wash my hair. It's not because I hate showering, per se, although I do prefer a nice hot bath. I have long, thick hair, and it stresses me out to wait for it to dry. I hate using a blow dryer, too. Here's why schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid when I wash my hair.