There are five types of fear I associate with psychosis. Although, since my diagnosis 15 years ago, I have often been told that my illness doesn't define me, it's hard to separate myself from the types of fear psychosis brings out in me. Having schizoaffective disorder has had a huge impact on how I see and feel about the world around me, particularly when experiencing psychosis. My psychosis primarily consists of auditory and visual hallucinations which are sometimes terrifying. Experiencing hallucinations has felt differently pre- and post-diagnosis. Here are five different types of fear I've felt with psychosis. Good or bad, these fears have been an important part of my life story.
Medication and Treatment
Breakthrough symptoms caused by mental illness can really hinder your progress towards goals; however, reaching your goals is not impossible. Stress exasperates mental illness symptoms, but that doesn't mean you should give up. Understanding your symptoms as well as your limits can be crucial to your success.
The benefits of taking psychiatric medications include a reduction in troublesome mental health symptoms, but there's so much more to taking pills on a regular basis. When I was first prescribed psychiatric medication, I was definitely open to the idea, but I know that's not the case for everyone. Many people are skeptical, and the massive amount of stigma surrounding psychiatric medication certainly doesn't help. Here are five unexpected benefits of taking psychiatric medications I've experienced over a decade of taking pills every day.
Seeing a psychiatrist for the first time can be scary. But everyone around me knows that I'm very open about my experience receiving mental health treatment, so I talk about it. I work as an advocate for recovery. Many friends and family have asked me for insight when it comes to asking for help. I am always happy to provide encouragement and support, even if you're seeing a psychiatrist for the first time.
My diagnosis validates my experience and makes my mental illness feel real. Schizoaffective disorder accurately describes my symptoms. I wanted a name and to know it can be treated.
Asking for mental health help is hard. Making the decision to move back home and get eating disorder treatment was difficult for me, even though I had known for a long time that something was wrong. I wasn't okay and I finally surrendered. I felt like it was my only choice. I've always been ambitious, and I needed to get my life back on track. At that moment, I wasn't able to do anything. Asking for mental health help was the best thing I could have done.
Living with a mental illness leaves me with some painful and embarrassing memories I would rather not revisit. At the same time, they are a part of me I can’t escape. I want my daughter to know about all the twists and turns in my life that brought to where I am today as her mother, so I'll have to tell her some of my embarrassing memories in the future.
For the past 10 years, mental illness medications have been an integral part of my recovery from schizoaffective disorder. Finding the right psychiatric medications and dosage was difficult at first. My medications now are very effective, but still occasionally need adjustment. I know the life I live now would never be possible without mental illness medications.
I started antipsychotic medication in my 20s as in my late teens and early 20s, my life was consumed by psychotic symptoms; it was isolating and scary. I suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations. I didn’t even know I was sick, but when I was eventually diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, it came as a relief. Knowing it was an illness made it less frightening, and taking medication was life-changing. I was free and ready to pursue my dreams. Here’s a look at my life before and after starting antipsychotic medication.
Taking on motherhood with a mental illness makes starting a family difficult. I had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and bulimia in my early 20s, 10 years prior to giving birth to our daughter (Mothering With an Invisible Mental Illness). My husband and I always wanted children so we decided to take a chance. Here’s our story of entering motherhood with mental illness.