Low Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder

January 18, 2018 Elizabeth Caudy

I have low self-esteem and schizophrenia. Is my low self-esteem because of schizophrenia? I just don't trust my brain 100% and don't know if I ever will.

I have low self-esteem and schizophrenia (schizoaffective disorder). Unfortunately, I often feel very low self-esteem. I don’t know if it’s because of my schizoaffective disorder, but the schizoaffective disorder sure doesn’t help.

How Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia Are Connected

I Don’t Trust My Schizoaffective Mind

I feel I can’t trust my own mind. I’d say that’s a pretty good trigger for low self-esteem. I’m constantly second-guessing myself and calling up people in the middle of their busy days to ask them if it’s okay that I did something, such as hanging a coat damp with snow across the back of a chair near the radiator to dry. Would I start a fire? Did I do this right? It’s always about really basic, simple things, too: whether I took out the garbage “right” or whether I cleaned up a mess in my apartment “right.”

Most people would say there’s no wrong or right way to clean a spill or take out the garbage, but I find things and fixate on them. For example, should I have tied the knot on the garbage bag tighter? My brain focuses on the minute details to the point where reality is distorted.

I Am Too Hard on Myself

Unfortunately, I also have really low self-esteem about this blog. I hate to admit that to you. It’s just that I care about it so much and I care about helping the people who read it and I want to make it perfect. And, well, nobody’s perfect. I’m constantly getting positive feedback from readers about what a good job I’m doing to zero-in on troubling issues they face too. But I still feel really anxious and insecure about my work.

My friends and family are always telling me I’m too conscientious and too hard on myself. Again, I don’t know if this comes from having schizoaffective disorder. When people tell me this, though, it tends to go in one ear and out the other. Maybe I should start paying attention.

Part of me does pay attention, but I worry that if I stop being so tough on myself about this blog or about any other thing, I won’t be driven to do it as well as I do. Okay, this doesn’t make sense, either. I know that I do my best work when I am relaxed, open, and receptive. And it’s well-known that people perform better when they have confidence.

My therapist recently suggested I talk to myself like I’m my own best friend. A best friend would definitely not say the things I say to myself. Sometimes the things I say to myself work me up into such a frenzy that I hear schizoaffective voices. (Stress brings on the voices.) When I find myself engaging in this kind of negative self-talk, I sometimes ask myself, “Is this worth hearing voices over?” It never is.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2018, January 18). Low Self-Esteem and Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 14 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.

August, 1 2022 at 5:40 am

Hi Elizabeth,
I too have schizzoaffective disorder, smoker and have AUD.. I’m working on my smoking to quit but don’t seem to be able to handle giving up alcohol for good. I know it leads me to a lack of stability but I’ve tried AA but it’s not for me. The prevalence of AUD with our diagnosis could go as high as 63%. My psychiatrist is of no help.. Did you ever read the book by Kay Jamieson called The Unquiet Mind. It’s an amazing book and my go to book when I want an explanation of my feelings when depressed..

August, 1 2022 at 5:19 pm

Barbara, Thank you for your comment. Quitting smoking is very hard... I quit over 10 years ago. I always say, if I could do it, anyone can! I hope you are able to kick alcohol. I don't drink anymore, but I used to be a social drinker. I LOVE Kay Jamison, particularly Unquiet Mind! Reading memoirs by people with mental illness really helped me when I first got my diagnosis. I'm glad that book helps you! Best, Elizabeth

December, 26 2020 at 12:58 pm

Thank you

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 31 2020 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for your comment! You're welcome! I'm so glad my article helped you. Happy New Year, Elizabeth

Levi Matthew Stuart
September, 20 2019 at 9:47 am

Hey man thank you for this You did a really good job expressing what its like to think the way we do I often worry about handling things perfectly specifically social situations. I can make just going home and relaxing into an obstacle i think things like well what if someone bullys me or what if people dont want me to be happy and relax etc etc usually its based on the belief that people read my thoughts but they dont though. Please dont add that to ur bag of schizoaffective tendencys but yea its rough and all i can do is tell myself they dont its hard when your perception is so confusing and your always mixed up about whats going on and what you should do. Again, Thank you and best wishes :) , Levi.

Nicole moore
January, 24 2018 at 8:10 am

This was an amazing blog. Keepup the good work

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