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Having Schizoaffective Disorder During an Election Year

May 21, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

The year 2020 is turning out to be very stressful, and stress isn’t good for any of us, whether or not we have a mental illness like schizoaffective disorder. Not only do we have the coronavirus to contend with, but it’s also a presidential election year. Future responses to the virus and the outcome of the election go hand in hand in my mind. Add in my schizoaffective disorder, and I’m really stressed out. But I’m focusing this article on the election despite that.

Watching the Election Debates with Schizoaffective Disorder

I tried to watch the democratic debates. I really did. I was always relieved when they were over. I don’t like arguments, so why would I want to watch a stage full of people arguing?

Against my better judgment, I’ll probably watch the debates between Trump and Biden, too. I know my husband Tom wants to watch them, and we live in a tiny apartment so I can’t just escape out of hearing range. If worse comes to worst, I suppose Tom can just use the headphones I got him as part of his Christmas present last year.

The coronavirus comes into play with the question of voting. Will I feel safe going into a polling place in November, or should I get a mail-in ballot? I have to vote. The virus makes the future so uncertain and I want a candidate who will face the needs head-on and heed medical advice.

Elections Affect Everyone, Not Just Those with Schizoaffective Disorder

I realize that these issues affect everyone, not just us folks with schizoaffective disorder. But the temperature of the times makes my schizoaffective anxiety even worse. Sometimes I have to take a step back and say to myself, “Everyone is anxious right now.”

I have to admit, I’m not too thrilled with either candidate, but I definitely favor one over the other. I’ve looked into third party candidates to weigh all the options. They don't appeal to me, either. I don’t even know who I’d write in as a protest option. And anyway, do I really want to make a “protest vote?”

Last Thanksgiving, I told one of my nephews that I learned one thing from the 2016 election--always vote your conscience. I really want to vote my conscience this election and I know what my conscience wants. Mental health, of course, gets my vote, as do women’s rights and justice for undocumented immigrants and refugees, for starters. Someone who can deal effectively with a pandemic is a new priority.

I have time. And I have cues. Something I saw on social media a while back seems appropriate. It was simple and sensible--who you vote for doesn’t need to be a perfect match like the person you’re going to marry. It’s more like taking a bus. You take the one that gets you closest to where you want to go and walk a little bit from there.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, May 21). Having Schizoaffective Disorder During an Election Year, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 13 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/5/having-schizoaffective-disorder-during-an-election-year



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.

John Caudy
May, 22 2020 at 4:52 pm

I love the bus analogy. Still not sure who Ill vote for...we have time.

May, 22 2020 at 5:24 pm

Dear John, Thanks for your comment! Someone else liked the bus analogy too... I wish I could take credit for it! I am, as I said in the article, voting for Joe Biden, the question is HOW will I vote for him. I was planning on going to early voting with Tom, but now I'm thinking about voting by mail. If I go with Tom, I'll definitely wear a mask. Early voting usually isn't that crowded anyway. But, as you said, we have time. Lots of love, Elizabeth

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