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Creative Schizophrenia

Elizabeth Caudy
A blessing was recently bestowed upon my family--my brother, Billy, and his life partner, Sandy, had a baby girl whom I adore. Even though they live in California and I live in Illinois, and even though I haven’t yet met Baby, watching videos of her has quickly become one of my coping skills for my schizoaffective anxiety.
Elizabeth Caudy
For the past three months, I haven’t had insurance for my prescriptions or necessities such as blood work. During April and May, with no insurance even for doctors’ visits, including therapy, I experienced one of the most stressful periods I’ve ever lived through. Here’s what it was like.
Elizabeth Caudy
My mom and I go north to Door County in Wisconsin together every spring for our mother-daughter weekend--just the two of us. We go back up with the rest of the family later in the summer. Last year, things were very restricted because of COVID-19. This year, we were vaccinated. Being vaccinated really helped with my schizoaffective anxiety, and it also made a big difference for our trip.
Elizabeth Caudy
Walking has always been a way to help with my schizoaffective anxiety. That is, it was until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Then walking became scary until I got vaccinated and became fully immunized. So really, my vaccine reduced my anxiety.
Elizabeth Caudy
My psychopharmacologist of almost 20 years is retiring, and I have to find someone new to treat my schizoaffective disorder. Lisa (not her real name) is terrific. She’s the one who re-diagnosed me as schizoaffective, bipolar type, instead of as schizophrenic. This was really helpful because mood stabilizers have proven key in helping with the schizoaffective voices I hear.
Elizabeth Caudy
I’ve been hearing voices for a long time--almost 23 years. So, I didn’t think anything I experienced during a schizoaffective voices episode would surprise me anymore. Well, I was wrong. The voices I heard a few days ago were very different from anything I previously experienced.
Elizabeth Caudy
Even though Kurt Cobain died by suicide years before I started experiencing schizoaffective suicidal ideation, his death would have a big impact on my suicidal thoughts. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Elizabeth Caudy
The medication cocktail I take is far from perfect. For one thing, it doesn’t stop my schizoaffective anxiety from remaining a disabling challenge. For another, my antipsychotic causes a ridiculous amount of weight gain. So you’d think that when I learned about a new antipsychotic on the market, I’d jump at the chance to try it. I’m not jumping. Here’s why.
Elizabeth Caudy
I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. Before this event, I was very excited to be getting a shot--and excited that I’d managed to finally ace an appointment. But my schizoaffective disorder made me anxious as well as excited. Here’s why I was anxious.
Elizabeth Caudy
I’ve written a lot about my schizoaffective psychotic episode that occurred when I was 19 years old and away at college, but I’ve written very little, if anything at all, about the schizoaffective mania that preceded it.