A Medication for My Schizoaffective Disorder Caused OCD

February 15, 2024 Elizabeth Caudy

About 16 years ago, I was prescribed an antipsychotic for my schizoaffective disorder, and it triggered obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Here are some of the ways I acted with schizoaffective disorder and OCD.

My Experience with OCD and Schizoaffective Disorder

I’ve always had anxiety accompanying my schizoaffective disorder, but the combination of schizoaffective disorder and OCD symptoms meant that my usual anxiety was multiplied by at least 10. It went from my “regular” anxiety into the realm of the absurd.

I had a nighttime job, and one of my tasks was to close the office at night and check all the other office rooms before leaving for the night. My schizoaffective disorder and OCD didn’t make this so easy. The main problem I had was with doorknobs. Yes, doorknobs. If this sounds like a tumble down the rabbit hole, get ready because it was.

I was worried that I was closing the doors “wrong.” My schizoaffective disorder and OCD made me wonder if I should close the door shut or close it and then turn the doorknob so the door was tightly shut. I thought the daytime inhabitants of these offices might prefer me to close the door one way over the other.

Also, I used to worry that I had accidentally locked doors when I closed them, so I would open them and close them repeatedly to make sure that hadn’t happened.

Why Am I Writing About My Schizoaffective Disorder and OCD Now?

The reason I’m telling this story about OCD symptoms and schizoaffective disorder now is that it’s gotten a lot better since I’ve gone off the old antipsychotic medication. Still, I feel my brain is permanently scarred. Yes, I’m less anxious than I was when I was on the medication, but I’m significantly more anxious than I was before I went on it, to begin with.

I feel like an invalid. I’m afraid to drive. I used to be afraid to go out in the rain or snow at all, even just walking, and all this means that I rarely go outside alone, without a “safe” person, like a family member or a close friend. I have to admit that bone-on-bone arthritis in my knees and the ensuing knee replacement surgeries are a big factor in all this, too.

I don’t want this article to come off as sounding as though I am in any way opposed to psychiatric treatment. I am finally on the right mix of medications, and they’re helping me immensely. I’ve had bad experiences with a few medications, but ultimately, I can say psychiatry and the interventions it enables have saved my life.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2024, February 15). A Medication for My Schizoaffective Disorder Caused OCD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 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.

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