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Schizophrenia Symptoms

Because of my schizoaffective disorder, I beat up on myself a lot. Whenever anything goes wrong, I blame myself--or look for ways to blame myself. As a feminist, I want to love the goddess that I am, but this isn’t reality for me.
My schizoaffective anxiety is one of a host of factors that make it hard to fall asleep at night. That wasn’t always the case. One of my friends once said that falling asleep on a dime was my superpower. But it isn’t anymore, and this is very frustrating.
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in almost two months. That’s pretty exciting news. I started hearing voices much less because my psychopharmacologist increased the dosage of my mood stabilizer. It’s so good to be free of the voices and I don’t take it for granted.
Quite a few people in commenting about this blog have mentioned that they think my schizoaffective voices are spirits or come from the spirit world. Although I am a very spiritual person, I don’t believe my schizoaffective voices are in any way spiritual. Here’s why.
I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. This wasn’t unusual—the medication I take for my schizoaffective disorder makes me sleep late. But the call I was about to take would prove to be very unusual. (Note: This post contains a frank discussion of suicidal thoughts.)
My psychopharmacologist and I made a medication change, and now I’ve only heard schizoaffective voices once in over a month. Here’s what it’s like to bring this schizoaffective disorder symptom under control once again.
It was the summer of 2006. I had just completed my master’s degree in photography from Columbia College Chicago. My schizoaffective mania was taking over—yet, I felt very suicidal. It all came to a head on a trip to Door County with my parents and my younger brother. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
It's 3:00 a.m. and I can't sleep. I'm sitting in the commons area of an eerily quiet psychiatric hospitalization unit while I recover from a relatively severe psychotic break. I wasn't going to blog this week because, well, the obvious. On top of that, all I have is pen and paper, no Internet access. But my wife still managed to post this week despite taking me to the hospital and picking up the slack in my absence. It is good to emulate one's heroes and I can think of no greater hero than my wife. I just wish I were a little more like her. But I have to remember that psychiatric hospitalization does not denote weakness.
As I’ve confided before, one of the most debilitating symptoms of my schizoaffective disorder is that I hear voices. I’ve been hearing them a lot more often lately. I’ve been hearing them so often that I called my psychopharmacologist to raise the dosage of my antipsychotic medication. That helped a little bit, but I’m still hearing them more often than I’d like to. Here’s how I’m dealing with these schizoaffective voices.
I avoided living in the moment for a very long time. Years of my life flashed before my eyes, and I barely took notice. I was so intent on achievement that I never stopped to appreciate what it was to simply be alive. For me, living with schizophrenia means frequent imprisonment in a world that constantly seems to be spiraling out of control. Now, however, I’m learning to combat this feeling: I’m learning to live in the moment.