Negative symptoms of schizophrenia offer a harsh reality for me. I noticed a change in my ability to feel emotion shortly after I began exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia but long before formal diagnosis. I was well acquainted with feelings of depression and anxiety related to surviving child sexual abuse, but this was different. I lost interest in activities I formerly enjoyed, I no longer felt like associating with others and I felt a tremendous sense of indifference towards life in general. I was experiencing negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
I survived sexual abuse as a child, but did it contribute to my later diagnosis of schizophrenia? Research suggests a possible link between psychotic disorders and childhood trauma, but the exact nature of this link remains unclear. The significant impact of child sex abuse on my life, however, is indisputable.
I’m Randall Law, the co-author of the blog, "Creative Schizophrenia." I’m an often clueless father of three, a work in progress husband to one, a rabid sports fanatic and an unemployed physician assistant learning to live with schizophrenia while renovating a farmhouse built in 1910.
I've been smoke-free since March of 2012—13 years after I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and 10 years after I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. It was really hard and sometimes, even six years later, it is hard to remain smoke-free with schizoaffective disorder. But I’ve been able to do it. Here’s how.
Usually, I can figure out the reason for hearing voices. I hear schizoaffective voices a lot. This week, I heard them two days in a row. That’s never happened before. But I think I know why my schizoaffective disorder made me hear voices two days in a row.
I have schizoaffective disorder plus general anxiety disorder. General anxiety may sound like a mild condition but, for me, it can be torture. When I’m feeling extremely anxious, I often hear voices. And when facing my anxieties triggers schizoaffective voices, it becomes very hard to cope.
My name is Alexander Crawford, and I’m the new author of Creative Schizophrenia. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder – bipolar type around the time I was 22 years old. Around that time, I was at the University of Chicago and although I was doing fairly well, I had been experimenting with drugs, including what are called “research chemicals” (which are basically just synthetic drugs). The psychosis I suffered around this time was truly devastating, and because of my initial non-compliance with medication, I suffered years of pain, as I exhibited odd, aloof, and completely unrestrained behavior.
A couple of weeks ago, I described my experiences with weight gain caused by atypical antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Something has changed since then, and probably with some motivation from sharing that article with you. Now I’m trying to lose weight while on schizophrenia medication. I don’t want to go off the antipsychotic I’m on or find a new one--every time I do that I have a bad experience. But here’s how I’m going about the challenge of staying on schizophrenia medication and losing weight.
Because I'm 38, I'm starting to wonder if my schizoaffective disorder has held me back. Of course, you don’t have to have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder to get anxious around midlife. When my mom, who doesn’t have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, turned 40, my little brother cheerfully quipped, “Hey, Mom. Now you’re half dead.” She laughed, but I imagine the words must have stung a little bit. However, for someone with a mental illness, evaluating your life at midlife means wondering how much—and if at all—your schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder has held you back.
You don’t need schizoaffective disorder to wish you had the ability to go back in time to see if things would have worked out differently if you had known when you were younger what you know now. I’ll be honest with you, not a day goes by that I don’t wonder--if I had made different choices in my teens, would I still have gotten schizoaffective disorder (Causes of Schizoaffective Disorder)?