Dealing with schizoaffective anxiety is important to me because anxiety has taken so much away from me. I'm afraid to do so many simple things, like driving in the rain or washing my hair. There are other things I can't do because I have anxiety--I used to be a voracious reader but now I'm so restless I can't get lost in a good book anymore. However, my husband Tom and I have come up with a strategy based on my cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) homework that I'm hoping will help in dealing with schizoaffective anxiety, and maybe it can help you, too.
My psychotic break happened years ago, but I still feel that what I believed was real, even though I know it wasn't. Likewise, my schizoaffective disorder doesn't feel like an illness. It feels like something that happened to me. My initial psychotic break doesn't feel like the onset of an illness. It feels like it was an event. Maybe it's because the things my mind told me were happening--that famous people were stalking me--seemed so very real.
Schizoaffective disorder and marriage can go together, successfully. My husband Tom and I will celebrate our 10th anniversary in September. That's no small feat, especially when you add schizoaffective disorder into the equation. I think our best secret is patience. Here's how patience helps our marriage stay happy, even though I have schizoaffective disorder.
Listening to music really helps with my schizoaffective disorder. I try to listen to soothing music, like Tori Amos' more recent work or pretty much anything by Hope Sandoval. A lot of people have suggested I listen to "happy" music. The trouble is, I don't like a lot of happy music because it tends to be in the pop genre, although there are exceptions. Here's how music helps with my schizoaffective disorder.
My early signs of schizoaffective disorder showed up when I was as young as 11. But I wasn't diagnosed with schizophrenia until I was 19, and then re-diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, four years later. However, there were definite early signs of schizoaffective disorder with bipolar symptoms during my preteen years.
I know I write a lot about how my family helps me cope with my schizoaffective disorder, but it's important to have friends, too. A lot of my friends live in different parts of the country or are really busy with their children while my husband Tom and I are childfree. Also, it doesn't help that I have a tendency to isolate. But I do have an old friend from high school with whom I'm still close and we go out for tea or coffee almost every week. Her name is Casey, and seeing her really helps me cope with my schizoaffective depression.
Yesterday, I forced myself to drive in the rain. My schizoaffective anxiety makes me afraid to drive in the rain. I know a lot of people don't like driving in bad weather. But, for me, the dislike is a lot more intense. I didn't have a problem with it until my schizoaffective anxiety got really bad. And then, yesterday, I made myself drive in the rain. Here's what came of that.
Most people think that the reason taking medication for schizoaffective disorder is difficult is because of the side effects such as weight gain or fatigue. While these problems offer major factors, many other causes contribute to the challenge. What I’m going to focus on in this article is that taking medication for schizoaffective disorder can be physically hard to take and hard to organize. That said, I believe one of the reasons I’m doing so well after 20 years with schizoaffective disorder can be credited to my compliance with medication. Here are some tips I’ve picked up over the years that can make taking medication for schizoaffective disorder easier.
I love to read, and certain books helped bring me out of the cavern of depression I fell into after my first schizoaffective episode. That’s when I first went on an antipsychotic medication that caused weight gain and made me physically, emotionally, and mentally lethargic. Books about people dealing with mental illnesses such as schizoaffective disorder helped bring back my spark and made me feel that I, too, could make art about my illness. Here are some books that helped me then and that continue to help me as I go back to and re-read them again and again.
I'm having suicidal thoughts less often now. Even though I’ve written more than a couple of articles about feeling suicidal with schizoaffective disorder, lately, I’m happy to say, I have gotten beyond feeling that way. I’m not exactly sure what is making things better—for a long time, it was so pervasive. But I'm having suicidal thoughts less often, and I have some insights that I would like to share with you as to why I haven’t been feeling this painful schizoaffective symptom.