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Creative Schizophrenia

Hearing voices in my head is something that happens to me often. I have schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. This means I experience mood swings and crippling anxiety along with hearing voices. I know the voices in my head aren’t real, but they’re scary anyway. I heard schizoaffective voices in my heaed today. They started while I was on a train platform, waiting to go home from the hospital where I meet with my therapist.
Light therapy increased my schizoaffective anxiety but helps with my seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I am also taking vitamin D, and that plus using the light for 20 minutes every morning seemed to really help with the light deficiency of winter. But after a few weeks of light therapy, I noticed my schizoaffective anxiety was increasing. Here’s what I did about it.
I experience schizoaffective depression and must also cope with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder means just what it says – you suffer from clinical major depression more acutely in the winter. That happens to me. But I also get extremely anxious in the summer. Here’s how I'm coping with SAD and schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.
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.
Experiencing holiday stress with schizoaffective disorder is understandable. Most people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder have a hard time around the holidays. There’s just so much pressure—to find everyone the perfect present or even to just weather holiday parties. But you can take charge. Here are some things I do to beat holiday stress, cope with schizoaffective disorder, and have fun, too.
As some of you may already know, I have received a schizoaffective disorder diagnosis. What I have not revealed until this time, is that I am diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. You may ask, "What does a schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type diagnosis mean?"
Quieter schizoaffective voices are new to me, compared to the loud voices I usually hear as part of my schizoaffective disorder -- a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. My schizoaffective voices have changed lately. And in a good way. But even the quieter schizoaffective voices usually come on when I’m facing stress in my life.
How can we avoid disaster while partying when living with schizoaffective disorder? We all know that the desire to party is a fundamental aspect of life. Birthdays happen every year, and often parties are held for events such as Independence Day, Christmas, or even Thanksgiving, not to mention people's desire to engage in events such as raves and festivals. However, we all know that partying is usually associated with risky behaviors, such as drinking and taking drugs. This is often the last thing a schizoaffective person should be doing. So how can we avoid problems when partying with schizoaffective disorder?
Content warning: Frank discussion of suicide affecting schizoaffective disorder. After I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and then schizoaffective disorder, two of my friends, Josh and then Aaron (not their real names), died by suicide. Their deaths were tragic, unnecessary, preventable, and painful. And their deaths triggered a new direction in my schizoaffective disorder—dying by suicide became an option.
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.