The schizoaffective diagnosis

21 May

Ive been struggling with moods since a child; at 11 I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and dysthymia and put on medication. I don’t know when the manic and hypo manic behavior started. Thanks again stupid memory problems. I do know at some point before the bipolar diagnosis I was diagnosed with ADHD along with the depression. I’m also not sure when the psychosis started, specifically the voices. As a kid I knew I was paranoid and prone to magical thinking, but hey I was a kid. The Bipolar diagnoses started somewhere in my 20s probably right around 19 or 20. I was type II then type I then NOS then mixed with psychosis then rapid cycling; I think they tried every possible bipolar diagnosis out on me. But the depressions were the worst and the main feature. Still today after 21 years from my first diagnosis.

I know I was hearing voices at old work. And I sort of remember mentioning to church people I heard voices and they did an exorcism. And my hyper religious stage was before old work. I know I was silent about the voices for a long time. Sometimes dropping hints or talking about a singe episode. But never that I heard voices constantly, that’s just crazy. 

It was February of 2008 when I first got the schizoaffective diagnosis. And I thought what the hell was that. I’d never even heard of it and the closest thing I’d heard of was schizophrenia. I’m not schizophrenic I thought. Well I looked up the diagnosis in my DSM IVTR. I had invested in one after being given so many diagnoses. And strangely enough it fit better than any previous diagnosis. One of the main things that differentiates it from bipolar is the multiple voices, long term voices, and voices not while experiencing a mood episode. Check, check, check. 

Now what did this mean?  I was really scared at first that I had something so closely related to schizophrenia. Schizoaffective is often described as a combo of bipolar (in my case) and schizophrenia. I was afraid I’d lose it all together and end up homeless or in a psych hospital for life. I still have those fears, but way less now. There aren’t many books out there on schizoaffective and few blogs too. I plan on writing a book.

The schizophrenia is the voices, the optical illusions, few visual hallucinations, some tactile hallucinations and the fewest of the olfactory (smell) hallucinations. I have the positive symptoms which means I expire emcee additional things that are not there in life. I can get paranoid and delusional but it’s rare and usually triggered by some major life stressor.

The bipolar is mostly depression. Between medication and life experiences I’m pretty good about not going into full blown mania. My most common hypo manic symptoms are talking to fast and racing thoughts. The depression is horrible still. I’m on 3 different antidepressants right now and a mood stabilizer and I still struggle on a regular basis

My antipsychotic had taken care of most of the voices at least all the ones I think that relate to the schizoaffective. It’s wierd not hearing them. Lonely sometimes. But safer from some of the bad ones. And easier to concentrate without jabbering going on in my head all the time.

It makes me wonder if we’ll ever get the depression under control. I thought I’d have voices for life, I’ve tried at least 8 antipsychotic s. Of course I’ve tried way more antidepressants. But maybe there is hope.

5 Responses to “The schizoaffective diagnosis”

  1. manyofus1980 May 21, 2015 at 8:23 PM #

    thanks for this post Marci. I never really knew much about schizoeffective disorder. Now I do. X

  2. Becky Bee May 22, 2015 at 6:34 AM #

    I hope you do write a book.


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