Tag Archives: schizoaffective disorder

MIAW 2017

1 Oct

Today’s the first day of Mental Illness Awareness Week.  I posted a quick thing on one of my FB pages and should probably on my older more popular one, but we’ll see.  It was the juvenile diabetes walk today so I saw high school friend and that crowd.  I was talking with one friend out of that crowd about what specifically schizoaffective disorder is and what makes is different from schizophrenia and what makes it different from mood disorders.  She also asked me how I was doing since I transferred to the university and I was honest about the couple of psychotic episodes, but not enough to get hospitalized we just managed with increasing medication.  It’s refreshing being able to be so open now and not feeling like I have to hide what is such a big part of my life.

And then at ice cream later with some planner friends, I mentioned being exempt from jury duty for life.  I wasn’t as comfortable as saying my psychiatrist wrote the note, but that a note had written every year since I was eligible and he keeps writing me out and now exerted me for life.

Update 9/7/17

7 Sep

Things have been so -so the last week, before that it was chaos.  The back 2s (voices) came back for a go.  I was having flashback symptoms.  Bad dreams.  And mood swings like nothing.

I’m still having bad dreams but their not trans related more abandonment related and BPD stuff.  My mood has stabilized out and my case manager is probably right it was missing my hormones for 2 days (4 doses).  The flashbacks are less frequent but there still there.  The other night it was bad enough I had to take my bracelets and fitbit off.  The voices subsided, not sure why or what not but I’m just glad.

20 somethings friend is coming to visit in less than a week so I’m excited about that.  It turns out with my fall schedule I can still help babysit my nephew on Mondays like I’ve been doing this summer, so I’m excited about that.

GRE bootcamp has started and it’s a lot of work.  I’m now glad I have a 1/2 day tomorrow because I have an appointment with my case manager.  Next week I’ll be taking a friend from gender group to SF for an appt so I’ll do a 1/2 day or take the full day off, so looking forward to another break again.

Doing much better

30 Nov

Sine the increase of the Latuda I have been doing much better.  I’m still feeling the increase effects, so mind slow and sleepy so I am overcompensating with caffeine (Red Bull and Starbucks) unfortunately the increase had to be made the week before finals, but hey what can you do.  Probably in a week or two my body will just and I’ll no longer feel the mind slow or extra sleepiness and be able to lay off the extra caffeine, plus school will be out so not much will be going on anyways.

I’m worried about going back home for break.  Less structure usually means worsening of depression symptoms.  Being home means less experimenting with/exploring gender identity.  But there is more people looking at me, so I doubt I can stay too inactive and let myself fall apart too much.  I just don’t want to un-grow.

I haven’t needed the extra DBT skills since the Latuda increase, but have a feeling I’ll need them when I’m home on break.  I’ll still have my apartment so maybe some time I will come here to get away.  I hope to get off the extra Latuda by the end of January, but that may not be realistic- we’ll see once school starts up.

I attended a thing on different types of attraction yesterday that the LGBTQIA center put on yesterday for Asexual Awareness Day.  I’m trying to figure out things and for now I’m thinking gay grey A and biromantic.  I’m not sure how it will fit in with my gender identity and all that but for the most part I’m more attracted to women.  And I still identify more as woman if you make me chose a binary, but gender variant under the trans* umbrella otherwise.

Call from psychiatrist

22 Nov

Just got off the phone from my psychiatrist and it’s just what I needed.  I had no intent to go to classes today.  I couldn’t sleep again last night with the voices and the paranoia and when the thoughts started to turn to sleeping under the bed to hide “just in case” I got out of bed and took some extra PRN Latuda and Valium.  This helped me get to sleep, but unfortunately I woke up with nightmares that Trump had declared war and drafted all the men to go to war.  When I got up to go to class I managed to take a shower.  I really needed one, since Monday I just wore a snow hat and pajamas to school.  However, that put me over the edge and once dressed for school I became fearful and crawled back into bed.  I set my alarm for my 2nd class but near time to attend, turned it off and resent it for a trans clothing fair I hope to go to.  My psychiatrist called and we are upping my antipsychotic Latuda by 1/2 which is what I have PRNing on a regular basis until I feel less vulnerable and more confident in DBT skills.  He wants me to not associate taking a pill with the behavior which is fine, as long as I have some medical relief.  I will also be using my coping skills I use- mostly DBT to deal with what voices, paranoia, and distress break through.  And yes some always break through.  Medication is no cure.  During thanksgiving break I’ll go through my packets and go over some skills. My psychiatrist wasn’t me to set up a phone session with the therapist to go over how DBT skills are working with this stuff.  So far I have the music skills I’ve been using and rationalizing.  It’s been 2 years without voices so I need to re-look through my skills.

World Mental Health Day 2016

10 Oct

Today is World Mental Health Day.  If you had told me a few years ago that I would be moved out from my parents house, going to a 4 year university and hadn’t been in the hospital for almost 2 years I would have thouworld-mental-health-day-10-october-earth-globe-in-handsght you had to be kidding me.  I am amazed at the progress I have made in the last two years.  With four official diagnoses, 8 prescription medications, and a few appointments a month I’ve managed to stay stable for the first time in 10 years.  My counseling appointments are decreasing from every week to every two weeks or sometimes three.  I have few self harming urges and while the suicidal thoughts still come and go; I don’t have the urge to act on them like I use to and tend not to ruminate.  I used to think that I would be trapped in my lower state of functioning for the rest of my life, I hung on mostly for other people and out of guilt.  Now (most times) I actually look forward to the future.  I anticipate flare ups and relapses, I know I have acute chronic illnesses.  But I am enjoying the moment and success I have right now.

NAMI National Convention 2016

7 Jul

Today was the first Official day of the convention although there was an extra track yesterday about first episode psychosis that was rather interesting. The convention this year is in Denver, Colorado last year it was in San Fransico, California. I live in California  so last year me and mom drove to the conference and while she didn’t go, she stayed in the hotel with me. This year I flew by myself and am staying by myself for 4 nights. The night before I chickened out, was really physically sick with stomach issues, and if my dad wasn’t home would have just not gone. But he’d ridicule me and not understand so I sucked it up and went on little sleep and little faith.
The first day was just registering, checking in to hotel, the one track, and I went to sleep early. I liked the talk. I was proud I was able to fly, get a cab, and check in to the hotel without having a melt down. I went to bed as soon as the program was over and my sleep was weird with bad dreams. There’s no bath here and I forgot my hairbrush. So I just called the front desk (hardest thing so far) and asked for a comb) I combed my hair and put on my hat. The other hotel has a hair brush I bought so I’ll try to shower tomorrow. 
The one good talk yesterday was about getting people with psychosis to engage in treatment. It talked about the negative symptoms of those with psychotic disorders like: lack of motivation, isolation, lack of interest in things, flat affect, monotone/don’t respond much. Yet there is still the need to belong and the desire for connection.  Sometimes the problem goes to we can’t do what we use to do.  Example when I had to stop working I never talked to old boss till years after though we were very good friends and went to the movies a lot. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do at points of illness, like attend school or social events so I just lost everything related to that. When nothing feels great you stop trying because you don’t expect it to and why put in the effort. We prefer hobbies to people and don’t engage in the community. Sometimes we are protecting ourselves but sometimes it holds us back.   In order to help these negative symptoms which have underlying problems such as defeatist beliefs you need to let the individual set the goals for therapy.  No ones life’s goals. Is to get up and shower. To make their bed. To take their Meds. As the speaker humoursly suggested maybe your ambition is to live independently with a soda machine in your apartment? 

  • Then ambitions are broken down.  Steps are concrete. 
  • Action towards the goal is the therapy target 
  • Obstacles are addressed as they impede action
  • Conceptualization is the key to the obstacles
  • Achieving the ambitions reinforces the curative beliefs

That was yesterday. Today talked about policy and government. A good workshop on peer workers though there were two VOCAL audience members who should’ve been kept in better check. I’ll scan the awesome resource document when I get home. I also attended another sessions  on first episode psychosis programs; there was a lot of that at the NAMU National Convention 2015, so no real new info. 

I hope I sleep better tonight. I can take a quick shower in the morning without my sensory issues going crazy. And noticing my interactions with people vs the rest of the convention the more likely I fall on the ASD spectrum.  I’ve talked to one person since I got here. Most have depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, or are a family member of someone who does. There are board members and stuff too but even them usually have some relation. 

All over the place

30 Jun

My mood has kinda been all over the place lately and mostly reliant on other people or me level of boredom.  Which isn’t healthy.  Sometimes it’s not.  I’m kinda excited about starting summer school and the whole transition of moving out and transferring to UC Davis, but I try not to think about it to much because I don’t want to get overwhelmed.  Since I’m only taking one class this summer and it doesn’t start till August 1st, I was thinking about delving into some help type things I’ve been avoiding like maybe looking into talking about gender identity (though it isn’t bothering me too much right now) or looking into ACOA groups, again it’s not bothering me too much.  I guess things don’t have to be really difficult at the time to bother you, if you still know they are an issue.  I know when school starts up, it will be too crazy.  I’m interested to see what this ASD eval has to say.  I was talking to 20 something friend today about relationships and meeting people and how I don’t have skills and sometimes no interest and he was talking about like an ASD group or something.  I don’t know if that exists and technically I don’t know if I have a diagnosis or will.  I know in the past from being friends with others with BPD it was a mistake and caused a lot of drama.  I know I was trying not to look up info on ASD until I heard from the doctors, but I wanted to know what the new DSM5 had to say about it as I heard they were doing away with Aspergers and that’s most likely what I think I would be diagnosed with.  I was not surprised to find I met most the criteria but then that it said it had to be ruled out for schizophrenia, so I wonder if they will roll all the “social functioning” issues I have under the schizo in schizoaffective and then have the sensory issues in the Sensory Processing Disorder and just kind of ignore the other weird quirks like delayed sexuality, poor motor skills, my fixations, routines and problems with change.  So many questions and probably few will get answered.

ASD Eval Part 2

14 Jun

Today I had my second part of my Autistic Spectrum Disorder Evaluation.  It was just one long questionnaire with 344 questions!  It almost seemed like a general psych test because there were questions about anger, drugs, alcohol, anxiety, depression, all kinds of stuff.  I told him at the end that I had some other diagnoses and some questions were familiar.  My appointment to go over the results of all the testing together are July 12th, which seems like a long time away.  I’m kinda on board with 20 somethings friend now and feel like I already have a diagnosis but lets see what Kaiser has to say, although it took them forever to figure out the Schizoaffective diagnosis and even longer to find a good medication combination. And I asked the guy what happens and he says he pretty much sends the results to the therapist, so I guess that’s it?  I’d be more comfortable asking my case manager about it and using her as an intermediary and I know she can read my file and all the notes too.

The Orlando shooting set off the voices, and that was the post the other day.  Luckily it was less than a few hours of psychosis stopped by some extra Latuda I took.  I tried to stay away from the news of it on Sunday but it was everywhere, plus the Latuda makes me drowsy.  After 3pm the psychosis was gone.  I always worry when it onsets again, that this will be the time it doesn’t go away, that this will be the time that I lose control.  In this case… that this will be a time I need to be hospitalized and I’ll miss my orientation for transferring and it will screw everything up.

People think I worry too much or to take it one step at a time.  But I live on the brink of insanity.  I need to be very vigilant.

People…people…people

13 Mar

So overanalyzing as I often do…

I’m comfortable with how my social life is right now. (should probably knock on some wood)  I have one best friend and I don’t see him much because we are both busy with school now.  We aren’t even texting each other between classes or when he’s at work or anything too, but that’s not bothering me or poking at my BPD abandonment fears.  I’m all okay.  Even as I went to the NAMI Walks Kickoff Luncheon on Friday I was reminded of how I don’t like doing this social stuff.  When I talk to people in class and make “small talk” how I wish I could avoid it or how it seems so awkward.  Things have changed.  I’ve always been kind of a loner, but a loner that thought they needed someone to complete them or take care of them.  Now I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay by myself.  But do I want to be by myself?  Sort of?  I like the situation with me and 20 somethings friend and I like it better when there are breaks and we can have more fun when we both have more open schedule and can hang out more.  But I remember being disappointed when people are busy with work, school, friends, or whatever and I’m bored with nothing.  But I do not need or want a lot of socialization it wears me out and it’s hard and I wonder if the whole Autistic Spectrum thing is playing into that.

So as far as my socializing ability/roles whatever goes I have the schizo stuff kinda dis-intreset disconnect, the BPD abandonment fears + i need someone, the social anxiety, and now maybe some aspie stuff mixed in too

Like I wasn’t complicated enough before, I guess this is just changing the equation

Sometimes life is so frustrating

16 Dec

I know that I have a lot of issues and most of them are modge-podged.  When I get stressed out of triggered, different symptoms present themselves.  It’s frustrating because it seems like to me there is something underneath that needs to be processed, but I don’t know what it is or how to access it.  So I continue to do damage control when the symptoms surface.  Living life seems to be about crisis management and I’m sick of it.  But I don’t know what to do.  I can’t “pick” something arbitrary and not know if it is it or not.  Also I get the impression that if there is something to work on or process, it’s about doing only that thing and working on only that!  I have 4 diagnosable mental illnesses and many of symptoms that aren’t prevalent enough to have a current diagnosis of them.  It’s like working on the voices, even that there are 4 sets of voices (if you count the externals)!  Everything seems so insurmountable!

Yesterday I took the extra Latuda because one of the main things that was bothering me was the voices.  It was two of the sets along with how I was reacting to what they were saying.  I put on my loud music and just tried to drown them out, I haven’t had to do that since starting the Latuda almost two years ago.  I know there was triggers and multiple of those too.  My question is do I even bother bringing it up in counseling Friday.  Part was trigger from a news story on FB, it being finals time, family issues (including feeling like it was left up to me to celebrate her birthday since everyone else had plans) and random past PTSD things.  Along with the voices I was getting visions too, which I guess can be explained as flashes of a scene as an visual hallucination, they go away pretty fast less than 30 seconds usually.  I don’t want to go back to the hospital.  I don’t want to have to increase my daily dosage of Latuda.

Sometimes life is so frustrating.