Schizoaffective Disorder/Bipolar Type Friends wanted!

Hello there! I'm looking to meet others that have Schizoaffective Disorder. I'm finding it hard to chat with anyone who understands this illness. If you're looking for new friends too, please respond!

Thanks!

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Hi, my name is Laurie. I was first diagnosed with PTSD in 2006, then Chronic Depression in 2007 and then Dec 2008 I was diagnosed with Schizo-Affective disorder. I would love to meet someone with this disorder, because I have yet to connect with anyone with this very frightening illness. I am on Medication now and have not had an episode since Aug 2009. Are you in Recovery too? Please write back. Thank you for initiating this conversation, It is very important to me.

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Hi Laurie,
I'm a 50 year old RN, and have worked in the field of Psychiatry most of those years. My 22 year old daughter is disabled with Bi Polar illness, but I truly think that she is schizo-affective bipolar type too. She has too many of the psychotic symptoms to just be Bi Polar. She has always seen things and heard things....even as a child. I just thought she was very imaginative then, but she really got sick when she was about 14 yrs old. We've been through the suicide attempts, the mania, the depression, the hallucinations, the mood swings...you name it. She and her husband who also has issues live with me at the moment, but it's my hope that they will be able to find a place of their own soon. I know it would be good for them. My daughter has been on many medications.....right now I think she is taking Risperdal, Lamictal, Fanapt, and Wellbutrin. The mania episodes are hard. She will stay up for days at a time...and then you know, comes the crash into depression. I really feel for you, and although, I do not carry the Dx, I've seen it from a Mom's point of view......and also a nurse. I have Major Depressive disorder myself, and my Dad was Bi Polar. So if there's anything I can do or say to help you..let me know. Just know that you are not alone, no matter how alone you may feel.

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Thank you Angelofmercy,
I love your name it's very healing! Thank you for your reply. I am also in the mental health field.
I am looking for work in the San Diego area. I just finished school and got my Certification as a Peer
Support Specialist. This is someone with LIVED experience and my job is to inspire hope in others that they
too can recover from mental illness. It's a new field so there are not a lot of openings for this type of work.
If you know of any companies is this area that could use a P.P.S. let me know, please. Also, i can only work Part-time.
Due to being on SSDI. Enough about me.....how's your daughter? It sounds very much like she has Schizo-affective disorder. I too had hallucinations and delusional thinking. I also had auditory and heard voices too. I take
Abilify (the wonder drug) and Cymbalta (the happy drug). Abilify keeps the Psychosis away and Cymbalta helps
with my depression and lifts my mood. With both together, it works! I went through so many medications before we found the right fit. Unfortunately, we have to go through so many meds before we find what works. My prayers
go out to your daughter. You sound like a wonderful Mom and very supportive. Your daughter is lucky to have you.
As well as you are to have her. I have a big family, I'm the youngest of eleven, and I'm a twin of whom is a healer and she was my ONLY support and she was 3,000 miles away. Oh and I have 2 amazing boys who never left my side and told me that they loved me very much. My family, friends, and "the system" all thought I was CRAZY or on drugs. It was a rough road but I feel extremely grateful today for my recovery is going so well. Good luck on them finding a new place soon and thanks again for your reply. I look forward to hearing from you again. Take care, Laurie

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Hello! I'm here, i'm surviving, and i don't mind being your friend. I came to this site to find people in similar circumstances because, i too haven't found anyone with this particular disease. Any sharing of thoughts or questions please be free to ask. I've been diagnosed with shizzo-affective disorder for about 7 yrs now. At first they mis-diagnosed me as having bipolar disorder since they can show very similar symptoms.

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There is hope. I know there is. Feel free to reach out anytime

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I am here. Barely at times but I am here. I need to find a psychiatrist who can treat me. I have yet to find relief from the rapid-cycling moods and hallucinations. I haven't lost hope but there are times I fear I will stop being able to tell what is real because there are days I am not entirely sure where my dreams end and life begins. I am here.

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Hello fellow members --

I had posted a question in the schizophrenic category, but I'm going to re-ask within this discussion. I haven't been diagnosed with either schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia and I'm not sure about bipolar, as far as my "official" diagnoses. What would be the difference between bipolar and schizoaffective? In any case, I was wondering----

If you have a schizophrenic or schizoaffective diagnosis:
How do the positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, etc) affect you?

Are there triggers that make them worse? Better and worse days? I naturally assume so, but I don't know. How long would a bad period last?

Finally, what's your experience with medication?

Thanks!

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Simplest way I know to discribed schizoaffective...A person suffering from schizoaffective bipolar disorder may show several classic symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disease. However, unlike bipolar disorder, a schizoaffective bipolar patient may suffer from psychotic visual and auditory hallucinations even during the normal moods.

I don't know all my triggers but when I feel like I am being backed into a corner, the voices get loud and mean and I am scared of how I may react. Also, grief for me is extreme because I start seeing my loved ones alive and have a hard time being able to tell what is happening and what is not. Most of the time, I can tell the difference between my hallucinations and reality but I have not had success with medication and most of the time, I am not receiving the help I need and as the years go by, I am getting progressively worse.

I do have a flare of creative pursuits including writing, painting, beading, and diy doll home & furniture. I bury myself in them to escape and it is the only time I can really focus on anything. I am on my second marriage which isn't going too well. Most of the time I am manic which I don't mind if I have somewhere to channel my energies. Because so little is known about the disorder, finding a psychiatrist who can treat you seems impossible but I haven't lost hope yet. I haven't worked in over two years and don't feel like I can face anyone so it leaves me feeling trapped in a life that is not ideal for getting better. Luckily, my mania keeps me hopelessly optimistic even when I should admit defeat. The mania makes having a conversation impossible and you add the voices on top and I am not always sure what is going on.

On the positive, my childhood was pretty neat despite feeling like an outsider because I always had the voices. Even when they were tearing me down, at least I wasn't totally alone. Plus, they forever push me to not give up on myself. I hide a lot from others and it has left many relationships in shambles but I am what I am. I just have to learn to live with it and keep going.

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been diagnosed for almost 7yrs now..not medicated now cos didnt like the zombie effect meds gave me so everyday is a battle. i'm here anyway i can be...understanding from others is so hard and while i'm midways into a mixed episode i dont know if i could be much to anyone but its always nice to find others like me..much respect to our strength of existence ! :)

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To"Why Not me? What'' s the difference between schizo affective bi polar and bi polar with a touch of ADD?. I was diagnosed very late even though I tried 4 docs over a 20 year period. I'm in a bind right now and would have loved to be sitting on a Disability check every month. I did work but not for a few years before diagnosis so they figure I don't need $$. The side bills from cancer treatment are killing me.

Google just isn't the same. I'm forever getting thrown into "Ask".

Thanks.

Carol

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Hello!

Thanks moodymoonlady :) for your response. I love your name, btw.

I can't believe you're not on any meds at all; that's got to be very hard. My current diagnoses are: adhd, ocd, gad (generalized anxiety disorder), and mood disorder (type yet to be determined, lol. I think the code is 293.38?) My psychiatrist diagnoses conservatively. Initially it was adhd and depression. Even though I wasn't depressed.

It's good to know that you can tell the difference between your hallucinations and reality, at least for now. I haven't really told my dr that I think I may have that issue. Because I do know the difference. And because I have lots of questions about how we even know what someone else experiences as hallucinations. Delusions, definitely have those. I just try not to think about it.

I'm not surprised at all that you're able to escape into your creative pursuits. Mine is piano, and writing also. Or being with children. That's all I can do when I'm "off", which is basically manic. I don't have it really badly though, so compared to most people, it might be a little lower on the scale, more towards 75ish. I hate my manic. I can't think. I can't do anything requiring steps without significant stress, anxiety, and/or excitement and movement. I feel like I want to stick my head in a vice and squeeze it as hard as possible. I don't sleep as much, and eating is difficult. I can't tolerate certain smells and tastes. It has to be bland, spicy, or sweet. But the sweet will make me sick, because of course I do it in excess, so I just try to avoid that all together.
If there's something to worry about, I will be worrying about it a lot more, constantly. OCD will be terrible. I'll talk out loud to what I hear, telling them to leave me alone. Sometimes I just try to ignore it. I'll scream sometimes. (if I'm by myself). It sucks to always hear the same thing over and over again, especially when you know it's not your own mind and will. I'll try to make myself be goofy, but it's exhausting to be goofy all day long, and just not that fun. lol. I have no frustration tolerance on days like this. I'll be really, really jumpy on these days. Sensitive to every tiny sound, etc. Paranoid. On the worst days I don't leave the apartment at all. I can't. Being around people isn't possible. Unless it's a close friend of mine, or kids. Kids because they're constantly going too, and they demand so much energy. So it works. I'm a teacher, so that's how I managed before I lost my job. (My employer fired me after not giving me a written documentation from a meeting that I'd requested...and yes, that is illegal, and she was covered under regulations, and yes, I have filed in court....even though I didn't want to)

Anyway, I'm obviously rambling and going and going and going. Today is one of those days. But I have to go pick up someone to take them to a dr appointment in an hour, so I should start getting ready soon. It takes me two hours to get out of the house. But I'm already halfway there. I did eat and I did take my medicine, so that's a good start. I've been up for 5 hours. At least last night I went to bed earlier, so that means I'm coming out of this terrible phase soon. Maybe tomorrow?? I hope so. Oh, and medication. I think the new one is helping a little. Sort of. I take adderall for the adhd, effexor for the ocd, and in May started lithium for this funky mood stuff. The phases haven't been as bad as they were before the lithium. And we just increased a few days ago, so I will have to let you all know how it goes.

oy. Thanks so much for your reply. And moodymoonlady, you are awesome. You will definitely make it, because you've got the right outlook. Even though it completely sucks to no end, you have a good outlook and you'll be fine. If you need help with anything, don't hesitate to send me a message. I've got lots of resources.

Have a good day--or the best you can make of it :)

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You go. girl.

Carol

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Hi. I have Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. For years I was diagnosed with depression, then Bipolar I and finally in the past couple of months the Psych I've been seeing for about a year recognized Schizo when I told her about the severe delusions and hallucinations I was currently having and had been having even though I was neither manic nor depressed, just psychotic. I'm glad somebody finally gets what I'm going through.
I'm also glad to have found this little group. I haven't been able to find anyone who understands. Online or in real life. This is a scary diagnosis to me. I'm already on SSDI because I have pains and numbness from Type 1 diabetic neuropathy in my hands/arms and feet/legs, fibromyalgia, severe PTSD, panic disorder with agoraphobia and what they thought was Bipolar I that wasn't responding to treatment. Now we know it's just Schizo that's not responding to treatment. Yay!
I have to use a Service Dog so that I can tell what's real and what's not, to keep me on a schedule, to help me when I leave the house and so on.

Anybody else here use a Service Dog? I'm sure there are plenty of Therapy Dogs but I mean an actual Service Dog. Does anyone else want to talk about having multiple mental illnesses or having physical disabilities in addition to mental illness? I feel so alone in having so many conditions. I'm working on my second bachelor's in Fiber Arts and Sculpture, just a couple classes a term, at a very large university. As far as I've been able to discern, I'm the only student who uses a Service Dog. It makes me very publicly disabled and very isolated. Most people avoid me like the plague. And because I'm almost old enough to be the parent of most of the students, it doesn't help. Has anyone found isolation from others?

Ok, I'm done blathering. Have a great night.

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The best thing you can do is see a doctor and be totally honest about you symptoms. Gathering symptomology from others is neither healthy nor productive towards your mental health. Unless you're trying to get SSDI or something.

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"would have loved to be sitting on a Disability check every month"??? Wow. That is really offensive. No one "sits" on a disability check. They struggle. The checks are so meager you can barely, if at all, get by.

And btw, I worked for over 20 years, losing every job because of my mental illness. Including my last one that was lost in a most hideous fashion. I couldn't get another job anywhere, had to rely on my boyfriend for support, was in and out of hospitals multiple times and finally got a the kind of diagnoses I needed to qualify for SSDI because of multiple suicide attempts and hospitalizations. I don't think any of that qualifies as "sitting on a Disability check".

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the above was in reply to Desertdweller

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I would like to talk. I don't see many people on here with that disorder. I hate this disorder. It's worse than Schizophrenia itself. Being combined with another disorder is no joke. I am on Invega now but I have gained 5 lbs in a week. I am already significatently overweight. They want to give me the monthly injection but they will have to increase the dosage. I've been on Clozaril too and had to go up on the dosage. Now I'm really depressed. I've been on so many different meds that I can be one of their reps. Invega is suppose to be the least weight causing "Med" for my disorder everything surely causes weight gain. I cannot work and the disability check I get (when I get it is a joke sometimes about $14.00!) It depends on what my husband makes. I also have a Autistic son. Just more stuff and I'm overwhelmed. Any suggestions?

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I have a question. I have Schizoaffective Disorder. I usually have the LOWS! For some reason, I got the MANIA (I have NEVER HAD IT BEFORE) which was HYPERSEXUALITY that is what my therapist and psychiatrist called it. Has ANYBODY besides me had this before? I am married for almost 19 years with 4 teenagers. Please tell me if someone has had this besides me. I feel so ashamed because it was NOT ME (sorta).

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Hello! I was diagnosed with S.A.D. a few years ago.

I have a hard time letting myself write, and haven't been able to write more then a sentence here and there for a few years. Even writing that feels dramatic, but it's free from hyperbole .. I swear!

I have problems with private / public boundaries IE. I'll talk to strangers for hours and tell them anything. This post is a case in point, really. Why am I telling you these things?! Venting, I suppose. I judge myself too harshly. Still blame myself for the illness due to original diagnosis for me, being a DRUG INDUCED PSYCHOSIS. I was smoking a lot of marjiuana, but when the psychosis lasted longer then 2 days (it was a month) the detective ... urrr ... i mean dr. changed his diagnosis.

I am a creative type. I have toured north america, made records .. it is my career. The antispychotics made it so this part of my identity no longer functioned. I was miserable for 2 years until I decided to get off them because I was suicidal. Right now I'm on Effexor (a antidepressant) & marijuana ... (I'm hoping that they will make marijuana legal so I can obtain a CBD strain ... Yes, THC is psycho active ... I am playing with fire. But, there is a compound in Cannibis called CBD which is an anti-psychotic ... unfortunately, throught modern hydroponics, the THC is through the roof, leaving no room for CBD. (it is a zero sum relationship). I feel very guilty for smoking weed ..

I don't eat before 5pm most days. I'm working one day a week at the moment, and am running out of money. My mother has been amazing, and so has my dad in his own way ... (notice, a tinge of resentment?) ... Anyways .... I'm 26 ... I'm slowly getting somewhere. I am surviving, but I really want to THRIVE.

I am the jester in my group of friends. I surround myself with people who embrace the "WEIRD" ... It is a struggle, but I think you have to remember that you're still you! The diagnosis didn't create a new timeline, it is a significant marker .. Yes, but it does not define you!

Here's a few things that might be helpful ... remember that you have AN ILLNESS THAT TELLS YOU THAT YOU DON'T HAVE AN ILLNESS ... This requires vigilance. CBT works best to combat this sort of meta mumbo jumbo. IE. If i'm freaking out my immediate thought is "oh no, i'm freaking out" ... if I can be COGNITIVE in that moment by saying " oh, i'm freaking out, but that's my anxiety popping up" i can deal with it better ..

My struggle has been finding a balance between the two components of S.A.D. In my experience the meds that help my psychotic symptoms, worsen the depressive ones .. and vice versa ... BE PATIENT, try to brake that CATCH 22 and do things that are good for you. I know it's a lot easier said .... But take working out, for example .. the endorphins are a great thing for battling depression.

Though we may be in the same "family" we are siblings, and we are different. Everyone's illness manifests itself differently.

TALK TALK TALK TALK TALK .. Though I don't let myself write very often, I have been lucky to have people in my life to talk things through ... Another praise for CBT ... You know when you have some thought in your head and you're sure it's true and horrible, and as soon as you verbalize it, you realize how silly it was?! Ahhhh cool ...


Trust your Dr ... but don't let the relationship be one sided. Ask questions ... be honest.

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I will be your friend I am still new to this, I also have Schizoaffective Disorder with Bipolar I thought it was rare to have both so I am S.A.D and B.A.D all mixed into together, mainly I am well, but I could sit here a write so much stuff about me and my illness... However I can relate to Moshua my first Psychosis was drug induced I too took comfort in marijuana however I no longer smoke it.
Still smoke ordinary cigarettes, but I feel its too hard to give them up.
There is hope- to Yammer1993 yours questions I am no expert weight gain sickness me before the this illness I was a size 8-12 now I am 16-18 -I am Aussie but no I have experienced MANIA not Hyper sexuality.
Bye for now ....

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