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Coping With Some Of The Suffering That Is Brought On By Both Life And (Mainly) My Schizoaffective Disorder

NOTE: Life sucks! And, I hate the fear that is associated with sharing this post, and the one on the topic, that precedes it… but, even though life is difficult and I am afraid, I am publishing this bit of info. anyway!

The short version of my diagnostic history, is that I had a few “breaks,” and was diagnosed with Psychosis NOS, a little over 20 years ago.

Then, almost three years after those initial “breaks,” I had some additional “breaks,” and was given a string of diagnoses, before they settled on schizoaffective disorder – depressive type.

All three years leading up to my receiving the schizoaffective disorder diagnosis, I had taken a range of psych medication, none of which I was able to stick with for very long.

All of the pain associated with life and the disorder, eventually got me to recognize that medication was my “future,” so I began taking it.

It was difficult, but I took (and still take) my medication!

Besides taking the meds, what also helps me, is that I am emotionally expressive. I share a lot of myself, while also establishing and maintaining good boundaries.

Emotional expressiveness may be more or less a personality trait. So, while you may be able to teach it ultimately (I learned it in therapy), for a number of reasons, it might also be elusive for many.

Another component that helps me to cope with my suffering is becoming more aware.

In becoming more aware, I experience an increase in symptoms (i.e. delusions, hallucinations, depression, and anxiety).

Gratefully, I have the amazing help of my wife—plain and simple.

This woman educates herself! She is intelligent, creative, talented, selfless, and my anchor! And, she is there for me ALL of the time!

I get a lot of reality checks from my wife each and every day…

I am a high achiever by nature, and I probably pick my wife’s brain more often than what most people would do regarding their significant others, but it helps me to cope with severe mental illness—and, tremendously so!

Everything I share with the world, has a hint of her to it. I owe much of my success to this wonderful woman!

Before my wife came along, the world was a little darker…

Most days, I’d call my close friend (who is self-employed and made the time to talk to me), about how I should proceed on a plethora of life and illness issues.

I called him many times per day some days, and before my wife entered the picture, it was he who saved me from having a greater level of despair regarding life/my illness.

I don’t know how I got so blessed, but I do know, that I still suffer A LOT—even with ideal circumstances.

In sum, you might say that it’s been 1) the support I’ve received (the meds, a good psychiatrist, and an all-around excellent support system), 2) my emotional expressiveness, and 3) becoming more aware.

All of the above have helped me to do what I am doing at present! And, while it may not seem like much to some, I continually challenge myself each and every day through this medium of writing (blogging).

It also helps that I read, listen to a lot of music, and watch very little TV!

Have a good day/night!

6 thoughts on “Coping With Some Of The Suffering That Is Brought On By Both Life And (Mainly) My Schizoaffective Disorder Leave a comment

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Mio. I’m wondering how much psychotherapy helped you and what approach your therapist took. Were the psychiatric labels helpful to you or a hinderance? Many thanks again.

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      • I can only speak in very broad terms Mio, as I don’t know your way of seeing the world etc. My work with what psychiatry calls ‘psychosis’ and ‘auditory hallucinations’ (hearing voices) is a synergy of 1. understanding the particular meaning and worldview of the patient from their particular perspective. 2. Looking at the supportive function of these phenomena to the particular patient.

        Broadly, my experience tends to show that they are rooted in internal conflicts based on difficult/ traumatic/ unsupported early experiences (assuming there were no drugs and alcohol involved in the formation of the psychosis). Those conflicts can be resolved.

        The other broad aim would be helping the patient find security in their own body and mind with specific approaches that allow them to do that. Plus helping them learn to regulate their emotions and their exposure to external stimuli, as over-stimulation from the world can also play a big part. This is a natural response to chronic insecurity and the hypervigilance it creates.

        Hope that makes sense.

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  2. It’s often the way with psychiatry Mio, it’s not an exact science, and it often takes many attempts to get both the diagnosis and the medication correct. I’ve seen patients even with less severe mental illnesses i.e. anxiety and depression, have to try many medications before they can settle on one that works effectively. Whether we’ll ever know exactly what causes and what treats mental illness 100%. And while it seems so unfair, it’s all we’ve got to work with at the moment.

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