Learning to Cope with My Schizoaffective Disorder

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I was sleeping on a tile floor during a New England winter with very little heat and no blankets. I starved to the point where I lost too much weight. After all this chaos I was hospitalized at Portsmouth Regional Hospital where the staff diagnosed me with schizophrenia, specifically schizoaffective disorder.

During my first episode of schizoaffective disorder, I experienced psychosis to the point where I had difficulty speaking more than several words at a time. I had referential thinking and lost my ego boundary. Everything external and internal blended together.

I believed there was a telekinetic network and my thoughts were being disseminated to everyone in the world. Continue reading Learning to Cope with My Schizoaffective Disorder

Debunking 4 Myths About Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is perhaps the most misunderstood of all mental illnesses, mostly due to the sheer amount of misinformation out there. Some of this is due to movies and TV, while some can be attributed to stereotypes about mental illness. There are several cultural and demographic myths regarding schizophrenia — these are the four most common.

Myth #1: People with Schizophrenia All Have the Same Symptoms

There are many different types of schizophrenia, and they can all affect a person in different ways. Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, such as delusions that someone is out to get the sufferer, are different from catatonic schizophrenia symptoms, which include a lack of emotion and decreased motivation.

Mental illnesses affect people differently. It is possible to encounter two sufferers with the same type of schizophrenia who behave differently. Schizophrenia isn’t all about being paranoid and hearing voices. Continue reading Debunking 4 Myths About Schizophrenia

What Is Schizophrenia?

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Although the popular perceptions of schizophrenia have changed, the mental health disorder — it’s not classified as a disease, as it can’t be verified as a physical condition — is still not clearly understood outside of the medical profession. This is largely due to the fact that schizophrenia is a complex condition that can manifest as a wide variety of symptoms in different people. To complicate things further, symptoms can also differ in individuals at different stages of the disorder.

The cause of schizophrenia is unknown. Although there are various theories, it’s generally diagnosed when symptoms meet the standard definition of the disorder, and when other similar conditions — such as bipolar disorder — have been rejected. Continue reading What Is Schizophrenia?