How Schizoaffective Disorder Has Affected My Relationships

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I’m 30 years old, and for many years, the longest relationship I had to date was in middle school — it lasted six months.

I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 19. Schizoaffective disorder is thought to be a unique combination of schizophrenia and a mood disorder like bipolar, presenting with symptoms like difficulty communicating, episodes of depression, delusions, and even hallucinations. It presents differently from person to person, and there’s still a lot to be learned about it. Though it has negatively impacted my life in many ways, it’s been especially difficult to navigate in my social life.

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7 Truths About Love to Remember This Valentine’s Day

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If we were to ask pop culture what the ideal relationship looked like, most of us would expect an image of fireworks in the sky with that one and only person who completes us. Romantic comedies may be uplifting, and love songs beautiful, but much of what we learn about relationships early on sets us up for unrealistic expectations.

The result? We never feel like our relationships are good enough, and may doubt if we’re deserving of love.

Holidays like Valentine’s Day can exacerbate these worries. Social media often makes it seem like everyone else is coupled and in an ecstatic state of love. If we’re partnered, we may wonder if our relationship is as good as everyone else’s seems to be. And if we’re single, we may feel even more inadequate.

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8 Ways Being Single is Great for Your Mental Health

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Let’s get one thing straight: Being single doesn’t mean you’re going to be forever alone. If nothing else, being single is a learning experience — one that happens to be good for your mental health, believe it or not.

So stop stressing over those seemingly endless (and cliché) “I SAID YES!” posts everyone shares on Instagram, and start appreciating the benefits of single life. Here are some ways being single is actually beneficial to your mental well-being.

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Is Your Relationship Over? 5 Questions to Ask Before Calling it Quits

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Though we’re conditioned to think of romantic relationships as the center of excitement and passion in life, many people remain in intimate relationships they feel ambivalent about, not knowing whether to leave their partners, or to stick it out for the long haul.

Because the excitement in romantic relationships is bound to ebb over time, it can be hard to know whether a relationship is just going through a boring or difficult stage, or whether it has naturally run its course.

There is no right answer, as experiences will differ from person to person, and from relationship to relationship — but there are some hints that you might be ready to move on. Here are five questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether your relationship is going to last.

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Toxic Love: The Relationship that Almost Undid Me

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This piece is part of our Darkest Day series, a collection of stories from people who’ve made it through the worst of their illness and now light the way for others.

It must be possible to spend your early 20s in a way that doesn’t prompt later regret. Knowing what it feels like to be, say, 22, newly graduated from college, and recently moved in with a drop-out junk dealer boyfriend, it’s hard for me to imagine. Some people must have the strength of character, or luck, or some combination, to skip over the throwing-your-life-away-as-soon-as-it becomes-your-own stage of development. I’m curious about them.

When I was 22, I decided to throw my life away with the most unsuitable person I had met to date.

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When Is Sex Bad For Your Mental Health? (+ What To Do About It)

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Sex is wonderful under the right circumstances, but it can turn into something not-so-great and unhealthy when it becomes a way of acting out, or a coping mechanism for other, deeper issues.

Especially when your mental health isn’t on it’s A-game, your sex life can get out of whack.

Here are some less than ideal decisions around sex one can make … and how to avoid them.

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Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

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When you date a man with depression, it can become a struggle to maintain a relationship with him and protect your own mental health. The experience is not fundamentally different than dating someone without a mental illness, but there are issues that are more likely to arise.

By understanding these issues and knowing how to respond, you can support the man you love without threatening the relationship or your emotional wellbeing. Continue reading Dating a Man with Depression: What You Need to Know and Do

Want to Know Why These People Ghosted You?

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No matter how hard we try to forget them, we want to know more about the people who permanently cut us out of their lives suddenly and without explanation — the people who “ghost” on us.

Why did they do it? Was it something we did?

You might never hear from those people, but listening to the hard truth from anyone who ghosted will provide valuable insights.

It’s more complicated than cowardice. Ghosting alone does not make someone a horrible person, and there are many reasons why people ghost. Understanding them might be what you need to move on. Continue reading Want to Know Why These People Ghosted You?

The Complete Online Dating Guide for Women

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For the millions of women who are not lucky enough to encounter Mr. or Mrs. Right on the street or in their social circles, online dating is the go-to. We use all sorts of online resources to find the best flight or restaurants, so why not put in the work to find something more important: love? Online dating is also a great way to date casually and meet interesting people you would not encounter in your daily life.

Nonetheless, online dating can be frustrating, especially for women who — more often than men —  have to deal with rude messages, fake profiles, scams and more. This guide will show you how to win at online dating so you can meet the best people, have fun and avoid compromising situations. Continue reading The Complete Online Dating Guide for Women

Can Therapy Help You Get a Date?

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I spent seven years being very single —  as in striking out most of the time — until I found an amazing woman to be in a healthy relationship with. During the tail end of that period, I started therapy where I often worked on negative beliefs and patterns that caused me to waste time chasing after women who weren’t interested or right for me. By the time I began dating my girlfriend, therapy had taught me how to communicate in a dating environment, use reasonable beliefs to find great women who were interested in me, and form a happy relationship.  

There are thousands of stories like mine where clients have worked with a therapist to become happier and healthier people, which is way more attractive than it sounds. Listen to some of these stories and more details of mine to learn how therapy is the way to have a great dating life and find someone you can be happy with. Continue reading Can Therapy Help You Get a Date?