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Schizo-affective disorder


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#1 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 06:42 PM

I have become close lately to someone who told me that he has depression for sure, but one Pdoc thought he may have schizo-affective disorder.  I have been looking it up online, and it sounds like the kind of thing that really renders a person unable to function normally in the world.  But I have never known a person before with this disorder, and I would like to hear from others who know more than I do about it.  Thanks.

#2 misfit

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 10:01 PM

Hey Art.Chick
 I am really tired and should go to bed-but thought I would write anyway because this subject is one that interests me quite a bit.
 I have done a lot of research on it because I think my exboyfriend is bipolar with schizo-effective disorder. I will write a little more tomorrow-or in a few days ( I am working some insane shifts lately). Basically the stuff that happend to him, and that I witnessed in his behavior were beyond Bipolar. I am sure that he is schizo-effective too. And yes, it pretty much renered him unfunctional. I think when I came into his it threw it so off that he became manic for well over half a year. And that happend to him many times before, whenever anything good happend to him.
  I will tell ya more when I am less tired. It was awful to see what happend to him. I still worry about him and where he is.
 Talk to ya soon
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#3 Sheepwoman

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 01:18 PM

AC, I had (and will possibly have him back) a roomie with schizo-affective disorder. He hears voices, has back flashes and hallucinates when he is depressed or not active. He comes to me with his serious problems. Now he calls for help or advice with life situations. When he has episodes, it is really difficult to talk him down. Actually it's very hard to get his attention. It's like his brain shuts down and all the bad stuff takes over. His new pdoc is adjusting his meds slowly to give him some relief. So far he's been doing alot better. You could read up about schizo-affective, or I can PM some info to you.
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#4 Guest_Moonheart_*

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:03 PM

That's my husband to a T Sheepwoman. That's pretty much what I had suspected he had, that and Bipolar I. What you described, that is what happens to him. He gets so caught up in it that he can't tell what is reality and what is the past and what is hallucination. He thought he had DID because of the voices talking to him, but it became more and more clear that the voices were auditory hallucinations, along with visual, sensory, extreme paranoia, and extreme hostility and suicidal ideation.

It makes for a very difficult and dangerous relationship. :hearts: Very hard because you certainly don't stop loving the person. It came down to where he couldn't live with us though because of what the voices were telling him to do, and he was acting out on it. It breaks my heart because he is the love of my life and every moment of every day it cuts like a knife to take every breath without him here. I hate the disease he suffers from more than anyone could possibly imagine. :bump:

#5 Jkm

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:27 PM

I'm sorry to hear this, Moonheart.    :hearts:


I have worked with people who have this disorder and usually paranoia is a big symptom, besides the thought disorder and mood disorder.  It really makes life difficult for the person who has it to maintain relationships with the mood fluctuation and psychotic symptoms. Any kind of stimulation can set the wheels in motion for symptoms to start up.   My heart goes out with sadness at what people with this disorder have to deal with.  Having bipolar would be enough to deal with, but people with this have symptoms of schizophrenia thrown in.

Most times, people with this get tired of taking all the meds, and will stop and have a relapse which takes so long to recover from.  Drug and alcohol abuse can big a big draw with it too, and people will try to control their symptoms will both....at least the clients I worked with did.  Makes for a very troubled person with lots of difficulty interpeting what is real and what is symptoms.  They need a lot of support to get by and if the paranoia starts up, you can have a big problem on your hands.  Most of the folks I worked with had police records, since states refuse to pay for much supervision, and the person will do something while psychotic and land in jail.  Geez!

It's a tough life, for sure, art.chick........
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#6 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 03:54 PM

Hi, all.  While I am diagnosed bipolar, my pdoc has told me that schizo-affective is probably a better diagnosis for me.  He seems to think that bipolar carries less of a stigma than schizo-affective disorder.  As he has explained it to me, you have mood swings just like you do with bipolar, but you can have psychotic episodes even when you are not manic or depressed.  This describes me perfectly.  I had late onset of my symptoms, which is fairly unusual, and I went through a couple of periods where I was totally psychotic (hallucinations, paranoia, etc...).  My condition improved dramatically after I started taking anti-psychotics, but not before I spent three extended visits in the padded wall motel.  I still have auditory hallucinations a lot of the time, but the voices and I are on friendly terms as long as I take my meds.  Not sure that will make sense to anyone who has not experienced it.  I know for sure that my meds are the only thing that keeps me functional in the world.  
With out them I would be lost.
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#7 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 01:56 AM

Thanks for these insights.  Hard to say if any of this sounds like him because we have just started getting to know each other, and there has not been time to see him go thru a variety of different stressors that may give me a clue to the veracity of that Dx.  Of course, he says it is not at all a good description of him, but he may just be in denial or trying not to scare me away.

I do not know what a psychotic episode is.  I really appreciate everyone's input on this.  It is only fair to the people you are hoping to get close to to divulge info on such things that may become important later.  As all of you know, I have had a rough enough life without becoming a nurse for a stubborn and very sick mental patient, but this is someone I like.  Maybe he is not a great choice for life partner, but he is incredibly nice to me, and I need that.

#8 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:57 AM

art.chick - I'll try to explain a psychotic episode, at least how they occur with me.  I have auditory hallucinations.  I hear voices.  I hear two people predominately, a man and a woman.  When I am not psychotic, I know that they are not real.  When I am psychotic, I totally lose touch with reality and the voices become very real to me.  I try to control them, but they control my actions when I am in this state.  Very strange.  Another thing that happens to me is that I become paranoid and delusional.  I think the world is out to get me.  My neighbors are with the CIA and are spying on me.  I think the evening news is directed specifically me and that there are coded messages I need to figure out.  I can't leave the house for fear that everyone is watching me and spying on me.  It goes on and on, but I hope this helps you understand psychosis at least a little bit.  One thing that pertains to psychosis and might be applicable to your friend is that if you are really suffering from psychosis, you do not recognize this.  Everything going on in you brain is very real to you and nobody can convince you otherwise.  I can remember what happened after I have had an episode and can even laugh at myself, but at the time it is all very real.
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#9 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:16 AM

SC, that gives me a very good idea what the term means.  I need examples, as I am not much of an abstract thinker.  It sounds very frightening.  If someone believes that these awful things are happening, they cannot feel very secure.  I hope that my friend does not have to undergo such trials, but if he does, at least I have some insight to that phenomemnon.  What is best to do if someone seems to be pulling out of reality in front of you?  Leave?  Call for help?  Talk to them about....what?  I have not seen this happen so far, but if it does, I would prefer that my reaction be more soothing than harmful if possible.

#10 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 11:36 AM

I think that the best answer is to try very hard to get the person professional help as soon as possible.  Be a caring friend and gently try to help them see what is happening.  Do everything possible to coax them into going to see a pdoc.  This can be difficult as they probably won't recognize that they are out of touch with reality.  I know I don't and my reality check is when my wife helps me to recognize what is happening.

The good news is that there are some wonderful drugs available to treat psychosis.  I take a drug called Seroquel that completely keeps things under control for me.  Granted I take a huge dosage every day and sometimes I feel like a zombie, but the benefits far outweigh the side effects for me.  Hope this helps a bit.
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#11 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 11:41 AM

That is a good approach, SC.  Thanks for the input.  I hope that it does NOT go that way, but as I said, outcomes could be affected by my actions, and I would not want to be the cause of someone getting worse if I could make a better decision and help them.

Everyone resists drugs at first, and I know he has taken some (don't know which) and declared they are not for him.  God knows I hate meds myself, and am doing my best to do without them (mostly because in my case, ALL of the stressors that were contributing to my anxiety were just getting worse via avoidance, which only entrenched in my medicated state.)  Will keep in mind this particular med.  Thanks.

#12 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 01:00 PM

I, too, hate taking meds and there are days I just want to chuck them in the toilet.  But, deep down I understand that I will have to take them for the rest of my life to control my symptoms.  The unfortunate thing about all of this is that therapy really doesn't help like it can with depression and bipolar without psychotic breaks.  There is no amount of talk therapy that can control psychosis as it is an organic problem in the brain and can strike at any time no matter how much you have talked about it.  So, it is all about the meds.
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#13 Guest_art.chick_*

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 04:06 PM

There is no amount of talk therapy that can control psychosis as it is an organic problem in the brain and can strike at any time no matter how much you have talked about it.  So, it is all about the meds.


This is an important point, and it applies in many threads on these boards, esp. those who contradict the legitimacy of meds overall.

#14 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 04:27 PM

Yeah, I have seen people on these boards challenge the use of meds and it frustrates me just a little bit.  I do believe that talk therapy can help a great deal with conditions such as depression, but it takes meds to stop the onset of psychotic episodes unless you just spontaneously quit having them on your own.  Unfortunately, this is extremely rare.  Generally speaking, it gets worse over the years as opposed to better.
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Posted 18 August 2005 - 01:40 AM

Well, the people who harbor such beliefs have no experience with that form of mental illness.  We all tend to imagine everyone else's situation in the mirror of our own experience.

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 09:51 PM

Well, I have probed a little deeper into the issue with my boyfriend, and it seems that his main issue is an anger management problem.  He did not name the illness, but it is sufficient to put him on SSI.  He says that he is working with talk therapy alone to try to develop techniques that keep him from actually having explosions, but when he does, it is a mess till he regains control.  He says that his method for dealign with his former wife was to warn her when she was pushing his buttons, retreat to the bathroom or leave the house till the storm passed.  He says he would not attack me, or any woman, but that his pdoc has approved him to try to work with just talk therapy and no meds for now.  This does not sound like schizoaffective disorder to me.  What does it sound like?

#17 Guest_Moonheart_*

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:11 AM

There is a disorder that just involves explosive temper. I can't remember the name of it now. Sorry. :(

#18 SchroedingersCat

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 02:59 PM

art.chick, you are right.  This doesn't sound like schizo-affective disorder.  There is a name for the condition of having an explosive temper, but I can't recall the name right now.  I believe Epic suffers from this condition, so maybe you could PM him to get the description.
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#19 Epic

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:06 PM

art.chick, you are right. This doesn't sound like schizo-affective disorder. There is a name for the condition of having an explosive temper, but I can't recall the name right now. I believe Epic suffers from this condition, so maybe you could PM him to get the description.



Since I never recieved a PM here ya go. Just for the record it's called Intermittent Explosive Disorder art.chick. It isn't pretty, it's very embaressing and scary. I can get an urge to maim someone for no reason at all and a lot of the time is why I stay housebound. Thankfully some of the anti-psychotics have taken the edge off but a for instance is, I saw a man slap a child about 4-5 years old once and I beat the man within an inch of his life (literally), I blacked out and when I came to, I was trying to cram his head into a drink dispenser. It, in my case has triggers, women being hurt, children being hurt, bullies picking on small people all set me off into a blackout.

EDIT: Btw, I was diagnosed as more than likely schizo-affective at the beginning of the year as well.

Edited by Epic, 03 May 2006 - 10:19 PM.

So understand
Dont waste your time always
Searching for those wasted years
Face up... make your stand
And realise youre living in the golden years.

#20 cinnamona666

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:29 PM

wow.. my love to those who suffer with this =( bad enough to be depressed and know whats going on.

what is the difference between schizo-affective disorder and schizophrenia? i have never understood the difference. is schizo-affective disorder a subtype of the broader term schizophrenia?

thank you
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even if you desire it to

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#21 Epic

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:46 PM

wow.. my love to those who suffer with this =( bad enough to be depressed and know whats going on.

what is the difference between schizo-affective disorder and schizophrenia? i have never understood the difference. is schizo-affective disorder a subtype of the broader term schizophrenia?

thank you
<3


They're so closely related it's hard to distingush the two alot of the time one from the other. It took the pdoc 2 1/2 years to finally get on top of my situation and make his determination. I hallucinate most of the time, just visual mainly but I do get all five senses sometimes. It's not as bad as it would seem until I've been awake for weeks, then it gets scary at times.


This is the best way to say it is copy|paste, else I'll get lost in thought *argh*:

Schizo-affective disorder is a combination of two mental illnesses - schizophrenia and a mood disorder. The main types of associated mood disorder include bipolar (characterised by manic episodes or an alternation of manic and depressive episodes) and unipolar (characterised by depressive episodes).

Schizo-affective disorder is classified into two subtypes: schizo-affective bipolar type and schizo-affective depressive type. Mental health professionals currently believe that schizo-affective disorder is a kind of schizophrenia. Estimates suggest that as many as one in three people diagnosed with schizophrenia actually have schizo-affective disorder. Diagnosis can be difficult because the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are so similar to that of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
So understand
Dont waste your time always
Searching for those wasted years
Face up... make your stand
And realise youre living in the golden years.

#22 cinnamona666

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 11:03 PM

They're so closely related it's hard to distingush the two alot of the time one from the other. It took the pdoc 2 1/2 years to finally get on top of my situation and make his determination. I hallucinate most of the time, just visual mainly but I do get all five senses sometimes. It's not as bad as it would seem until I've been awake for weeks, then it gets scary at times.
This is the best way to say it is copy|paste, else I'll get lost in thought *argh*:

Schizo-affective disorder is a combination of two mental illnesses - schizophrenia and a mood disorder. The main types of associated mood disorder include bipolar (characterised by manic episodes or an alternation of manic and depressive episodes) and unipolar (characterised by depressive episodes).

Schizo-affective disorder is classified into two subtypes: schizo-affective bipolar type and schizo-affective depressive type. Mental health professionals currently believe that schizo-affective disorder is a kind of schizophrenia. Estimates suggest that as many as one in three people diagnosed with schizophrenia actually have schizo-affective disorder. Diagnosis can be difficult because the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are so similar to that of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.


that gives me a much better idea.. thanks for taking your time to explain it to me :hearts: and glad your pdoc has finally figured it out.. knowing what youre treating is always a good idea >_<
nothing is forever; nothing stays the same
even if you desire it to

^_^


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#23 Epic

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 05:08 AM

that gives me a much better idea.. thanks for taking your time to explain it to me :hearts: and glad your pdoc has finally figured it out.. knowing what youre treating is always a good idea >_<


Yw Cinnamon. =)
So understand
Dont waste your time always
Searching for those wasted years
Face up... make your stand
And realise youre living in the golden years.

#24 lyssa_kensall

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 11:02 PM

I have become close lately to someone who told me that he has depression for sure, but one Pdoc thought he may have schizo-affective disorder. I have been looking it up online, and it sounds like the kind of thing that really renders a person unable to function normally in the world. But I have never known a person before with this disorder, and I would like to hear from others who know more than I do about it. Thanks.


I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder 2 1/2 years ago. I may not have the best life, but I funtion fairly well considering. I get up in the morning, go for a walk, attend programs, and in a week, I am scheduled to start school. When I am in the midst of psychosis, I feel like I am barely treading water in the ocean we call life. But I think that if I am alive and still doing the best I can, going out of my way to become a functional part of society, I am ahead of the game. Sure, the goal line may be different, but reaching those goals are just as rewarding. I hope that you remember this when you are relating to people with psychotic disorders, because though we may see the world through a different lens, we are still the same at the core. All we want (well, all I want) is someone to love, a task or function in society, and some self respect.
I think it may help to discribe some of my psychotic symptoms, so that you may understand where I am coming from.
First off, I hear voices I identify as members of the police or RCMP, who tell me horrible lies. They tell me to cut, to bleed, to die. I have tried to do as they say, but lets face it, I am horrible at this suicide crap. Good for me in the long run, I suppose.
The same voices that I hear also show me visions of my family and the whole reason I hang on. They show me the death of these people, blood and bombs and deaths. I get so scared for them that I just can't let it happen.
Third, I have severe mood swings, my bipolar half, the worst being the depression. I spend very little time in mania, but I enjoy those times. But whenever I am high from the mania, I crash. So it sucks too. This is when I get suicidal.
Anywho, I hope that this little heartfelt confession will help you to understand your friend.

#25 TakeYourHeart

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:49 AM

.

Edited by TakeYourHeart, 19 July 2007 - 02:52 PM.

This'll be the last time
(I think I said that last time)




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