No Longer Needing Reassurance with Schizoaffective Disorder
Recently, my excellent therapist suggested that I try to start needing reassurance less often from other people. My schizoaffective disorder makes me doubt myself and second-guess myself a lot, so I often ask other people if something I’m doing or did or that happened is okay. But doing that only reinforces the idea that I’m not capable. So I’m trying to be more independent. Here’s how needing reassurance less often is going.
Not Needing Reassurance When I Have Schizoaffective Disorder Is Hard
Because of my schizoaffective disorder, I don’t trust my own thoughts or decisions and often need reassurance. But I’m learning to trust my thoughts and feelings more. It’s a long, hard process.
Since I don’t feel I can depend on myself, I depend on close family members like my husband Tom or my mom. I often call my mom to ask her for advice on inane things, such as if I wiped up a mess in my apartment properly. I call her a lot less than I used to, though.
Although my therapist formally made this suggestion recently, it’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. For a couple of years now, my therapist has encouraged me to write down my thoughts and challenge them by providing evidence for and against them. I have to admit, this sometimes backfires because it makes me focus so much on the thought that I want to ask for reassurance about it. Because of this, I try to challenge the thought in my head before I put pen to paper. That’s getting better too.
Self-Stigma Makes Me Need Reassurance
Another thing that’s helping is recognizing the self-stigma to not trusting myself because I have schizoaffective disorder. Self-stigma is when you internalize bad messages from the culture surrounding mental illnesses such as schizoaffective disorder.
I find it very empowering to fight self-stigma and rely on myself. Not only is it empowering, but it’s more convenient. I can skip the steps of calling my mom or texting Tom at work and just think through whatever problem I’m facing for myself. Even if I do have to write down challenges to address them, I have to admit it takes a lot less energy than trying to get a hold of another person to ask for advice.
I feel really good about myself when I don’t need reassurance. I’ve actually come a long way since I started seeing my current therapist. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. I’ve been known to call myself a feminist. What kind of feminist am I if I don’t do the empowering work of relying on myself and putting an end to my self-stigma?
Do you find yourself needing reassurance often? What are you doing to combat that need?
Caudy, E. (2019, October 17). No Longer Needing Reassurance with Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2019/10/no-longer-needing-reassurance-with-schizoaffective-disorder