I have schizoaffective disorder, and I am very socially awkward. I don’t know if my schizoaffective disorder is what makes me feel that way.
Living with Schizophrenia
Paranoid schizophrenia affects my diet. I have a complicated relationship with food, and thinking something looks good or sounds good is not enough to get me to try it. The reasons are that my most persistent symptom besides anxiety is paranoia and my paranoia frequently involves food.
I am always anxious around the holidays because of my schizoaffective disorder, but this season I have the added anxiety from arthritis in my knees.
When I was a young woman, before my first psychotic episode, I was incredibly independent. I frequently traveled internationally to Egypt and Brazil to visit my parents, who worked overseas. I also took road trips from Seattle to as far as San Diego by myself. Those days of independence are long gone. As someone with a severe mental illness, I need to connect and rely on people more than I ever imagined, but though I have schizophrenia, I am not a burden.
This story is a bit embarrassing to share. But people really feel the stories are helpful, so here you go. I want to admit that I can’t shower without my husband, Tom, in the bathroom with me.
A few days ago, my schizoaffective anxiety almost convinced me that I was dying--again. Here’s what happened.
When talking about paranoid schizophrenia, we must remember that everyone has a different experience with the illness. Some people live with few or no symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, while others live with significant symptoms. I had one period in my life where I lived symptom-free for almost a decade. During that time, I held a full-time job, completed training programs, was involved in hobbies, and was more independent than at any other period in my life. But I haven't had a day entirely symptom-free in the past 10 years.
“You are not alone” is a common phrase within the mental health community. I suspect it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but here’s what it means to me and my schizoaffective disorder.
I don’t have many friends who live nearby. Part of the reason is that my schizoaffective anxiety makes me feel awkward around new people and at parties. Part of it is because many of my old friends moved to other parts of the country, and a few of them died due to complications with mental illness. But part of it is because I cut a lot of people out of my life. Here's why I cut people out of my life.
A parade celebrating Independence Day turned deadly when a barrage of shots rang out into the crowd. It was yet another trauma-causing mass shooting, but this time it was in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb just a few towns north of me on the North Shore.