About 12 ½ years ago, I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation in the inpatient psychiatric ward of my local hospital. Suicidal ideation is when you are thinking about suicide a lot but don’t have a plan to actually harm yourself. Still, I felt I was in danger, so I asked my fiancée to drive me to the hospital.
Although I am now less afraid to drive, in the past, my schizoaffective anxiety has made me afraid to do it. But it’s getting better, largely due to the fact that I got a Subaru. My mom was due for a new Subaru, so she gave me her old one. It’s a sports utility vehicle (SUV) with four-wheel drive and all sorts of safety features, and I’ve been driving more since it’s been my car.
My schizoaffective disorder used to make me afraid to wash my hair, so weeks would go by when I didn’t do it. I thought of it as occasionally washing my hair. Now I take a bath every day, and I take a shower and wash my hair once a week. I brush my hair in-between times and I now have a system that enables me to keep on a regular hair-washing cycle.
Because of my schizoaffective disorder, I beat up on myself a lot. Whenever anything goes wrong, I blame myself--or look for ways to blame myself. As a feminist, I want to love the goddess that I am, but this isn’t reality for me.
My schizoaffective anxiety is one of a host of factors that make it hard to fall asleep at night. That wasn’t always the case. One of my friends once said that falling asleep on a dime was my superpower. But it isn’t anymore, and this is very frustrating.
I haven’t heard schizoaffective voices in almost two months. That’s pretty exciting news. I started hearing voices much less because my psychopharmacologist increased the dosage of my mood stabilizer. It’s so good to be free of the voices and I don’t take it for granted.
Quite a few people in commenting about this blog have mentioned that they think my schizoaffective voices are spirits or come from the spirit world. Although I am a very spiritual person, I don’t believe my schizoaffective voices are in any way spiritual. Here’s why.
I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. This wasn’t unusual—the medication I take for my schizoaffective disorder makes me sleep late. But the call I was about to take would prove to be very unusual. (Note: This post contains a frank discussion of suicidal thoughts.)
My psychopharmacologist and I made a medication change, and now I’ve only heard schizoaffective voices once in over a month. Here’s what it’s like to bring this schizoaffective disorder symptom under control once again.
It was the summer of 2006. I had just completed my master’s degree in photography from Columbia College Chicago. My schizoaffective mania was taking over—yet, I felt very suicidal. It all came to a head on a trip to Door County with my parents and my younger brother. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)