Not Trusting Myself Because of Schizoaffective Disorder

May 17, 2018 Elizabeth Caudy

Trusting myself is very difficult because my mental illness, schizoaffective disorder, deceives me so often. I wish trusting myself was easy, but it isn't. I have other options to trusting myself. Learn about them at HealthyPlace.

I have real problems trusting myself because I have schizoaffective disorder. which often makes me feel that I can’t trust my own mind, thoughts and decisions. It’s very scary to live this way and it puts a lot of pressure on my friends and family because I’m always asking for their opinions and advice about seemingly trivial issues. “Do you see that stain on my shoe?”  “Do I smell weird?”

Trusting Myself and Feeling Capable Are Not Things I Easily Do

In therapy, I’m trying to learn that trusting myself is okay because I’m capable. I don’t feel capable of much—except for writing. I’ve been writing since I was five years old and it’s just something I feel transcends my lack of confidence. I wish I felt that way about other things.

I don’t feel capable of taking on tasks most people take for granted—cooking, cleaning, even, to some extent, bathing. The cooking and cleaning are things my peers learned in college while I was too busy learning how to navigate my illness while keeping up with my studies. I mostly lived with my parents or in school dormitories before I moved in with my husband. That gave me backup support for cooking and cleaning.

But what’s most scary to me is that I simply don’t trust my own judgment. I rely on “safe” people, like my parents or like my husband, Tom, to weigh in on judgment calls. But I know I run them ragged constantly asking them for advice on minuscule details that my schizoaffective brain may or may not have made up (What Are the Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder?). I just don’t know what else to do besides turn to other people I trust because trusting myself feels out of the question.

Not trusting myself makes me wary of trusting the world in general. I feel that the world is out to get me, cheat me, con me, and I'm too dumb to see through its tricks and lies (The Truth About Paranoia, Extreme Anxiety and Delusions).

In a way, I have been cheated. I’ve been cheated out of a normal life. I could ask, “Why me?” But why not me? And what is a normal life anyway?

A good start to what I would consider to be a normal life would be not having to take a fistful of medication at night for my schizoaffective disorder. But, more importantly, it would mean being able to trust myself. Still, I’m not alone.

Why Worry About Trusting Myself When Other People Don’t Trust Themselves Either?

I know people without schizoaffective disorder or other mental illnesses who don’t trust themselves. So maybe not trusting myself is normal—a state of mind some people simply live with. But even knowing that, I have a propensity to blow things out of proportion. I’m always second-guessing myself, and third-guessing, and fourth-guessing. That’s the whir of schizoaffective disorder.

Sure, other people may doubt themselves, but my schizoaffective disorder makes me take it to an extreme where it feels as though I doubt every single thought in my head. I’m constantly afraid that a crisis is going to occur and I won’t know how to handle it. Trusting myself doesn't seem possible.

I really wish I could end this post with a pretty, positive package tied up in a bow. But schizoaffective disorder is hard. Heck, life is hard, for everybody. And sometimes it doesn’t come wrapped up in a pretty package until I consider the packages of love I unwrap in the warm and reassuring answers from my family to questions they never seem to consider silly.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2018, May 17). Not Trusting Myself Because of Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

March, 3 2020 at 3:24 pm

All I can say is if u have family u can trust u are lucky, my family think I am stupid So I don't tell them anything as they makes me worse, I have sctizoaffective disorder & in all my 45 years of living there have been 3 people in my life I trusted I am bad news

March, 4 2020 at 12:48 pm

Dear Brenna,
Thank you for your comment. You're right, I am lucky to have a family I can trust. I am sorry you don't have a good relationship with your family. Have you tried going to a support group? Being around other people who have a mental illness may make you realize you are not alone and that you are not bad news. I promise you that you are not bad news! I recommend looking for a support group through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Take Care,

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