Schizoaffective Disorder Archive

  • Sub-Categories
    • No categories
  • Schizoaffective Disorder is a mental illness that causes cycling periods of depression, anxiety and manic or hypomanic episodes, as well as psychosis both during and outside of mood episodes. It is often described as having symptoms of both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

    Basic Articles
    My Experience with Schizoaffective Disorder (Ava)



    My Experience with Wicca and Pagan Spirituality

    When they asked us in rehab that March of 2013 what our spirituality consisted of, I said that is was “Somewhere between yoga and fireflies.” I was getting very into yoga. I felt that the states of greater transcendence I reached while practicing to be closest to the spiritual as I, a die-hard atheist, could get. I felt that the grandeur of nature and expanse of the universe was a higher power, but I couldn’t get behind the idea that the universe would have anything to do with me or want to help me. I felt insignificant in the galaxy, a mote of dust, a sheep, as AA professed.

    Painting from the Psych Ward

    I painted the beginning of this painting while inpatient at Aurora Las Encinas during arts and craft time. It is my first abstract piece. I was surprised to discover how creative I felt there, digging among old board games like Monopoly for collage material and working in child tempuras instead of my usual oils. I kept the piece of overworked construction paper through my stay, oddly proud of my first artistic effort in a year of multiple psychiatric hospitalizations. When I got out of the psych ward, I mod podged it to a canvas and added a border and purple feathers. I call it Inpatient, Forgive.

    My Experience with Medical Marijuana as a Psychiatric Medication and Harm Reduction Strategy

    Trigger Warnings: suicidal ideation, grief, alcoholism, drug use.

    When I first came to medical marijuana, I was desperate. Fighting Schizoaffective Disorder, alcoholism, PTSD, the recent death of my wife, chronic anxiety, and newly recovered childhood abuse memories, all I wanted was to be put out of my misery. I told my therapist, “When an animal is broken, you either shoot it or put it out to pasture comfortably, I’ll take either one.”

    Two Months Later

    Editor’s note: this is a continuation of Fuck. Schizoaffective?

    It’s been two months since my diagnosis. Two months to process the psychosis, the diagnosis. Two months to adjust to new medication.

    Coming to terms with childlessness

    I never wanted to be a mother when I was young. Seduced by the freedom I could have as a single woman, at varying levels of “being about to take care of myself” financially and psychologically, I pushed onward. When I was 19 and in college I had an abortion. The father was irresponsible and unemployed, and I wanted to graduate. I wanted to live an exciting, satisfying life and knew if I kept the child I would be doomed to poverty and single-mother-dom before I had even gotten started.

    Ramifications of Queer and Mental Illness Visibility

    While part of my identity is “Out of the Closet”, as the thrift stores I frequent so gaily proclaim, the mental health side of my identity is still partially in the closet, a monster in the closet that emerges and slides back in as I hide blog posts, switch back and forth my internet expressions, erase tweets, and deep down know that the internet knows everything forever. Spokeo owns me and it owns you.

    Fuck. Schizoaffective?

    The last few weeks have been chaotic for me. I’ve been in a mixed episode, and starting last week, I’ve been hearing voices. Whispers, chatter, and someone calling my name. All either alone, or only with my partner nearby, and she’s confirmed that they aren’t things that she’s heard. I’ve also been feeling like the crows that wake me up in the morning are mocking me. I’ve known for months that something like this was inevitable, but it’s still jarring to experience a psychotic episode for your first time.

    Shaming my Food Stamps: EBT and SSDI

    I grew up a white, middle-class, cisgendered, femme bisexual. These are the labels and privilege that I am willing to claim. When I reached 33 and went on SSDI, I went on food stamps. The transformation from Daddy’s Girl who just had to get another temp job to actual psychotic starving schizophrenic who had to take anti-anxiety medication to take out the trash was a process but has landed here. With me, today. Taking a handful of pills so that I can be brave enough to go use my EBT.

    Bipolar mania and the high femme: Adventures in Sephora

    I was bipolar for ten years, and while rifling through the sexual identity coatrack I found I was most comfortable as a bisexual femme. In the gay bars of 2002 this was the look that got me most often ignored or disregarded. A decade later in a different city, I amped the look up to high femme, in a sense queering it, by making the femininity into camp, a form of drag or masquerade. With a blonde bouffant, pencil skirt, purple lipstick and platform heels, I could not actually be serious about being sexy for the boys, I scared them.

    Misrepresentation, Diversion and Truth: Talking about SSDI

    One of the hardest things about existing in a community is that eventually you will have to meet new people. The elephant will enter the room. “What do you do?” “No, what do you do for work?” I am on SSDI, Social Security Disability Income. That means I don’t work in the technical sense. I sit around in my underwear drinking iced coffee and working on my novel while the government sees fit to direct deposit funds every month. I go to the grocery store and use food stamps to buy spinach and chicken.