delusions Archive

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.

An Interesting Hypothesis

In the early 1950’s, a well known Canadian psychiatrist named Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron developed the concept of “psychic driving.” The idea was that mental illnesses could be cured by reprogramming new narratives into subjects. He recruited from the local community to participate in his studies. Most of his volunteer subjects suffered from relatively minor psychiatric complaints, such as neurosis or depression.

New Experiences

A few months ago, I saw someone who was not there. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a woman with long hair and a long dress leaning over the bed. She was not frightening or threatening in any way. I gradually realized that I was seeing her features more clearly than I should be able to, given how dark the room was. Then she faded away. I am as certain that I was awake then as I am ever certain that I am awake.

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.

My Experience with Psychotic Depression (Micah)

I am not sure where to start. There is so little I remember. I’m not even certain of my exact diagnosis now. Is it psychotic depression or schizoaffective disorder? Or something else? It doesn’t really matter.

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.

My Experience with Schizoaffective Disorder (Ava)

Trigger warning for description of psychotic hallucinations, mentions of drug addiction & alcoholism

Schizoaffective Disorder, a fusion between Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, combines the symptoms of both. I was diagnosed with it three years ago after a lifetime of Bipolar I with psychotic symptoms. I could say the results were shattering, but in a way the diagnosis was a relief: to have a name for the paranoia, the white vans following me whenever I left the house, an explanation for the voices, the dialogue constantly critiquing my actions. The schizophrenic break came that terrifying summer after graduating from an MFA program with no prospects and huge debt, but perhaps I should begin at the beginning.

DSM-V Criteria for Sexual Identity-based Delusional Disorder (Satire)

Remember when homosexuality was in the DSM, listed as a mental disorder? Remember when being trans was in there, too, listed as Gender Identity Disorder? (Oh yeah, that last one is still in there!)

My Experience with Schizophrenia (Coda)

Trigger warnings for description of psychotic episodes and a suicide attempt, in detail, and violent imagery.

I have Schizophrenia. I find certain words can lose their sting when we just come out and say them. So I’m saying it. I live with Schizophrenia. This is my story.

My Experience with Bipolar II Disorder (Hanners)

Trigger warning for description of a suicide attempt, and discussion of sexual assault.

All my life, I’ve been told by those around me that I am highly intelligent, and could do just about anything I set my mind to. I got good grades in school, for the most part (though they dropped a fair bit close to graduating high school), and was known as a happy-go-lucky kid that always found the positive side of just about anything (or anyone).