As I sit here and swirl inside the flight of ideas in my head, I am still cognitive enough, at this point, to realize that none are tangible or feasible. I call this my, “Look at the squirrel syndrome”. Thoughts churn and surge at a velocity that leaves my skull feeling as if it is going to explode under the pressure of ideas that pass before my eyes. It’s as if they are spelled out bright on a marque sign for me to read backwards. Remarkably enough, I can.
This mental illness, with its ugly head, has merely walked through the opened door of this un-medicated mentally ill patient. My resolve, although strong, is just not strong enough for when this brute wanders in and makes itself at home again.
What is this illness? Schizoaffective disorder. Alarming sounding, isn’t it? Where are the men in clean white coats to lock me away? Oh, before you put me away in a dark padded dungeon with my designer straight jacket in pink, please; let me explain what it is.
The clinical definition of Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Lovely! Symptoms may occur at the same time or at different times. I have depression onset due to chronic pain as well as bipolar disorder. I have been informed that the bipolar disorder cancels out the depression of chronic pain, as well as the opposite. You’re guess is as good as mine! It’s all a complete clinical mystery to me. In fact, schizoaffective disorder is one of the lesser well studied mental illnesses and goes incorrectly diagnosed at first.
Cycles of severe symptoms are often followed by periods of improvement. Symptoms my include
- Delusions, which are false, fixed beliefs that are held regardless of contradictory evidence.
- Hallucinations, which are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
- Depressed mood, which is feelings of sadness, emptiness, or worthlessness.
- Manic behavior. A person will experience feelings of euphoria, racing thoughts, and increased risky behavior with periods of high energy.
The cause of all this is really unknown. Respectfully, scientists chalk it up to four categorizes.
- Brain Chemistry and Structure
- Stress or Great Trauma
- Drug Use
Last week I had a major psychosis. So much so, that when I became briefly cognitive again, I desperately cried out for help. I was the most terrified I had ever been in my mental health history to date. I can safely say I do not ever want to return to that state. In the following days I will re-visit how I ended up at such a dark point. I will outline the stages, the progression and just how very quickly it all transpired. Also, I would like to talk about seeking help, keeping track of symptoms for your initial appointments and where to go for emergency help.
For now, if you or anyone you love is in need of Mental Health help, please do not hesitate to call 911. They are there to help you!