I’m not asking you to donate anything, or pay for anything.
I’m only asking for you to click that “reblog” button.
And, in doing so, spread awareness about Schizoaffective Disorder, and help to reduce the myths and misconceptions.
There is so little awareness about Schizoaffective Disorder, which makes it really difficult for those of us suffering from it, to receive understanding within society. Common reactions can range from complete ignorance, to assumptions that the disorder unequivocally equates to the notion that we are violent, or dangerous. There are a lot of very common misconceptions, that could be blotted out, with only a little bit of awareness.
What is Schizoaffective Disorder?
Schizoaffective Disorder, is a serious psychiatric condition, in which individuals suffer from both psychotic, and affective (mood) issues. It is diagnosed, when symptoms of Schizophrenia, collide with symptoms of a mood disorder, such as Bipolar Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder. It is difficult to diagnose, as it can closely resemble other disorders, such as Schizophrenia, or Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features. There are many technicalities in the DSM-IV that differentiate these disorders, making the disorder something that requires professional observation, treatment, and maybe most importantly, time, to diagnose accurately.
What can the symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder include? (Source: The Mayo Clinic)
- Strange or unusual thoughts or perceptions
- Paranoid thoughts and ideas
- Delusions - having false, fixed beliefs
- Hallucinations - eg./ hearing voices
- Unclear or confused thoughts (disorganised thinking)
- Periods of depression
- Periods of manic moods/sudden increases in energy
- Irritability or poor temper control
- Suicidal thoughts, and/or thoughts of homicide
- A speaking style that people sometimes can’t follow or understand
- Behaviour at the extreme end of the spectrum, for example behaving in a bizarre way
- Problems with attention and memory
- Lack of concern about hygeine and physical appearance
- Changes in energy and appetite
- Sleep disturbances
What are the treatments for Schizoaffective Disorder?
- Anti-psychotic medications
- Mood-stabilizing medications
- Anti-depressants (usually in conjunction with at least one of the above)
- Psychotherapy and counselling
- Family therapy
- Electroconvulsive Therapy
Are all people with Schizoaffective Disorder really dangerous?
No, this is a stereotypical myth. Researchers have discussed that there is almost no conceivable way of figuring out whether environmental factors, or personality traits, account for the crime and violence that may occur in individuals with a mental illness.
What to do if you think a loved one may be suffering with Schizoaffective Disorder?
- Make sure that they have the contact details of suicide helplines, and mental health helplines in their possession
- Make sure you have the number of a mental health outreach team on your cell phone, in case things progress rapidly and your loved one needs immediate help
- Talk to them about how they are feeling, and suggest that it might be time to have a chat to your Doctor
- Reassure them, that you only want to make their life better
- Get a referral to a knowledgable and reputable Psychiatrist, and make sure that they receive the help that they need
- Don’t be angry or upset around them, if you feel that way, save that for your own time, and if you are struggling with what is going on for them, consider seeing a counsellor to help you deal with how you feel about what is going on
So, what is with the ribbon?
I have realised that there is no real official ribbon for Schizoaffective Disorder, well, at least not one I can find! So, I made one online. The grey, is representative of the Schizophrenia awareness ribbon, and symbolises the psychotic symptoms associated with Schizoaffective Disorder. The green lining, is representative of the affective (mood) components of Schizoaffective Disorder, as green is currently displayed upon the Bipolar Disorder awareness ribbon. Bipolar Disorder can involve manic episodes/depressive episodes/mixed episodes, so it is relevant to the Schizoaffective ribbon. This Schizoaffective Disorder ribbon represents that collision of psychotic and affective (mood) symptoms, which are so relevant in this disorder.
The ribbon is transparent, so it won’t compromise your blog’s aesthetic goodness! Please pass this on. Love, hope, and strength to you.
God, guys, this is so important. I’m tearing up. This is my disorder! Someone actually cared enough to raise awareness for my disorder!