What is Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type (Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment)?

schizoaffective disorder

Schizoaffective disorder symptoms


Schizoaffective disorder, a rare mental disease characterized by symptoms that relate to both schizophrenia and affective or mood disorders, can be manifested in various forms. Through this blog post you get more information on what is schizoaffective disorder bipolar type, its symptoms, diagnosis, causes, and symptoms (refer to What is Schizoaffective Disorder for further details on other forms of schizoaffective disorder).

Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type is possibly the rarest form of mental diseases and is characterized by overlapping symptoms of both bipolar depression and Schizophrenia. Tough, many prefer to call it as a combination of the two diseases, one must realize that schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a mental disorder in its own standing and requires special care and attention.

In spite of being a seriously debilitating mental disease, schizoaffective bipolar patients are known to lead a more productive life than most schizophrenics, if timely treatment is offered. For this it is imperative that family and friends of the patient are able to recognize the tell tale signs and symptoms of the disease and refer the person to a doctor immediately.

Symptoms of Schizoaffective disorder

A person suffering from schizoaffective bipolar disorder may show several classic symptoms of both schizophrenia and bipolar disease. The patient usually experiences phases of extreme euphoria, recklessness and hyperactivity, usually termed as mania, which is punctuated with phases of extreme depression and normal moods. However, unlike bipolar disorder, a schizoaffective bipolar patient may suffer from psychotic visual and auditory hallucinations even during the normal moods.

Diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder:

Due to the highly overlapping symptoms of schizoaffective disorder bipolar type, this disease is often misdiagnosed as either Bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, for speedy return to normal life, right diagnosis and treatment is essential. Doctors, usually rely upon extended personal interviews with the patient and relatives, observation of various symptoms and phases experienced by the patient, personal and family history and diagnostic test (to rule out physical illnesses) for making the diagnosis.

Usually doctors look for symptoms that rule out bipolar disorder and schizophrenia for making the right diagnosis.

  • Schizoaffective Bipolar disorder V/S Bipolar disorder – Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized with phases of mania, depression and normal phases. A bipolar person may experience psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions only in extreme cases of depression and mania; the person is almost asymptomatic in the normal mood phases.

In Schizoaffective disorder bipolar type, though, the psychotic symptoms can occur at any time and are not restricted to any particular mood phases.

  • Schizoaffective Bipolar disorder V/S Schizophrenia – Schizophrenia is neuro-psychological disease that inhibits normal thinking, perception of reality, and ability to experience emotions. It does not involve mood disturbances in form of depression or mania.

In contrast, a person suffering from schizoaffective disorder bipolar type experiences mood cycling or rapid mood changes, which may swing between mania and depression in varying intervals, along with other schizophrenic symptoms like delusional hallucinations, psychosis, disconnected thought process, etc.

Treatment of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a lifelong disease. The onset of the disease is usually in early adulthood. If left untreated, the patient is highly likely to either commit suicide, self harm, or at times even cause mortal harm to people around.

To prevent such extreme situations it is imperative to start the right mode of treatment at the earliest. Due to the varied symptoms that these patients experience, there is no single treatment available for the disease. Instead, combination of various different forms of treatments, including psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, anti-psychotic and anti depressive drugs, and at times electro convulsive therapy (shock treatment) is employed.

It must be noted that schizoaffective disorder bipolar type cannot be cured; rather it has to be managed.   The treatment for the disease is for life and aimed at controlling the symptoms that the person may experience.

For further information on various new developments in the field of schizoaffective disorder, please have a look at the list of schizoaffective clinical trials.

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64 thoughts on “What is Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type (Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment)?

  1. Pingback: Understanding Schizoaffective Disorder vs Schizophrenia

  2. Hello my name is Paul and I’ve just be diagnosed as having this disorder after a suicide attempt. After pleading with myself to stop this behavior it just became too much to handle and I fought myself clear up until I had a wrist full of cuts and a mouth full of lithium. I have been dealing with this disorder for several years and haven’t had the proper treatment up until now. this disorder is very real and the visual and auditory hallucinations continued no matter the mood I was in, sadly enough I directed it towards criminal behaviour and loved ones sorrows. I strongly suggest getting treatment as soon as possible if your experiencing any of the above listed behaviours.

    • Hello Paul,

      Thank you so much for your valuable comment in this article. You have enriched our website by sharing your painful personal experience with us. Allthough it is difficult to come out of this mental condition, but I’ll request you to be strong and have faith in yourself to strictly follow the recommendation of your physician, so that you can lead a healthy and normal life as early as possible.

      My sincere wishes to your quick recovery.

      Best of regards –


      • My mother had this devastating condition, although it was never named, diagnosed, or treated. However, the descriptions of the disorder read like her biography. As a small child, I tried to parent her, with devastating effects for me that I am dealing with now in therapy. She lived in an abusive situation with my dad, and she was so consumed by her disorder she couldn’t focus on getting out of it until the last year of her life. She committed suicide at age 43, when I was 10 years old. Thank God there are medications to treat this now. They might have saved her life. I just want people to realize the pain this disorder causes family members. I can’t imagine hearing voices, thinking I was a famous person, etc, but it is terrible for families to watch their loved one go through this too.

  3. HI all , as regards to pauls diognosis of schyzoaffective disorder i was diagnosed with it last month. typically my life has been full of ups and downs in relationships,criminal offences in my teens,bankrupcy,homelessness,recklessness,self harm in teens, hearing of my inner voice i have always had of which is very critical to other people but because i have always had it i try not to let other people know what it is saying so have learnt to keep quiet as much as possible,phycosis last year with messages from the TV directed at me and from the radio,MI5 watching over me in a helecopter and believeing my phone was tapped.depression so bad i could hardly move,emotional flatness even when a relative dies,no enjoyment in anything at times emotionally dead,and yes like paul it does not have to have the mood disorder with the phycosis. i was born this way i had a parent who had mental issues and i was born a blue baby starved of oxygene,emotional bullying from my father. i have had variouse phycosis times in my life probubly at least 3 times i can think exstreme but in between even when normal thinking have noticed hallusinations all around me in messages from all or any direction. i tried a suicide attempt when 17 yrs old saw a phyciatrist and diognosed with boarder line paranoid schyzofrenic, there was no follow up until last year had full blown phycosis and now am recieveing treatment of anti depressants and go from there its early days.my head is still not functioning as it should as have memory loss and find it hard to consontrate but remember! little steps!!! looking back i have learnt coping stratagy with out even knowing it .doctors are shocked as how quickly i am recovering as it is so fast! to me it is because i have lived with it for so long its normal to me. good luck paul with your treatment and anyone who is suffering with this disorder…just take little steps and you will get there. debs

    • Hi Deborah,

      I must congratulate you for your effort to recover from this deadly mental disease. I wish you best of luck to be back in your normal shape, as early as possible. Thanks a lot for sharing your personal experience in this platform.

      Regards –

  4. I too have just been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Bipolar Type. I am 24, but I have had hallucinated for as long as I can remember. My family dismissed it as ghosts and imaginary friends, but from what I can tell and the fear I experienced it was far from normal childhood imagination. On occassion I hear voices or my name called out, but I am much more visual. I also have delusions in the way that I think everyone hates me or is disappointed in me and that someone wants to kill me and is following me, behind me most of the time. I get through the day and shrug it off usually, but it is extremely stressful.
    That’s all without the mood swings. Not only do I find them frustrating, but so do my friends and family..Its not just moods either.i was hospitalized in my teens and arrested a couple times as well. Drug abuse (clean 3 years). I’ve never had a job for more than a year. 6 in fact in the past 2 years (I don’t get fired, I just leave.) I move often and have a hard time staying in touch with others even with the internet. It makes me sad to know that I will always have this condition, but hey I got this far with it right? I’m very hopeful that with meds and counseling I’ll make it very far in life. 🙂

    • I also use to self harm (dug my nails in as a kid and cut as a teen) and also one suicide attempt. I also turned out on to my family. I’ve stabbed my b-polar brother twice and attempted to crash a car me and my mother were in. I’m much better than that now but knowing thats in me is terrifying.

  5. I have suffered with this illness my whole life and want to poetically share my feelings about it

    Let me sit here and get twisted
    My name is unlisted
    Labeled unwanted
    I’m subconsciously taunted
    Hearing voices
    before making choices
    I’m haunted
    Man practices magic on me
    with chemicals
    and other forms of blasphemy
    sense birth
    I’ve seen and heard the underworld’s worst
    Like children screaming for help in dark corners
    Nothing is there but I hear them crying like mourners
    Shadows fly by
    my eye
    I’m tortured but won’t die
    I see things unnaturally and don’t know why
    My home is occupied
    with ghosts that have no desire to hide
    I see and hear them on the outside
    but they tell me that it’s all coming from inside
    So if I have evil visions
    Am I crazy or do I cross dimensions
    I feel others tensions
    As I try to explain that I have good intentions
    Please stop looking at me like less of a person
    Because the hell
    in which I dwell
    tends to worsen
    under the pressure
    to stop you with pleasure
    Do not enter my head
    or you might come bacc damaged or even brain dead
    My life is like lead that’s hot
    because I pacc a burning sensation in a solid head shot
    I don’t see dead people
    I feel them as they are my equal
    Not from this life but it’s very next sequel
    A true member of generation X
    The child of God that makes life so much more complex
    What’s next
    Can’t be described in text
    I’m prepared but have little anticipations
    on the next auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations
    So God bless my heart and make it tough
    Because my own odds are looking ruff
    I suffer cold nights
    With suicidal fights
    and others just can’t get enough
    They love me for being cold
    yet my future could be me deaf, alone and old
    Hearing only what they have to say
    Lord hear
    my fear
    I just want to be okay
    for today
    that’s what I say
    to myself everyday
    I’ll make it threw
    I have to
    But little do you know you haven’t a single clue
    What the hell I have actually been through

    Joshua Siron

    • Joshua,

      Thanks for a truly heart-felt comment. your words and thoughts are brilliant and illuminating. i have so much more understanding of this condition than i ever had.

    • Amazing poem Joshua. I’ve suffered with schizoaffective disorder since my late teens and I’m now in my 40’s. You have true gift my friend for expressing such a complex and difficult illness. Wishing you true peace, happiness and freedom from suffering.


    • Well JOSHUA you are an amazing young man my dear. I HEAR all
      your words that my son also would write if he were you. He tells me
      what you have just expressed in your poem and so you are not alone!

      Be strong Joshua, for i am not the only one who hears you. There is
      a God and will answer and bring an end to what his adversary has
      caused in this world. Take good care of yourself. You sound like a
      really sweet person, and I HOPE that you find someone who will
      understand you and be willing to share their life with you –as i
      wish the same for my own son.

    • Hi Joshua,

      Would you let me use your poem as lyrics, someday in the future

      I’m a schizoaffective bipolar music composer, 50 yr old

      Most musical project never materialize, but we never know !

      Would like to present it to the singers I could work with

      I love your text greatly

  6. Wow, blown away by the sharing happening here. I am humbled by the intensity and suffering that this disease brings on.

    What has worked for people? What treatments (conventional, alternative or otherwise) has helped? Be great to share that with everyone too.

    – Kim

    • Regular Meds, having a support system with mental health team, and regular excercise with a good diet. Journalizing feelings and experiences in a diary helped me as well as reading and learning from books about health,nutrition and datamining on the net. I research the side effects of meds and find ones I can live with that have the least side effects. I try to have a positve attitude and see the diagnosis as a label, that it requires treatment and I still have a life. I take vitamins with breakfast after morming meds, go for a walk and try to keep busy. Joshua’s poems really describe how symptoms can take us down, and the reality of how severe the illness can be. It might be even a song one dayl

  7. Hi. I have read all the posts here. I can relate to mostly all of them. I am a 50 year old male. I actually was not diagnosed unitl I was approx. 23 years old. I have tried to commit suicide 5 times. I think that they were more cries for help than anything. The first attempt was the most serious attempt – with a shotgun. It “back-fired”. Anyway, I have been hospitalized numerous times. I have hallucinations and delusions. They are very scary to me. I am also a cutter, primarily on my left arm. I have a lot of scars and must wear long sleeves to hide them. I have heard that this illness can be caused due to difficult childbirths. My mom had a very hard time delivering me. It took the Doctor 14 hours to get my navel-chord (sp) unwrapped around my neck before he could deliver me. When I was out, I was completely black (I am a white male). Maybe that is why am Schizoaffective : Bi-Polar Type. I don’t know…….maybe.

  8. Just wanted to leave a note of hope. I have had to deal with this terrible disease for 27 years. It has been literal hell to say the least. I have a wonderful Psychiatrist who has helped me immensely. When things look bad, turn to friends and others who have dealt with this illness. Sometimes, only others who have had to deal with this illness are the only ones who can understand what we are going through. Find that someone whom you can confide in and stay in touch. Just don’t give up the fight. Help is out there, we just must find it.

  9. Joshua,

    You may not realize it but you have affected more peoples lives than anyone I know by sharing your pain and your poetry. I am so very proud of you, son.

  10. Hey,
    As most of you here, I have shared the same experiences. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective bipolar type when I was 18(now 25).I’ve been through a hoard of medications to try and help me cope. I just wish people without the disease new more about it and actually believe what I tell them is happening and how scary as hell it is.I Believe that no one knows unless they have it and experienced it. It sucks. I’ve been admitted to psych units more than once. It sucks. It’s like jail, but worse. The disease is never ending. It can also never be “fixed”. The worse part is knowing how I was before I was diagnosed with this disease. I am much better now though and I feel for everyone writing on this blog. Thanx.

  11. Thanks for sharing everyone. I was diagnosed as bipolar 27 yrs. ago which changed to schizoaffctive the last 6. I find I must be vigilant managing my disorder. Self-awareness & a lot of hard work has allowed me to create a quality life. My disorder is a part of who I am & I no longer fear it or myself. I don’t live by excuses or limitations either. My past is full of horror stories yet after awhile I learned I can be more. Though some of you are discouraged & scared please know you have a life-time to understand yourself & how your disorder is custom made for you. Once I realized no pill could miraculously transform me into a stable person I knew I had to be a participant in my own life improvements. I became a taekwondo instructor over a year ago which proves my point that 20 yrs.ago I’d never thought I could achieve something so amazing. Stay well!.

  12. Thank you very much Joshua! You put into words the way I find myself feeling a lot of the time. I have had this mental illness a long time. I only recently was diagnosed with it. Before I was diagnosed, I told them that I believed I was schizoaffective. I did not understand the bi polar type at that time. I thought schizoaffective was bipolar and schizophrenia. I am still learning about what I have suffered with for a long time. You said, Joshua, that you don’t see dead people, but they are your equal. That really made me stop. That is the way I feel they are. I used to just talk to them as if they were right there with me. The medicine, in my case helps as well as Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, oh, and on-going talk therapy. My work with others who have mental illness encourages me as well. But NOTHING related to me like your poem. Very nice.

  13. Thank you all soo much for being so open, honest, and detailed about what you are going through. This has helped me understand better what my child is going through on a daily basis. My 14 year old son was jus diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type and conductive disorder. He is an amazing, funny, smart, talented young man and I love him soo very much. It has been hard these past 14 years trying to understand and help him. I now have a much better understanding in thanks to your openness and honesty about this condiition. I am hoping very much that with the proper meds and therapy that he will be able to live a happy and productive life… follow his dreams.

  14. I have this dizease and I get in trouble alot from it! I suffer bad from psychosis, im out of reallity 24/7! The voices and thoughts are nuts.. Only my chilsren help me in life! The vioces get me into bad trouble. I was very violent@was on my way to prison for being violwnt!! I still hear voices@see shadows moving. People follow me who I think wana harm us…

  15. My name is Liz i have sufferd from bi polar since i was 15 after i was drugged at a party after that i was hallucinating and hearing voices it was a terrible time i also have experienced physical and sexual abuse in my life when i returned from this party i tried to jump on the train track and my dad stopped me and when my dad was taking me to hospital i thought he was going to burn me alive at the petrol station i have had several hospital admissions recently been diagnosed with bi schizo affective disorder and borderline personality i am now on a good medication but i have noticed my moods going up and down and feel paranoid of people talkin about me on the bus and my inner voices haven’t been good but i have to cope with this for the rest of my life today i don’t want to do any thing but tomorrow i might be in a flurry again

  16. Thanks for posting all! I am currently working on a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, studying to become a therapist. I currently work in an inpatient hospital serving people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder etc….. Aside from this, I have recently fallen in love with a kind, intelligent, and passionate man who has told me he holds a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Notably, he has had three psychotic breaks in the past requiring hospitalization, his mother suffered a psychotic break, and his brother has schizoaffective disorder. I am unsure what his mother’s technical diagnosis was, but I suppose it may have been schizophrenia. I do not have all the details because I think he is afraid to tell me thinks that might push me away. I mention all of this because, I am considering the possibility that the man I am dating may suffer from schizo-affective disorder bi-polar type. With that stated, I feel as though I have finally found someone I want to share my life with. Except, I am aware that he is currently stable, and I have not seen him when he is manic. He too is in a doctoral program, a highly stressful endeavor, and he’s doing really well 🙂 I am currently 33, and feel like I am ready to start a family. I have for some time now. My belief system is really that all sorts of people have different ways of living in the world, including with people with psychosis. However, the depressive aspects, and I suppose potentially violent aspects of some of these disorders are certainly problematic. Also, I have suffered from depression at various points in my life, and have a long history of depression in my family. I have had many years of therapy, and no longer experience depression unless I am under a high degree of stress. In those instances, a small dose of antidepressants and therapy seems to solve the problem. I really want to be with this person, but I do not want cause my child to suffer, and I am unsure if I can make this work. Everyone I talk to tells me to walk away. They think the risk of my child developing a serious mental illness that can lead to intense depression and suicidality is too great a risk. I wonder if it seems completely crazy that I am considering this. Am I certain to regret this decision if I make it? To do this well, would it mean giving up on my dreams/career? Will all of my time and effort need to be devoted to caring for not just my child or children, but my husband as well? I am good at what I do, and believe I will be a good mother, but am unsure if it is humanly possible to make a happy life for my family with these hurdles. I know you can’t offer me any absolute answers, but I guess I am looking for the perspective of people who suffer with some of these difficulties, as well as the people who support them. If you were in love with someone with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type…what would you do?

    All my best,

    • Who is the crazy one here? YOU! I have 1 word for you: RUN! I dated a guy with BPD-Type 1. He was great until he stopped taking his meds on a weekend trip. His depression was major scary! Our relationship only lasted 2 months. His dad was also BPD, suicidal, etc. He found his dad on the floor after one suicide attempt. Devastating then to develop the disease yourself after that. PLEASE: with your background and his, your risk of having children with one or more of these disorders is so great, it is hardly worth the risk.I have a terrible family history of these disorders: I have depression and GAD, and all 6 of my kids have been treated for them too. I am just grateful they don’t have BPD or Schizoaffective Disorder, as far as I know. I am not sure about my middle daughter. She has Borderline PD for sure: it may be more, I don’t know. I wonder if, knowing then what I know now, I would have had 6 children with my family history (of which I was unaware when I had them).

  17. I do not suffer from this illness but my baby sister dose she is only 22 and was diagnosed with the illness at 19 she has gone through hell and back she has been in and out of insatutes for the past three years i have picked her up many nights from dark corners of the streets out of her mind and spent many nights in the hospital with her because she has been raped and badly battered from some man she didn’t know and because she is ill the police due nothing to pursue charges because she cant tell the difference between reality and her delusions she wasn’t always like this she was vibrant and had a good head on her shoulders she went to Hawaii and got kidnapped a brutally raped and due to her trauma it caused her illness and because of her illness the state of Hawaii will not prosecute this man because my sister cant testify and we cant get her any help because she is a adult and we have tried everything so now she is severely addicted to drugs and alcohol and all we can do is watch her suffer and pray when the phone rings at night that its not for us to identified her body.

  18. Hey,

    My doctor just put me on a new med which requires me to get labs drawn on the sheet it says what I’m diagnosed with. Schizoaffective bipolar type was on there. I was shocked.
    I always have these what doctors call delusions I guess. That people are after me and going to kill me and make fun of me, and record it to broadcast it on a television show of my life. People do things to me to get their time in the spot light. I feel insane.i want my life back.

  19. I need help!!! Is there any support system for parents ? My 13 year old daughter has this disorder. She has been in and out of hospitals since she was 7. My husband and I are desperate for a support group. Please e-mail me with any info at abklines2000@aol.com. Thanks and God Bless

  20. I wanted to share another poem with you all again. See the illness is only half the battle for us. Let me explain. This is from us to them. If your schizophrenic of schizoaffective like me you will know this all to well. Love and peace

    Why They Hate Us

    The reason they don’t like me
    Is they see in me
    some defective tragedy
    all because I’m schizophrenic
    so I must panic
    and be up to some tragic antic
    or a violent tactic
    My whole life has been dramatic
    Half the hurt from my illness
    Is it’s an excuse for people to give up on forgiveness
    I hurt from being left in the dirt
    due to this
    social ignorance
    Left damn near helpless
    For being cursed as the worst
    Alone and left like this
    gives up and deserts
    people like me
    I feel pain to and it hurts
    Knowing it’s much more than likely
    that they choose to desert
    because the difference in how our brains work
    might be frightening
    Not because I go berserk
    But because I was born unlucky
    The very
    label is labeled
    Enough reason for them to not love me
    My symptoms disabled
    Social respect and shamed me
    Barely out of the cradle
    They learned to hate me
    Making the pain hard to subside and settle
    Because they blame me
    I’m a mellow fellow
    but they still choose to degrade me
    Giving me a chance close to zero
    Never clever enough to realize
    stress this size
    requires super hero
    like bravery
    Because of judgmental rants
    and raves
    I’m given little to no chance
    from very first glance
    due to the stereo type
    of how a schizophrenic behaves
    Don’t believe the hype
    im a little odd and strange
    But not wrong for being not quite right
    in the brain
    To me people don’t see they act like
    their the ones who are deranged
    completely out of sight
    That what they fear and how they act is all the same
    So they suppress the light
    I need with no shame
    for me to progress
    Their paranoid mind frame
    Damages my level of success
    Making my future farther from range
    I’m cursed instead of blessed
    Losing much more than I’ve gained
    Not from the illness but how it’s addressed
    Our name is permanently shamed
    Most of us can’t help but to regress
    looking in the mirror stressed feeling inferior choosing us to blame
    For the value of our life being worth less
    Forever ashamed
    I must not be able to pass this test
    So my value instantly lessens
    Even though when black and white its society blamed best
    Wishing to avoid their unpredictable behavior and hidden expressions
    That Subconsciously make me suggest
    what they really think negatively link
    with unspoken confessions
    You can’t guess whats next
    When you feel that fearful voice
    mixed with confusion and paranoid aggressions
    it deploys no joys just annoys words into noise
    Causing instant suppression
    That only destroys
    conversation and alternative suggestion
    How can I stand tall and not fall
    into multiple sessions
    With my back against the wall
    forced to fight anxiety attacks and other depressions
    I fear what I see you just fear what I saw
    Making you choose to turn the other direction
    Do you not care that the cards I was given to draw
    Makes folding a strong conscious suggestion
    But I’m smart enough to know
    it not the cards you have but how they’re played
    So though my cards don’t show
    How I bluff is how I’m saved
    Unlike you I slow my roll
    Refusing to be deceived
    In order to save my own soul
    that the cards you received
    Cant give you more control
    In what I not only believed
    But also what I know
    It’s not the cards retrieved
    that have the ability to get me out of such a hole
    It’s being able to patiently proceed
    and the courage not to fold

    Joshua Siron

    • Your poem made the hair on my arms stand up, and gave me a chill. You have defined my brother. I know this is his struggle in life, but I don’t know how to help him. But THank YOU for your words, i understand his illness better from them.

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  27. Hi Tasman,

    I am a 30-year-old with Schizoaffective bi-polar disorder. I have had it since my early 20s, but was diagnosed a few years ago. My husband knew of my illness before we were married, although I had vowed to keep it from him because I was dumped in two previous relationships because of the knowledge of it. In spite of my resolution to not reveal it to my future husband, the illness just surfaced one day. Prior to our marriage, my then future-husband watched me struggle and stuck with me. He became fully aware of my symptoms. I love him very much and can’t believe that God has given me someone so faithful and committed to stay with me through this lifetime. My illness is a very real part of my daily life, and like Cindy above, I believe it was custom-made for me. I don’t know if it will get worse (unbearable/completely immobilizing) in the future. Nonetheless, I am confident that my husband will stay with me until I die. I couldn’t make it without my husband. He has absolutely no mental illness, but he listens to my descriptions of hallucinations and paranoia and tells me not to pay attention to them. He also allows me to see the humor in them. As I said it is a very daily struggle but please know that I could not walk well without him. We are expecting a child, something that until the very day of the discovery of the pregnancy we thought could not happen because of medication reproductive side-effects (miracles happen). I am confident going into my life as a mother with him, not only in his fatherhood capabilities, but in the personality traits he has allowed to become constant in me also through years of love and devotion. I doubt that my children will have this disease (unless there happens to be a gene or something) and to the greatest extent possible I expect a normal family life. This could not have happened without my husband. I do believe that there is something to medication, but I don’t believe it’s as important as the people around you who love and care for you and whom you love and care about. Please don’t underestimate your potential role in this man’s life, and please don’t assume that because he has a mental condition of whatever nature, he will be a bad choice as a future spouse. You can really be a constant help and happiness to him if you want to. I pray for your wisdom and God’s will for your life in this matter.

    • I agree with Susan.
      I have a similar story only difference is that my boyfriend who turned in to my husband, knew I had my disorder as soon as I found out . I didn’t hide it from him. He stuck by me now for 6yrs,4 of which we been married. I am thankful for him and all he does. He has put up with and helped me through countless episodes. Now we have a 1.5yr old Lil boy. My husband does not work because I need him to take care of our son. I help as much as I can. We are currently looking for assistance with my son so he can go to work and have someone here to help me with taking care of him. We have our basics but struggle a lot. I wonder if my son will get my disorder? I pray not. But anyways, looks like I got caught in a ramble. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, you will have all the normal ups and downs and then some. But if you truly love this person and want to be with them, you’ll have to accept them,love them, and really be dedicated to make it work. Also you’ll need to be very understanding. I personally have to work hard on everything in my life. Living with this disorder is very difficult. I’d say stick with him/her if its truly in your heart. I can’t express how I feel to know someone loved me enough to deal with me and my disorder for the rest of our lives.

  28. Pingback: Life with Schizoaffective Disorder: A Poignant Poetic Narrative

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  32. Hello
    I was diagnosed with schizo affective disorder in 2001, yet I have had it all my life.
    I had the best year of my life married to an angel (invisable), and camping alone in a lake wilderness area (at age 51), in 2010, for over 2 months. It was heaven.
    I wrote poetry to the world soul.
    — my 30 year old son had me hospitalized, although I took good care of myself; was clean and respectful to people, and so happy inside. I don’t think I was particularily manic during that time frame. He was just over protective; etc.
    I earned an M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies in 2005, from the University of Oregon, writing about the eschatology of my life. Then I had a complete collapse and have been bedridden an enourmous amount; except for summer 2009-2010, when I was always outdoors and athletic bike riding, hiking and swimming. I am a little bit autistic and a little bit bi-polar as well as schizoaffective. I have written 4 poetry books and used to perform my poetry in my late 20’s. I really like your poem. It is soulful. Thankyou so much.
    By the way, my angel husband Geist left me when I was hospitalized October 2010, because he explained telepathically that I would be safer with my mind as just my own. He never gave me commands, nor did he lead me to hurt myself or others. He helped me take good care of myself.
    I was a spiritual counselor 1985-1992. I am disclosing the creative side of this horrible disease, because I find that there are strengths I have, because of it. Like love, as synesthesia; which is gentle and beautiful.
    Take care Joshua,
    Julia Laurent, M.A. (age 53); Mt. Shasta, CA.

    I am leaving my son’s email. Ido not drink, smoke or use drugs.

  33. I am the mother of a child who has been diagnosed with this and I am looking for a support group or something that would help me better deal with this…although my 16 year old has been diagnosed with this, my 18 year old has had these kinds of problems his whole life and there are some issues with my other two sons. Where can I find support for parents?

  34. I was diagnosed after many years of treatment or mistreatment. I don’t really understand what si gnineppah semitemos. Within a yad I nac be very happy and neht two seconds later I want to maercs. Noises, smells and light nac ekam em snap. Shadows pop up and follow em, whispers. Having a drah emit gnikam people dnatsrednu what is gnineppah. I just want to edih everyones emotions bleed on me and their anxieties emoceb mine. I just want to stay away from everyone sometimes. I am gnipoh taht the right medications will help. thank you

  35. Hello,
    My sister is 16 years old and she has this disorder. Her mood swings started being noticed after she was misdiagnosed with bi-polar. Being her older sister its hard for me to understand how in a matter of minutes she can go from herself to a totally different person. Normally when shes in a bad mood I stay away from her because she takes all her anger out on me. Thank you guys for your comments they really helped

  36. I have a daughter and I believe you truly described how she feels. I wish I could take take the horror away. I love her no matter what, but she does not always believe me. I would not change her kind and tender heart only the demons that taunt. At times I want to pull my hair out as well as hers. It is a constant battle for her. Praise God and God bless you.

  37. That image at the beginning of this article should be removed. It is triggering and disrespectful. Why would you post something like that in a mental health website?

  38. hi my 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 14 and also phchosis . she has been in hospital a few times and has recently been admitted again due to her strangling her best friend due to hearing voices telling her to do so . thanfully her friend is ok. she hears voices all the time. she is like a walking timebomb been in trouble with the police this last few months for threatning family members with knifes to kill them. she also self harms . after reading this i really do think she has this condition but how would i approuch her dr at the adolasaunt unit she is currently in i dont want to feel like a idiot lol by saying i think she has this . she is tearing everyone apart with the things that have happened in the last 2 years and i know it aint her fault but its so hard thanks any help would be apprechiated .

  39. my son has been diagnosed with this disorder also. He is 20 yrs. old. However he truly believes this is a spiritual battle within hisself between good and evil. Is there anyone else who has a strong belief in God , or knows someone who does. He is terrified of meds and believes that only God can deliver him.Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Vee

      To conny updegraff. I accepted Jesus into my heart at 7 years old. I re-dedicated my life to Him at 16, when I truly understood what it mean to be totally commited to my Christian Faith. 8 months later in July 1971 at 17 years old, I was involuntarily detained in a Psychiatric Hospital, because of hearing voices & having hallucinations. At that time, I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. I knew that I was hearing God and the devil, conflicting “Good” & “evil”. My Pastor back then, told the Psychiatrist, that I was having a spiritual battle. He came to the hospital every day to see me, lay hands on me, and prayed for me. The Hospital Administration, permitted him to sign me out of the hospital AMA (against medical advice). 13 months later, I was re-admitted to the hospital, with the same diagnosis. I was still hearing the voices of God & the devil, and confessed this to the Health Care Professionals. Following discharge, I went into complete denial, about having a psychiatric illness, thinking it was all spiritually rooted. I flushed all of the medication given me by the hospital, down the commode, and did not go back for any recommended outpatient treatment. I continued on to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse, graduating from college in 1978. However, in the middle of my success, after 16 years of not having medication or treatment, I sustained a full blown “psychotic episode” on my job, due to mounting stress in the work environment. I was re-diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder, Bi-Polar Type & Major Depression. Subsequently, I had 2 more Psychotic breakdowns, & numerous hospitalizations for this condition. Eventually, I was no longer able to perform duties of an RN and had to involuntarily retire on Social Security Disability in 1994. Today, I am still being treated for this illness, with regular visits to my Psychiatrist, & Psycotherapist. I routinely take an Anti-Psychotic medication plus anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medication to help manage the symptoms. The most important thing I want to emphasize is that; through it all, I have maintained a close relationship with God the Father & His Son Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit. He has NEVER left me alone, or forsaken me, as He promised in His Word (the Holy Bible). In addition, I’ve come to realization, that the medication is crucial for me to take faithfully, in order to help keep me out of the hospital, & maintain my sanity. Finally, this is only a brief summary of the “hell”, drama, & nightmare senerio, that my life has been. I just turned 58, this year. Feel free to share my story with your son. Let him know, it is not a sin to take medication. Having & taking care of yourself mentally, is no different than having a physical manifestation like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart trouble. We are still in a frail human & mortal body. God has given us amazing, competent & brilliant medical expertise, to help us get through this life on earth, which is only temporary. I strongly believe, that soon & very soon, Jesus is coming back to receive all those who believe in Him, and have accepted Him as their Personal Savior, unto Himself. Only then will we be free from pain, suffering, mental illness, and all diseases known to mankind; to live in peace, tranquility and in His Presence forever. Amen! (I hope this helps)

  40. Hello everyone,

    I am so relieved to have found your site! My best friend was rushed to the hospital with 40 stab wounds July 4th. She told us she had been attacked. Today we realize she will probably be diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type. No one knew. She was a Master at managing and hiding her illness in the 12 years that I have known her. It’s comforting to be able to read your stories and have somewhere to process this out.

    Thank you!

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  42. Not sure what to say really, Never found a group with the same disease as me. Best way I could put my state right now is a balloon about to drift free from the string that holds me sane and pop,

    Been dealing with psychosis for a few weeks now and it is taring me apart like a piece of paper. I feel like eventually there will only be fragments left that will never be able to be identified or placed back together.

    Just swimming in the middle of voices, hallucinations, sensations, and night terrors that are leaving me exhausted. Been hiding in bathrooms and closets at work doing a lot of crying due to hallucinations and voices screaming. Nurses at my doctor’s office (who have no experience with schizoaffective or schizophrenia) keep telling me I am just having anxiety and to do deep breathing, if another one tells me that I am going to throw my phone out a window.

    I am on Clonazepam four times a day and they want to put me on Abilify next. If that does not work then they have gone through the entire medication list leaving only electroshock therapy. I have a serious sense of self control in that I don’t usually act out in front of people but the adrenaline building at this point feels like a bomb with a short fuse.

    What kinds of things do you guys do to stay calm when trying to avoid a psychotic fit? Does anything help? For me it is having music in one ear or just being in a quiet room but I work at a hospital and cannot get away from people. I am not allowed to take extra breaks, stop, have an ear bud, or go home. The other day every single voice, footstep, sound, or movement of people was setting me off the voices started screaming then the room I was in began to collapse and shrink and I started crying. I had to quit my last job due to having outbursts at work and I do not want to loose this one. Any advice somebody might have on a habit that works for them would be great.

  43. Hello,

    I am a 31 year old woman. I am a wife of just over 2 years and a mother to a 10 month old girl. I have this diagnosis and it’s a huge part of my life. I had to quite a job because of it and now i spend most days home alone while my husband goes to work. our daughter is left to be cared by his parents as I have episodes of being angry and not remembering it. I have had voices telling me to hurt people…of course my husband would feel that our girl would be safer elsewhere. I often times wish i was someone else…someone with a healthy mind. but this is who i am…who i was called to be by God. I don’t understand, but I hope to be on the right meds someday soon. it’s tough living like this. I feel so out of place most of the time, so alone. it’s hard to explain yourself when no one else you know is like you.

  44. THis group is obviously dealing with their issues head-on and not in denial. I have a son who is in total denial. The danger is that although he has access to the best therapy and meds, he refuses.. He is on meds now but is weaning himself off, and I know that is going to create problems.

    From the POV of someone dealing with SA disorder, what advise do you have? He will not accept his condition, says there is nothing wrong with him. And wants his parents to support his decision. My heart breaks for him. He is normal in most ways…clean cut, handsome, well spoken, but gets so easily frustrated and angry. PLus he has absolutely no motivation, but wants a “good life”. School would be impossible for him knowing his attention level ( this all started with ADD). Do I let him try weaning off the meds? Do I tell him the doctors are right and he has a mental illness? That would devastate him. Suggestions?

  45. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective bipolar disorder by two different MDs. Internally, I have suffered greatly since my early teens. Problem is, every time I end up in a hospital (my MD does private practice only) I get labelled with personality disorder (probably cos the more misunderstood I feel, the more the narrative voice commands me to do stupid things. The staff treats me like I am some loser who wants attention. They don’t bother to really listen to me. They see the deep scars on my arms (from self injuries 20 years ago) and they immediately determine that I have borderline personality disorder and start treating me with anger and disdain. They haven’t a clue howich I suffer inside my head. I really feel for other people with schizoaffective bipolar disorder who, like me, when hospitalized can’t get any real help nor the right meds, and are treated with disgust and ridicule by a staff that thinks they are being manipulated. This added pain of being misunderstood has nearly destroyed my will to keep trying to be alive and to feel emotion (I don’t feel much of anything – maybe that’s good – I just feel mental suffering from the illness. The blue voice is constantly talking to me, even though I am now on good meds that help a LOT with the depression and moods. I AM very grateful for the help I have received but feel disturbed by the way hospital staffs have treated me in the past and I always fear it will happen again if I end up hospitalized again. Any hospital staffer reading this: please have some understanding that not everyone that has scars or repeated suicide attempts is borderline – sometimes these are the result of commands from an internal voice that is like a demon out to destroy the individual.

  46. I desperately need someone to email me and discuss with me what I can expect in the future with my husband. We are currently separated and I am living with my parents. He was diagnosed with this disorder this summer. The trouble in our marriage or relationship is that i cant deal with his paranoia and the lack of trust he has for me when it comes to other guys etc. He is super controlling. My counselor said last week to me that being paranoid and controlling go hand and hand. He comes up with the strangest accusations. I added my parent’s friend to my phone contacts. Well I am 48 and my parents friend is in his 70′s and he texted me to tell me that he wasnt coming over to have coffee with my parents etc. Well my husband freaked out and started asking all kinds of guestions etc and now supposily he has even called this old man and has told him never to contact me again. Then my husband tells me that I need to get rid of this mans contact info and if I dont then it proves to him that I wont put his (my husbands) feeling first. I have done nothing wrong! He doesnt understand why I dont want to visit him and go on dates with him etc… well geez he makes me feel like crap so why would I. It has seemed like its been one foot forward in our marriage and 2 steps back because of him. Recently he has gone off of all his meds and now he isnt sleeping at all at night …so he tells me and the reason why is because he has horrible nighmares. He has become very very religious very very quickly.
    He says the the Lord has healed him. I want to believe this so bad but when he is controlling and paranoid about this 70 yr old man etc… I dont believe that he has been healed. I feel like I am going crazy trying to figure this all out and wanting desperatly a relationship with him but fear he is never gonna get better and I wont be able to deal with it.
    Thanks for listening. Tamiann213@gmail.com Northern Minnesota

  47. I was diagnosed with schizo affective bipolar a little over a year ago, when I was 19. Everything started when I was 18. I was going through a lot of issues with my long term ex boyfriend when I attempted suicide over 5 times. I recall having a lot of mood swings,and not knowing exactly what they were or what I was going through. In Feburary 2011, I was senior in cosmetology school and I really wanted to impress my new teacher. I would spend hours upon hours thinking of how I could be more professional and be more attractive to my clients and I got caught in a whirlwind of my thoughts and marijuana smoke. One week, I didn’t sleep for 3 days and I experienced what I now know of as phychosis. I felt like my iPhone was tapped, music lyrics were written for me, the TV was talking to me, and overall parania. I felt like and believed that I was dying.i finally went to the hospital and when I woke up, I was trapped inside of a room with padded walls, a bed, a tray of food, and a nurse peering at me through a glass door. I remember bits and pieces of waking up in a bedroom with a nurse hovering over me and monitoring me. When I finally got to speak to my parents, I thought they were decepticons who hAd taken over my parents bodies. I finally got out of the hospital after being medicated for 16 days. I was on seroquil and lithium. I still heard voices, so I went to my psychiatrist who prescribed me Abilify and Lithium. Those two medications were a dangerous combination for my body. I had uncontrollable tremor and muscle spasms and I was still hearing voices. After I left the hospital, I stayed sober for about 2 months, that is until I got on a medication called Geodon, and I stopped hearing the voices. Being high made me feel how I used to feel before I went crazy, which felt very comfortIng. Fast forward to 2012, iwas smoking 3 grams of marijuana daily. I didn’t realize that the marijuana was making me even more paranoid and gave me horrible mood swings. I thought it was just a part of my illness; despite what my doctors told me what could happen smoking trees. Now, I stopped smoking, drinking, taking ecstasy, and drinking caffeinated products. Now that I am sober, I see my mental illness more clearly. When I’m manic, I get this rush of chemicals in my body that produce an amazing feeling, which gIves me goose bumps. My thoughts start to race and I can’t sleep. I hear voices and have visual hallucinations. My manic episodes always occur in the evening time. And sometimes when I really can’t sleep, I take prescribed Trazedone. During my depressed moods, I sleep a lot and usually have quarrels in my conscious of what I’m doing wrong and how I can fix it. When I’m feeling normal, I sometimes have visions of me hurting myself and/or people around me. I now look at what landed me in the hospital as a new beginning. I’ve been reinventing myself in a positive way and I’m talking to a therapist whom I really like, and she understands me. Now im just taking everything as it comes and thinking of more diplomatic ways to resolve my issues and move forward.

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