Millie, January 17, 2018

"I have friends, I have a job, and I go to University. And yes, I do have schizoaffective disorder." - Millie

“But you seem normal, you can’t have schizoaffective disorder? I know of someone with that and she can’t work, and she can’t go to Uni. You do both, maybe you’ve been misdiagnosed!”

Thank you for your opinion, however you do not have as much specialist knowledge as my psychiatrist.

When I was eight years old, I had overwhelming feelings of self-hatred and intrusive thoughts.

When I was nine years old I was suicidal.

When I was 12 years old, I began hearing voices that told me to burn objects and clothing items that were of importance to me. I would sit on my bedroom floor clutching my head, rocking back and forth for hours to stop the voices.

When I was 14 years old my paranoia was so severe, I chose to take a lifelong vow to hide whatever was in my head, because if anyone found out then they would kill me.

When I was 15 years old and I let a friend know some things that was happening at home, I got told I was attention seeking. I told my parents I felt suicidal and I was told the same thing.

When I was 16 years old, I was self-harming. I hallucinated, I felt worthless and I was extremely paranoid that people were trying to kill me, controlling me and were pretending to like me. I had my first manic episode. I couldn’t sleep but I didn’t need to sleep. I started getting into debt and I was risky and careless. I started using drugs regularly – anything I could get my hands on. It was a pure escape and I found I could talk about my feelings for the first time and the next day no one would remember what I had said. 

When I was 18/19, I was using drugs daily. I thought it had been helping me initially but my already severe paranoia was in overdrive. My hallucinations were not as subtle and I had a hard time pretending I could cope with day-to-day life. I hated myself the most at this point. I had dropped out of college three times since school had ended. The only job I had was for four hours in a shop on a Saturday and I hated it. I gave up taking drugs when a friend was clearly addicted and it was making him ill. It was a wake-up call. I was rock bottom. I was abusive to everyone I knew because I was convinced they secretly hated me. My paranoia and depression were still severe and I had developed agoraphobia and panic disorder alongside these.

At 21, I gained employment. I also had a very severe manic episode where I thought I had the cure for specific diseases. I had unstoppable amounts of energy and I was ‘happy’. I thought I was a special person, chosen for a job most humans were unfit for; to guide the generation into an all-seeing and all-knowing phase. This shortly came crashing down into a very severe depression that I am surprised I survived. I got dismissed unfairly from my workplace and appealed this. I won. 

Work is a constant battle. I am always changing my hours and shift patterns. University is an even bigger battle; I find it very easy to give up and it takes every single ounce of me to not throw in the towel every time I wake up in the morning but I am continuing to fight through what has ruined many chapters of my life so far.

I had no childhood. I had no teenage years at school; I was not care free and I was not happy. My late teenage years were not “the best years of my life” as everyone says. My early 20s were extremely difficult. I am now in my mid-20s and I am not letting something as insignificant as my diagnosis stand in my way. 

Yes, I have friends.

Yes, I have a job.

Yes, I go to University.

And yes, I do have schizoaffective disorder.

Don’t judge someone who has tried to open up to you; they have probably been through a lot. And just remember, everyone has experiences they don’t share with everyone, even close friends and family.

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Comments

Borderline. My life?

I totally understand you, sometime I feel like the people don’t love me or I don’t like them but then I feel like I’m the center of the universe like the sun, but my life is not what I apear because the last year I lived with depression, I was super skinny and for months my family didn’t notice until I got sick and the doctor told me “you have depression.” I never think that a year later it would apear again, and I really thing that’s there’s a problem with me, because I feel fat weighing 116.8 pounds. I have a dream and I don’t know if a can make with this problems, I red in internet something, the borderline personality disorder. Maybe I have it but I’m scared to tell this to my family. I want to be more skinny and more beautiful. I have friends. But I’m scare to love someone. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I hope someone read this and maybe give me an advise.

Contradictions

This really spoke to me especially thinking you're "a special person, chosen for a job most humans were unfit for; to guide the generation into an all-seeing and all-knowing phase" I don't suffer from Schizophrenia but at the depths of my depression I remember simultaneously thinking I was the most useless person on the planet at the same time as believing I had some higher purpose and was just waiting for it to be 'unlocked'

Schizoaffective disorder post

Millie, such a lovely post and thank you for sharing your story. I was also diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a teenager and even dove deep into self-medication with hard drugs to try and cope. I'm happy to report that I'm in my mid-thirties, clean, and doing very well. It sounds like you're on a healthy path too. Stay strong and keep up the fantastic work!

Thanks, Millie

My son experiences many of the things you describe from your early years -- he is 12. I know it's hard for him to talk about, but he does share, and I do try to understand what he is going through. I appreciate you sharing, as it helps me keep perspective. Schizoaffective disorder doesn't define him, nor does it define you. I feel hopeful that more sharing will lead to better understanding and better support overall.

Thank you, Millie

Millie this was so interesting and eye-opening to read, as someone who is not familiar with the condition I will admit that it is easy to make those assumptions about schizophrenia even though they are not true. It's so inspiring that you've been through so much but has not let that define who you are and you keep on fighting. I'm looking to make a short film/documentary about schizophrenia, would you give me any tips or pointers on how to approach it? Or even talk to me about you're own personal experiences? With this film I want to make a change on how schizophrenia is viewed in the media, which is why I am looking for peoples real life experiences with the disorder. Potentially fuelling more negative stereotypes is something I really want to avoid, so any help or input would be much appreciated. Thank You!

Your film on pschizoeffective

Hi. I would love to contribute to your film if at all possible as I had the diagnosis of bpd then pschizoeffective then now unfairly bpd again via malpractice, people never speak of Misdiagnosis and how it effects treatment for a successful future. I agree no diagnosis defines anyone but it helps when treatment and hospitalised, I had finally as my mental health worker and I got the correct treatment and walked into what wasn’t told was an assessment for my mental health but for a med review. All she spoke on was abuse not my symptoms or how they effect me she then without informing me put me back to eupd. When I had the pschizoeffective diagnosis I was able to utilise so much of my daily struggles via research and make certain things no longer effect me as much in my hallucinations etc. Now I feel back to square one in my care. It even took me a lot to adjust to my new diagnosis I didn’t even realise seeing things in walls wasn’t normal. Please if you could help would be great.

Hey Anna

Hey babe, sorry but due to my deadline I found somebody else. But thank you so much for your interest I hope you're doing okay, be kind to yourself and look after yourself! x

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