Episode 43 – Diagnosing Schizophrenia (Part 7)

Finally, March came around. My mom’s insurance kicked in, we got me in to see a doctor. When I saw him, he listened to my symptoms and diagnosed me with schizophrenia, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. He reaffirmed my depression diagnosis. These days, I don’t think he was a great doctor, since he diagnosed me with both a mood disorder and schizophrenia, when these usually combine into schizoaffective disorder, plus he didn’t diagnose me with bipolar despite my previous manic episodes, which changes it from depression to bipolar by default, I think. He didn’t catch the borderline personality disorder either. He prescribed some medications, but before my second appointment with him, he left that medical office to go to another, so I started seeing a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

I didn’t realize that the doctors I saw weren’t psychiatrists. I guess I didn’t realize there was a difference. They were doctors and they were prescribing medications – the treatment seemed like it mattered the most. But after several years, after struggling with Social Security, I learned that there was indeed a difference, and Social Security valued a psychiatrist’s words more than a PNP’s. I found a good psychiatrist, and he’s confirmed my diagnoses to schizoaffective disorder bipolar type, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder.

Schizoaffective disorder (which could be either depressive or bipolar type) is a combination of schizophrenia symptoms with a mood disorder. Typically, the psychosis isn’t quite as bad as schizophrenia on its own, but the overall effects of the diagnosis can be just as severe. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 16. I’ve been on a variety of antipsychotics before finally being prescribed an effective pill cocktail, keeping in mind my bipolar diagnosis.

After being prescribed antipsychotics, my symptoms greatly decreased. Finally, the voices stopped. I still hear their echoes sometimes, which terrifies me, but the full force of them is gone. I am still recovering. I still have the occasional paranoid episode where I have to sit with my back to the wall with all lights on, too scared to blink. I struggle to open doors during this or look out windows or in mirrors. These things don’t happen as much anymore, but I live life in fear of them. When they start, I’m terrified that they won’t stop again. I have to constantly put my trust in my psychiatrist. He knows what he’s doing with the medication and treatment, and he will not let me not live my best life.

Thanks for reading this journey of mine. Stay tuned for a great guest interview I recently did regarding BPD.

Published by Rawry

I'm just a writer and gamer living in the middle of nowhere..

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