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I am newly-diagnosed, from bipolar to schizoaffective. I know almost nothing about this illness and what I've found online isn't terribly illuminating. If anyone could share any stories, or their experiences, or advice with dealing with it, I would be beyond grateful. 

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Hi there. My dx changed from bipolar to schizoaffective, bipolar type.  There are links in my signature to a series of articles by Michael Crawford who had schizoaffective. I found them helpful.

there are 2 types: bipolar and depressive.  
 

not much changed with the diagnosis. It seems to fit better. I have mostly psychotic and not so much mood symptoms.  I did have my antipsychotic increased but I was symptomatic. I am on a cocktail of meds. I have been relatively stable for 15 years.  It is possible to have a good life with this disorder.  Stress brings out my symptoms so 
I have a pretty quiet life.

there is also a book called the center cannot hold by Elon Saks that I found inspiring.

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I changed from bipolar w/ psychosis to schizoaffective within the past year.  I honestly can't pinpoint when.  It happened because I started having psychosis with a hypomanic episode but then the hypomania resolved and the psychosis didn't.  My treatment team gave it a bit of time and, when it didn't stop, I got the schizoaffective label instead of bipolar w/ psychosis. 

I also got an AAP boost with the symptoms, but that was due to the lingering psychosis. 

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There is really not a lot out there about schizoaffective that doesn't overlap with schizophrenia or a mood disorder. I wonder why? It's supposed to be a rarely diagnosed illness, but you wouldn't know that by looking around on CB. 

My diagnosis went from bipolar to SZA also about two years ago. It led to being put on clozapine, which has literally saved my life. I hope the new dx leads to better treatment for you too.

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Basically it means you have psychotic symptoms outside of a manic or depressive episode along with manic and/or depressive episodes

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I have schizoaffective, diagnosed in 2013. I was originally diagnosed bipolar 1 in 2002. My doctor sent me for a second opinion before they decided on the change in diagnosis. Basically medicine resolved my mood issues really quite easily. I never had mood issues that didn’t respond quickly to treatment. The psychosis though, it stayed around after the mood stuff went away. Until I was put on Latuda in 2017 nothing really removed the psychosis entirely, not even clozapine, so I just lived with it as best I could. Latuda was a life changer for me. It only became available to me when I moved back to the USA. I have been stable for 3 years now.  

From what I understand schizoaffective has a better prognosis than schizophrenia, but a worse prognosis than bipolar. 

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As ceremony said. It is a mood disorder plus at least half of the symptoms of schizophrenia. 

 

I was dx schizophrenia in 2003. My psychosis responds well to AAP. Mood stuff not so much. Dx changed in 04 to schizoaffective. 

 

Currently listed as:

Depression 

Schizophrenia 

 

Separate. I don't know why it is listed that way now. Probably for insurance purposes to cover my stupid high dose of cymbalta. 

 

 

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I changed to schizoaffective bipolar type from bipolar II 2 years ago. The reason was because I became psychotic and it was not during a manic episode. I still have some paranoia and delusions so they are a steady thing for me. I don’t really have manic episodes as long as I take my meds but suffer depression frequently. I am depressed most of the time. 

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On 5/28/2020 at 11:48 AM, saoirse said:

I am newly-diagnosed, from bipolar to schizoaffective. I know almost nothing about this illness and what I've found online isn't terribly illuminating. If anyone could share any stories, or their experiences, or advice with dealing with it, I would be beyond grateful. 

I was in the same situation.  Was diagnosed as BPII with psychosis and later re-diagnosed as Schizoaffective (Bipolar Type) with paranoia.  (My current doctor can't seem to decide if I'm schizoaffective or schizophrenic, but honestly it doesn't seem to matter all that much aside from the billing aspect.)  While the medicinal treatment is much the same, it feels good to have my situation actually acknowledged by a professional and treated seriously, even if I think my current psychiatrist is a fucking ass-clown douchenozzle fuckface.

My re-diagnosis happened as a result of a near-miss psychotic break.  I'd been living in a concrete and brick loft for several years and was constantly hearing my neighbors making noise and walking, talking, and gradually became more and more paranoid that they could hear me or smell us or something else.  After a very stressful move to a house in a city about an hour away, I realized I was -still- hearing the same shit that I had believed was my neighbors, and became paranoid that our landlord was watching us.  My husband came home one night and found me on a stepladder unscrewing all the air vents in the house looking for cameras to prove my paranoia right, and very kindly helped me check everywhere and then helped me put everything back where it had been.

Then he told me I needed to call my psychiatrist and stayed up with me until morning to insist that I do so.  I'm glad he did.

I'd always had auditory hallucinations, even in my early twenties, but my psychiatrists at the time always dismissed it because I have ADHD and they thought it was 'auditory processing disorders' and later attributed it to BPII.  Even on heavy medication I still hear shit, murmuring like a radio tuned to NPR in another room, the indistinct cadence of human voices punctuated by laughter or nattering bits of song.  I also hear tones, buzzing, and the doorbell.  Sometimes the doorbell especially will wake me out of a dead sleep, and on those days I'll hear it all day, but thankfully I have three cats, and if they don't alert to the sound, I know it isn't real.  When I am getting bad, when 'shit is getting weird' I start hearing imminent voices in the room with me, usually saying very negative things, but Abilify has helped cut down on that and I like it very much aside from the constant slow weight-gain I seem to experience on it.

Negative symptoms are really my biggest problem right now.  I have a great deal of apathy, difficulty socializing verbally, a great deal of self-neglect and neglect-of-household/spouse, and I am beginning to recognize that the neglect, especially in the case of my household and husband are a form of abuse and am trying like hell to put a stop to that for his sake, if not my own.  My house is a mess, my body is a mess, and it's hard to find the willpower and the want to do anything about that, but I'm trying to keep my shit together.

I wish I had some helpful tips on how to deal with these things, but I don't.  Not really.

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