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Today I had my first appointment with a private psychiatrist.  For the last five years I've been seen only at county clinics, and I'd never spent more than 15 minutes with a pdoc before.  Since I was 25, I've believed myself to be bipolar type II.

The pdocs (two of them!) spent an hour and a half with me today, asking more questions than I've ever been asked.  When they were done, they left for a bit and came back with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.  From what they described, it makes sense to me.  I have hallucinations and delusions even when not manic or depressed...  They changed my medication in ways I agree with, too -- Risperdal, Lamictal, Prozac.

Anyway.  What now?  Any good books on the subject? I'm going to read the pinned thread on schizoaffective links, but I'd like suggestions for other reading material as well.  Are there support groups for us?  How common is this, anyway?

Any tips welcome.  Thanks.

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Hi,

are you major depressive disorder type or Bi Polar? You mentioned getting manic but they've put you on prozac?

In terms of support groups they are out there, there's two online through yahoo, but very little of the discussion is actually about illness it's all chit chat.

You asked how common it is, from memory about one in two hundred people has SczA.

Good luck getting sorted out

Dan

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I'm the bipolar type.  In fact, that's what I was originally diagnosed with. 

I'm on Prozac because I have to be on an antidepressant or else I get suicidally depressed.  It makes me rapid cycle a little, but hopefully the Lamictal and Risperdal will help even that out.

I've emailed my local NAMI group to find out if there are any support groups locally, and I signed up for a Yahoo group to check it out.

Thanks for the reply.

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Do you have any specific questions that I can try to answer?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Right now the thing I'm most curious about is how treatable schizoaffective disorder is when compared to bipolar disorder.  Is it easier to find the right drug cocktail?  (Of course, my experience with bipolar meds is all fucked up because I was being treated for the wrong illness -- no wonder my meds never worked properly!)  Also, how does the rate of hospitalization compare?

It's okay if you aren't familar enough with bipolar disorder to answer these -- I'm just stating my curiosities.  ;)

I'm still looking for book recommendations, too.

One thing I'm afraid of is the stigma attached to schizo-anything.  People picture padded rooms and straitjackets.  Which is bullshit, obviously.  I work a full-time job, go to college, am married to a great guy, and have a pretty decent social life.  I've only been hospitalized once, for mania, and I was only in for 24 hours... 

Depression and bipolar disorder are somehow more socially acceptable.  I've been out of the closet about being BP ever since I was diagnosed, but I find myself afraid to be as open about being schizoaffective.  Maybe it's my own biases that I need to get over.  It's just a diagnosis, after all.  I'm still the same person.  Right?  Right.

Anyway.  If I think of any questions, I'll definitely post them here...  Thanks for the offer.

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With the right medication, it is treatable.  You seem to be doing pretty well -- at least, that is what you reported in the chat.  Sometimes, you may require more medication than what you are on now as symptoms do wax and wane (in my experience).

The stigma sucks, I agree.  But, public awareness is helping.  Sometimes movies help (in the case of A Beautiful Mind) and sometimes they hurt (in the case of Me Myself and Irene).

Best of luck to you!

Best,

Chris

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