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Hello. I'm trying to learn about schizoaffective disorder because I am afraid I might have it. I have good reasons for thinking I have it, but I'm not trying to freak out, I just want to learn a bit more about it before coming to any conclusions (which I might express to my doctor). I'm not going to state any symptoms I have yet, but could someone just describe to me in detail what being schizoaffective is like? In terms of the episodes, and important symptoms? My current...

MEDICATIONS (1050 lithium + 300 Seroquel)

DIAGNOSIS (Bipolar I with psychotic symptoms)

Thank you, much appreciated.

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thunderbird is right on the money. That is the difference and maybe the reason why you are diagnosed bp1 with psychosis and not schizoaffective bp type.

And basically you are on meds for what a person with SZA would take anyways. A mood stabilizer and an AP. So I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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Okay... so I still think I have it then.

FOR ANYONE ELSE WHO ANSWERS...

I became stabilized after getting diagnosed but had HEAVY side effects. Because of that I didn't tell my doctor I had certain symptoms while I wasn't on a high or low--for months everyone I saw (could be across the room) was talking about me and how they knew I had Bipolar... It didn't always feel as if I had actually pre-meditated what I heard them saying in my head, and as it progressed no one had to be near me for me to hear the voices. Also, they didn't -sound- like my thoughts, the voices sounded identical those of people I knew, acquiescence etc.

DISCLAIMER -- This was in and around the time I was relapsing, I can't remember if it was before or after though I know I didn't feel happy or sad during these hallucinations. Also, I relapsed because I was screwing with the Seroquel dose that I was on...

BACKGROUND -- I have a Bipolar I case where I hardly ever experience depression, just high, euphoric moods--manic. Current research taught me I did show less typical symptoms of depression though... for example being very slow to answer others and extreme confusion as well as being very tired.

I am stable now (mood), but I have developed a habit of talking to myself when I'm alone. It is as if I don't I will forget all my thoughts, and they will sort of just slip by... (Situational -- I picture future conversations that I could have with certain people and practice my lines, sort of thing).

It has been four years since I've been diagnosed... I changed hospitals recently and I did a good job of hiding all my symptoms but I remember both my knew and old doctors becoming very interested whenever I glazed over any of these symptoms (the hallucinations, though I have never mentioned talking to myself).

I had no idea then. I'm only intensely looking this stuff up now because I'd like to be a writer and knowing a lot about Bipolar would help my book... but what I'm discovering is scaring me and I need an opinion.

Help?

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Tbird summed it up.

If you are having psychosis in or out of a mood episode, you need to work with your pdoc about it. Psychosis is damaging. Whatever you got, you got. Names change, but reality stays what it is. Your mental health is important. Talk to your pdoc.

ETA since you posted when I was writing.

It doesn't sound like you are clear about being psychotic before, during, or after the episode from a while ago. When it happened is important, and the out of episode really means no residual mood issues going on.

Talking to yourself is more of a psychological thing than a physiological one. I don't think it'd be a factor in making a SZA or BP diagnosis.

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Alright. Thanks for all the help!

And to anyone else who answers... I don't want a diagnosis. I am going to talk to my doctor about it, and be open this time. But, I'm just curious if anyone who has it themselves, or who is knowledgeable on SZA enough on to look at my symptoms have an opinion as to weather I -could- have it or not.

Again, thanks!

(Innate curiosity... :))

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I carried that particular diagnosis for a while, but it was eventually changed to what you have now: Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. It had, for a time, appeared that I was having psychosis outside of my mood states, but my therapist said that, sometimes, we don't even realize that we're in an episode, and that she thought I was probably depressed without knowing it. Maybe something similar is happening with you? I honestly don't know, that's up to you and your clinicians to tell.

But since the treatments for the two disorders are practically identical, it really isn't that big a deal what we call it. Diagnoses tend to vary with the clinicians, for one thing, and frankly, who knows what the next DSM will say? Don't worry too much about labels. They are both limited and limiting.

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Alright. Thanks for all the help!

And to anyone else who answers... I don't want a diagnosis. I am going to talk to my doctor about it, and be open this time. But, I'm just curious if anyone who has it themselves, or who is knowledgeable on SZA enough on to look at my symptoms have an opinion as to weather I -could- have it or not.

Again, thanks!

(Innate curiosity... :))

As several people have said, the difference between SZA and BPIw/psychosis is that bipolar psychosis occurs only during mood episodes, while SZA psychosis can occur outside of mood eepisodes. That's really it. As you don't really seem clear as to whether or not you were having a mood episode during the hallucinations you describe, it's pretty much impossible for anyone, however knowledgeable, to have any idea if SZA might or might not be an appropriate dx for you. You're really going to have to discuss it with your pdoc.

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--Thanks for the input Malachi.

That's really the main thing I was wondering. Because I have had episodes so close around it, I wasn't sure... It's also hard to say if it was attached to depression because I don't ever get extreme cases of it (I have never experienced major depression) but I have felt things like being extremely slow moving and confused where it takes me a long time to answer questions and being lethargic which I know is attached to it. It did last for months though... and again, to anyone, yes I am going to talk to my doctor about it.

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Guest Vapourware

Moved this to the Schizophrenia boards, since it's not really about bipolar.

I think everyone's just about said the differences between schizoaffective and bipolar. While on paper, there is a clear difference between the two, in the real world, it can be hard to tell the difference because it can be hard to gauge whether someone is in a mood state or not while they are also having psychosis. To complicate matters a bit more, there is the potential for people to develop post-psychotic depression after a psychotic episode, which is not related to a mood state.

Personally, I've been dxed with both bipolar and schizoaffective at points in my life. I started off as bipolar w/psychotic features, but my current pdoc believes I'm more on the schizoaffective side. Although he has said to me a few times that I sit on the border of the two dxes. Not that it really matters in reality, because the treatment for both dxes is similar.

It would be a very good idea to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and to not hide symptoms. They can't help you if they don't know the full story.

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Moved this to the Schizophrenia boards, since it's not really about bipolar.

I think everyone's just about said the differences between schizoaffective and bipolar. While on paper, there is a clear difference between the two, in the real world, it can be hard to tell the difference because it can be hard to gauge whether someone is in a mood state or not while they are also having psychosis. To complicate matters a bit more, there is the potential for people to develop post-psychotic depression after a psychotic episode, which is not related to a mood state.

Personally, I've been dxed with both bipolar and schizoaffective at points in my life. I started off as bipolar w/psychotic features, but my current pdoc believes I'm more on the schizoaffective side. Although he has said to me a few times that I sit on the border of the two dxes. Not that it really matters in reality, because the treatment for both dxes is similar.

It would be a very good idea to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and to not hide symptoms. They can't help you if they don't know the full story.

Maybe I'm wrong... perhaps someone could correct me on this, but I thought schizoaffective disorder was WAY more on the Bipolar spectrum then Schizophrenia, despite the name. Like 80 - 90 % Bipolar and then you get slight schizo tendencies on top of it... which is why they so often mistake it for Bipolar 1 and psychotic symptoms.

I just really felt like it should have been on the Bipolar board because of the nature of the disorder, again despite the name? Or can it vary, sometimes more on the Bipolar side, and others more on the Schizophrenic side?

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Moved this to the Schizophrenia boards, since it's not really about bipolar.

I think everyone's just about said the differences between schizoaffective and bipolar. While on paper, there is a clear difference between the two, in the real world, it can be hard to tell the difference because it can be hard to gauge whether someone is in a mood state or not while they are also having psychosis. To complicate matters a bit more, there is the potential for people to develop post-psychotic depression after a psychotic episode, which is not related to a mood state.

Personally, I've been dxed with both bipolar and schizoaffective at points in my life. I started off as bipolar w/psychotic features, but my current pdoc believes I'm more on the schizoaffective side. Although he has said to me a few times that I sit on the border of the two dxes. Not that it really matters in reality, because the treatment for both dxes is similar.

It would be a very good idea to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and to not hide symptoms. They can't help you if they don't know the full story.

Maybe I'm wrong... perhaps someone could correct me on this, but I thought schizoaffective disorder was WAY more on the Bipolar spectrum then Schizophrenia, despite the name. Like 80 - 90 % Bipolar and then you get slight schizo tendencies on top of it... which is why they so often mistake it for Bipolar 1 and psychotic symptoms.

I just really felt like it should have been on the Bipolar board because of the nature of the disorder, again despite the name? Or can it vary, sometimes more on the Bipolar side, and others more on the Schizophrenic side?

MP-

Are you not the one having everyone else do research for your "book", essentially?

Vapourware made a decision based on your post. And so it goes.

I really don't want to answer the majority of your questions here because I feel you are exploiting others and, therefore, extraordinarily disrespectful to say the very least.

I don't know what I can actually trust, given you had only mentioned sometimes that you are researching. You don't seem to find a problem with this and that is not only unprofessional, but just plain wrong. For various reasons.

Were I you? I would tread very lightly.

I'm barely, barely, BARELY tolerating the things you present.

It's seems odd that you would emphasize "IN DETAIL". Just sayin'.

FYI:

...for example being very slow to answer others and extreme confusion as well as being very tired.

Atypical signs of depression?

Not that strange. Particularly slowing down and being tired.

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Maybe I'm wrong... perhaps someone could correct me on this, but I thought schizoaffective disorder was WAY more on the Bipolar spectrum then Schizophrenia, despite the name. Like 80 - 90 % Bipolar and then you get slight schizo tendencies on top of it... which is why they so often mistake it for Bipolar 1 and psychotic symptoms.

I just really felt like it should have been on the Bipolar board because of the nature of the disorder, again despite the name? Or can it vary, sometimes more on the Bipolar side, and others more on the Schizophrenic side?

My most prevelant symptom when I wasn't on the right aap was psychosis. I've been manic when I was psychotic, but I've been psychotic without a mood change either. there are 2 types of schizoaffective, bipolar or depressive type. pdocs sometimes have trouble distinguishing between schizophrenia and bipolar, and you can move from a schizophrenia dx to schizoaffective just like between bpI.

I post on this board when I'm talking about psychotic symptoms.

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Guest Vapourware

Schizoaffective is seen as part of the schizophrenia spectrum for the most part. While there is a mood component to the disorder, psychosis is generally more prevalent with schizoaffective than it is with mood spectrum disorders, basically because there has to be psychosis in the absence of a mood disorder. A simple description of schizoaffective is that is a combination of schizophrenia + mood disorder [the subtypes which confused has already outlined]. Since this thread is about schizoaffective and following from the above logic, I've decided that this thread belongs in this forum, and not in the bipolar forum.

Luna's questions about your intentions are not without merit. I tolerate your questions because you came out questioning your own dx, but I am also unsure if you are using CB as a platform for information about your book. In which case, then I would feel a little discomforted.

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It's seems odd that you would emphasize "IN DETAIL". Just sayin'.

I'm glad that the admins & mods are on top of this, because I just deleted all of the information I had written in my profile until this person has gone away. Whatever her reasons, I feel totally sketched out at the thought of something trying to use me as "research" without my consent.

I saw in one of her posts that she says she is a teenager-- she reminds me of one of my kid's acquaintances (scene kid- bleh) coming over and digging for information about my illness. Then he started telling people he has bipolar disorder. Sigh. Yes, it's so much fun, kiddies! Just ask my children, they'll tell you how awesome it is.

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I am also glad the admins and mods are on top of this. Seems very sketchy to me. I don't feel comfortable with this person around digging for info for her book. Exactly dedoubt, a scene kid. Ugh. bipolar is soooo cool. NOT.

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