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Trying to figure out if I have schizoaffective disorder


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I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, but I don't know if it is correct. I have no hallucinations. I have negative symptoms, 'magical thinking', and delusions. Thing is, my delusions are mainly delusions of grandeur. I often feel I am a prophet or a Messiah, I believe I am better than other people.. Things I believe that I don't feel are delusions are: I believe in the whole 'big brother' thing, the Illuminati, and I believe that most corrupt people (the people who want people like me - who see the truth- locked up or dead) are under demonic inluence, I am very paranoid about the government and I am very sure they are after people like me, I know that all phones are tapped, I believe in a lot of conspiracy theories that most think is bullshit.. the problem is that people tell me these are delusions, but for me these are simply my beliefs, and just because they are 'out there' doesn't make them delusions. I do admit that sometimes I misinterpret people and start believing things about their intentions that aren't really grounded in reality. I guess the only kind of delusion that I really believe I have are delusions of grandeur. The other 'delusions' I have I don't feel are delusions- but maybe that's why they ARE delusions, because they seem so real to me. Do those things sound like delusions to you, or just strange beliefs? I dunno at this point, I'm confused. I do notice that I think less like this when I'm on my meds, does that mean I DO have it? Once again, I have absolutely NO hallucinations. Based on all this, is it possible that I have schizoaffective disorder? (Note I am leaving out the stuff about mania/depression because I am asking specifically about psychosis)

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Hi, we can't say for sure if it's possible that you have schizoaffective disorder. We can't diagnose anyone. 

 

However, I believe some conspiracy theories too. Yes, all phones are tapped. Snowden revealed that. People thought that was a delusion before which has been shown to be true now. I have some similar thoughts that you have about the government. The government is corrupt. The few people who do see the truth about the government are their main targets in my opinion because people who know the truth are a danger to the government. So, I think your government thoughts are correct. 

 

I don't think the government thoughts are delusions, but I do think that the being a prophet or messiah is a delusion, thinking that you are one. You said that you have negative symptoms. I experience them too. 

 

In conclusion, we have some similarities. Maybe some other people with schizoaffective disorder will be able to relate to you also. 

 

Do you take medicine or have a therapist? You got diagnosed, so it sounds like you have someone.... They might be able to help you out. Living with this disorder can be very troublesome. I hope you feel better soon. 

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Thank you for saying that. The belief that I am a prophet/messiah is something I can see is delusional, and when people tell me it is I just accept it, but part of me still believes it. I do take meds and see a therapist weekly.

What about the ideas that people are in league with demonic forces? Like the Illuminati? Shouldn't that be considered more of a 'religious' belief than a delusion? People tell me it's delusional, but I don't think it is..

Edited by John Wight
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John- by definition a delusion is a fixed belief so it is really hard to see them as delusions.  I still have doubts about ones I had years ago.  The logical part of me understands they are strange thoughts, but I experienced them as real so they are hard to dismiss.  I have trouble explaining them, too, but I don't know that it is a part of delusions.  Mine got less and less with meds, therapy and time. But, like Cynical Reality said, we can't diagnose you.  Have you brought your concerns up to your pdoc?

 

Off topic, but if that is your real name and you want anonymity you can ask to have it changed.  

Edited by confused
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John- by definition a delusion is a fixed belief so it is really hard to see them as delusions.  I still have doubts about ones I had years ago.  The logical part of me understands they are strange thoughts, but I experienced them as real so they are hard to dismiss.  I have trouble explaining them, too, but I don't know that it is a part of delusions.  Mine got less and less with meds, therapy and time. But, like Cynical Reality said, we can't diagnose you.  Have you brought your concerns up to your pdoc?

 

Off topic, but if that is your real name and you want anonymity you can ask to have it changed.  

 

It's a fake name :)

Edited by John Wight
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I dunno.  Stuff you're saying sounds familiar to me.  The types of thoughts I have while unmedicated.  All of my psychotic symptoms have been paranoia rather than hallucinations.  

 

I guess theoretically some conspiracy theories could be true, but if your belief in them is affecting your ability to function then I would chalk it up to psychosis. 

 

I think the idea that demons are in league with the illuminati is a delusion.  I guess technically you could say that it is a religious view, but, again, if your belief in something that might be irrational is affecting your life, then I think it is psychosis.  But to me it really sounds like a delusion.  

 

The thing is, the diagnosis doesn't matter so much as the symptoms which are present which need to be treated.  To me it seems very clear that you have some paranoid thought processes that could be diminished by the right medication.

 

If you are hoping to change your diagnosis because you want to get off of your antipsychotic because of side effects, I would suggest talking to your doctor about switching to a different antipsychotic with fewer side effects.

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I really do relate to what yout are saying and I have a lot of the same doubts. A year ago I thoughy I only had negative symptoms and wondered why that was because the antidepressants never worked. Then my idea was kind of turned on its head when I was told I was actually chronically psychotic. I never felt psychotic though except for once. It was only that once that I heard voices and had really bad behavior and delusions. I thought I was finally losing it then, but it turned out that it was just symptoms getting worse.

I have a lot of similar beliefs to, some that make me doubt existence of psychosis like believing in psychic attack and mind control. There are people that are sane who have those sorts of beliefs but I suppose there is more that goes into consideration. I dont know, I'm told its a matter of my conviction and thought disorder. I still have a lot of doubts, but I and no one here are professionals.

I don't hallucinate often but I do know meds help with my paranoia and behavior so there must be some truth in it. I dont think hallucination is end all be all though and maybe you just haven't hallucinated yet, it took time and a lot of stress before I did. I would talk with your doctor though for three sake of peace of mind. schizo affective is a little weird anyway, some people have no doubt in the dx others consider it a pigeonhole others have told me that they have moral qualms with the dx because they to believe in metaphysics but that in my head belief in metaphysics triggers something that wouldn't happen in someone we ithout my chemistry.

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I believe a lot of things that you believe in, especially the government stuff. For years I have been telling people that I am being spied on along with everyone. Then the NSA story came out. It shows that the NSA spies on everyone, including innocent people that never committed a crime.  The only thing I got wrong is that I thought it was the FBI or CIA that did the spying. The government is 200 years ahead of city tech. I don't think thinking that you are being spied on is a delusion, its all over the news. About the hallucinations I don't think its a requirement to have schizoaffective disorder. Most people though do hallucinate with that disorder. I believe that its between 70-80% hear voices or see things. I do hallucinate but a lot less than the average person with schizoaffective or schizophrenia. When I am having a psychotic break I hallucinate on and off throughout the day, sometimes getting so scary that I see government agents in the house and everywhere outside and I grab a knife and start yelling at them. I also see demons, especially during drives (I'm not the driver in fact I don't drive at all I am always the passenger) and see the demons jumping around the trees. I also get controlled by aliens and the government. Earlier this week when I woke up from bed I had this weird scratch on me. I didn't do it and it makes no sense. It forms a perfect "M" and then an "I". MI usually means Mental Illness. It was like being branded as mentally ill. It could also stand for Mission Impossible, because the government wants me to do this certain mission that seems impossible. It is so weird. I don't know how I got that scratch, it wasn't intentional and nothing would make perfectly formed letters like that and it scares me. Did a ghost do it? Did someone break into the house without me knowing such as the government? Demons? I don't know. Yes it is possible to have schizoaffective disorder without hallucinations. You mention delusions and negative symptoms which is enough to be diagnosed with that. It looks like you have the bipolar type. Do you experience the delusions even when you are having a normal mood? If not then its bipolar 1 with psychotic features. But we can't diagnose on the boards. I notice that you have Asperger's syndrome. I have high functioning autism. 

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I believe a lot of things that you believe in, especially the government stuff. For years I have been telling people that I am being spied on along with everyone. Then the NSA story came out. It shows that the NSA spies on everyone, including innocent people that never committed a crime.  The only thing I got wrong is that I thought it was the FBI or CIA that did the spying. The government is 200 years ahead of city tech. I don't think thinking that you are being spied on is a delusion, its all over the news. About the hallucinations I don't think its a requirement to have schizoaffective disorder. Most people though do hallucinate with that disorder. I believe that its between 70-80% hear voices or see things. I do hallucinate but a lot less than the average person with schizoaffective or schizophrenia. When I am having a psychotic break I hallucinate on and off throughout the day, sometimes getting so scary that I see government agents in the house and everywhere outside and I grab a knife and start yelling at them. I also see demons, especially during drives (I'm not the driver in fact I don't drive at all I am always the passenger) and see the demons jumping around the trees. I also get controlled by aliens and the government. Earlier this week when I woke up from bed I had this weird scratch on me. I didn't do it and it makes no sense. It forms a perfect "M" and then an "I". MI usually means Mental Illness. It was like being branded as mentally ill. It could also stand for Mission Impossible, because the government wants me to do this certain mission that seems impossible. It is so weird. I don't know how I got that scratch, it wasn't intentional and nothing would make perfectly formed letters like that and it scares me. Did a ghost do it? Did someone break into the house without me knowing such as the government? Demons? I don't know. Yes it is possible to have schizoaffective disorder without hallucinations. You mention delusions and negative symptoms which is enough to be diagnosed with that. It looks like you have the bipolar type. Do you experience the delusions even when you are having a normal mood? If not then its bipolar 1 with psychotic features. But we can't diagnose on the boards. I notice that you have Asperger's syndrome. I have high functioning autism. 

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I have the delusions regardless what mood I'm in but parranoid delusions are more triggered by anger, others by depression, and the ones of grandeur are more triggered by mania. but I am still prone to them when in a normal mood.

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I ....Earlier this week when I woke up from bed I had this weird scratch on me. I didn't do it and it makes no sense. It forms a perfect "M" and then an "I". MI usually means Mental Illness. It was like being branded as mentally ill. It could also stand for Mission Impossible, because the government wants me to do this certain mission that seems impossible. It is so weird. I don't know how I got that scratch, it wasn't intentional and nothing would make perfectly formed letters like that and it scares me. Did a ghost do it? Did someone break into the house without me knowing such as the government? Demons? I don't know

I also woke up with a scratch on my face. It was really scary. I felt a demon had done it. It happened to me twice while psychotic
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  • 2 weeks later...

The magical thinking and such doesn't necessarily make you psychotic, beliefs in magic such as Wicca exist and so do others who believe in force manipulation. It is highly skeptical when people present with magical beliefs rashly and start all of a sudden are most likely psychotic.  it depends on the extent you are experiencing, but when you start talking about the government tracking and following your phones this all sounds like paranoia, whether it is rational depends on who you are.

 

Delusions of grandeur and believing you are messiah and such all are delusions, and you may or may not realize they are delusions however they are. If you were working for the government or something of the sort then you could go on to make that assumption. The government does monitor people but they do not go after young individuals with psychosis. Demons simply do not exist, and no proof exists, and you are experiencing delusions of persecution. 

 

Certain psychotic people do not believe they are psychotic when they obviously are. Paranoia like feeling that you are being monitored is somewhat rational depending on who you are, your profession and such, but when people who have diagnoses like yours start presenting symptoms like this they are most likely psychotic. 

 

This egotistical belief while believing you are a prophet or Messiah again is a major contradiction to most theist religions, but when you enter magical beliefs instead of divine abilities this continues onto the belief you are psychotic versus just a outlier who is being punished for being special.

 

This sounds very similar to paranoid schizophrenia...and I urge you to attempt to continue taking antipsychotic medication due to a pervasive belief that true psychosis is damaging to the human brain, and another factor in this is the age you are experiencing this, if lets say that you had these beliefs all your life, it would be rarer to write you off, but most likely you started experiencing these beliefs in your late teens and early twenties the prime time for psychotic disorders to begin. 

 

Schizoaffective disorder, what you are asking about is when PSYCHOSIS is present outside of mood fluctuations.

 

You fit the descriptions of psychosis very clearly, but you NEVER specify when you experience psychosis.

 

If lets say you only believe you are a prophet and are extraordinary and that people are watching you ONLY WHEN you are MANIC or EXTREMELY depressed (termed 'psychotic depression') then you may just fit the confines of Bipolar 1 Disorder or Psychotic Depression.

 

But if you have experienced psychosis OUTSIDE of mania or extreme depression....then you start becoming more and more likely that you are experiencing more of the diagnosis schizoaffective.

 

Again psychosis is: 

 

1.) Paranoia- Persecutory beliefs, people are out to get me, I am being monitored, followed, etc (unless of course you are someone very important or happen to a terrorist)

 

2.) Delusions- False beliefs that are believed to be true (fixed- occurs when you believe the false beliefs occur within being presented with contradictory evidence)

 

3.) Hallucinations- Auditory Hallucinations (Hearing things that don't exist), Visual Hallucinations (Seeing things that aren't there) and hallucinations can even effect smell and touch

 

For being a new member you have provided a great amount of insight.

 

 

 

Anosognosia (Lack of Insight) Fact Sheet

When a person cannot appreciate that they have a serious psychiatric illness, a tremendous challenge to family members and caregivers follows. About one-half of people living with schizophrenia, and a smaller percentage who live with bipolar disorder, have this clinical feature. Individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia also often have this feature. The medical term for not seeing what ails you is anosognosia, or more commonly known as a lack of insight. Having a lack of awareness raises the risks of treatment and service nonadherence. From the person's point of view, if they feel they are not ill why should they go to appointments, take medication or engage in therapy?

Why can't a person see what is so apparent to those around them? The best thinking indicates this is a core feature of the neurobiology of the conditions. Frontal lobes organize information and help to interpret experiences. In conditions like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, frontal lobe difficulty is central to the neurological processes that underlie the disorders. Psychological denial is not the reason for the lack of insight in these illnesses.

Efforts to get people to see that they are ill are frequently fraught with frustration and may be met with denial or anger. Approaching the person in a supportive way will be beneficial for your relationship. Finding out what goals a person has (for instance getting a job, forming relationships, living independently) can be a good place to start engaging in next steps. Check to see if the service system has outreach workers who work on engaging people who lack insight. Working with the person's goals does not mean you have to pretend he or she is well. For example, if the person applies for disability services, encourage the doctor to review the diagnosis; getting a person to agree to disagree can be a first step. You don't need to argue about diagnosis to have a person participate in-or respect-basic household chores and rules.

There are situations where a person's lack of insight can, at times, create dangerous situations. This combination of no insight and dangerous acts often requires intervention. In more than 40 states, there are laws for Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), also known as outpatient commitment. AOT status requires a person to engage in treatment and gives the state authority to bring the person to a treatment center if they do not. All states that have these laws have protections and a process for assessing whether this intervention is appropriate. In most states, doctors are required to submit an affidavit of the person's state and the reasons for the requested AOT status and a judge decides.

Edited by Forbidden91
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