The Gray Area

I know labels are not always important, but I’ve been wondering lately about what to call myself. Do I say I’m schizophrenic…or do I call myself depressed? Having schizoaffective disorder makes me feel like I fall somewhere in between the two and I identify equally with both illnesses. It is frustrating because most people have heard of schizophrenia and major depression, but not schizoaffective disorder. Treating mental illness of any type seems like a guessing game, and I feel like this diagnosis makes it especially difficult to find the right treatment. It is difficult to understand the illness when my research consists of pieces from schizophrenia resources and pieces from depression resources. Every month at my psychiatric appointment, the medicine is changed and I go home and take the medicine accordingly, only to fight the same symptoms. I have found that the hallucinations are much easier to treat than the depressed mood. The hallucinations still occur but they are no longer an every day occurrence. The depressed mood has remained unchanged. It occurs nearly everyday lately and daily activities and responsibilities are taking a back seat to self-care as much as possible. The side effects of the medicines I have been taking have taken a toll on my mind and body and I find myself thinking that it isn’t worth it. I still miss hearing the voices every day. I am just as paranoid as ever though and it is difficult to figure out what is real. I don’t trust myself or what I see and hear anymore. I have a hard time remembering anything. Dreams and reality have started to blur together. I think I’ve had conversations that I really haven’t and lately I have a strong feeling of deja vu.

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