I Am Schizoaffective And Too Tired To Fight Anymore.

I'm not one to feel sorry for myself, but as I sit here thinking about the mess I've gotten myself into I'm finding it difficult not to. I'm not sure where to begin, so I'll just tell you where I am. My father called me about an hour ago to tell me how disappointed he is in me. Not just that, but he also made it a point to tell me how lazy and irresponsible I've been. Not to mention how it is my fault that my mother has been coughing up blood. The thing is, he hasn't called me in 20 years. No "Hi, how ya doing" No NOTHING! Somehow he thinks he has some influence on me after all those years of neglect. Needless to say, he hasn't a clue what my illness entails.

I'm about to have a nervous breakdown. No one knows this but me and I'm too ashamed to speak about this to anyone but my psychiatrist. I have a very long history of mental illness. My dad and my brother both think I should work, and that I can be normal like the rest of the family, but no matter how hard I try, I always seem to let them down. I want to make them both proud, but it's too late for that. I've given up hope for myself. I guess a sense of peace just isn't meant for some people.

I was diagnosed bipolar (With psychotic features) at age 25. After many years of treatment along with therapy, my doctor changed the diagnosis to schizoaffective disorder. I don't know a great deal about it, but I do know that the better part of my adult life has been a living hell. Not only for me, but also for my mother and my son. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to fall back into a rut, dragging my loved ones down with me.

My mother has been my strength for the last 8 years. She has stuck with me no matter how much she suffered in the process. I never meant to put her through so much, but this illness is a beast that has no regard for anyone. If I thought I could survive on my own, I'd pack up my bags and rid her of the misery that I am. She doesn't deserve a son like me. She's the most loving and compassionate woman Ive ever known, and it kills me to know what I've put her through.

I thought about suicide once. I would have done it had it not been for my son. Even so, as I look back at what I've put him through the last few years, I wonder if it would have best if I had ended it all when I was most apt to do it. I don't know …. He's such a good kid. His mother has raised him well. What have I done for him? I've made countless broken promises, and have sadly been little more than a disappointment and bad example to him.

I keep telling myself that I'll get it back to good, but I've burned so many bridges, it makes it difficult to do so. My brother is furious and thinks that I've been too sheltered. I believe if it were up to him, he'd have me on the streets with only the clothes on my back for what I've put my mother through. I don't blame him of course. I'd be fighting mad too. The only problem is that I have absolutely no control over my illness.

I worry about my future. I don't want to end up homeless, or without a loved one to lean on when I'm down and out. Even so, I am rapidly moving towards that end. If I could change anything about my life, I take back the last 8 years. They have been harder on my mother than any others I think.

They say substance abuse is typical for people with my illness. I've read that we use in attempt to self medicate. I myself think I did it out of despair. I just wanted to escape from my life. I wanted some relief from my hellish reality. But alas, my drug use only made it worse and now I fear it is too late to make amends.


I had landed a pretty decent job a couple months ago at UPS. I've wanted to work there for years, and did all I could to keep the job. I didn't get fired, but I did wake up on day and decided not to go in. The day after the same thing, etc. It's not that I was lazy or anything. I just knew my limits. My grandmother had just passed away because of lung cancer, and for some reason I was asked to give the eulogy. I wasn't about to pass up such an honor, but at the same time, it put a tremendous stress on me. The stress lead to anxiety, and the anxiety eventually turned into uncontrollable mania. The problem with mania is that I run and run and run till I can't run anymore, then I crash into severe depression (Not to mention psychosis).

At this point, I've pissed damn near every one off, so as it has been for years, it is when I'm most depressed that I am severely criticized and made to feel guilty, and told how lazy and irresponsible I am. Not only that, but it is during the come down that it sinks in what I've actually done.

I'm sitting here with tears rolling, without a penny in my pocket, depressed, jobless, my mother coughing up blood and struggling to make ends meet, and with half my family furious at my so called immaturity. I don't know how we are going to get through it this time. I've burned far too many bridges for anyone to help us now. I just want to crawl in a hole and die.

It hurts me knowing that I finally made my father proud by getting a decent job, and that I turned that pride inside out and into utter disappointment and disgust. I'm not sure if he'll ever speak to me again after this incident. You know what hurts more than that? It's knowing how big a burden I've been on my mother. I'm scared to death that her health is so poor that she won't be here much longer, all while the reality of what I put her through the last 8 years slaps me in the face repeatedly. I can't stand the thought of her last years on this earth being spent dealing with my bullshit. It hurts me to think about. All I want right now is for her to be ok and happy, knowing that she will never be neither as long as I'm in the picture.

Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself. Yes, I'm beating myself up. Yes, I'm scared, lonely, and out of hope. Yes, I feel like it would have better if I were never born. I just want it all to go away. I'm sick of being a disappointment. I sick of hurting those I love and I'm sick of who I am. I'm so darn tired, and I see no relief in my future..

I once thought I had all the answers. I was once happy and carefree. Then reality hit me in the face, and I realized that nothing but the earth itself is beautiful. My son and my mother are the only two people I know in life that I can honestly call beautiful as well. Even so, they are the two people I seem to hurt the most. I sincerely want to help others, but I can't even help myself. It's such a cruel and twisted thing to bear when want and reality mix like oil and water. Such is the beast that is schizoaffective.

My Illness began many years ago ....

I was living with my future wife Rebecca at the time. Things we getting extremely complicated. It was during this time that I found out that I was a jealous man. When I say jealous, I mean a relentlessly jealous. So much so that I completely ripped our relationship apart. I feared so many things, but what I feared most was the thought of her sleeping with other men. I accused her countless times of using drugs, and having sex with others to get them.

My friends and I had drifted apart by then, and my mother was so preoccupied with her boyfriend and work, I felt as if I had no one to turn to. I found out quick how lonely life can be. Despite the complications, I managed to hold on to a fairly decent job.

It wasn't long after my jealous streak that I began to fear for my life. I started getting severely paranoid, and felt like people wanted me dead. I blamed my girlfriend of course, but I'm sure my fears were unjustified. It was the way people looked at me that instilled the fear, and the secrecy that others displayed when I was around. It's hard to explain, but I knew that I was going to die by the hands of another. Everyday it was the same fear, and there was no controlling it.

I decided to ask Rebecca to marry me. While I thought it would solve my problems, my condition progressed. At this point she must have thought I was insane, but she married me nonetheless. Nothing with our relationship changed. I was still the same jealous man I had always been, and she was still the same woman she had always been. The accusations remained. The fear progressed, and our relationship literally became non existent.

As my illness worsened, I began to fear certain foods. I thought the food I ate controlled something aspect of life - although I had no idea what. Even the cigaretts i smoked controlled some big aspect of life in my mind. I didn't have a clue of what mind you, but I just knew it in my heart that they did.

Finally I became so fearful and paranoid I couldn't sleep. I quit smoking, and was nothing less than a mental wreck. I'm guessing I stayed awake for two weeks straight. I could barely eat, and was pretty much living on liquids. I ended up in the hospital, diagnosed with depression. I suppose if iI had been completely honest with my doctor, he would of given me a more severe diagnoses. the problem is that I thought my doctor was Satan at the time, and that my family delivered me to him in hope that he would spare my life.

I know it all seems crazy, but it is true. When I was in his office speaking to him, I kept thinking to myself that I would have to battle him on my own one day, and that he was just giving me time to prepare. I felt important, but I was weak and unable to fight for myself. I can still see his eyes twiching and I can still remember how I felt in his presence. He told me It would probably be best if I didn't read the bible because of how powerful the words are, and that It would be best if i didn't quit smoking.

As i look back, I can see why, the bible scared me and my nerves were shot. Cigarettes tend to have a calming effect, but the bible at time made me feel wicked and worthless, not to mention the fact that it made me fear death and hell.

It is a bit ironic how this life turned into hell for me. I have had times of serenity, but for the most part life has been cruel. Now here I am too tired to fight, and unable to make my family proud.

It wasn't till years later that I opened up to another doctor who diagnosed me with bipolar, and then several years after that I was diagnosed with schizoaffective. I'm a complete mess even after all these years (Even with medication). My strength has been my mother, but she's tired too and in bad health. My only refuge now is God, and my only hope is in his son.

May God shine His light upon my soul and upon every other person who must endure this illness.....
jamespbelt jamespbelt
7 Responses Jul 30, 2010

I have a son too diagnosed schizoaffective 8 years ago. First diagnoses at 18 was depression, then schizophrenic, one doctor simply said he's a bum/alcoholic, this went on for 9 years. Finally a real diagnosis that allowed for more effective medication.17 years and he's 34 now, me 57 and still no real handle on life. Your ability to share your experiences have given me comfort in knowing that i'm not alone and neither is he. I'm the only person who's truly there for him. Even his numerouse case workers, criminal justice system can't UNDERSTAND why my son can't get a handle on life. Truth is, until society accepts that mental illness is a reality of a debilitating illness and is not intellectual or character ba<x>sed there won't be any successful way of treating this illness and those suffering with it need emotional support as well as life skills. I'm so sorry for your plight. However, with your story comes understanding and healing. You may have found your nitch. Write about it! It helps others who are so IGNORANT understand and have more compassion for the many suffering and living with Schizoaffective disorder. Thank you so much for bearing your soul and sharing such intimate details with us. Best to you and...in your writing you give much back to society as a whole.

I am a 40 yr old lady who has the schizoaffective disease. Its difficult to say the least but its also manageable. Ive been in therapy for about a year and seeing a psychiatrist for over 3. Most of the time Im wound up with stress and anxiety and constantly doing deep breathing exercises and cognitive healing therapies. This disease does not have a cure but like I mentioned is manageable. Its so tiring and usually during the day I need a nap but I have been feeling better lately....i still take my nap though...lol. I try to keep positive...kind....people around me. My bf seems to be a bowl full of patience and love. Im beginning in a few weeks a mental health program to key in socialization and vocation. I want to obtain a job soon too. I have all these dreams....dreams and hopes.....this disease is tough....very tough. To those out there who suffer too. All I can say is KEEP THE FAITH. Accept your illness and move forward. Everything will...be...o.k.....lol!! K

Your testimony is very moving. Your thoughts have been my thoughts, almost exactly. I write this as I sit institutionalized at a state facility, my thoughts excusing one another for what led me here. Now on an extended commitment, i am experiencing loss of hope of returning to a normal life. I am scared and lonely. There is no one on the unit that I can identify with, No one to talk to. I spand the weekends asleep, for lack of anthing better to do, It's rather boring, My hope, my only hope is the Lord and the biblt states that (2Corinthians12:9) His grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness" I take comfory in that alone ans it haspulled me through many dark hours. You are never alone for there is ONE greater that knows your every need.

i have tried to work and found out that i can't. so now i am on disabilaty. i don't know what the furture holds. i was dignost bipoler at first. but been updated to schizoaffective disorder. it has only been in this last year. i to am a disapoment to my family. but you know you could never meet up to their expectation. family usally expect more than you can give. <br />
but don't give up you mean more to your son then you think.<br />
i thought so to but my kids understand me, thay too have mental problems and we don't put each other down. <br />
all i am saying is don't give up. we care about you.

The fact of the matter is the medical industry does not consider the real world. They only consider chemicals. They say you have a chemical imbalance and that medication will fix this, yet they've never given a blood test to you to proove your chemical imbalance, and never has a single study prooved that mental illness is in any way connected to brain chemical imbalances. The main source of your problems is the evil spirits following the devil's orders to do everything they can to prevent us from succeeding in life. These spirits poke and prod us to find our weaknesses. Your cigarette addiction leaves your God given armor very weak to these spirits, and they have found your weaknesses and know exactly how to push your buttons to drive you crazy. Pray to God to show you and allow you to see that this is true. It's truly horrifying and disgusting to hear these spirits whisper lies and deciets into your mind. God allowed me to hear a few whispers being sent to my mind subconsciously to try to deter my righteous actions, really motivated me to clean up my actions and continue a sober righteous course of life, it will do the same to you. I don't mean to make light of your problems or say it's all the devil's fault, you have developed a cycle that you have partially explained here, and you don't know how to fix it. But you can retrain your brain and your life to prevent this cycle from repeating itself.

Hi Jacob, enjoyed your post here. I totally agree with you, after years of extensive research and case studies. I hope that the mentally ill will began to pray warefare prayer and put on their invisible armour as stated in Eph 6, psalms 27 and 91 are also good prayers.

So there is no such this as mental illness?

Keep praying.<br />
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I myself have been struggaling with this illness for some time, It can create such a mess for people as it seems. I generally trick myself into thinking im on the road to recover for 3-5 days at a time, end up psychotic and delusional for 3-4 weeks sometimes months, make it to a point where im clear and back down again, only the rhythem keeps changing. I'm not negative about it or anything but my words are coming out negative, everything seems to have some kind of pourpose where there is none. <br />
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Don't blame yourself for what your mom is going through now. Someday you may see The true form of love and happieness between all the chaos, try to understand that it is no ones fault. Life is tricky and thats all.<br />
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Keep praying and good luck!

Thanks for your thoughts, Pennyworth. I've been on disability for the last 10 years, and have done all I can do to go back to work. It isn't the jobs that gets me, however. I've had some cushy ones. holiday Inn, a silicone factory, UPS, taxi driver, store clerk, etc. The problem is the stress that always builds up, which leads to mania, which eventually leads to psychosis. Jobs for some may take precedence over all else (I once felt that way too) but until you experience what I go through when I work, and the hell I create for my family and myself you might not be so quick to suggest that work is whats most important.<br />
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I would love to hold down a job, but until I get myself straitened out, it's not gonna happen. My brother and father are the only ones in my family who think i should work anyway. My son even warned me about going back to work, along with my mother, my exwife, and my aunts and uncles. The truth is that I'll never be able to work again. i know this after countless attempts. <br />
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Here is how it plays out. I seem to get stabilized, so I find a job. All goes well for a month or so until the stress has built up so much that I feel like I'm about to burst. By this time my mind is spinning 100 miles a second, and i go on spending sprees in attempt to relieve the stress, which works wonders until i've deleted my funds, and have no money to pay the bills. <br />
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If i knew how to control this, i would. The truth is that I have no control over impulse during these manic phases. So ..... After I quit working, and after all my hard earned money is gone, and after I've pissed everyone off, I crash. (HARD)<br />
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These cycles only play out when i attempt to go back to work, and when more stress is put on me than I can handle. Much like the stress I'm under now. My mother is scheduled to have lung surgery. Cancer? Who knows, but my grandmother just passed away a few weeks ago from lung cancer and mom is the only person that I can count on to understand what I go through. this is probably because I've lived with her for the last 8 years. <br />
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Hopefully the mass they found in her lung will be a simple infection, but if it turns out to be cancer, my first stop will be the psych ward at my local hospital in hope that they will catch me before a have a another meltdown. <br />
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Hero to my son? Hell, I can't even be an appropriate father, which is all I'm shooting for at this point. I just want to be a good dad minus the meltdowns, man. I'm done fighting and I'm done trying to go back to work. <br />
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They say insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Well, to give up on ever going back to work is probably the most sane thing I've ever decided to do. You have no idea how thrilled mom is about this, either. If you only understand how i get, you would know this is best.<br />
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I do appreciate your thoughts, and for most .... your thoughts would be spot on. We are dealing with a relentless beast in my case, however so what is right for most does not apply to my situation (Not now - Not ever)<br />
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Btw, my illness is not about emotion so much. Believe me, I feel very little anymore. It's more about disorganized thinking, detachment from reality, and severe changes in mood. At one point I go go go, and nothing can stop me. At the opposite end is hopelessness, and nothing can get me up but time itself. <br />
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