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Hi,

I've just signed up at Experience Project last Monday and I want to share my story with you.

In 2006, I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by my first psychiatrist although, when I researched about schizoaffective disorder, I felt that I had a misdiagnosis even if the medication for both illnesses are the same.  Anyway, I've been under medication for more than 3 years now and so far, I've been okay.  I was able to work from home after a few months into my medication and I've even been able to financially support my parents.

I've attempted many times to apply for work in an office but I feel scared about the possibility of having a relapse.  I've already talked about this with my current shrink and her solution for this was to increase my mood stabilizer and anti-psychosis medication.  I don't know if that would work but I'm crossing my fingers.

Also, although my family have witnessed how I was when I have first gotten sick, I feel that they are still in denial and they chose to just completely ignore it.  It's painful on my part because I was expecting them to be the first ones to really understand how I feel, what I've been through and how I'm coping right now.  But I guess it is difficult on their part because they haven't experienced it themselves.  And this is why I have joined this forum.  I'm hoping that through this, I would be able to meet people who really understand about psychological illness, get their advice and also dispense some of mine.

Btw, does anyone here who has schizoaffective disorder but is able to work in an office?  How do you cope while you work?  Also, what tips can you give to make your family understand your illness?

Regards,

alycone

alycone alycone 26-30, F 4 Responses Dec 22, 2009

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i also was diagnosed with S.A.D in 2001 when i was 23 yrs old, still in college. It's quite hard to adjust to work settings specially when you are in office.<br />
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Fortunately for me, as my skills in computer programming grew, so did my confidence. I think my work is perfect for me because i will have to deal with people less..<br />
<br />
I would just be sitting in front of my laptop and can be myself the whole day!<br />
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I feel it's worth to mention that i am not depending on any medications yet, still able to perform as a normal person.. I have my reserved medications with me though, in case of emergency<br />
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You may want to visit my blog: <br />
http://noldsel.blogspot.com/2008/02/metanoia-and-schizoaffective-disorder.html

I have been diognosed with bipolar for seven years until recently I got into a serious relaspe for not taking meds. I suggest we should stick firmly to medications, else, everything can be worked out. Before that I wasn't so optimal, now, I am better. I had irregular menstration though. As for family, my parents are supportive. I have to say there can never really understand without having to worry about me. They could only judge my behaviour as normal or extremes to take the necessary move. As for me, I hope to get better as days goes by and continue to lead a happy and fulfilling life. We should try to maintain laughers and a normal life possible. Most importantly, we try not to label ourselves or keep asking them if we are sound or unsound. I made a pat with them to truthfully tell me if I get extreme and spend quality time with them and be good to them like what other good children are. :)As for being ill, it might be deceiving, we could try to look into the brighter side of life. Being ill, makes me more conscious about health by eating a balance diet. Changing a lot of old negative ways of thinking. Good luck!

I have been diognosed with bipolar for seven years until recently I got into a serious relaspe for not taking meds. I suggest we should stick firmly to medications, else, everything can be worked out. Before that I wasn't so optimal, now, I am better. I had irregular menstration though. <br />
<br />
As for family, my parents are supportive. I have to say there can never really understand without having to worry about me. They could only judge my behaviour as normal or extremes to take the necessary move. As for me, I hope to get better as days goes by and continue to lead a happy and fulfilling life. We should try to maintain laughers and a normal life possible. Most importantly, we try not to label ourselves or keep asking them if we are sound or unsound. I made a pat with them to truthfully tell me if I get extreme and spend quality time with them and be good to them like what other good children are. :)<br />
<br />
As for being ill, it might be deceiving, we could try to look into the brighter side of life. Being ill, makes me more conscious about health by eating a balance diet. Changing a lot of old negative ways of thinking. <br />
<br />
Good luck!

Dear Alycone,<br />
<br />
I am really impressed how you can support yourself and your parents; I think that is an amazing accomplishment. I have schizo-affective disorder and my main task right now is to be able to stay in university for a last semester and find a job. I've had this disorder since I was 17 and now am 24. Last year I had a job in a pizza place (not quite an office) but I was promoted to supervisor, and had to do some managing sort of tasks.<br />
<br />
I thought my experience would be relevant to you, although since I ended up getting fired from the job as supervisor, it's more relevant in terms of what not to do than anything else... also I would like to hear about how you support yourself from home, since I think I might be more comfortable working from home, but don't know how to do that.<br />
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For my situation at my old work, what became very stressful was not the technical tasks but working with the other people. In particular, my manager had a younger brother who was somewhat obnoxious and would sit in the office and order everyone around. I wasn't allowed to sit in the office, although I was promoted, and for some reason this really started to annoy me over time. So I was increasingly resentful at work until I stopped showing up (or more accurately, started to laugh at the customers while they were making their orders and then leaving in the middle of their order to go outside and smoke, and then not showing up the next day). <br />
<br />
Making sure you are comfortable with the people you work with is very important. If someone is pushing you around you may try to hide those emotions to feel better. But you can check before you go to work to make sure you are not resentful. if you are resentful for a long time things will probably go downhill. Co-workers who sympathize with your situation and are aware of any anomalies or changes in your behavior might be helpful too; this is difficult to find, but can be found in peer-counseling and other positions of mental health field jobs.<br />
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I think people have to find their own approach to feeling comfortable with their co-workers and balance not getting pushed around with not becoming irresponsible or passive or overly stressed. It can become complicated for anyone unless one happens to have very nice co-workers. My best advice is to stop often and ask yourself if you are resentful and then meditate (and talk to your parents and friends) about ways to becomes less upset. Then check if your ideas worked once you've tried them. <br />
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This response is already super long, but speaking of parents, I have no idea if my parents understand my illness or really believe I have one. Consciously they acknowledge that I do, but there is no way they can really understand, unless they take a bunch of acid and seroquel on the same day, perhaps, which I wouldn't recommend. I don't think parents can really understand an experience they have not shared: what is best for me is to share things we do understand and enjoy, like board games for example, because then illness isn't the issue at all.