I’ve been doing more research, reading some articles and blogs, and I think I have a better understanding of this.
Schizoaffective disorder has two types, bipolar type and depressive type. Bipolar type shows mood swings and mania, while depressive type shows depressive episodes.
Since I’ve been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder bipolar type, I’m going to talk about that one the most.
According to HealthyPlace, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder are in two completely separate categories.
A person with bipolar disorder can have hallucinations or delusions as part of a mood episode (think bipolar with psychotic features) and still be considered just bipolar. The psychotic features are not the main problem. The mood symptoms are. Just like a person with schizoaffective disorder can have mood symptoms but not be bipolar, because the mood symptoms are not the main issue at hand.
Here are the criteria for schizoaffective disorder according to the DSM-IV:
So, seeing that, and reading a couple of blogs from people with the disorder, I think that I might have had this all along and I’ve been misdiagnosed previously.
Looking back on my life, I can remember times that I’ve seen ghosts – started when I was a kid. They were always in my house, in my school, at work. I thought, at one point that maybe I was a medium of sorts. When I was younger, I used to talk to angels – or that’s what I’ve been told by my mom. Hallucinations of death, that I recognized as death, started when I was 15. I noticed that the hallucinations stopped when I got on medications. By that time though, I really just thought I had an active imagination, I never expected that I had a mental health disorder that caused me to have hallucinations.
I’ve known for a long time that I’ve been bipolar. The mood symptoms are just too much not to notice. The highs and the lows.
One thing I know, this disorder doesn’t make me scary or dangerous. I am not a danger to others or to myself. I’m ok. And if I need help, I have the resources to get help.