Mutating Appropriately

I met with the new-for-me NP at the mental health clinic I go to.

The appointment went really well.

I felt heard, finally.

I was able to take in what was being said.

I didn’t have a flood of uncontrollable emotions at any moment.

These appointments can be rough for anyone.

I have the tendency to just start crying.

Most of the time I feel as if I’m not being heard.

Or the situation will feel stacked against me.

I could never tell you why I have a tendency to react that way.

With tears and frustration and defensiveness.

Those are usually my go-to behaviors.

Because I don’t feel like I have had any other options before.

I didn’t think that the clarity I have now was ever possible.

The NP told me he thinks that I’m dealing with depressive type schizoaffective disorder.

While this may be my seemingly millionth diagnosis, it feels more accurate than some that have been tagged to my charts over the years.

It’s pretty all encompassing of what I deal with.

Read more about it here. 

I had looked up schizoaffective disorder before.

I was actually searching for schizophrenia symptoms, and noticed some articles on schizoaffective disorder.

It was only this fall that I became aware of what schizoaffective disorder is.

Or even was aware that schizophrenia isn’t always the serial killer in the true crime shows.

There’s controversy around schizoaffective.

From what I’ve read at least.

It’s part of the schizophrenia spectrum but overlaps with bipolar disorder as well.

The depressive type part comes from the mood disorder that has also been prominent that entire time in me as well.

It makes sense to me.

From what I’ve read, he hit the nail on the head.

I realized that something on the schizophrenia spectrum is probably a more accurate diagnosis for me.

There’s schizophrenia and associated disorders on my mom’s side of the family.

So, all in all, it makes sense.

I tell myself that I don’t know why it has taken me so long to get a diagnosis that is much closer to what I deal with.

Then I remember I started hearing voices and having depression at age thirteen.

The same age everyone is gaining that inner dialogue.

The same age that everything is changing all the time.

The same time that the internet wasn’t what it has been in the last fifteen to twenty years.

My body and mind was changing and I had nothing to compare what I was hearing to what everyone else was hearing.

I had people encouraging my ghost delusions.

I would tell doctors about the incessant voices in my head.

And was just told time and time again from professionals that what I was hearing was normal.

I didn’t understand the depth of my hallucinations and delusions until they started to go away.

I didn’t understand how influential the switch to Invega Sustenna would be, until it started to clear everything up in my mind.

I’m grateful to be heard by a health care professional this week.

I feel validated.

I never really felt like bipolar – even with the psychotic features added, was truly what I deal with.

I have read articles over the years and the diagnosis always felt a little off to me.

But, that’s what the doctors have told me I have over the years.

So, that’s always been that.

But things just never connected for me.

I feel like I was floating between all these diagnoses aimlessly.

They overlapped in strange ways.

I know I have very heavy depression.

But when I think of mania, I think of a rush of information.

A rushed feeling to get every thought out that needs to come out within a single instant.

I’ve never felt that.

They would tell me I was manic because I’ve felt like words were spilling out of me at times.

But there’s not much correlation of the words to the subject at hand.

They turn into disconnected thoughts and fragments for me. 

I do feel like I have a lot to say sometimes.

But I am convinced that part of this is my personality and not part of my mental illness like it’s been interpreted as in the past.

When I get to that point of thinking about everything at once, I get sloppy.

My speech slurs together and I lose track of the point in what I’m saying.

I usually start talking about a similar situation I was in.

To relate.

Then I get stuck on a small abstract train of thought surrounding the idea and go with that instead of the main point.

Before I know it, I’m rambling on about something small and pointless that happened the other day.

But I have zero idea what I was trying to tie it to, or compare it to in conversation with.

No fucking clue.

I just keep talking or trail off and try to loop it back somehow.

I don’t feel as though that’s mania.

As I’m able to decipher life like everyone else does, I think it’s more of a thinking confusion.

A type of thought disorder, I guess, really.

More thoughts than moods.

The moods surfaced because the thoughts pushed my darkness and confusion into the forefront.

Disorganized thinking is much more relatable to me.

It makes sense for me to have this type of a diagnosis.

But, in all honesty, the medication they have me on right now is working great and is crucial for me.

It helps me live.

Not just survive.

And that’s the goal.

Being able to live a life for the first time.

Being able to separate the voices from my thoughts.

The new diagnosis helps with validation and that’s about it.

Treatment is the same.

I’m still putting my whole self into being better.

And that’s the goal, right?

Noticing these shitty past behaviors and actually seeing the changes I need to make.

Then mutating appropriately, of course.

So, I’m doing that.

With the new diagnosis, with everything.

Because my life needs to be different now in many ways.

If I keep up my old, habitual behaviors, this illness will take me.

For the first time in my life I think that I might be worth it, to try and change.

Today, I am able to see these patterns of behavior in myself.

I’m able to understand that my behavior, though protective and hardened for security and preservation of self, has been inconsistent and hurtful over the same time.

It’s truly awesome to be able to see patterns in my life.

It’s making processing and coping much, much easier for me.

I read something about knowledge the other day.

And how once there’s knowledge of a situation or circumstances, it becomes easier to take in.

Easier to deal with.

I have been thinking a lot about that.

Because I get that.

Once my psychosis was called psychosis, I fucking got it.

And now that my diagnosis has changed, I get it.

I get it more than I did yesterday.

And that’s awesome to be able to say and mean.

– Keren

4 responses to “Mutating Appropriately”

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