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Schizophrenia Message Board

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Hi everyone:

Although I haven't actually been diagnosed with schizophrenia yet, I have been seeing a psychiatrist/ suffering from some of the characteristic symptoms if this illness: voices, altered sense of self (the best way I can describe this -- easily my worst symptom -- is to say that it's as if there's no longer an inner nucleus which is me), depression etc. I haven't told my parents about any of this -- not even that I'm seeing a psychiatrist (how do you break it to your parents that you've started hearing voices? I don't think mine would know what the hell to do; I definitely don't think they'd immediately be sympathetic and understanding, as I'd soooo like them to be. Whenever I've told them in the past that I'm feeling depressed they've just said something like, 'Oh, don't be silly -- what have you got to be depressed about?' And I can just imagine what my mum would say if I told her that I feel as though I've lost my sense of self -- 'Don't be so silly. Of course you haven't!') -- so I'm basically dealing with all of this completely on my own at the moment.

Anyway, I wanted to ask people how they (that is, if they have) managed to come to terms with being diagnosed with schizophrenia. I've been trying to prepare myself -- because I seriously think that that's what I might have -- for the day when the psychiatrist tells me, definitively, that I'm schizophrenic -- but I just can't get my head round it at all. I seriously don't know if I'd be able to cope/live with this illness. How would my family react? How would my friends react? What would the future hold for me? Would it mean that I have to abandon, not only my hopes and dreams, but my plans, too?

But many people on this discussion board seem to be coping (I think) -- as well as being very brave and understanding --so living with this illness, although incredibly tough, must be possible. This, at least, heartens me.

Any advice/thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


[QUOTE=SKYLYNN]hi dave...i was wondering how old you are.
this illness hit my son at 19 and it blew us away.
my son as well was very depressed and moody.but i never thought it would be like this.i am very grateful you are seeing someone.don't be afraid.and if you do have this illness try your best to educate yourself about it.have you been told that you might have son has both..but good luck and you try to hang in there..[/QUOTE]

Hi Skylynn --

Thanks a lot for the reply, I sincerely appreciate it. I'm trying not to be afraid -- but it's extremely difficult not to be. I tell a lie -- I'm terrified.

At 23, I'm not much older than your son -- although I'm pretty sure that I've been suffering from this wretched illness (mostly negative symptoms) since the age of 15, and only now does the condition seem to be expressing itself fully. I'm very sorry to hear about your son. How is he doing now? You say he has bi-polar and schizophrenia. Does that mean he has schizo-affective disorder?

My psychiatrist hasn't made a definitive diagnosis yet -- but I'm pretty sure it's schizophrenia: after all, I'm suffering from what they call 'diminshed self-affection', auditory hallucinations, and severe depression; but I'm not paranoid or delusional in the least --I went to the doctors of my own volition because I knew something was seriously wrong with me. If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take them to diagnose your son? Because I've been seeing my psychiatrist for 6 weeks now and we seem to be getting nowhere fast. Am I just being impatient? Also, what exactly is schizo-affective disorder (if that's what your son has)? Does it mean that his schizophrenia isn't as severe as someone who has just schizophrenia? Or does it just mean that he has both schizophrenia and manic depression? Also, is there a "depressive" type of schizo-affective disorder? I read somewhere that, for a diagnosis of schizo-affective disorder to be made, schizophrenic symptoms have to be present for a period of at least two weeks during which depessive/manic symptoms aren't present (but I could have got that completely wrong). Because I can remember a time when I wasn't depressed but still suffering schizophrenia-like symptoms -- but mostly I am very depressed. So I was wondering if I could possibly have the "depressive " (as opposed to the "manic") type of schizo-affective disorder (if there is such a thing) -- because I'm not suffering from two of the classic symptoms -- i.e. delusions and paranoia -- of schizophrenia at all (although I'm aware that there is more than one type of schizophrenia.)

Sorry about all the questions; it's just that I'm desperate to find out more about these illnesses. Websites about schizophrenia/depression only seem to give very general accounts of things, and academic articles are not pitched at the non-expert (like me).

Anyway, thanks a lot for the reply -- it's nice to know that I'm not alone.

I wish you and your son all the best in dealing with his illness. I'd really like to know how he's doing.


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