And in the beginning…

 

The beginnings of my mental illness…Long before I had my first psychotic episode, I guess I knew something was wrong or that I was just different but never really admitted it to myself. I preferred to live my life in sublime denial dabbling a bit in drugs and alcohol, trying to fit in, that is, until cognitive behavioral therapy with the right therapist forced me to wake up and live or see things from a different perspective…

As a child I always felt like the one that was left out or that I just didn’t fit in. So my mother sent me to a psychologist at a very young age or maybe she sent me because it wasn’t normal for a child to be drawing naked people in the 1st grade. Today, I am a self-taught artist. You can check out my work at http://angelitapeterson.wix.com/home That was the first time I can remember getting in trouble and being sent off to some “shrink” to tell him or her about my problems, I guess. Little did I know that my future held seeing many more shrinks…

The second time I saw a “shrink” was when I came back from college in Miami at my mother’s suggestion. I never really wanted help at the time or to see these psychologists so I never heeded their advice. At that point in time, it was at the suggestion of a General Practitioner that perhaps I might be clinically depressed and I was started on Paxil, an antidepressant. Like that would solve the problems of a rebellious teenager. Of course it didn’t solve the problems my mother was hoping it would.

While on Paxil, I experienced my first psychotic episode. Stay tuned for next week’s update on that. I’m sure you’ll find it funny…

The picture is of a painting I did while institutionalized in 2014. It has never been seen.

Peace…Angelita

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Coming out of the crazy closet…

I experienced my first psychotic episode in 2004 when I was just twenty-one. I had nine years free of psychosis without medication until my second psychotic episode happened in 2013 when I was thirty years old and my third psychotic episode happened when I was thirty-one in 2014. My original diagnosis when I experienced my first psychotic episode was bipolar disorder. After my second psychotic episode, and subsequent relapse thereafter or third psychotic episode, I was officially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

Many people don’t know what schizoaffective disorder is and even I am still confused but the best explanation of it that I can give is that it is schizophrenia with bipolar disorder. I don’t just have one or the other, I’ve got both. Scary diagnosis right? Well psychosis is pretty scary… but on a positive note persons diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder tend to do better than persons with schizophrenia or at least that’s what I’ve read.

This blog is about my personal story living with schizoaffective disorder. I hope to inspire others who live with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses and be an advocate against the stigmatization of mental illnesses in general.

The picture above shows my nightly pill regimen. I take fish oil, calcium, magnesium, zinc, 5mg Abilify (an antipsychotic), Vitamin D3, Vitamin B, a multivitamin, Sarcosine and N Acetyl – Cysteine.