Schizoaffective vs. Schizophrenia vs. Blessed Dionysian Lunacy


Doodling with watercolors. I haven’t posted in a bit due to the constraints of starting a new mental health program (they say I also have a drinking problem? I’ll drink to that) in addition to taking care of my grandmother…and the brief instances Eric & I are home recently there has been a recent rash of sudden power outages in the building, for the lurkers who enjoy sending gloating emails about our impoverished situation. You can play music and screw in the darkness, but you sure as hell can’t post things to the internet. I need me one of those power generating Occupy bikes.

SupaJoe would flip the breakers in the basement. It would take a few tries to get electricity up for spotty lengths of time. Eventually the new new landlords sent out an electrician who replaced a loose wire somewhere in those cthonic catacombs. So far, so good.

I’m in two groups a week, one of which is art therapy, an individual counselor session. I think this is good thus far, and the other people are nice. I have also been in for 1 TB test (don’t have it) and 1 psychiatrist visit, where I was noted to have straight up schizophrenia as opposed to schizoaffective disorder. Is there that wide of a difference? Did I “graduate”? Was it that all I wanted was a Pepsi, which no one would give to me? Was I just not depressed that day, disguising my comorbid depressive features? Does anyone else just relish the opportunity to write words like “comorbid”, a death metal band name just waiting to happen? Perhaps that kind of wisecracking about things could be read as a lack of comorbidity as opposed to the coping mechanism it really is.

On the other hand, the medical profession is far from infallible, and it wouldn’t be the first time a patient has had doctors split hairs over their diagnosis. I’ve heard of it happening with physical ailments as well. So what does that mean for me? I don’t know really. Looking at this article comparing the two, I think I feel a lot of the things described as “schizoaffective”, though also maybe I wouldn’t be so “agitated” if we weren’t dealing for the past three years in this hellhole with so many malicious people and bureaucracies.

There are also those leery of the whole mental health profession/diagnoses business altogether. On one hand there are those in the Mad Pride movement who take umbrage at the thought of “illnesses” and “disorders”. I can kind of get it–why is it pathologized to have a different way of perceiving and interacting with reality? Why is it becoming more and more pathologized to have any sorts of moods or emotions at all? On the other hand, yeah, sometimes this is terrifying or painful. But I’m honestly not sure I want to be in a neurotypical modality, never having glimpses or interactions with what exists beyond our immediate veil of world. And there’s also the fact that I can’t function well in existing systemic structures (though I personally believe they’re more or less broken for everybody but a select few.) In a sick society, pathology is both a curse and a key to survival.

The other sort leery of it are the altogether dismissive ones, the ones who seem to think everything can be fixed by mentally ill people “just dealing with it, growing up, and deciding to stop acting so weird and choosing to be a victim”(as if anyone chooses to be a victim. If a painful experience were your choice, you wouldn’t be a victim, though you might well be a masochist of some sort. Not that there’s anything wroooong with that…). There are also “alternative health” types who will insist that nothing is wrong with you that can’t be fixed by avoiding a certain food, or eating a particular food, or visiting their particular church/guru/healer, or through exercise, sleep, trips out, what have you. I don’t trust psych meds and do believe that foods, herbs, exercise, etc. can make a big difference in ones’ health and well being. But those things won’t outright cure a mental illness. However, those who believe they will often take a similar blaming attitude, as if your condition is somehow your own fault for not following whatever moral lifestyle edict they lecture you on.

Anyway, I don’t have the answer to all this either. I just wanted to write it all out.

He’s not crazy. You’re the one who’s crazy.


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