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Schizoaffective Disorder and the Summer of COVID-19

August 6, 2020 Elizabeth Caudy

My schizoaffective anxiety spikes with the summer heat. But it’s spiking dramatically this summer, the summer of COVID-19. I dearly hope--with everyone else--that there will be a vaccine by next summer. For now, here’s how I’m coping, or, in some ways, not coping.

This Schizoaffective Is Trying Out Her Ballet Shoes

I was getting so frustrated on my daily walks with people who were not wearing masks and not social distancing. Exercise is supposed to be good for your mental health, especially exercising outside, yet I was coming home from my walks angry and afraid. It doesn’t help that the Chicago area is going through a prolonged heatwave. I think that makes everyone testy. But with the safety issues, I was trying my best to wear a mask during my whole walk, and that was difficult in the heat.

So, I started taking online ballet classes at home. I can do this with a fan blowing on me, but I still break a sweat. No mask is needed, and I’m not in public. Maybe I’ll try walking again in the fall because it is my favorite season. Maybe masks will catch on by then.

The Summer of COVID-19 and Schizoaffective Rage

Last night I went for a walk with my mom, and my schizoaffective anxiety was making me very angry. I haven’t experienced the schizoaffective symptom of irrational anger in a very long time. I was wearing a mask, my mom wasn’t, but she carried one for those unpredictable close encounters. We’re not required to wear masks outside in Illinois unless we’re in situations where we can’t social distance. It’s a personal rule I’ve taken on to wear a mask outside under any circumstances because it makes me feel safer. I wish other people would wear masks outside, too; but, now that I think about it, I guess I can’t blame them for not wearing masks when it isn’t a mandate.

But back to last night. I went for a walk with my mom, and I was in the throes of schizoaffective disorder rage. I was gesturing and shouting at groups of people for not practicing social distancing or wearing masks, even though my mom wasn’t wearing one. I even shouted at a runner that he should be wearing a mask. “You can’t run while you’re wearing a mask,” he replied as he sped by.

I’ve been thinking about that guy a lot. I’ve never hit a person with my car, but I think about him the way you would think about a hit-and-run. I wonder if I made him feel really bad. If he’s as sensitive as I am, I might have ruined his night. You never know. It’s like those memes on Facebook say: you should always be kind because you never know what someone else is going through. If by any chance that guy is reading this, know that I’m so sorry.

I guess that’s one thing I’ve learned so far from this pandemic. We live in very uncertain times, but we’re all in this together so the least we can do is be kind to one another. I wasn’t kind to that runner. But, moving forward, I will try to be kinder--yes, even to unmasked strangers.

How is schizoaffective disorder affecting you during this summer of COVID-19? Share your thoughts in the comments.

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2020, August 6). Schizoaffective Disorder and the Summer of COVID-19, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, November 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/8/schizoaffective-disorder-and-the-summer-of-covid-19



Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

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