Standing Up for My Mental Health with Schizoaffective Disorder
Since I have arthritis in my knees and schizoaffective disorder, the migraines I suffer are a substantial extra load. And now I know what it’s like to have my physical illnesses treated more seriously than my mental illness. This is the story of a time when I stood up for my mental health, and my mental illness was treated seriously.
Standing Up for My Mental Health
I was going to a community event with my mom. It was very busy, so it was hard to find parking, and we had to park my mom’s car a bit of a distance away from the event. This meant I had to walk farther with my arthritic knees and my cane. I was already feeling anxious, and this made it worse. As we walked toward the crowd, I tried to stay to one side so that people could get by me. But this made me feel bad because it made me feel like I was in the way.
I was not doing well. “Mom, I’m not doing so good. Mentally,” I finally confided.
She asked me if I wanted to skip the event and go for a drive instead. I said I thought that would be a good idea.
This was the first time I had spoken up when my schizoaffective disorder was acting up, and I was with another person. This excludes times I had spoken up when I heard voices. I was so grateful to my mother for having taken me seriously. I was proud of myself for speaking up for my mental health, but at the same time, I was sorry for making my mom miss the event. I told her I was sorry, and she said it wasn’t a big deal.
When My Schizoaffective Disorder Is Triggered, I Need to Stand Up for My Mental Health
Then she asked me what had happened. I told her that letting the people walk past me was triggering because it reminded me of times lately when I have been out walking, and people behind me asked if they could get past me. When people do this, I feel like I’m some big barrier in the way of their able-bodied selves.
My mom said that she was sure people didn’t mean it that way--they didn't mean to be rude when they did that. And later, when I talked about it with my therapist, my therapist said people mainly mind their own business and that they aren’t judging me. So, from now on, I will try not to take it personally when people do that.
So, my mom and I drove around for a half hour and talked. I told her how proud I was of myself for speaking up for my mental health and thanked her for taking it seriously. And we drove around and enjoyed the scenery on a beautiful wooded drive in our area. It was a lovely, sunny day.
Caudy, E. (2023, March 2). Standing Up for My Mental Health with Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/3/standing-up-for-my-mental-health-with-schizoaffective-disorder