When My Schizoaffective Disorder Tells Me I'm a Bad Person

March 16, 2023 Elizabeth Caudy

My schizoaffective disorder tells me a lot of bad things about myself and makes me think I’m a bad person. Here are some of the ways that I feel like a bad person because of my schizoaffective disorder and how I fight back.

Schizoaffective Disorder Tells Me I'm Bad at My Career

I’ve been having a bit of a midlife crisis lately, and my schizoaffective disorder isn’t helping. No, I’m not going to cheat on my husband--he’s the best thing in my life--or splurge on a sports car--I don’t even like to drive. But I have been thinking a lot about how I’m not where I’d like to be in my career. I thought I’d at least have an adjunct photography professorship by now, and I don’t.

The reality is that since I got married in my late 20s, I thought I’d start focusing on my career in my early 30s. However, I was blindsided in my early 30s by crushing anxiety that I still struggle with at age 43. I don’t like blaming my shortcomings on my mental illness, but, in this case, the anxiety was clearly a big handicap.

All that said, I am very grateful to be working for HealthyPlace. I can say I’m a writer with great pride--writing is something I’ve always loved doing, even though I got my master’s degree in photography. And I love that my job is to raise awareness about mental illness.

Schizoaffective Disorder Makes Me Think I'm Bad Because of Past Decisions

While objectively, I can see that I have a good life (my job, my husband, my family), my schizoaffective disorder makes my mind ruminate over and over again about all the mistakes I’ve made in my life. One big one is that I went to The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) out of high school instead of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Never mind that I transferred from RISD to SAIC and got my bachelor’s degree from SAIC. Basically, I obsess over whether I would have developed schizoaffective disorder if I had gone to SAIC from the get-go. You see, SAIC was a much better fit for me artistically and was right in my parents’ backyard since they live nearby, and that’s why I wonder if I would have developed schizoaffective disorder at all or at least have suffered a milder case if I had stayed in the Chicago area in the first place. I specifically wonder if my family would have recognized my illness earlier and gotten me treatment had I been in my hometown.

My schizoaffective disorder makes me think I’m a terrible person in many ways, and those are just a couple of them. But I fight back with hope, a feeling that I can help others with this column, and the love of my husband and family.

Yes, it could be that I really am a bad person. (That was just a joke.)

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2023, March 16). When My Schizoaffective Disorder Tells Me I'm a Bad Person, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 23 from

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.

Leave a reply