My Anxiety Is More Debilitating Than Schizoaffective Disorder

August 3, 2017 Elizabeth Caudy

Anxiety causes me more problems than schizoaffective disorder. You may think schizophrenia symptoms would be tougher. But no. Anxiety is more debilitating.Anxiety affects me much more than schizoaffective disorder. You see, schizoaffective disorder is a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. I have schizoaffective disorder, so I have symptoms of schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Then there’s a bonus--generalized anxiety disorder. Bipolar disorder is often accompanied by anxiety disorders. And it's my anxiety symptoms that affect me the most, even more than schizoaffective disorder.

Anxiety Is More Debilitating Than Schizophrenia

I often have breakthrough symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hearing voices, and breakthrough symptoms of the mood disorder component of schizoaffective disorder. All this occurs even after complying with a medication regimen that includes mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. But the symptom of mental illness that is the most debilitating is my anxiety.

For example, I’m afraid of the rain so I carry an umbrella everywhere, even on sunny days, “just in case.”

I’ll try to explain it. My home is really cluttered—we simply have too many things in our apartment taking up space. So there isn’t a lot of room to lay out clothes to dry. And we don’t have a washer and dryer, so that makes drying clothes difficult. I don’t feel I have a spot to dry my clothes if they get wet. That’s my main rationale for being afraid of the rain. And the thought of cleaning our messy apartment totally lays on the anxiety.

I’m afraid of other things, too. I’m afraid of taking a bath or a shower if my husband isn’t home. Now, this just makes no sense to me. But when the fear takes over, it takes over. I’m also generally afraid to wash my hair. I have some hazy notion about being incapacitated when I have wet hair. If I were skinny, I’d get a short hairdo, but I’m not (thank you antipsychotic medications) so most of the time I have long hair that I’ve waited way too long to wash and I pull it back in a messy bun.

Medications for Debilitating Anxiety Aren't Cures

My antipsychotic medication and an anxiety medication I take as-needed help a lot with my anxiety. But, as I’ve illustrated above, they help far from completely. Some things happening right now in my life trigger more anxiety. A close family friend who was like an aunt to me just died. I’m trying to lose 10 pounds. And summer is generally a hard time for people with bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Our President of the United States, Donald Trump’s, erratic and bizarre behavior—along with his threats to cut healthcare and social security for people with disabilities—doesn’t help, either.

I guess it’s just a bad time to be me right now. But I’ll get through it. I always do. And I hope knowing how someone else is struggling will help you through your tough times. Like the sign I keep on my wall says, “I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway.”

APA Reference
Caudy, E. (2017, August 3). My Anxiety Is More Debilitating Than Schizoaffective Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 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.

June, 27 2018 at 1:43 pm

I have had schizoaffective disorder for over ten years. 2-3 months ago I started working as a volunteer for a local charity shop. I recently thought that I have now reached the stage where I would like to start full or part-time paid work as my confidence had grown. But yesterday while working I had a really bad panic attack to the point where I began shaking. I could not carry on so said I was unwell and left. I will try again another day and hope this is an isolated case. Although later I felt like giving up and seeing myself as worthless and trapped with negative thoughts. There seems no cause or reason to this attack. I do not want to go back to square one. Will keep up with this post as to whether I can pull through.

March, 9 2018 at 4:19 am

after reading the above blog i am confused

Elizabeth Neely
September, 20 2017 at 9:46 pm

I just came across your blog because I Googled schizoaffective disorder and anxiety disorder I have the same issues you do with my anxiety being far more debilitating than the schizoaffective disorder. It is seriously horrible. I totally understand what you go through. I also have this irrational fear of showering and washing my hair and I have to literally force myself to do it. I am married like you as well and I'm fortunate to have found a very understanding husband. I don't know how he puts up with me sometimes. when thinking about all of my symptoms I would have to say that anxiety is my main mental illness even though I know doctors categorize Schizoaffective disorder as my main illness. I can usually deal with the hallucinations and the mood changes and irregularities but what I can't deal with on a daily basis is this debilitating anxiety that just makes everything so terrifying around me. thank you for letting me know that I am not alone and that there are others who know exactly what I'm going through

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

William morgan
June, 2 2023 at 12:02 am

I am diagnosed with Schizzoaffective disorder and the part of my sickness I hate the most is severe anxiety. It attacks me from the pit of my stomach to my brain. I get so afraid that something terribly wrong has happened. Also, I’m afraid to see or be seen by my neighbors at times. This is a difficult thing because I enjoy getting out of the house at times. My anxiety is worse in the morning after waking up. I have no social life at all because i shy away from any kind of human interaction because I have social anxiety also. I freeze up in fear and all I can do is listen to others around me talking, and I am in fear to talk or communicate with others.

June, 2 2023 at 11:21 am

Dear William, thank you for your comment. I can definitely relate to it and I'm sure a lot of other people can, too. Best, Elizabeth

Maureen Dowdall
August, 15 2017 at 6:10 am

I have schizoaffective disorder and severe and severe anxiety

Lizanne Corbit
August, 7 2017 at 12:15 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I think this is a particularly powerful read because most people would probably rank schizophrenia over anxiety, in terms of being more debilitating. This speaks to overall misunderstandings when it comes to mental illness as well as the seriousness of anxiety. I think a lot of people just think of anxiety as a sort of stress, but it's so much more than that. Helping to better understand what anxiety really looks like is important.

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