by G.H. Francis
Being diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder was a real blow. I felt alone. I felt helpless. I felt my life had ended. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in a bathtub staring at the vein in my arm, wondering how much it would hurt to cut through the skin, or how frightened I’d become of heights, knowing that my suicidal thoughts might one day get the best of me. For years I continued to live as I had prior to my diagnosis: drinking, doing drugs, eating poorly, and not exercising. Finally, after my third manic hospitalization, I was struck with a realization: I have to learn to live with this disorder.
Over the years, I’ve learned coping skills to help when anxiety, paranoia, depression, or mania set in. Here’s how I deal with those issues: