Possible diagnosis


Don’t feel too depressed. Some of us go on to lead full lives. I have schizoaffective disorder bipolar type. I also have 6 children, an 18 year marriage, and a writing career with one published novel and two kids picture books.

It isn’t easy but nothing worth having often is.

Early intervention and getting on a good med routine is essential to a good life. You’re doing things right. She is doing it right by reaching out. You are definitley on the right path.


Our daughter has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and was in a horrible state of mind in the beginning of all of it. We went thru hell trying to figure out what was going on and trying to find her help. She has been on medication now for 2 years and has a great psychiatrist. She lives on her own and functions very well. The meds don’t make the voices go away, but she has learned how to deal with them. The meds mostly help stabilize her moods. Just keep learning all you can and follow your gut in finding the right Drs etc. I never thought we would ever have normalcy again, but things are as good as they can be now. It’s a brain disorder. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can find the solutions and begin to find a “new” normal. Everything will be alright. Keep going. The answers are there. :pray:t2:
Blessings to you all in the transitions.


Our daughter who is 20 now also developed schizophrenia at 17. It Was a big struggle and we went through all the anxiety about stigma. One thing we learned is that when it first manifests, it can progress. She started on risperodol, soon moved onto abilify, blew through Invega, was put on prolixin, and now is on clorazil. Everyone is different so finding the right balance of meds is really important and requires a lot of patience and vigilance. Our daughter fell into a deep psychotic break for over a year. She had some really bizarre thoughts, made 3 suicide attempts, and was hospitalized a few times. The last hospitalization ended with her on prolixin which stabilized her but she was flat. 9 months ago she went on clorazil. That one requires a weekly blood test as 1 in 100 can develop low white blood cell count. After 6 months it is now biweekly. She still has some wonky thinking but she is able to go to school, enjoy her hobbies from pre schizophrenia, and her personality is back. So, there is hope for sure. Don’t accept just stable. Also, there is no cure for schizophrenia, but there is effective management. The meds have to be taken for a lifetime. That was a big struggle psychologically for us, because who wants their child to be “sick” for life. We have gotten used to it and now it is routine. She likes having the voices stopped, and while still having some delusions, she knows they are delusions and does not give them weight. Hang in there, there is light ahead.


I agree. From stories I’ve heard a NAMI, the earlier the intervention begins, and the medication if needed to stop psychosis, the better the mental illness can be tackled and subdued. My friend’s son had psychosis from spice, was immediately hospitalized and medicated, and 5 years later, has a pretty good life, at 24. Compared to another person’s son, who was left unmedicated and psychotic, who did not do well, until finally medicated, years later, as an adult.

@ZombieMombie those are great accomplishments, especially with this illness. I haven’t achieved that much in my own life! (4 kids, divorces, and only thoughts of writing a book which never gets written…) I do love the way I’ve picked up gardening in the last 4 years though. My yard was transformed and the neighbors love it.


An update:
The doctor will give a list of psychiatrists in Binghamton soon… however the counselor told us that one of her associates doesn’t recommend any in Binghamton but recommended going to a counseling center in Syracuse. I have a list from our insurance company of psychiatrists under the ppo plan from both cities to compare… baby steps forward!


@oldladyblue - Do you know what they consider early?


I live in WNY and we get people sent to Olean from Binghamton. Don’t allow that. Olean is a boring place with no activities and hardly any groups when hospitialized. I use a satellite office of the Elmira Psychiatric Center and they’re very good. At least my office is.

If you ever have to go with an in hospital route it is based on who has beds. Refuse Olean. Buffalo is good and so is Warsaw.


From my understanding, there are many different definitions of early intervention. Some say after the first episode, some say it is within the first year, others within the first 2 years. The below quote is from a website that say 5 years after onset:


“Treating psychosis as early as possible after symptoms have appeared is important because research indicates that shorter duration of untreated psychosis is associated with a better response to treatment and increases the likelihood of a good recovery. A prolonged delay in getting treatment may result in poorer symptomatic and functional recovery.”

“The first five years after onset appears to be a critical period in which the symptoms are more responsive to treatment.”

I personally like the 5 year one, especially since my daughter’s onset of psychosis was 2.75 years ago now.


For my daughter it will be somewhere between 2 to three years since she started having problems.


My daughter had kind of a roller coaster week… it was difficult one day when her best friend was not at school… the next day her friend was absent again, but uses some of the stress managing skills she has leaned from counseling to push through the day, so it was a better day for her. It was still a challenge for her, but she was able to manage.


Our family members do better with less stress, its so tricky as they get stressed so easily. I am glad her stress management skills are working for her.


@oldladyblue Thank you - gives me some hope as well. His full psychosis was just about 2 years ago but he’s been delusional for 8 or 9 (I was the worst mother ever etc) I’ll go with the 5 years from break too.


Oh, gosh, sigh, … I’m sure you weren’t the worst mother ever… just because you didn’t see what you couldn’t see back then. You are his best support now and for the future.


I know I’ve made my share of mistakes as a parent… my daughter and I are so much alike that we can be at odds with each other… we have had some pretty explosive arguments with a lot of yelling before I really understood what was going on with her… now I have learned to pick my battles… and think if something is really worth making a big deal about.


Early this morning before I got out of bed I had this overwhelming feeling of dread thinking of that it could take six months or more under the care of a psychiatrist before we get a diagnosis… I was thinking of the potential emotional drain (and the drain on the pocketbook too!). But anyway, after I got up and spent some time in prayer and listening to worship music, I felt better. I know that we just got to go through this for my daughter to get the help she needs.


Thanks - I say it with sarcasm as I know I was a great mom! : ) Fortunately, when he is well I am no longer a bad parent.


I am so glad she has your support. One step at a time is the best any of us can do.