Story topics: bipolar, homeless, psychosis, relief, schizoaffective, substance abuse

Hi. I was diagnosed for years as bipolar. I have never been able to hold down a job because I think people are persecuting me and I think I have no option but to quit my job. On the job I would start crying, or yelling at the customers and the noises and lights bothered me, I thought the customers were shooting arrows at me with their looks and words.

I  got into recovery for my substance abuse and tried to go without my medication for about 10 years and my symptoms got worse and that was when I was correctly diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. I was hospitalized when i tried to go to college and thought everyone was dressing up like it was the 70's just for me and I started freaking out. They tried to put me on Abilify and after a month, I quit my meds and threw all my belongings in the garbage and moved to another state.

I ended up homeless and living in a shelter, trying to work and when my friend died, I thought his druggy friends were all out to get me and I became extremely paranoid. The homeless shelter sent me to a pyschiatrist for an evaluation and she said I was psychotic. I told her I was not taking their meds and left. I held about 10 different jobs in a year and became increasingly sick.

I went back to the psychiatrist and told them I could talk to the tv through my computer and the tv was talking directly to me. I thought I was jesus christ and I also thought that the clerks at the supermarket were writing down everything I purchased. I was exausted trying to maintain my sanity. The psychiatrist started me on Zyprexa and Lexapro. I immediately found relief from my psychosis.

SSI rescued me from homelessness and I now live in my own apartment. I had to change my meds from Zyprexa because I gained about 50 pounds and my cholesterol was 399 so I now take Abilify and Lamotrigine.  I don't have many friends and I spend a lot of time on the computer playing World of Warcraft of Diablo II Mods.

- Grateful to be on my Meds and off the Street
Story topics: Doctor, friend, mother, schizoaffective, teacher, voices

I am still in the throes of the illness at age 46.  I was diagnosed with the schizoaffective disorder in 1999.  As early as five I heard voices.  I didn't speak in school, teachers hated me.  We moved every year to make matters worse.  My parents we missionaries, we moved to South America and were thrown into another culture. I have struggled with depression all my life.  I can't remember a time when I haven't been depressed.  My home life was pretty unhappy also.  

When we returned to the USA in 1977, I began self mutilate.  It was the only way I could release the pain I felt inside. I was bottled up inside, the voices were unusually mean and a torrent of insults everyday.  The teenage years were hard enough, along with the voices.  My mother was pretty abusive.  

I struggled through high school, an athlete.  In college,   I ended up for the first time in the hospital.  I have since had six stays. (I must say to finish college...SC Rehabilitation helped me finish college, art school for that matter).

I married a stable man, for that reason.  My home life growing up, had never been stable.  I've had five children, (I got on medication) had years of therapy, since THEN I've home schooled for fifteen years.  I'm currently applying for an assistants job at a Kindergarten in a local school.

My outside face is OK.  Inside, the voices I hear are tormenting me now....and I'm struggling. I put one foot in front of the other.  I have "two rooms" I go into during the day.  One is an outside face one where I face the world "NORMALLY".  The other is my "safe room," It is where my mind goes for safety, in the midst of the  "noise."    

- Mom in South Carolina