How To Recognize High-Functioning Schizoaffective Disorder
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Mental Health

5 Ways To Recognize Someone With High-Functioning Schizoaffective Disorder, Like Me

Looks can be deceiving, so educate before you discriminate.

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5 Ways To Recognize Someone With High-Functioning Schizoaffective Disorder, Like Me

Curious as to what someone who has schizoaffective disorder looks like? They must be walking in circles, talking and yelling at themselves, right? Or, if you are an "Orange is the New Black" fan, you probably think they look like "Crazy Eyes," imagining things and acting on them.

But what if there was such thing as a high-functioning schizoaffective? Would you even know? No, you wouldn't.

I have schizoaffective disorder. I have symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions. There are times I see things that are not real, and I have a running commentary of my day going on in my head.

Would you have ever guessed? Probably not. So, what does someone with schizoaffective disorder "look" like?

We're constantly on the go.

We cannot sit still for more than a few moments. We are very similar to children with ADHD.

We get bored easily and move on to the next thing. This makes completing tasks very difficult on a daily basis.

We change ideas so often that people tend to think there is an addiction problem. We are always doing something, though we rarely complete the task.

Concentration and focus are not things that come naturally.

Schoolwork and family life are more difficult because concentrating on something is different for us. We may be trying to cook something, but our mind is focused on something totally different. And before you know it, we've managed to burn water (not that I am a good cook anyway).

There are so many unfinished tasks that I have started and may never complete. I set goals, and then I change my mind too many times. I try to do too many things at once, but I cannot even focus on one thing, let alone three or four.

Social interactions are awkward and painful for others to watch.

It is seriously like committing social suicide every time you open your mouth. I should just wear an "insert foot in mouth" sign on my chest. I do not know who to be in social settings. I cannot grocery shop without major anxiety because of all the people. Going to school in a normal setting would not work.

We have difficulty connecting with others. We say things that are inappropriate because our brains do not stop to think about what we say. We are constantly interrupting others because, if something comes to mind, it has to be said right then and there.

It is easier to be alone than to answer a thousand questions about why we are weird.

Yes, we talk to ourselves. And we usually answer, too.

Everyone talks to themselves, but do you answer yourself? Usually not.

We tend to think that we are having a conversation in our heads, when, in reality, it is happening out loud. Not only did we just embarrass ourselves, but people now think we have lost our minds. Do not worry, we are harmless.

We experience paranoia at its finest.

We think people are watching us, waiting to take us down. Are they really? Probably not, but you cannot tell us that when it's already inside our heads.

Driving in the car is just as bad. We constantly have the feeling that we are being followed by random vehicles.

We get startled when the phone rings or when we hear a car door slam. We know that there nothing is going to harm us, but our brains feel the need to scare us. You do not want to be around when there is a knock at the door. It takes five minutes just to answer because we have to triple check that it isn't someone posing at a utility person and trying to steal our stuff.

So what makes me high-functioning? Well, I do not function well compared to most, but my illness does not make me a harm to myself or others. I take my medications and know the importance of taking it, while most people do not have this understanding. I do not think I can take on the world (most days) or that I am sent to Earth by God.

Functioning well gives me the advantage of being able to live my life the best I can given the circumstances. I am working on my second master's degree, so I have the ability to learn. It just takes me much longer than the average person.

You cannot judge people based on what you "see" because you cannot judge if someone is mentally ill that way.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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