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Mental Health

Speaking Out on Schizoaffective Disorder

Psychiatric Times

Cover picture for the articleMental illnesses are too often shrouded in secrecy and shame. What would happen if we spoke out about the cases we knew best—the ones in our own families?. My daughter has schizoaffective disorder. She fell ill at age 15 and had to be hospitalized twice. It was a terrible time for all of us, but today, I am happy to say, she is doing well. She graduated from a highly competitive college, got married, and writes amazing poetry and fiction. She still has delusions, but quietly so, and has developed a clear understanding of her illness and the necessity of mood stabilizers, though she still refuses antipsychotics. Why am I revealing the facts of my daughter’s illness in a public forum? In a word, stigma.

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