I met a guy who was very open about having this disorder, he is very nice and really kind, and up until recently i have never know anything about this disorder. After reading online about for a couple hours im sort of nervous because all of the symptoms they tell you about seem really severe. He has told me that it mostly just makes him really nervous and anxious, and i cant doubt what he is saying because obviously he would know better than i do but the sites i have looked at all make this disorder seem really bad and like it would be a bad idea to start a relationship with someone with this disorder. I just want to know that i am safe and that i have nothing to fear in possibly getting into a relationship with this person. He is on medication and he really does seem like a normal, rational, and kind guy. Anyone who might be able to give me some insight or just tell me that the sites i have been looking at are making this seem a little more dramatic than it necessarily is. Thank you in advance
It sounds like he's under a doctor's care. Please don't stereotype him based on symptoms you read about. Not everyone with a mental illness experiences all the symptoms of an illness, many can display the ones they do show in varying ways and to varying degrees. And mental illnesses can be treated and people can learn to manage their illnesses to live a good life. Sure, there will be bumps on the road, but he can make it through that.
What he needs is someone who is willing to make it through those bumps in the road with him and be someone he can trust to support him without judging him. If you can't do that, then be honest with yourself and him.
Before you make any decisions, however, talk to him since he was willing to tell you this right away. That is a HARD decision. You constantly have to worry about someone judging by a stereotype of the disorder or mental illnesses in general and rejecting you.
Ask him what his most common symptoms are, if he's in therapy in addition to the medication, how well he's learned to manage, what his lowest low was like or highest high (whatever applies to him as schizoaffective disorder can be a broad range from what I remember). Get all your questions out but ask them in a way that shows interest and concern and a genuine desire to know and understand rather than judgment.
After that, take some time to think about whether or not you can live with what he's described for a relationship. If you can't, like I said, be open and honest. It's better/easier for both of you if you walk away now than a year or two down the road.
Im not automatically putting him in a category that says hes crazy or to sick, like i said he is a really nice guy and he is very open about his illness, he did say he has times of really bad anxiety, and a lot of things make him nervous. I am more than willing to give him a chance despite his illness, i just needed to know that not all of the things i have read are something that every single person goes through. I am not afraid of him nor do i look down on him for having an illness, but even with that said if there were something i should fear i would like to know that ahead of time, things to look out for that would be red flags as far as this disorder goes. Because i do not know a single thing about it and the things i have read have not been helpful in determining what may or may not be the case in the future i just wanted some insight from someone who might have information personally that i cant find on the websites that make this disorder out to be monstrous.
"...things to look out for that would be red flags as far as this disorder goes. Because i do not know a single thing about it and the things i have read have not been helpful in determining what may or may not be the case in the future..."
Red flags would be something you would need to ask him rather than a website. While there will be some symptoms in common, the extent and severity varies from person to person as do red flags. Questions that would glean this information would be:
"What are your triggers?"
"What starts to happen just before you start experiencing your symptoms really bad?"
"What are your symptoms like at their worst?"
"What symptoms do you experience?"
He may or may not know the answer to each and every question (the first two especially), depending on if he's in therapy in addition to the medication or if he's that insightful for himself.
Examples if he's not sure what you're looking for with those first two questions:
Some triggers for me with my bipolar disorder (I do not have schizoaffective myself) are severe stress and the months of March/April because of a past event where my dad almost died that occurred around that time. Some of the things I notice happening right before an episode are things like a change in appetite (bigger or smaller) and in sleep (needing more or less sleep).
By looking out for those two things, I can start working to avoid my symptoms getting worse by monitoring those. I promptly work to avoid stimuli such as crowds, loud movies, alcohol, etc., if I notice that I'm needing less and less sleep. If I notice that I'm needing more and more, I work to push myself to go around people more often, make myself set an alarm and get up by a certain time, make myself do things, etc.
Hello , i have Schizoaffective disorder the Bi polar type , and like someone said everyone is different and effects people in different way's but with me ,my symptoms are considered pretty text book , the more common symptoms i have are Paranoia ,auditory hallucinations , rapid and mixed moods swings , but saying that i am on medication and doing very well atm my symptoms are only mild , i'm also in a mental health rehab group , which involves activities and stuff like that .
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