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585414 tn?1288944902

Schizoaffective Disorder With PTSD, Could Anyone Describe the Experience?

I have been talking with my psychiatrist about what some of the causes of the dissociation I have might be and they have at one timed mentioned PTSD as a potential (the specific traumatic event being 2 near death experiences from my physical disability before it was treated by a neurologist). I know also that the dissociation tends to flare up at times that remind me of this, especially the times when I am physically homebound and the days I am out and about (with people assisting me) things are better. I know some of this is psychological as well. I can discuss the specifics more of my own experience with my psychiatrist but I'd appreciate if anyone who has both PTSD and schizoaffective (or schizophrenia) could tell me how your psychiatrist explained the difference and how you can tell the two apart and a little bit more about what the experience of having PTSD is like. I know there is a forum for that but I am trying to understand what its like for someone who is dually diagnosed. Thanks.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
My psychiatrist just told me I have paranoid schizophrenia and PTSD and I never thought to ask the difference because I thought the two were quite different.  I was told the reason they probably didn't diagnose me with schizoaffective disorder and PTSD instead was because the PTSD can cause you to get sad for no reason (which I overcame that without the help of medication and I get AWSUM now instead of getting sad) and now I know I mistook my anxiety for depression. (I wish I knew how to overcome my psychosis on my own)  For me, PTSD can cause flashbacks, which are like reliving the experience such as actually seeing it or hearing it instead of seeing and hearing your environment around you and invasive memories of the event which can lead to panic attacks.  I think it also causes me to be tense and have a lot of anxiety most of the time as well but I'm going to have to ask.  I'm not really aware of the triggers specifically but I know I have to have triggers and I know these trigger can exacerbate symptoms just like with my schizophrenia having triggers.  I do know that being around babies a certain age sets me off if I am stuck around them.  Also when I had to relive the circumstances for one trauma it caused my schizophenia to progress so quickly to the point where I can't function at all without medication now.  I was reaching that point already on my own but this situation sped up the process so quickly.  It seemed to me like it hit suddenly and severely but my psychiatrist agreed with me when I said it was probably actually gradual and I wasn't aware of growing worse.  The panic attacks can also act as a catalyst to trigger a psychotic break in my schizophrenia and the schizophrenia can feed off of the traumatic events and trigger the PTSD.  It's a catch 22 situation really.  I've heard both can cause psychotic symptoms which I'm not too sure when which is causing my psychotic symptoms if that is true.  I know at least I experienced psychotic symptoms before I developed PTSD or even went through the traumas which lead to PTSD.  Hope my description helped.  I get so much anxiety and psychotic symptoms over just minor things so you can probably imagine what it gets like for me when I go through a major stress.
I have recently been diagnosed with scitzoaffective disorder, i also have anxiet disorder and ptsd. i think i have adhd also. i have filed for social sec disability income. does anyone know if i will get approved with tthese disorders?
Avatar universal
How are you doing; well I hope.
I haven't been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder or schizoprhenia, but...
I have not been diagnosed by a psychiatrist with PTSD, but I know I suffer from it and it's as you describe.
Anything that reminds a person of the trauma will cause an array of unpleasant symptoms including not wanting to be around people (if this is what you mean by dissociation).
It's a chain reaction; one thing triggers or causes another thing or problem; it's a domino effect.
It will exacerbate any pre-existing problems that a person may have also for sure.
For example: if a person has an existing anxiety problem or disorder and then is traumatized by whatever it will increase the severity/complexities of the anxiety disorder or problem.  
I believe "awareness" is important here; being aware of what triggers what and dealing with or avoiding stress and negativity if possible.
They can be seperated most definitely if one chooses to seperate them, but some people are inundated with too much pain both physically and psychologically.
How about dealing with multiple diagnosis and so many are over diagnosed in my opinion.
The biggest problem is not having outlets and a compassionate, caring person to speak with.
So, although not having  been diagnosed with any of what you mention I  would have to say it can be a living hell for those who are dually diagnosed; very unpleasant for sure.
Being Aware is key as well as self-composure, calm, self-reliance and having outlets.
Geesh, hope I helped.
Smile please and take good care ILAD....I like psychology for some reason : ), but sometimes one can have too much of it hey...: )
Take care of yourself...: )
Avatar universal
PS:  If one can keep "track" of all that has taken place and the order in which it has taken place in ones life then one can most definitely be able to decipher the whole big  matter at hand.  The mind amazingly stores all this information.
It can get all jumbled up though and this does happen, but ahha because we are really smarter than we think and we all know pretty much what's going on with ourselves.
Yes, we do....: )   It's a balancing act.
585414 tn?1288944902
Yes thanks. Some of what you describe sounds similar to some of what I experience at times. I'll talk it over with my psychiatrist.
585414 tn?1288944902
Yes definitely some of what is going on with me is psychological.. Self awareness if of course key to recovery as well as understanding when you lose track of it and why. That's essential to keep in mind.
Avatar universal
I would say yeah it would be worth speaking to your psychiatrist about it.  My antipsychotic agents I've taken seem to keep it at bay.  However it seemed to relapse along with my schizophrenia when I fully relapsed.
675718 tn?1530036633
yes i have both PTSD and schizophrenia i suffer from flashbacks and nightmares triggers that include of remembering what happen to me in the air force it's like it just happened to me yesterday i am also an addict because of this
Avatar universal
I have been misdiagnosed multiple times where as I have been diagnosed on the spot. My "glitches" were so intense I couldn't rationalize the difference between emotions and psychosis which actually does sound really strange but as I said my issues were really that intense at one point. I do have PTSD bottom line, the weird thing though is that finally coming to it only being just that, whenever I have a flashback my schizophrenic tendencies kick in quite a bit to the point of where I automatically kick into a sane alter ego if that makes any sense, sometimes it gets confusing to where i feel i have split personality but its only a way for me to process through a flash back. anxiety is another trigger point for me, once that starts going my psychosis kicks in and now I'm in a jam. depression plays a big part as well It makes things feel 10 times heavier and makes me cloudy and unmotivated. what really got me to progress is to take baby steps of setting aside the wrong and right in my life, I have to realize it wasnt my fault, the fear is what I have from it all but Im not a bad person. eventually i got to the point of where I know im a good person, my intent is good I try to be careful as to where I walk and so on and so forth. once you can identify where you stand, not quite who you are that part will fall into place towards the end but to know where you stand in your life and what you are about you will feel how you are breaking away from the big mix up and its very interesting to experience, as long as you know how to "surface" or "ground" yourself in a flashback and to understand the concept of fear and comprehending it through out your flash back, you will then have a better understanding and things will feel brighter. A little bit about myself, I used to have these feelings in my dreams that I could never feel when I was awake and I never knew why that was, it was because I was so numb from all of the stuff that I was going through the only way I was staying in touch with reality was through my dreams and who I was at the time was mainly an alter ego. Then it all happened I had dejavu 24/7 and eventually shallow dreams that I remembered from before starting to be my environment around me, basically in a sense I was slipping into those dreams and those feelings there of starting to fill within me while I am awake. So taking ahold of those feelings and where it would lead me my dreams that became the environement around me got to be more intense, the more indepth dreams. simply said it was only a way for me to come out, being turned inside out and im finally here! still have more work to do but that really blew my mind going through it and the whole time I was safe and healthy. I went through it all when I was homeless but not once did I spend a night outside or go a day without food, I always ran into people that offered to help me out, no hospitals, doctors, pills, shelters, programs or anything, just me within life within the universe and strangers around. Basically saying that when you reach a turning point within your life just know that your efforts given to move forward, the universe does look out for you in return, just know that. if you want feel free to contact me if you want to talk my email is ***@**** I hope to hear from you and if I don't I wish you the best in your recovery, dont give up
Avatar universal
i have recently been diagnosed with scitzoaffective disorder. i also have anxiety disorder and ptsd. i am just now learning about these illnesses. i hear voices sometimes even though i get a shot of invega for that. i also think i have adhd. tring to get disability. i just can't function on a daily basis like a normal person.
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