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could use some advice


azcu2005
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Hi my name is Bill and I struggle with schizoaffective dissorder and high levels of anxiety. Most of my anxiety is over odd things like being alone for too long or not enough time. Sometimes the thought of having to wake up to an alarm makes me anxious at night (so anxious that I can't get the sleep I'm anxious about getting). Anyway, Some of my living arangements have changed and my support system is dwiindeling and I feel that if I don't get some counseling soon I will be hospitolized. Everyone in the area is booked or won't talk to me because I'm not suicidal yet! HELP! I only need to talk to someone before it gets to that point....what are my options????

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Hi Azcu2005,

Welcome to the "family"-- you should have no difficulty finding support, compassion, understanding and the occasional wit and wisdom. I'm so sorry for your troubles, the combination of Schizoaffective Disorder and anxiety can be overwhelming and disempowering at times. You've reached out a a critical moment and I hope we can avert the hospitalization by just being here for you.

Right now I feel like I have more questions than answers:

1) What medications are you currently on and their dosage (gives me an idea of the severity and what the "cocktail" looks like)?

2) Are you involved in some form of psychosocial rehabilitation treatment and if so, how often do you go, what is covered, and is it helping?

3) Do you have any family or community support system? Is there something that has happened or is happening that would cause your support system to dwindle?

4) Do you attend any sheltered workshops or work outside the home?

5) How have your living situations changed?

I realize this a lot and apologize for it. My strongest recommendation is that you be in psychosocial rehab and be med compliant. This will be much more helpful than anything we tell you here.

With respect to the anxiety, has a benzodiazepine (Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Valium) been prescribed?

Can you talk about what happens when you alone to long? Do you begin to develop intrusive thoughts or begin to hallucinate? Do you become depressed from being alone?

If the alarm is interfering with your sleep, can you buy a cheap timer that turns on a hall light or get a clock radio that when it's time to get up you hear soothing music?

Bill, I hate the nights and wish I never had to sleep. At night I get what I call monkey chatter... the noises, sounds, smells and dreams of childhood traumas when I lived in Mexico (13-14 years). Sometimes I become so stressed and the monkey chatter so loud that I need Klonopin just to get the sounds to disappear. It's a nightmare some nights, and it can create panic.

Please write back. There are many here who will listen and can help.

Good luck

David

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David,

I will answer your questions as best as I can.

1. My meds...Geodon 200mg, klonapin 2mg, lexepro 30mg

2. I am not involved in any sort of rehabilitation program

3. I have some support but its mostly from a distance. I've burnt out my pastor who was enabeling me without knowing it and didn't want to have my girlfriend be another crutch. These were my two main supports everyday. I counsel with a Christian counselor once a week over the phone and have an appointment for a new psychologist the first week in November.

4. I do not attend any workshops there are none in the area I live

5. I've been living with my pastor and since I've burned him out and he needs space I've moved to the basement. It was a huge support just to hear him in the other room, but now I'm left to myself. If I cannot find a decent psychologist in the area I will have to travel 1.5 hrs back home for counseling and back for the work I do at the church

When I am alone for long periods of time I get anxious. I'm learning that I get extreamly anxious (hot flashes, light headed, sick stomach, irritable and down) when I am in a situation I don't like (alone, having to wake up in the morning at a certain time, physical labor). They're all the same.

I start on Wednesday (10-28-09) volenteering at the YMCA. I think this will give me something to do and help me overcome my stress over work. The best thing for me now is to avoid things that cause spells for me and keep busy. I am heavely involved in my church and really don't want to go to the hospital again (I've been 3x). I've been tried on every generation 2 antipsychotic known and geodon is the only thing that does any real good. At this point I think I'm at the mercy of God and a good counselor.

Thanks for your imput. I look forward to what you have to say.

ps

I have a counseling appt tomorrow to hold me over untill the Nov. appt with a different lady.

Thanks again

brother bill

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Bill,

An organization named Fountain House is made up of people with diagnoses like Schizoaffective disorder and other psychotic illnesses. Its a self help organization and designed to empower those suffering from these chronic illnesses. Outside of New York City, Fountain House has similar organizations called "Club Houses." I would be surprised if one did not exist in your area. It costs nothing to join and is a good way to end isolation and have a lot of appropriate support from people who really know.

I urge you to do an internet search for Fountain House and its other organizations and take a look at a website called:

http://www.schizophrenia.com

Allan :(

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Hi Bill,

Thanks for answering my questions. My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I will answer your questions as best as I can.

1. My meds...Geodon 200mg, klonapin 2mg, lexepro 30mg; Good, I was concerned that you might be on a complicated “cocktail of 6-12 meds”. I've seen Geodon (means earth-bound)

2. I am not involved in any sort of rehabilitation program. Ohio consistently ranked among the top 10 states for providing mental health treatment. I worked under Gov. Celeste running the statewide Bureau for Children, Youth and Families, which was a massive undertaking (this was obviously 20 years ago) . Getting services should not be an issue.

3. I have some support but its mostly from a distance. I've burnt out my pastor who was enabeling me without knowing it and didn't want to have my girlfriend be another crutch. These were my two main supports everyday. I counsel with a Christian counselor once a week over the phone and have an appointment for a new psychologist the first week in November…. If I cannot find a decent psychologist in the area I will have to travel 1.5 hrs back home for counseling and back for the work I do at the church Too often, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, counse;ors, etc., don’t know what they’re doing, and if your only other option is 1.5 hours way, you may need some assertiveness skills. I learned to be a “competent (sorry about my own delusion of being fantastic) therapist” by listening and being told by my patients (many who grew in[atient with me as a greenhorn) when I was just starting. If you don’t have a good clinician, then you walk in with the ideas and the demands and turn them into one (given your options of course): “This is the homework I need to do! This is how often I need to do it! This is what I should be thinking about! This is what does and doesn’t work with me! I need you, _____________, to do the following to help me say on track! I need to meet weekly and would like to follow a structured process using these methods!, etc/” Most will be both shocked and delighted at how interested you are in getting well, your direct approach and your knowledge of your needs. Nothing is more frustrated than seeing someone who just has enough energy to slouch on the couch, stare at me or the floor, and answer only questions answered with a brief 1 sentence response. Many of the severely and persistently mentally ill have not been taught to be active participants in their own treatment--- you’re now effectively your own initiator of excellent therapy.

4. I do not attend any workshops there are none in the area I live. This is a sheltered workshop—a place that trains and employs those with mental health issues. Most communities in the US have one or two.

5. I've been living with my pastor and since I've burned him out and he needs space I've moved to the basement. It was a huge support just to hear him in the other room, but now I'm left to myself. Buy a baby monitor! Also, get a TV or radio if need be:D.

6. When I am alone for long periods of time I get anxious. I'm learning that I get extreamly anxious (hot flashes, light headed, sick stomach, irritable and down) when I am in a situation I don't like (alone, having to wake up in the morning at a certain time, physical labor). They're all the same. Make a plan Bill… go out daily for 45 minutes in the morning and then the afternoon. Say hi to at least 5 people. Hit the stores, park, roads, neighborhood, mall, etc. Do this for a week then double your time the following week. Establish certain rituals that help you—volunteer as you are, but add the Humane Society, get a job that keeps you occupied, brings in some money, keeps you out of your head, and connects you to others.

I start on Wednesday (10-28-09) volenteering at the YMCA. I think this will give me something to do and help me overcome my stress over work. The best thing for me now is to avoid things that cause spells for me and keep busy. I am heavely involved in my church and really don't want to go to the hospital again (I've been 3x). I've been tried on every generation 2 antipsychotic known and geodon is the only thing that does any real good. At this point I think I'm at the mercy of God and a good counselor.

Thanks for your imput. I look forward to what you have to say.

ps

I have a counseling appt tomorrow to hold me over untill the Nov. appt with a different lady.

Thanks again/ Good Luck!

brother bill/ David

Edited by David O
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