My main official mental health diagnosis is EUPD/BPD.
This was diagnosed in late 2010 by a psychiatrist who had seen me for 10 minutes.
At the time I thought it fitted me, but it still didn’t cover all my symptoms.
As the years went by I picked up other diagnoses and they started to make sense and actually they described me better than the EUPD diagnosis.
Yet still my psychosis and manic episodes were being ignored. And none of my diagnoses coveted them.
I was becoming fed up and angry at the stigma and discrimination mental health professionals gave me just because I had an EUPD diagnosis.
My psychosis was ignored and I was told I was faking it for attention and that I wasn’t really psychotic.
I was beginning to do my own research and realised that a lot of my symptoms fitted under both bipolar 1 and schizophrenia.
Then as I was researching I came across the condition schizoaffective disorder. Which I had heard of but didn’t know much about.
Schizoaffective means you have both schizophrenia and a mood disorder (bipolar, or depression)
I read up on it and began to feel like I might of finally found a diagnosis that accounts for my symptoms of psychosis and mood swings, including mania.
I didn’t tell anyone as I was scared of others calling me a liar and saying I was making it up.
Several months later I was messaging a close friend who used to work in the mental health profession and I was talking about my diagnosis and how I wasn’t sure I had EUPD, but didn’t mention anything to her about schizoaffective.
She messaged me and told me with her knowledge she believed I might have schizoaffective.
It felt so refreshing that someone believed me and honestly I was rather emotional and grateful to my friend.
Then two years ago in a private psychiatric hospital I had a psychiatrist who actually listened to me and believed me. I was in shock.
He said he wouldn’t officially change my diagnosis as he wasn’t my normal psychiatrist but he said I have a psychotic disorder and a mood disorder. Which is what schizoaffective is. The schizo part is schizophrenia a psychotic disorder, and the affective part is depression or bipolar which are both mood disorders.
After this I started to identify with the schizoaffective label and talked about it more on twitter. I talked about being schizophrenic, I talked about my psychosis and mania. And it felt nice to be able to talk about these things and people believe me.
A few months later I posted on Facebook about it and people commented saying that they agreed from what they knew of me.
I’m still officially diagnosed with EUPD by the NHS. But as far as I’m concerned I don’t have EUPD and instead have schizoaffective bipolar type.
Some people don’t like or want labels, however for me they are really important and I like and need them.
So yes I’m schizoaffective bipolar.
Words I use to describe myself (which includes reclaimed words): schizoaffective, bipolar, schizophrenic, manic, crazy, mad, bonkers, psychotic.