A Note from True Life's Ben About Schizo-Affective Disorder

Just got this from Ben, one of the people in last night's True Life who suffers from schizophrenia. While Ben was pleased with how the show was put together, he wanted to add a footnote about his disease in particular...

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I have schizo-affective disorder, which means I have symptoms of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder when I do not have symptoms of schizophrenia. I have heard from psychiatrists that when one of the illnesses' symptoms are prominent, the other illnesses' symptoms are less apparent. For example, when I'm showing symptoms of schizophrenia, my bipolar symptoms are less noticeable, and visa versa. When I do have mood swings, I can be depressed as hell and on the drop of a dime I can go into rage mania where I turn into the Incredible Hulk (minus the big green). I can't control it -- it just happens... the same way I can't control my schizophrenia symptoms. So for schizophrenia I take what are called anti-psychotics, and for the bipolar symptoms I take mood stabilizers, as well as a medicine to keep me calm and a sleep aid to help me sleep. When I am not depressed (which is most of the time) I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at bcarpenterjr@hotmail.com. Thanks.