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Old 04-09-2013, 07:41 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,754,530 times
Reputation: 2958

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Im dating..actually developing a fairly close relationship...with a person who has bipolar disorder, and who is on meds for it. I didnt think this was a big deal at first since I had a good freind who is also bipolar and it hasnt been an issue.

With this person, however.he seems ...well...somehow more "off" than Id expect. He has a tendancy to tremble sometimes, and i have to hold him or or his hands and tell him to relax and calm down.

Then, one time he was in the kitchen making coffee and I heard him talking to someone...at first I thought he was the phone...but no...he is talking to himself.

I eventually asked him, in a gentle way, if there was anything else wrong with him besides being bi-polar, and he told me is was diagonsed with something called Schizoaffective or Schizo-affective or affect Disorder, which was later changed to the bi-polar disorder.

I really like this guy but sort of want to know what I am getting into with this mental health issue. He doestn talk much about it, and I dont want to pry too much or bring it up too much....but just very curious (yes, this sounds like a "relationships" question, but really more about getting smart on this mental health aspect, these diagonsis).
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,534 posts, read 46,102,156 times
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Well...

I talk to myself a lot. My mother does it and now my daughter does it, too. No mental health issues for any of us.

However, I've never heard of schizo-affective disorder. But he said that was the first diagnosis and it wasn't correct, right? I do know that I've met people that were bi-polar and didn't seem to have big issues and others, not so much. Sometimes I wonder if bi-polar has been over-diagnosed in the past 15 years or so, much like kids and ADD diagnosis' for the past few decades.

Either way, I'd listen to my gut. I learned the hard way and a long time ago to not think things will get better - they usually get worse, but never better - or that I can "fix" other people.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Default I posted this in your other thread. Threads should be combined.

Schizoaffective disorder is a specific kind of schizophrenia that also meets all the criteria of a mood disorder.

"On paper" the person will have to have all the requirements for schizophrenia and for a major mood disorder (bipolar disorder or major depression). So at first glance, that sounds more "severe" than schizophrenia by itself, but that's not usually the case.

In my experience (20+ years of working with epople with serious mental illnesses) the folks with schizoaffective disorder can often function much better than someone with schizophrenia (which has a lot of negative symptoms like flattened affect, isolation, and low energy and activity level). The people with schizoaffective disorder usually seem to have a fuller range of affect--you can easily see them being happy, sad, angry, scared, etc via their tone of voice and facial expressions. We avoid the word "normal," but often they act more "normal" than a person with no facial expression or typical expression of feelings, who will usually stand out as "having something wrong."

If someone has all the requirements for bipolar disorder, and also has symptoms of psychosis (like hearing voices), if the symptoms of psychosis only happen when the person is in a depressive or manic phase, they are likely to get diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features. But if the symptoms of psychosis happen even in between the manic and depressed episodes, they are more likely to get diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

But every person is different. What's more important that his diagnosis is how much you care about this person and how invested you are in the relationship. I would never advise someone to stay away form someone simply because htey have a certain diagnosis.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:41 PM
 
304 posts, read 486,062 times
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As for the trembling, that might be a medication side effect if he's taking atypical anti-psychotics. It's called Parkinsonism.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:11 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
4,245 posts, read 5,754,530 times
Reputation: 2958
Im also discovering a sort of paranoia...he accused me of gossiping behind his back to some mutual friends, was irate about it on the phone, but later when I called him & we talked I managed to find out (and convince him) that he was jumping to conclusions based on the table talk (he was having dinner with these folks).

But I wonder how much of his thinking is delusional like this, or paranoid. I think a lot, based on some of his other statements...

He is under some sort of psychiatric care..but infrequently. He said he was one of the more "functional" clients of the local mental health agency.

I am thinking I am going to break this off but need to let him down easy somehow.
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