Mental Health Awareness Month: Schizoaffective Disorder

There’s been a lot of talk about neurodiversity in the media at large in the past few years. 99% of neurodiversity talk has been aimed at the autism spectrum and how autism is basically just fine and spiffy, just different.

While this is good and I’m happy for any positive representation a group is getting, what if I told you there were different ways of being neurodivergent?

Just as autism exists on a spectrum, there’s a spectrum for pretty much everything, from gender to sex to fibromyalgia. And when it comes to neurodiversity, I’d like to introduce you to the horror film of spectrums: the schizophrenias.

If you’ve ever been in a group mental health setting, you’ll quickly realize something: the people with depression quickly achieve “most normal” high status, followed by those with anxiety, then those with a mix of depression and anxiety. I know those with depression and anxiety have rallied for years for representation and less marginalization, and I’m telling y’all, you basically have it in an IOP, therapist’s office, or mental hospital. Then, most people hate bipolar people because they have a fucked up mom or kid who can’t do jack shit. This is in the mental health facility. Still in the facility, the descending rung is borderline personality disorder, because those people WILL fuck you up and run off with your wife or something? Give you heroin? And way down, low in the mud, not even on the ladder, are the folks on the schizophrenia spectrum.

Yes, tumblr, I hate to tell you that there are disorders more than anxiety and depression. I would love to tell you that there isn’t prejudice and privilege within the mental health community. But as within any community, from the disabled to mental health, there is.

You have high functioning and low functioning, moderate to severe. People who are guaranteed to fuck you up. I’m not saying moderate depression or high functioning anxiety are cake walks but they’re walks in the park compared to the schizophrenias. This is due in part to representation. People who are “more capable” have the tools to have more of a voice and gain more respect from their communities. Stigma is generated for other mental health groups due to lack of resources to advocate for themselves.

Typically speaking, if you have time to advocate for yourself, you aren’t working. Which leads to scrutiny from society at large. Unless you can make it your job to be an activist, mental health of any kind gets swept under the rug.

Consider all the spectrums. You’re on one. I’m on several. We’re 15 billion different colors of rainbows. Let’s coexist.

2 Comments

  1. “Consider all the spectrums. You’re on one. I’m on several. We’re 15 billion different colors of rainbows. Let’s coexist.”

    Beautiful writing. I just read Esme Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias and I learned so much from her book and her blog. It’s a subject that I’m starting to get a better understanding of. I look forward to reading more of your posts and helping you find awareness. I agree, there’s not enough of it!

    Liked by 1 person

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