Although this may seem hypocritical, I joined this forum to get help for a friend who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia who does not accept his diagnosis, and here I am not accepting a schizoaffective diagnosis that apparently I have been given. I am not aware at which point this diagnosis was added to my chart as I was never given the diginity of being informed that someone had given me this diagnosis, I only saw it written on a referral that my doctor had written for an unrelated matter. I am sure that no doubt I have a lot of the symptoms of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder but I believe that they are better explained by other diagnoses I have, including a recent diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. I have BPD, Asperger’s, social anxiety, OCD, reccuring major depressive episodes, severe IBS/digestive problems/malnutrtion, ADHD-pi.
I think I may have recieved the schizoaffective diagnosis the last time I was in the psych ward for suicidal ideation triggered by my worsening digestive health and overall physical health. I have a general distrust of the medical profession due to 10.5 years of repeated negative interactions with them, spanning close to 200 doctors. The distrust I have is limited to the medical profession and does not carry over to the rest of the people in my life, so from the doctors perspective, this could be interpretted as a symptom of schizophrenia as a paranoid distrust of everyone rather than a consequence of my own experiences specifically limited to them. I believed I had parasitic infections causing my severe digestive problems, and even had photographs of what I believed to be worms in my stool. I am sure that this could have been easily mistaken as a psychotic delusion rather than a reasonable belief I had/have. I was very angry at the time that I was stuck in the psych ward and that no doctor was even acknowledging my deteriotating physical health, this paired with my (at this point in time) undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome(since formally diagnosed) that made my speech appear to be “disorganized” and not neurotypical. I have had ongoing struggles with brain fog, and worsening cognition as well, which at times I guess can cause my thoughts to be all jumbled or scatterbrained but I have found that this has worsened as my digestive and physical health have declined, and I could see how this could be mistaken for symptoms of schizophrenia. To add to this, much of the last 10.5 years I have been on antipsychotics already for reasons such as anxiety, problems with sleep, mood stabilization.
I really feel this diagnosis is incorrect and I understand that a lack of insight is a symptom of the schizoaffective/schizophrenia but this contradicts what I am often told repeatedly by therapists and doctors when they comment on the extraordinary insight I have into my own health on nearly every other issue. I am by all means open minded, but I just havent been provided any evidence that this diagnosis is even correct, when I have plenty of other diagnoses that better explain my symptoms. I don’t even know who I can dispute this with as I don’t even know when it was added and by whom. I know that it gets trasnfered from one doctor to another and it is going to follow me wherever I go, and that I will just be written off as someone who is unable to come to terms with their diagnosis rather than even considering that this diagnosis is incorrect. I don’t even know who to have this conversation with. I dont’ have a current psychiatrist but I have a referall for one, but the wait list is extraordinarily long here. I doubt a family doctor is going to even entertain questioning a diagnosis like that themselves. The diagnosis bothers me because stigma in the healthcare profession exists, particurly when one has mental illnesses AND physical illnesses. The physical illnesses tend to get written off as just mental illnesses, and as a result the patient gets inferior care. That is exactly what has happened in my case, time and time again, specifically relating to treatment regarding my severe digestive problems. To give an example, I’ve had one doctor in the ER try to claim that diarhhea every single day, for 12 months, not being able to digest a solid piece of food was caused by “OCD”, and as a result was offered a referral to an anxiety clinic instead of a GI specialist, that is the kind of stigma and discrimination that bothers me the most.