Sza but no mood disorder

Even though I consider myself to have schizophrenia and not SzA, my diagnosis is still to this day schizoaffective. The reason for this is that my first psychiatrist was pressured by my parents to get me on disability as I hadn’t had a job in years. So he tells us that it would be difficult to get disability for depression and anxiety and that I would stand a much better chance with a diagnosis of something like schizoaffective.

At the time of the diagnosis I had never experienced symptoms of psychosis and had (and still have) never experienced a manic episode. It was simply made to get me on disability. And yet what no one knew at the time was that I would at age 24 begin to have symptoms of schizophrenia (delusions/“voices”)

What bothers me is that no one has bothered to actually change my diagnosis from schizoaffective to schizophrenia despite the fact that I don’t have symptoms of a mood disorder. Even my depression which was never episodic or even severe, is long in the past. I fear that this diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder could lead to difficulties in receiving the correct and proper treatment of my schizophrenia as I have started at a new mental health center after moving back to my home town and have to start the process of developing a relationship with a new treatment team all over again.

Problem is that when the diagnosis says schizoaffective disorder the treatment team thinks schizoaffective disorder. What I have is schizophrenia not schizophrenia plus mood disorder. One of the last psychiatrists I was seeing was this Indian guy with a hot temper who yells at me “YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN MANIC BUT YOU HAVE SCHIZOAFFECTIVE!!!” I strongly suspect that he would have changed the diagnosis had I stuck with him but I couldn’t deal with his YELLING and SCREAMING…

Psychiatry is very inexact - full of guesswork and lots of trial and error on the patients part. What is more important than the diagnosis or label is how the symptoms are being treated and controlled. If you feel that you are not being treated effectively with your meds, then this can become an issue. Are you on a mood stabilizer? or antidepressant? when you might not need one? Communicate clearly to your doctor what and how you feel - its really about symptom control, not diagnosis control


The label on my file says Undifferentiated Sz. But when my meds got reworked and stuff got cut back and other stuff got added, I’ve ended up getting very emotional. I don’t know if I’ve been manic, there is a past drug addiction clouding a lot of my medical records. It could have been a manic swing, it could have been too much E.

But now that I’m more mentally stable, clean/ sober for the better part of 7 years… it feels like I’m not AS emotionally stable.

My doc hasn’t actually said he’s going to change my diagnosis, but he has been asking me to read up on Sza and see if it doesn’t make sense. I have a feeling my label will change again soon.

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