Linda J

I just read Jessie’s book on her extraordinary journey and found it both sad and encouraging. Although, she had a very strong advantage over many of us who do not have such a strong support system consisting of family and financial support. I being one of the many.

My daughter is 29 years old and has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective DO/Bipolar Type. She began cutting herself when she was 14 but I attributed this to the anxiety of my divorcing her father. I took her to several psychiatrists in our area who diagnosed her at that time with anxiety, depression and ADD. Over the next several years she would hold down a job, leave the job, get another one and so forth. During this time she also began hearing voices and having visual hallucinations. Of course, I was wracked with guilt about the divorce, about my knowing that mental illness was on my side of the family, and finding out that my ex mother-in-law had a psychotic disorder (never diagnosed).

My poor daughter inherited this illness from both sides of her family. My family consisting of my parents and brother have never been supportive. I started working in the mental health field and obtained my Masters in Social Work and became very friendly with one of the psychiatrists. When he left and opened his private practice, I took my daughter to him. He officially diagnosed her with Schizoaffective Bipolar Type. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I worked with patients with this disorder, how could my daughter have this??

This diagnosis led to many medication trials, side effects, reoccurring symptoms etc. This past May, my daughters symptoms became worse and she had to be hospitalized for the first time. It was a surreal experience for all of us. She lost her job and recently applied for SSD. She is now stable. As for me, I also lost my job due to many medical issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD (from mothers verbal and emotional abuse) and OCD. I am still grieving the fact that my daughter will never have a normal relationship, probably never have children, be financially secure or cured. We both take one day at a time and I just pray there will come a day where I can see my daughter living independently and happy with her life. We are not there yet.

2 responses to “Linda J”

  1. Lynn says:

    I empathize with your situation since I too am experiencing the exact same predicament with my daughter. She was diagnosed with the same disorder over 17 years ago, and it has been nothing short of a horrible roller coaster ride leaving me and my husband desperate for the best treatment possible. It was an uphill struggle to acquire disability (she’s been in and out of hospitals, taken an array of medications some that worked and others that made her symptoms worse). She sees her psychiatrist every three months; however, her condition remains the same. I pray daily that there will someday soon be a miraculous breakthrough with a cure for schizoaffective disorder. So far, we have to keep fighting for better treatments for patients like my daughter.

    • LeeAnn says:

      My dear Lynn and Linda, I am a mother of a young man who was diagnosed 14 years ago with scizoaffective disorder biplar type. I have been his caregiver throughout these years. It is not easy. I hope someday they study the brain for these illnesses and find a cure. It can be so hard for them and their families. I have no support from the bio dad’s side of the family. Don’t don’t agree with the doctors on his illness nor would they support me in my care for him. He has been in and out of hospital’s and on different medications. We had found one treatment plan that worked for 5 years and it was the most wonderful time but he slowly became symptomatic and within 6onths he moved away from his apt we set up for him onto his dad’s couch and they are keeping him awhile believing his delusions and I am heart broken. I use prayer to keep him safe and continue to pray for healing. For now that is all that I can do until he becomes so I’ll he will get the help he needs before it is to late. I will continue to be his social security payee until he is placed somewhere else…have you found support for yourselves? There are local NAMI support groups all.over the nation. I would plug in they are very very supportive of family

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