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Common questions about schizoaffective disorder

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Schizoaffective disorder is a psychiatric condition, combining the symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders (bipolar or depression). These symptoms – hallucinations, delusions, psychosis and episodes of mania or depression – can occur together or at different times. 

Depending on the symptoms, schizoaffective disorder can be broadly defined as schizophrenia with a mood component, or a mood disorder with psychosis.

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What I have learnt, since learning of me

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Throughout my life I have been learning ways to be a 'better me', better at managing myself and my health.

These ways are individual and special to me, but may also assist others.

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If this is a post-schizophrenia world, then who the hell am I?

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​'Schizophrenia, you have schizophrenia. Shit, schizophrenia, this sounds serious but what is it?' 

At 23 I was still naive, and even though I had been a university student I had not encountered schizophrenia in friends or relatives. I sat bewildered in the psychiatrist's office, perplexed not only by my inner psychotic confusion but wondering what was to become of me. 

It later became clear that such a diagnosis was seen then, in 1976, as a virtual death-sentence. With each ensuing psychotic episode, I was to recede into unreachable madness from which I world not recover.


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Six things psychologists want you to know

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What do psychologists want you to know about mental health?

For Psychology Week we asked six psychologists, 'What should everyone know about mental health?'. 

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Understanding postnatal psychosis

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Postnatal psychosis (also known as postpartum or puerperal psychosis) is a rare condition affecting around 1 or 2 women in every thousand.

It's a serious illness that requires urgent treatment.

Most people know very little about postnatal psychosis so it can come as a shock. It can often occur suddenly without a history of mental illness.

Understanding postnatal psychosis can better prepare families in the event of an episode.

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Self-care after hearing the same-sex marriage result

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The Australian Marriage Equality Postal Survey result is due to be announced today.

Whatever the result — whether you're elated, pleased, disappointed or devastated — it's going to be a big, emotional day across the country. Self-care is going to be important.

Here are a few suggestions for looking after yourself over the next couple of days.

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A rollercoaster ride through the darkest places I never wanted to visit

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After our first son was born, I gradually lost all connection with reality. There was no history of mental illness in our family. This came completely out of the blue and hit our family like a tropical cyclone.

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Self-help when hearing voices

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Hearing voices can be an intrusive and distressing experience for people living with a psychotic illness.

Developing personalised interventions and strategies, preferably with health professionals, can help alleviate the impact.

This may be achieved by focusing on a specific problem, such as voices that wake you at night, or focusing on an element, like a particularly distressing voice.

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Condolences: Sir Ninian Stephen

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We mourn the loss of SANE Australia Patron-in-Chief The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen KG, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE, PC, QC who died aged 94 this week.

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Managing a successful career and mental illness

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My most recent episode started in January this year, I almost didn't notice it at first. 

I started finding it harder to get out of bed, even after 14 hours' sleep, and felt anxious in social situations, meetings, anything that involved speaking up. It was the little things you're not quite conscious of.

Then, the little things started growing into more than little things.

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