Comments by Syrena Clark

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  • I get questions like this a lot, people frequently ask if there is anything else that may have caused my symptoms. But no, I had not ever taken psych meds of any kind, or any long-term medication, prior to my first episode of psychosis. There is a great deal of my personal story which is not included in this essay. I also did not use any recreational drugs. My first episode of psychosis was my senior year of high school, I went on to have five more episodes, not being diagnosed as schizophrenic until my last one, after which my diagnosis was again changed to schizoaffective disorder. I was fairly medication-resistant until I started my most recent medication. I was misdiagnosed several times which led to many years of suffering and poor treatment. However, I understand that many people are also misdiagnosed with psychosis when they are not psychotic. I had earlier symptoms when I was younger than 18, which are also not included in this essay. My progression from nonpsychotic to psychotic followed a pretty typical course, unfortunately, there was much hesitation in giving me such a “serious” label, when in the end the correct diagnosis saved my life. I come to accept my diagnosis because I want to move on and live my life, helping others, not accepting things like this lead to a life time of questions and anger which isn’t worth it in the end. As tough a diagnosis as schizoaffective disorder has been it has helped me heal and taught me how to help others.

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