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Explaining the voices in my head

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I think I should feel fortunate when it comes to hearing voices. While I have the ever-curdling mixture of psychosis in the background of my thoughts, the voices I hear are still my own. 

It is still my own internal dialogue. It's just that most of the time, it's not there to help me.

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My story: Managing the ups and downs

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It's not only the mood swings, delusions and hallucinations that Sarah has had to fight in her 15 year battle with schizoaffective disorder, she's also had to tackle stigma, misunderstanding and negative reactions.

She discusses how she's learnt to live with the symptoms and the public perception.

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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.

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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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Three reasons to be optimistic about schizophrenia

Three reasons to be optimistic about schizophrenia

Despite what many people think, schizophrenia is far from being a life sentence. Recovery, to a lesser or greater degree, is possible.

A 2010 national survey found that 54.8% of participants who had experienced multiple episodes of psychosis went on to achieve partial or good recovery between episodes.

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Lived experience tips for managing schizophrenia

Lived experience tips for managing schizophrenia

The symptoms and effects of schizophrenia are as unique and varied as the people who experience the illness. 

Likewise the way people manage their symptoms – including treatment methods, medication and self-care strategies – differ from person to person. The strategies implemented can also change throughout someone's life.

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Five tips to help a loved one challenge psychosis

Five tips to help a loved one challenge psychosis

Sometimes the distress associated with psychosis can be less about hallucinations or delusions and more about loneliness, fear and loss of self. At the risk of sounding overly optimistic - something us care professionals are famous for - I'd like to share five steps that can help you help your loved one overcome fear and isolation.

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A journey to discover holistic, family-centred care for psychosis

A journey to discover holistic, family-centred care for psychosis

London, Barcelona, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Geneva. It sounds like the running sheet from a music tour, but it’s the itinerary of Lisa Sweeney’s upcoming mental health research trip as part of the SANE Community Award.

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Top picks: Exploring schizophrenia

Top picks: Exploring schizophrenia

For Schziophrenia Awareness Week we've put together a list of resources that explore issues relating to schizophrenia.

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Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

Madness, poetry and the search for meaning

I was a young twenty-three year old graduate when I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1976. I was told by clinicians that with every psychotic episode I had, I would go further into unreachable madness from which I would never recover.

The diagnosis was a death-sentence. Any thoughts of a future and a career were crushed by this awful mental illness and an equally awful assumption that my life would amount to nothing.

There was no presumption of capacity, no expectation that I would blossom like my friends around me who were getting on with their lives and forging successful careers. I felt irrelavant, and worse, invisible in the world. I describe it as walking in the shadows of others and casting none of my own. I was left with no identity, no sense of self and no hope. They were dark days.

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