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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 794
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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can I get some advise

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can I get some advise on the following topic I started? Sorry - I guess you guys can't look at that post..

The question was, I'm 30 years old, date rarely because I'm trying to be patient.  I'm basically schizoeffective.  Every time I date a girl, everything goes really well until I have to tell her that. 

Then I get this freak-out scenario - where the response is something like 'are you going to shoot me'.. I don't own any weapons, never committed any real crimes.

I know how it happened, basically I had some social trauma and a few weeks of weed abuse when I was 21.  Immediately following that I had this condition, and have been living with it for almost 10 years.

I've seen manics and major depressive/bipolars - they all have wifes, husbands, and/or kids. 

I just think the stereotype is so bad that as soon as I even mention it, everything about me goes out the window and it becomes all about the condition.

I'm independently very successful and very intelligent - according to my IQ scores absolutely genius in some areas. 

What the real question here is - should I just forget about women and just concentrate on work?  It just doesn't seem like I can break that initial 'trust barrier' anyway - even if the woman knew me for a long time.  Maybe it would be best if I just put all my concentration on things that are a success in my life.  It's not like I can marry a girl and live until 80 with her or anything...

Thanks for the advise.
Hi there,

I'm Alicia. Thanks for your question, I'm happy to help you today.

I've read and re-read what you've written here, and I have to say I do not think you should just "forget about women and concentrate on work". I'm not sure I'd ever advise someone to do that, regardless of their diagnosis.

It's not clear whether you have seen a psychiatrist or a counselor to obtain a proper diagnosis, or if you're self-diagnosing. If it's the latter, then I would urge you to see a psychiatrist to discuss your symptoms and discuss your treatment options. If it is schizoaffective disorder, your condition can improve with treatment. Unfortunately, long-term treatment is required - but a combination of medication and psychotherapy can help you with the symptoms as well as to improve your interpersonal relationships.
I'd recommend that you review this article so that you can learn more about your possible treatment options:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/schizoaffective-disorder/DS00866/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs

Even if you've been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, it doesn't mean that you can't develop a happy, healthy relationship with someone who understands you and is willing to cope with the disorder (even though it doesn't seem to have worked up until this point.) It's true that people with schizoaffective disorder have trouble with relationships and some often end up living alone, focusing just on work and other, more concrete things in life. And it's true that it's going to be more difficult for you than others. Therapy can help you develop better relationship skills - which can translate over to better relationships.

I would say it's not a bad idea to focus on the things that you are successful at, because that can help improve your self-confidence, which is also helpful for your relationships and well-being. But I would not give up hope. If you don't already have a therapist and you'd like to pursue treatment, you can find a counselor or psychiatrist in your area on this website:
http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

It might also be a good idea to not immediately disclose your diagnosis, but instead, let the girl get to know you as a person first, develop trust, and then let her know. Not everyone is going to freak out when they hear this news - and it can also be because they don't have a good understanding of the disorder. People hear schizoaffective disorder and they assume it's the same as schizophrenia. So some education might be in order, too.

I hope that helps, and I wish you luck. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
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