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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Is it possible to have both BPD and Schizoaffective

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To make it short I'm 21 and I've been to therapy before. One of my doctors thinks I might have schizoaffective due to my hallucinations among other things but I also feel identified with BPD I self harm and when I was reading about BPD it felt like I had most of the symptoms I'm on medication. I use antipsychotics and antidepressants. But is it possible to have both conditions? Thank you so much in advance. I really need your help.

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Hi Carol

I would say, not necessarily for you but in general, yes.

That's because both conditions can vary over time and circumstance, both can be complex, and neither is well understood. They cannot be diagnosed through lab tests or X-rays like an infection or a fracture (basically, you describe your symptoms, feelings and opinions, and the practitioner diagnoses on that basis), so those conditions can be a matter of opinion and dispute. Conceivably, another clinician would say that you have neither, but you simply present (that is, act) as though you do.

But the name for whatever you might have is not nearly as important as how it should be handled. And that is in the hands of not only your doctor(s) but in yours. You sound intact, bright, and observant, so I would suggest discussing what medications (and doses and combinations) to try, what to look for, and how long to give any regimen before drawing a conclusion. And whether psychotherapy (and from whom) should be tried again in combination with the medications.   

This also means, insofar as possible, defining what changes are both important to you and attainable, and how to measure them over time as you try various regimens. In short, I agree you do need (and deserve) help, but it should come partly from you under the guidance of the mental-health professionals who know you.

Good luck Carol, and thanks for asking us.

Alan  

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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