As someone who’s dealt all my life with different family members suffering from serious mood disorders, it is an honor to be the host of DAY 3 of the Virtual Blog Tour for Richard David Price’s new book, Beating the Adversary: A True Story of Schizoaffective Disorder, officially released on 1st December, 2014. On its debut, it became Amazon’s #1 best-selling new release in the category of books on Schizophrenia.
RICHARD DAVID PRICE was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder as a teenager, as a result of a childhood accident.
Despite his difficult adolescence, he went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Business and has two children to whom he is devoted.
He is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and feels his mission in life is to help spread hope that we all can overcome our personal challenges.
Yesterday, Richard visited Marilyn Rice at http://www.lookaftereachother.blogspot.com, where they talked about Communicating with lost loved ones and other topics.
Today, I’d like to share with you a recent interview I had with Richard, discussing how we can support family members who have been diagnosed with a serious mental health issue.
GEOFF: How can a family best recognize that someone (particularly a child/teenager) may have Schizoaffective Disorder?
RICHARD: That is going to be really hard to do, in some respects. In my case, it wasn’t easy. I will admit that, when I look back on it. I didn’t talk much, which I know was a challenge for my mother, who ultimately got me through it.
I would key in on “Major Depressive Episodes” and “Grossly Disorganized or Catatonic Behavior” to start with. You should see a major change in the child. However, it won’t be one you a ready to accept. Denial is not going to be helpful, when you really are dealing with a life and death illness. Most people who suffer from major depression will hurt themselves, but they won’t go on to hurt anybody else. I think it is to see if they really “feel”. It’s hard to deal with emotions when they are only at extreme levels.
GEOFF: What are a couple strategies a family can use to help the entire family cope with someone having this disorder? What should they be doing and what should they NOT be doing?
RICHARD: I am going to be much better at pointing out what they should NOT do, because it’s easier to see, with hindsight.
You should NOT assign blame when it comes to having depression, whether it’s clinical depression or maybe a major depressive episode triggered by a life event. You also cannot assign a timeline for recovery like you can with the flu, for example. There is a much greater knowledge base than ever before, but it comes down to free agency and the ability to look in the mirror at yourself and choose to see what is really there, emotionally speaking. To have somebody assign blame or anger is not going to speed up that ability to see yourself.
But the people surrounding the sufferer shouldn’t blame themselves either. This will not result in any kind of positive outlet for recovery, or an idea that may promote recovery. I believe love often involves heavy doses of suffering and patience, and selfishness really doesn’t play a part in either of those. I have seen my share of others’ kids suffering and it really hurts to know that as much as I want to, I can’t just talk to them and make everything okay. I feel like that is why the Lord really wanted me to tell my story, no matter how long it took to get it on paper the right way.
GEOFF: How does one differentiate between Schizoaffective Disorder and high-anxiety?
RICHARD: In my case, both diagnoses apply, but in summary:
Schizoaffective disorder involves major depressive episodes, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and highly disorganized or ‘catatonic’ behavior.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or high anxiety, involves trembling or twitching, exhaustion, insomnia, being easily distracted, feeling like your mind keeps going blank, and frequently avoiding places linked with the trauma or anxiety.
***END OF INTERVIEW***
I hope you enjoyed this brief interview with author Richard Price and that you’ll check out his new book Beating the Adversary: A True Story of Schizoaffective Disorder.
When you buy Beating the Adversary during its official Amazon launch, you’ll also receive a free novel entitled, The Ladder, from Conditional Publications – an independent publisher dedicated to writers with neurological conditions.
To buy Beating the Adversary
and get your free novel, go to:
Thanks for reading! Please do share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.
Be sure to follow Richard tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Erica Tucci’s blog at http://www.radiantsurvivor.com/reflections, where they’ll be talking in more depth about schizoaffective disorder and how to overcome it.