A Glimpse Into What It’s Like Living with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders
by Ashley Dreiling
Meet Lauren Kennedy. She lives and copes with the daily challenges of having schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, and her series of videos offers a glimpse into what it’s like so others can empathize and relate.
Even while taking medication, Lauren experiences both audio and visual hallucinations. While the visual hallucinations are usually minor, she has to remain vigilant about separating her own thoughts and inner self-talk with the external-sounding voices. Lauren also lives with schizoaffective disorder, a mood disorder characterized by manic episodes followed by depressive states.
The symptoms of both disorders are cyclical – which is why it’s important that Lauren and her physicians consistently monitor them, and adjust medication and coping mechanisms as needed. Lauren and her organization, Living Well with Schizophrenia, seek to increase knowledge and compassion around schizophrenia and help break down the stigma of mental illness.