Katie’s Schizoaffective Disorder Story
“I really want to reach out to someone who's suffering the way I was and let them know that there's light at the end of the tunnel.
For Katie, it was a long, dark tunnel, beginning when she was a young teenager. “I had the extreme highs and lows, the mania and depression, since I was an adolescent and was hospitalized for that. You see things that aren’t there.”
Her teen years and early adulthood were filled with struggle. “It was pretty tough having to kind of grow up in mental institutions for a few years, to miss out on everything and miss my family.”
Katie began taking drugs and abusing alcohol in an attempt to calm the turmoil inside. ”I self-medicated for years on various drugs, and of course nothing worked—everything left me feeling more hopeless and disconnected.”
As a result, her infant daughter was taken from her care. She lost her job. Her fiancé. Her home. At her lowest point, she was living in a field in a cardboard box.
Despite all this, her family tried to support her in every way they could. “My mom and my dad both never gave up hope in
me—their faith in me was amazing.”
The diagnosis that led to hope
Like many people with schizoaffective disorder, Katie’s story is one of struggle for years without a clear diagnosis. First, she was diagnosed with ADHD. Then bipolar depression. Finally schizoaffective disorder.
And that was when things finally changed. Katie was 27.
Finding INVEGA SUSTENNA®
With the right diagnosis and the right doctor, Katie never looked back. “Once I met the doctor that gave me INVEGA SUSTENNA®, it was such a relief.”
INVEGA SUSTENNA® helped Katie get her symptoms under control.✱ “I was able to go to 12-step meetings. The difference was like night and day. I could actually pay attention and process what they were saying, apply it to my life, and make a change for the better.”
Living life, loving life
Today Katie lives in her own apartment, minutes from downtown Dallas. “I have a beautiful balcony, decorated with plants.
“Some of the other things I like to do are…hang out with people and go bowling, shoot pool. I have friends today. It was so hard before.”
Paying it forward
Now, with her own substance abuse issues under control, Katie mentors others who are facing similar challenges. She also wants to reach out to people living with mental illness. “I always wanted to be a public
speaker—help other people, share my story—and it’s awesome to get that opportunity.”
Her final words of wisdom: “Never stop trying to get help.”