My first diagnosis was social anxiety. That still fits, but when I started having more severe thought and mood symptoms it was obvious there was more going on.
Originally that was diagnosed as bipolar I. That never seemed to fit well. I would read the textbooks and they didn’t describe me well. I would go on-line or to in person support groups and I would feel like I didn’t quite fit in.
After a long period of psychosis where I had been in different mood states (including neutral) my diagnosis changed to schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type (as opposed to depressive type).
In a way this was a relief. My symptoms fit more neatly. It just made more sense. My psychiatrist told me he had always held that diagnosis as a rule-out, it just took him a long time to decide. Every doc since then has agreed. I was told the prognosis is the same.
It can be scary to have any mental illness diagnosis, but I think anything that starts with schiz can be particularly so. I just want to say that nothing changes with a label. You are still who you were and you can get more focused treatment.
When I was first reading up on mood disorders I came across a set of articles on schizoaffective disorder by Michael D. Crawford. I wanted to scream. this is me. No one cared, because it was a different label than bipolar. But, I went back to it when my diagnosis changed. It had moved to Psych central. I could still relate to it.
That was in 2006. I am sure there are other articles and blogs and some will speak to others differently. I do have a goal to make a webpage like that. Something that might help someone else who is floundering through.