Schizophrenia.com

How do you know when you're ready to work again?

How free of symptoms of any type should a schizophrenic be before it’s even worth it to try working again?

IMO, when it feels good to. Or your living situation demands it, for survival reasons. Like, you have to push through lots of inner turmoil stuff to stay alive sometimes. Biological imperative.

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You have to try first. Are you able to bath regularly, go yo the gym or exercise and eat healthy? If yes maybe you will be able to keep a job. I can’t and quit 15 different jobs after 1-2 weeks, I gave up.

My psychiatrist told me 2 weeks. Now with some experience with schizophrenia I would say a month. But it differs from person to person. I think easing back into it part time is a good idea to see if you can handle the stress. In my experience it took me 3 months to fully recover from psychosis.

IMO you’d have to be non-paranoid, non-delusional, and voice-free. So mostly asymptomatic.

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Where I work they kind of baby me :confused: but for the most part it’s because they understand. I’ve struggled with medication compliance a lot which makes my boss mad.

I’d say it depends on what kind of support you have at work, too

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Do you feel ready? That’s the question

It’s probably different for each individual. Peoples symptoms affect each person differently in terms of severity and intensity. I may add that there probably won’t be a “perfect” time to get a job. You could wait forever if you wait for the perfect time. In general, I would say if you are “stable” for a period of time where your symptoms are somewhat manageable you might want to try.

I became employed 9 months after getting out of the hospital. But I didn’t just jump right into it one day, I became employed after a several small steps, I built up to it.

At my first job after being diagnosed I was about 23 years old. And I never planned on being employed; it was just a natural progression as counselors at a vocational program I attended for many months prodded me and gave me opportunities and gave me more and more responsibilities doing small jobs and I successfully did these jobs and then the next step was getting a steady job which I lasted 4 years.

I never planned on being employed but now at age 59 I have ended up being almost steadily employed since 1983. I have to say it was difficult and at that job, I was tired most of the time because of being heavily sedated. I often had psychotic episodes and about my last year there I was addicted to crack. Plus all the normal, peripheral crap that goes on in anybody’s life was happening to me. But yeah, my symptoms bothered me the entire time I was there.

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You have to have insight and by that I mean knowing you are sick and be stable.

That’s a good start. I eased back into the working world. It took me about 11 or 12 years to get there but had many failures along the way.

When you feel confident that you won’t relapse. From stress and ■■■■ like that

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Symptoms that effect my work life are social anxiety and paranoia/ persecutory delusions which lead to confusion of what is, isn’t happening. If I ever felt overly anxious or paranoid while working (which is/ was often), I’d take a smoke break or just keep going. I’d suggest you find what works for you.

To answer your question, it does not hurt to try. You won’t know if you are ready until you give it a go. I started a job in marketing that led to a 4 year stint in sales. And I’d agree with a previous member that you shouldn’t work if hearing voices.

It’s funny, back in 2017 after I started getting treatment again I was on invega injections, and I was able to work full time despite being extremely delusional. Long story short, I quit that job because I thought I was being advised to go to college by a ghost and I guess I agreed. I started to question some of the things I was believing and then switched to abilify, and while I was waiting for college to start I got a temporary part-time job and had no problems doing it, despite still being very delusional. I then tried clozapine, but I got heart inflammation and had to stop taking it. Then I tried risperidone, which seemed to work very well on my positive symptoms, but looking back on it I see this medicine really made me non-functional - I couldn’t do college or either of the jobs I tried while on it, whether on a low or high dose or whether taking an antidepressant alongside it.

I’m in the process of of switching to latuda. So far it seems to be working just as well on my positive symptoms, and I feel less bogged down and clearer in my thinking, which is promising. I know I don’t want to try working again until the risperidone is completely out of my system, but I still don’t know if I’ll feel ready to try by the time I get there. One thing I may want to do is try going on higher dose of effexor, which I couldn’t do on risperidone because I was getting some delusional thoughts once I went above 75mg. I also tend to think I may just be feeling messed up without my delusions to comfort me, and so keeping up any kind of work effort would be extra hard for me. We’ll see what happens.

I shower every day, I don’t exercise, and I although I take a multivitamin and fish oil capsule every day I’d say I don’t eat healthily a lot of the time. It’s not like I’m just stuffing my face with junk food all day, it’s more like my appetite is usually low so I don’t eat that much, and when I do I make no effort to force myself to eat healthily.

Work depends on your negative symptoms like motivation and apathy. Do you have negative symptoms and are your positive symptoms stable?

I can tell you what my symptoms are like right now, but there’s no telling what they’ll be like in a week or two since I’m still in the process of transitioning from risperidone to latuda. I’m currently on 3mg risperidone and 40mg latuda and I’m having no positive symptoms, but I’d say definitely still some negative symptoms. I’m not really motivated to do anything, it feels like I still don’t care about much, and I’m usually just pacing back and forth.