Part of My Recovery Story

If I’m going to be here as a person who was awarded disability for schizophrenia in the past, and paid all of that awarded disability back to the U.S. government, I think that I should occasionally write a story of nervous breakdown and recovery to the point at which I have been living independently for years, and am now diagnosed with ICD-10, F43.23, Adjustment Disorder, by my psychologist, instead of schizophrenia:

The great recession had many things that led up to it. For me, things got tough at work when I was an Associate Engineer at a hardware technology company in 2001, around the time of the dot com bubble bursting. I went back to school and earned the rest of my B.S. in Computer Science; but, toward the end of the degree it was apparently difficult for me to find a job in my field. I worked at a hotel for a couple of months, and then at a large airline until they began completing their bankruptcy proceedings and announced they were cutting our large department back by 10% in pay across the board. I resigned in December of 2004.

Thus began the first long (6 month) period of unemployment in my life. I felt heartbroken in June of 2005, near the mid-point between my being 29 and 30 years old. I felt heartbroken about the apparent state of the western world. In the beginning of July, I became employed night-shift by a guy who could seemingly look in my eyes and see that I was apparently heart-broken. After 8 months of night shift, I started seeing things out of the corners of my eyes, and decided night shift was not for me. I resigned.

I took a short job as a car salesman, with my head whirling about the mind games played at that place. I resigned and took a job as an electronics salesman in June of 2006. I did not do well at that in the years leading up to the great recession. I resigned. Shortly thereafter, I was working in the Meat and Seafood department of Wal-Mart.

I’ve already told the story here of how I had a nervous breakdown while steaming lobsters to death for Wal-Mart customers in 2007.

In the beginning of September of 2007, I was already taking classes to become a professional tax-preparer, although some psychotic thoughts still passed through my brain.

Around September 9, of 2007, I believe my head finally cleared up of psychotic thinking after a week or two on 6 mg of Invega daily. During the off-season for tax preparation, I suppose I was technically unemployed for 9 months, the longest time period in my adult life.

However, during my time of unemployment, I received a “ticket to work,” and help from a Vocational Rehabilitation agency.

I got a full-time job around February 17, 2009. I think that the Social Security Administration decided to start paying me disability for schizophrenia around December of 2009. I thought briefly about it, while on a previous iteration of this schizophrenia forum moderated by some guy called Pixel, and decided to pay back the disability, informing them that I was now employed full-time.

After about 2 years on 6 mg of Invega, my psychiatrist gave me permission to start tapering down. I was on various doses of Invega over the years, almost alwasy 6 mg or less.

From February 17, 2009 until September of 2022, I was almost always employed full-time, for over 13 years. I am living independently off of investment savings at the moment.

In November of 2013, I started taking very small doses of Haldol daily as my only medicine, as prescribed by several psychiatrists, in the range of 2 mg to 0.25 mg.

Around the start of 2023, my psychologist informed me that his diagnosis of me is not schizophrenia: It is F43.23 Adjustment Disorder. I seem to have had a nervous breakdown over 15 years ago, and largely recovered.

So, there you have it. A story of a person who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but recovered from his nervous breakdown and worked full-time for over 13 years.

I hope that can be of some good encouragement.

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I was diagnosed with adjustment disorder during my first hospitalization. Then delusional disorder and then chronic paranoid schizophrenia. But it was always schizophrenia. I know that now.

I have worked most of the time I have been sick largely because I didn’t think I was sick and I didn’t want to have to move in with my parents while my son was in high school. Keeping a job was hard. And then he graduated and I thought maybe I could take a break but he wanted to go to college so I kept working.

Congratulations on your success and recovery.

Thanks for sharing.

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“Living independently” I think you mean socially or do you mean financially? I just want to know how your social life is thriving. I hope you stay with us on the forum. You could well be an inspiration and a motivator.

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Oh, hi! I didn’t visit the forum for about a day, I guess, so I didn’t see your question until a couple of minutes ago or so.

What exactly do you mean by “how your social life is thriving?”

How would you define a “thriving” social life? Since you contrast it with a financial life, I suppose you would define it as socializing outside of a context that is related to money. I find that confusing, though; because, in the US, I’ve found that a very large majority of people would rather hang out with rich people than poor people.

So, could you say more about your definitions here?

This reminds me of when I read part of “The Center Cannot Hold” by Ellen Sachs, it seems one of the things that led to her success was not “retreating”, she stayed in school, stayed working at her life and did not move back home. For me, that has not been my path.

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I’m glad you were able to recover from your nervous break down.

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I just meant do you have friends (social) or do you have plenty of money (financial).

“Plenty” of money is probably overstating it by most people’s terms. I think that the US Federal Reserve has done a good job of vacuuming up much of the excess money, and I am not an exception, at the moment.

“there are at least 4 people in my life that I hope I would die for without hesitation, if necessary, because each and every one of them has shown a willingness to die for me in the past, I believe.”

I don’t think that I would currently ask more of any friend.

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