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.