'Severe functional impairment'

The criteria for being in priority group 6 for the Covid vaccine’ is having bipolar/schizophrenia/or a mental illness that causes ‘severe functional impairment’

That has me thinking "What is 'severe functional impairment? ’ " . . A quick trawl through Google didn’t provide a concrete answer. Of the top of my head I can think of ‘occupational’ and 'social ’ factors . I have dxes of ASD +schizophrenia . For sure I’m disabled, but I don’t see myself as being ‘severely functionally impaired’ . I also have doubts over being described as ‘vulnerable’ . A description my stepdaughter has used several times.

Here its everyone with sz/bipolar I/delusional disorder

I think it’s a complex question that has an individual case by case definition

Just as I was turning 17, I had psychosis and my social functioning (Was rubbish anyway), was severely disrupted and it has never recovered since then

Occupationally, I was on track to go pretty far in academia, but my potential was once again beaten down by psychosis. This impairment destroyed the path I was on, and even though I tried to restart this, my 8 year hiatus means I am dreadfully out of date and behind. This is a consequence of my mental instability.

With my work as an analyst, I got to a point where I could no longer function in this role, as the family support evaporated, and I had no one giving me leeway to be off to recover from the stress and psychosis. My potential for this role could have been astronomical had I not had the mental health issues and coping strategies to deal with all this pressure and cognition to learn new skills.

Where I stand now is that I am doing a physical job, that’s low stress (For the most part), and with self employed freedoms that come with that. I feel more able to manage now.

Going back to the severe functional impairment. My level of functioning where it is now could be considered respectable by many standards imagined by a professional etc. However, I do feel robbed of the potential that I had growing up - and into early adulthood, and feel that a lot of what I could have achieved was wasted in a mass of drugs, psychosis and dealing with the aftermath of some pretty serious situations.

That for me is how my functionality has been what I would deem as severe impairment. Everything has been such a battle. Even though it feels like it has been won with relative stability for a couple of years, the damage caused is lasting, and I will probably never recover it before I die.

I will still resist, and push on.

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I definitely didn’t live up to any potential I had. How much that was due to educational issues for which there is support now(but there wasn’t then), and bullying due to unrecognised autism leading to severe mental illness - is debatable .

Comparing to the average person with sz I’m doing quite well. Taken compared to an age and intelligence matched person from the general public I’m batting .230 compared to their .300 (to use a baseball analogy) .

In our state, they clearly outline what diagnoses fit the criteria for vaccination. I qualified on 3 health conditions.


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