What do you say?

This question is focused towards people who have gone a while unemployed and possible collecting disability. When I meet new people I often get asked the common question of, “what to you do”
Well I’m a sick no functioning schizophrenia that gets paid disability. But obviously you don’t say that to a stranger. Well I don’t. And so what do you tell people " what you do" when your sick and unemployed?


i just try to be honest without giving too much away, i say, i havent been well i’ve got a mental illness, its under control but work is too stressful for me right now, things like that

I tell them I’m a retired architect and they shut up…you might try saying, “I am an artist but make little money” or something like that?

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I said I’m a writer, which was true… I’m old enough, now, to say I’m retired and on social security and to get no argument.

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I tell people that I’m a nurse but I’m taking some much-needed time off. People rarely question beyond that.

But as I get to know people, and they become a friend, I will explain my disability in detail. But to strangers: no, its none of their business.




I hate this question, I live in fear of it in fact. Despite having entered the work force for the first time at age 14 I’ve spent the majority of my adult life unemployed and collecting disability. Yes I live in fear of this question, but I’ve found that I rarely actually get asked this. That may be because I tend to simply avoid any situation in which I may be asked.

For a while I was doing volunteer work as the outpatient program I was in encouraged this so I would just say I did thus and such (I work with animals or I’m a grounds keeper at a camp for the developmentally disabled) and most people would simply say “oh that must be nice” I wouldn’t mention anything about it being volunteer work, just that it was work.

But there have been times that I’ve been asked this question where I’ve simply drawn a blank and ended up saying “nothing at the moment” and it’s been really awkward. I don’t know, I’ve been encouraged to lie about what I do before and it never works out well. I had a girlfriend who told people I did metal work (sculptures and such) because when we met I was learning some basic metal working and welding skills with the thought of eventually doing just that, but she’d tell people I did artistic metal work and they’d be like “Oh! Where are you being exhibited?” and she’d expect me to just make something up! She of course when asked what she did for a living would shrug and say “I live” but I was expected to make up some lie…

I tell people that I’m a disable veteran. If they ask for more. I tell them I don’t like to talk about it. Then I let them think whatever they want.

Peace be with you Ridgerunner


Now, I can honestly say that I am a student (even though I am older for a student). Before, I just didn’t meet too many people. For a long time, I was suffering with major depression, and I told people about that. I don’t think there is as much stigma with depression as there is with schizophrenia. But it seems to be okay with people that I am just a student, though I realize that many students do work too. I am also working on becoming a writer. I am currently working on a book, though I only have fifteen pages so far.


Possible answers that sound cool…

“I’m currently on sabbatical. Doing a research project that I’m looking forward to disclosing when it’s complete.”

“I’m a self-employed artist.”

“I’m a housewife.”

^^^ That last one is sorta me at the moment, even though I’m a d00d.


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my mother in law’s sister asked me this question. Since she knows a little about my illness i just told her the truth. That i am diagnosed with shizoaffective disorder with dependent personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. After explaining what these things were i didn’t get asked too many questions after that . She now kind of understands why i can’t work. But complete strangers are another story…i never know what to say, i just tell them something like the job market is rough out there and say i’m unemployed. I refused to tell a stranger about my diagnosis. i don’t even like telling old friends from high school my diagnosis. A few have refused to talk to me since disclosing my illness to them.

What’s wrong with saying your unemployed and between jobs?


I tell them the truth, what appears to be other entities began to torture me thirteen years ago and it’s hard to find work when you are being tortured to death.

What appears to be anyway, if not other entities then mind blowing tech.

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just say ‘i have schizophrenia’ and then look to see what they do lol

they might even run away :stuck_out_tongue: hahaha


i tell them , ’ i am a space man ', they don’t ask me many questoins after that !?!
take care


If I don’t want to tell someone sometimes I just say I have mental health issues, so I am staying home for now. People assume you are depressed or something. Right now I’m training for a part time job so I tell people that. I get to be an outreach worker. I’m so happy to tell people that instead. It will probably be only two appointments a week though. It’s special employment for people with schizophrenia. I will love it.

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I just tell people I’m currently unemployed. No one asks why.

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I have ways of answering those questions…but my income has come from various sources, and since I am a property owner and can say I was self employed to get this, it kind of helps when those questions are asked. Even though I am considered disabled, I couldn’t even get it now due to asset issues.
I have even said I am retired a couple of times and said how my Dad retired about age 53 and that I have plenty of 'work" to do on my own land…so there are ways for me to answer such questions if brought up.

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When my ex and I were financing a new Vespa scooter, the guy doing the paperwork was a real dick. He wouldn’t even talk to me since I was the “wife " and therefore not important. He told me he would ask the question addressed to me when he wanted to hear me speak. After a long while he asks " so tell me how much money you make”
I did, not mentioning it was my SSDI. Then he says, so tell me what do you do. I told him flat out “I don’t”. He gets a stupid look for a second then blurts out, “WHY NOT”?
I say “because I can”.
Oooooooooh, He thought that was rather nice.

My closest family knows that I have sz and that I’m on disability. For most other people who asks I tell them that I took early retirement. If they really want to know more I tell them I’ve had some health issues and was offered a package at my former work. If they still like to know more I just tell them that I don’t like to talk about it and the conversation normally stops there.

I tell people I am an assassin. No I tell them I am a student. When they ask me if I work too, I tell them about my full scholarship and that I dont need to work.

I can and do perform very highly in school, I have been on the Dean’s list for 3 of my 4 semesters so far and got letters saying I was in the top 15% of my class. I just get drained by April every year and need to relax and exercise (quite intensely, I am a powerlifter right now, I am thinking of going back into bodybuilding) every summer. By mid July I get bored and read psych books or watch a bunch of online lectures and take notes, but since may 11th, my last exam, I have been working out and watching anime and hanging out with friends and family.

I had a very stressful, rather traumatizing (according to my doctors) event in the past couple of weeks, I got kicked off of a powerlifting team for barking back at all of the trash talk they gave me. They got to call me “weak” “faggot” “■■■■■■■■■■■■” and tell me to “shut my face” and “stop talking” and when I called them “not too bright and sort of fat”, that was just so wrong that I got chewed out by the roided out coach and kicked off the team.

Im bisexual and am dating a guy right now, they know I am like 75% gay and they are wrong for calling me faggot and teasing me about it. But I apologized just so I could workout there without everyone hating me, so now im cool with everyone except this one big ■■■■■■■ who wouldnt accept my apology.

But yeah I tell people I am a student and no I dont work, I have a full ride so I dont need to. People always say “well thats the way to go” or something like that.