Schizophrenia.com

Why is it so hard to work?

I’m 21. I was diagnosed at age 19. Before my diagnosis I had been working my very first real job at Taco Bell. I was doing really well and I was on my way to being promoted to shift lead. After my hospitalization I just wasn’t the same person. I never had the energy to do anything and the thought of having money wasn’t even enough for me to work. I ended up quitting my job and going through various other jobs, always short term 3 months max. It’s like my anxiety is so bad that I fear talking to strangers intensely. Does anyone else go through that ? I know there had to be others who keep their jobs and are successful at it. Any tips ? Thank you.

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How long have you been unemployed? I think if you focus on recovery and do things to motivate yourself like tasks you can eventually motivate yourself to work. Also if you focus on recovery then you’ll feel good enough to do a job.

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I was first psychotic at 17. I did not get to hold down a job until I was 21 where I was a landscaper working outside and being creative. It was hard work but I was fine. At the time I had a diagnosis of drug induced sz.

When I was 23 I had another break and got the sz diagnosis. I did not work for 6 months, and then I finally had enough of doing nothing, and I worked as a temp two days a week.

I coped with it pretty well, and moved to 3 and then 4 days a week.

It was working with family, so if you have any connections, even loose ones with people who have their own businesses, or can get you a job, that’s what I did.

I proved over a long period of time to be an asset to the company. Now I am more than standing on my own two feet.

My main success is from being on the right meds that don’t make me too tired, and having a pocket full of benzos for when things get tough.

Not perfect, but I get through the time. Just tell yourself the alternatives. You can suffer doing nothing, or at least build yourself up to working and giving yourself an income and the distraction so your life isn’t just insular and looking at your symptoms through a magnifying glass all the time.

Life is hard enough as it is, but with sz things are tougher. You just have to plough through it regardless, and try your best. That’s all that matters

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Yeah, I have a speech impediment and talking to strangers is really hard for me.

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I’ve been unemployed for 4 months now. I’ve kinda been trying to deny my mental illness so when I go to therapy I don’t really talk about it even though my therapy office specializes in psychosis. I do want to focus on recovery because since I’ve been on this page I’ve seen a lot of delusions and what not that other people have that before I didn’t even realize were delusions. I actually believed them because I was having them too. But my mom and therapist think having a job will solve all my problems when in reality I’ll probably end up losing it because I don’t know how to manage myself and stress. I just give up when things get too hard. I feel really weak.

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u have to take your meds to recover at first

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Well my joke answer would be how I actually work. My secret to work is be totally clueless and unaware. Everybody leaves me alone and I can concentrate on my tasks instead of talking too much.

I’ve been working for quite a few years. Mostly labor and service jobs. There’s a lot of stuff I don’t like doing but I usually rise to the occasion. Just several years ago I was working at a department store called Kohl’s.

My main job was putting away stock but we did odd jobs now and then. Everybody was required to work the cash register: except me. I worked with a few tough characters unloading trucks who gave each other a hard time all day but they were usually kidding but I was surprised to see them work the cash register.

I was steeling myself for having to work the register and dreading it but they never asked me to. I was the only one who didn’t have to. I know they saw how I interacted with co-workers, I’m pretty shy but I can communicate OK and a few people liked me and I talked to them.

But eventually I could only get away with so much and they put me to work bagging merchandise. Which meant I stood a foot away from my co-workers while they rang up purchases and I put merchandise in bags. That’s what I call rising to the occasion, I did my job like I was supposed to and smiled a little and exchanged a couple words with customers and listened to the cashier. Anyways, I don’t know what to tell you except “Welcome”. I will add that after I was diagnosed, no one expected me to work, they told me to concentrate on getting better so from ages 19- 22 I did not work. I got back to work at age 23 and now I’m 58 and I’m employed now.

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You sound like you have negative symptoms working against you @Key22. They can make you tired and not motivated very well. They are either from the meds or from the illness. I have voices in my mind that make it so hard to be determined not to quit. They are constantly nagging. But lately i have been working on the weekends for a couple hours. I can so I want to. It sounds like you are doing a good job so maybe don’t quit. You possibly can work out things as the come up. Processing and stuff. You don’t have to talk much unless you have a service job. But only you know if the job is helping or not. Talk it over with your MOM and pdoc for encouragement. They can help.

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I think @77nick77 is a great example of what we can accomplish. First, focus on getting better- therapy, meds, yoga (this was just mentioned in a thread) or something similar, etc. Then worry about working. You can’t work if you aren’t healthy, so that has to come first. Finally, work your way up. Start part-time if you need to. Do you have family that will support you? That can make a huge difference!

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What exactly are negative symptoms? And thanks. I don’t want to give up I know I’m better than that. I’m going to try to talk to my mom about it tomorrow and see how that goes. It can’t hurt. At the very least she will understand more about the kind of support I need. Thank you

I need to try something new. I’ve kinda been in this downward spiraling routine. Yoga may help I didn’t think of that. And maybe I need to try new meds. Im on invega sustenna but I’ve seen other people here talk about abilify. I just want to feel like I’m making progress because I feel like this illness ruined my life. I was in college before this and I had a job. I had everything going for myself and now it’s like I have to start over. I don’t really have a choice unless I want to stay this way forever, which I don’t. My family don’t really understand my illness but being on this forum is helping me so I’ll focus on that. Thanks for the reply

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Yea you’re right. I’ve been off my meds for about a month and I stopped going to therapy. It hasn’t really helped me so I’m going to get back on track again.

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Welcome, @Key22. I can only sympathize with you because personally I haven’t been able to beat that barrier. Any stress F*cks me up mentally, I end up quitting quick. My energy is an issue too, I have so little energy throughout the day, anyway. You should try little by little, nothing that stresses you out too much. Have you looked into anxiety medicine?

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Hey! After I recover from an episode, I always do some work or school. It helps get my mind off things and I feel better. However many of my jobs last about 3 months too. I just resorted to easier jobs. Right now I’m a peer coach and it’s a easy job. I have disability too and work to supplement income. Have you considered disability?

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Yea I’m the same way. I don’t want to feel helpless like I can’t work but I need to get healthy first. I’ve been thinking about anxiety medicine just haven’t brought it up to my doctor yet. IT would help because I have really bad social anxiety

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I applied for disability about a year ago and got denied. I don’t know why I got denied I had paperwork from my doctors to prove my illness. I’m going to try again. I heard that a lot of people get denied the first time around. It would definitely help me out

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I got a lawyer to help me with my case. I got denied the first time too because I was able to hold a job for 3 months. You should google negative symptoms. They are the aspects of schizophrenia that don’t involve psychosis like low energy, lack of pleasure or apathy, lack of motivation, etc. They get worse every time you get an episode and are untreatable. It’s different for everyone. My negatives fluctuate from day to day.

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It’d sound like you still recovering from a relapse it takes months on meds before you feel better and your brain needs time to recover from the psychosis. I think focus on getting better be honest with your doctors and get on the right medicine combo.

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Hey I work, it keeps me sane and it makes my mind quite which I love. No yelling in my head when I’m at work. :slight_smile: you can try volunteering like at your local animal shelter or library to see how it feels for you, plus it looks great on applications. Just keep a positive mindset no matter how hard it may be. Deny the negative, Assert the positive!

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My anxiety got really bad after my relapse too. But what initially did it for me was realizing that I had turned 40 and the volunteer, and minimum wage jobs had gotten me absolutely nothing in life. (of course I was not allowed to drive which maximized that effect) and sadly going off work actually gave me access to benefits like food stamps (which supposedly were always available but not obtained until I went off work), my own apartment, a case manager (I was told that working made me ineligible), more transportation (when my Mom called a guy who was a part of one of those services he rejected her saying he was tired of bringing people to work), a phone, and more SSI money. (also the amount of assets you were allowed to have in order to keep your health insurance were the same whether you worked or not). It was wrong to be bedazzled by that crap but I was. Another factor was a weight gain that eventually reached 180 pounds. (from 170 to 350) that messed up my feet, and made it difficult to function. (but that was finalized later and now that I have diabetes (they actually put me on metforim which a doctor didn’t let me have when I was 100 pounds lighter and working.) I think and hope that some of those things have been changed now.

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