Careers and Job Restraints for Schizophrenics

Some people dealing with schizophrenic symptoms choose to find ways to get a job and continue with their career paths. While others may hold down challenging different types of full-time jobs, others may feel that they are better suited to part-time or volunteer work. However, there are challenges that may go along with finding a job when one has a history of schizophrenia.

This psychological disorder is usually not diagnosed until a person encounters his first psychotic break. Sadly, this episode is frequently quite severe in terms of symptoms and usually requires hospitalization. For males, the symptoms often appear at some point in late adolescence into early twenties. This is when they are going to school, finishing college, or starting their careers.

The development of this mental disorder during this time therefore creates a major disruption in a person’s education and early career. Once a person became stable, he may attempt to return to work or school. It will be very challenging for him to settle in after being diagnosed with such a serious mental illness. Early recognition and initial treatment will play major roles in the success of returning to work or school. It depends whether or not a person continues to follow the medication regimen given to him. Moreover, if the work or school situation is stressful, that can make a person with schizophrenia more vulnerable to a relapse. In females, symptoms often start to progress during their mid-twenties to early thirties wherein they are more likely finished their education or have a bit more established career. As a result, resulting to work can still be very difficult and challenging, for the same reasons as for males.

Potential barriers exist when attempting to find a new work after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. These can hinder the possibility for employment. For instance, a potential employer is aware of the person’s history as a recovered schizophrenic, employment discrimination may hinder in getting the job. Also, significant stigma is associated with any major psychological disorder.

Most people with schizophrenic symptoms may find themselves in a catch22 when landing a job at any point in time after they have been diagnosed. If recovered schizophrenics have been receiving disability benefits, these will stop once they start working. This can be considered as a very unstable situation, particularly if they have a relapse and are not capable of working for an extended period of time. All of a sudden there are no benefits and income, which can be financially upsetting. A situation like this makes some mentally ill people reluctant to pursue a full-time work.

There are pros and cons of working when it comes to a serious mental illness like schizophrenia. Being employed is helpful to individuals with mental illness. Having a job provides important social connections, helps the person focus on things which are not related to his illness, improve self-esteem, and can provide him overall life quality.

One possible solution for schizophrenics is to become actively involved in some sort of training or rehabilitation program. This can help them learn new skills, function more fully, and develop better thinking skills.

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