Is It Possible To Work With Schizophrenia?

Is It Possible To Work With Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which a person’s thoughts are distorted that makes them interpret the reality in a different or an abnormal way. Schizophrenia impairs the daily life functioning of an individual and could even make a person specially abled as it may lead a person to experience hallucinations, delusions and even distorted thinking and behaviour. People having schizophrenia are unable to distinguish reality from non reality. It is said that they are mostly in their heads and the voices inside their head seems much powerful and influential.

The exact causes of mental condition like schizophrenia is still unknown, but it is believed that genetics and environmental factors both are responsible for the illness. If someone in the family have schizophrenia, there are 10% chances of getting it inherited and if both parents have schizophrenia in family then there is more risk (40%) of getting the disorder.

Although schizophrenia can’t be cured completely but it can be treated and the person suffering from schizophrenia have to go through a lifelong treatment. Early treatment helps the symptoms get under control and helps avoid serious problems and complications.

Also Read: The Psychology behind Transitioning from Student life to the Professional world

Schizophrenic patients are not alienated and so they can work with great enthusiasm as well

People often have such misconceptions and prejudices related to mental illnesses that a person going through mental health conditions and disorders can’t function properly like any other normal individual and because of that they won’t be able to work and provide for their families. Society thinks individuals with mental health conditions and disorders as somewhat alienated species and treats them differently because of their preconceived false notions about mental health conditions. But the truth is that even the person having mental disorder like schizophrenia can perform normal daily life tasks and work and can also be employed. They can live their life and can work like any other individual, although not that efficiently due to the symptoms.

Working can boost a schizophrenic person’s self esteem, enhances their confidence and self worth, helping them ease up their symptoms and speed up their recovery. The major condition for them being able to work is that they must pay attention to their schizophrenia treatment, without neglecting their symptoms and use the helpful, necessary on the job strategies to deal with symptoms at work.

Also Read: Owning cats might increase risk of developing schizophrenia: Study

Problems that are commonly faced by people having schizophrenia in the work environment

The real barrier in work life that prevents a person from finding a job is the stigma and discrimination related to schizophrenia or other mental health conditions and disorders and lack of support from others around. That’s why, even the employment rate in several countries, according to research is just one or two out of ten people with schizophrenia working and getting employed. It is believed that upto 90% of people having schizophrenia wants to work irrespective of their mental health conditions but the unemployment rate of people with schizophrenia ranges from 80-90% as only 20-25% of people got jobs and are working.

Often the symptoms of schizophrenia makes it hard for person to be able to work with great efficacy. The symptoms affects a person’s ability to think clearly, face reality and behave properly according to social norms. When the schizophrenia symptoms are severe and hard to manage, it makes a person feels troubled to be able to work in professional environment.

What kind of work is best for schizophrenic people?

A person having schizophrenia should find a job that best suit them as we all know that schizophrenia is not a mild disorder and requires proper care and treatment with symptoms. Some jobs would be better suited and be more accessible for people with schizophrenia than other jobs. Now the question arises that what kind of job is really well suitable for schizophrenic patients?

It really depends on a multiple number of factors, including the educational qualifications, field of work and interests, work experiences and most important, the condition and the severity of schizophrenia symptoms. Besides these numerous factors, supportive work environment and helpful, understanding colleagues and managers plays a huge role in impacting the schizophrenic person’s working ability. A schizophrenic person should consider the job role as well. For example, the person having mental illness like schizophrenia could be able to perform physical work like lifting, moving, etc more efficiently as compared to the tasks which requires mental concentration and cognitive, brain storming tasks.

Also Read: No Health without mental health: Part and Parcel of life

Sedentary work is more difficult for schizophrenic people as compared to physical work:

Since people with schizophrenia are unable to think clearly, pay attention to things for longer durations, do efficient learning and reasoning, it’s best that they avoid mental tasks. People having schizophrenia are not so good with judgement and problem solving, but they can lift weights and perform most of the physical tasks and work.

At times, even they get troubled with performing physical work due to occurrence of hallucinations and delusions as common symptoms. Mental tasks requires a person to sit intact for longer hours and use the skills of cognition, judgement and reasoning, for this very reason schizophrenic people avoids jobs that involves mental usage.

Jobs a person with schizophrenia could consider working in:

There are several jobs that even a person having conditions like schizophrenia could work in. They could work as an affiliate marketer where they have to sell other’s products and earn commissions for themselves. People with schizophrenia could work as a baker, chef or caterer. Even they could make a channel and start blogging about any niche of their interests like food, traveling, clothes, etc.

They can get into consulting or try out fields like customer service representative, animator, child caregiver, data entry, editing and proof reading. If schizophrenic people are interested and have skills they could even get into event planning, photography, instructor and graphic designing. There are number of opportunities for people with schizophrenia, they just need to be determined enough and learn to have a balance between work life and symptoms.

Managing and coping skills for schizophrenic patients to work effectively

Any mental illness including schizophrenia should not really be the cause of unemployment that prevents them for working and getting professional experiences for growth and betterment. A person can definitely work when he learns suitable coping skills and management strategies to be able to manage work life along with mental health condition like schizophrenia. Here are various effective strategies and skills:

Quit smoking and drinking alcohol:

It is shown that people with schizophrenia are three times more likely to smoke as smoking and drinking alcohol seems to be helpful for reliving their stress and helps them cope with the symptoms, but what they don’t understand is that using such coping mechanisms could and generally does much more harm to them by elevating their risk of developing and inducing psychotic symptoms. It leads to lower cognitive functions and more intense positive symptoms.

Also Read: Understanding Delusions of Control in Schizophrenia

Building supportive relationships with family and friends:

Having people who supports and encourages the person suffering from schizophrenia are so important. Getting surrounded by friends and family who understands them without being judgemental and listens to them or their work related rants helps the person with schizophrenia maintain and even cope up with the stress that comes along with the illness and it’s symptoms. It helps them assure that there are people who loves and supports them to level up irrespective of any mental illnesses.

Practicing self care and fun activities:

People having schizophrenia gets tired easily and also they have high risk of suffering from physical health issues and illnesses as well. So they are advised to eat healthy and exercise regularly. It also helps in preventing the cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. People having mental illness like schizophrenia should do their favourite activities more often and engage in self care routines and activities that helps them feel calm and relaxed and makes them joyful.

Avoiding situations that feels stressful:

Attending to stressful situations only leads to elevating the symptoms of schizophrenia and makes the person feel more stressed about the condition as well as the work. So choosing a work which feels less stressing and avoiding the stressors present in environment helps the person keeps their mental health intact. Stress also makes a person gets distracted.

Use calendars, sticky notes to mark and remember important events:

Sometimes remembering something and keeping up to date with all the on goings could be challenging for the person with schizophrenia. So in order to avoid forgetting important events and tasks at work, they could mark the important dates or deadlines on calendars physically or in mobile phones. They can even use those small notes to write down necessary points to remind themselves time to time.

Also Read: 10 Life Hacks to Slay Hard Times

Other strategies that could help a person with schizophrenia cope up with work life balance may include keeping open mind while searching for work or performing specific tasks, think of all the strengths and skills one possess despite of having mental disease and lastly don’t forget to have effective treatment and consume medicines regularly along with attending therapy sessions.


Leave feedback about this

  • Rating