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I'm working full-time right now. Sometimes the stress of working triggers symptoms but I need to work since I live alone and have no one to share bills with.  I've never been on disability, I lived with my parents when I was at my sickest and didn't get my own place until I was well enough to hold a job. I was wondering how many others with schizophrenia are working as well and how do you deal with stress and co-workers and such.  My pdoc is more than willing to write a letter if I need SSDI but I'm only 24 and want to work for as long as I'm able.

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I think its great that you are able to work and hold down a job, I hardly know any schizophrenics who are able to do that.  ;)

In my case, I have schizotypal disorder, a form of mild schizophrenia. I have managed to obtain 2 degrees and hold down different full time jobs (except for brief break in which I was hospitalised) for the past two years. I have a job at the minute in the civil service but was declared unfit for work by occupational health, so I am receiving sick pay at the moment. It was becoming very difficult for me to cope at work with thought broadcasting, mind reading, convinced my co-workers were talking about me and I could control their every movement by power of thought. I dont feel too bad now so hopefully I shall be back at work soon.

It is possible in Ireland to work AND claim disability benefits so I do both, it makes life a lot easier so I can take taxis instead of the bus (I find public transport very difficult to cope with and I dont drive). Do you ever get symptoms at work and how do you manage them? Any tips would be appreciated

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hey, g8orgirl.

a lot of it depends on what sort of work you do, and how your symptoms are at the present time. depending on your job, you might find that through ADA you can ask your employers for certain modifications to your schedule or environment to make life easier for you - more breaks, even - and, within reason, they'll comply.  sometimes you'll find that certain sorts of jobs just won't work for you at the time - i quit one recently because it was just too much stress - probably more stress than the average NT person would have dealt with willingly, even. i'm trying to find another job, but am stuck living at home for the time being. i definitely know the feeling of wanting to move back out on your own.

it sounds like you've talked with your pdoc about your symptoms and how they affect you at work, which is always a good thing. is there anything specific you have trouble dealing with while working?

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Mostly the symptoms I get at work center around my paranoia.  Sometimes I think people are talking about me or my computer is bugged or something.  Abilify has been a wonder drug for me so usually these delusions don't last too long.  I work for a medical supplies company, mostly I'm at my computer all day entering in orders and things like that.  It's a pretty low-stress job since I work alone most of the day.  The voices like to pop up every now and then say something to make me feel less confident in myself but I can deal with them.  I seem to go through periods where I function good for awhile (like now) and then I always relapse and wind up back in the hospital.  So far it's been like a year and a half since I've been hospitalized and I guess I'm just scared the other shoe is going to drop soon.  But, I guess I should just not worry about that and live my life and keep taking me meds.

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I'm working full-time right now. Sometimes the stress of working triggers symptoms but I need to work since I live alone and have no one to share bills with.  I've never been on disability, I lived with my parents when I was at my sickest and didn't get my own place until I was well enough to hold a job. I was wondering how many others with schizophrenia are working as well and how do you deal with stress and co-workers and such.  My pdoc is more than willing to write a letter if I need SSDI but I'm only 24 and want to work for as long as I'm able.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ms. g8orgirl,

Your attitude for wanting to work is great. If you feel well and are able to work, you should. Hun...SSDI is not great free ride... I can't tell you how many times I've had some one say to me, "your so lucky that you don't have to work...". I usually just smile and say nothing. Some how many people have the perception that people on SSDI get to sleep in mornings, sit around eating bon-bons watching TV, go shopping in the afternoon, and then come home to a huge check in the mailbox from the government at their expense. Personally, I wish it where true...

Many people forget that SSDI is a government issued disability insurance policy. We all must purchase this mandatory insurance policy along with social security for retirement. (7.65% of your annual gross earnings with 7.65% matched by your employer...of the 15.3% the employer pays a percentage for SSDI & SSI)

First of all, one pretty much needs to be really bad shape to be on/collect SSDI. There is a lot of paper work to tumble through. My understanding is that many cases are not approved at the first level and then more paper needs to be done or an attorney hired. SSDI sometimes has people evaluated by their doctors. Before and during this process, one is without an income. If approved for SSDI, the income received is  based on ones gross earnings over the past couple years with annual cost of living increases of about 1-3%. Which, is usually about 80% less then the medium income for people living in the United States. (More or less poverty level.)

For many people on SSDI there is not really much to do... (everyone else is at work or in school)...often there is not a lot of money to do it...and feeling not well enough to do a whole heck of a lot can be an issue too...

Yeppers! I am so lucky that I don't have to work...

I am not looking to complain about SSDI, my situation, or to discourage you/others from it... (it's a gov. disability ins. policy...remember?) I just think it is too bad that SSDI often has a bad stigma or stereo type attached it... I personally believe, many of us would be in the work force or school if we where medically able. The words of your post and others attached reflect that! Yes, I did work for 13 years. I had full time management jobs that sometimes required 50 to 70 hrs a week, a house, and family to take care of. Plus, over the years I would run businesses of my own to add into the mix. Sometimes, I look back and wonder how I did it... but it doesn't really matter much now.  Working or on SSDI... If you are doing what you feel is the best for you and those you care about, thats what is important. To quote the governments slogan:

"Be all that you can be".

And, that is all the disoriented psycho-babble I have to say about that... (laughing)

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Thanks for explaining the SSDI system so succintly for this Irish dummy Mrs Obtuse, I always wondered what the hell people were talking about on this forum when they mentioned SSDI  ;) Plus I agree it is much better to work if you are able to. Im on long term sick leave and the boredom is crucifying...  :)

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sorry for the double post, what's ADA?  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

ADA = the Americans with Disability Act. Rules and laws about mandating how companies, the government, schools, etc., can't discriminate against people with disabilties.

Short explanation.

Erika

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I wanted to say thanks too for explaining SSDI.  I had some knowledge of it, but not much.  I do not think badly of anyone for collecting SSDI and I agree it does have a bad stigma attached to it.  I may one day need it for myself and it's nice to know it is there, but it does sound complicated! I have a friend with schizo-affective disorder who is unable to work and is on SSDI and she always endures those probing questions like "Why don't you work?" and "It must be nice to sleep in and watch tv all day".  Some people are just rude and ignorant when it comes to stuff like that.

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Thanks for explaining the SSDI system so succintly for this Irish dummy Mrs Obtuse, I always wondered what the hell people were talking about on this forum when they mentioned SSDI  ;) Plus I agree it is much better to work if you are able to. Im on long term sick leave and the boredom is crucifying...  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Blackbird,

Your welcome. I suppose the scrutiny and obscure observation, of this world we live in, comes from me being a "schizo-dizto". (laughing) Yes, the boredom can suck rocks. However, some how... no matter what... I always seem to find or create some kind of mayhem...(hee-hee..ugh!)

To add to Ericka post about the ADA (American Disabilities Act)...she is right that is an amendment to protect and provide service to disabled people. The act applies pretty much to all government, public, and privet sectors. However... (here come the scrutiny... laughing)the business sector did a good job in lobbying on this one. They where able to get this thing called "undo hardship" added in before it was passed through congress. "Undo hardship" means that making any accommodations would cause a lot of difficulty or expense for the company/business. From a business and accounting aspect... it is a good loop-hole.

Here is a website if you are one who has that "curiosity killed the cat syndrome"...

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-ada.html

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I wanted to say thanks too for explaining SSDI.  I had some knowledge of it, but not much.  I do not think badly of anyone for collecting SSDI and I agree it does have a bad stigma attached to it.  I may one day need it for myself and it's nice to know it is there, but it does sound complicated! I have a friend with schizo-affective disorder who is unable to work and is on SSDI and she always endures those probing questions like "Why don't you work?" and "It must be nice to sleep in and watch tv all day".  Some people are just rude and ignorant when it comes to stuff like that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ms. g8orgirl,

No problems. In using Blackbirds word "scrutiny"...I can take the whole thing further... Yes, many people are ignorant to our government systems. For instance many people think you just "get" Medicare insurance from the government... Sorry. Notta!

Disabled and senior Americans pay a premium each month (out of their small income) for coverage. Also, they have deductibles just like everyone else. It only recently passed congress to offer an additional drug plan coverage with Medicare.

I just refilled one of my prescriptions yesterday... the actual cost of the medication was $129.59. I believe Medicare premiums are around $65.00 a month. That can make things a little hard if your SSDI income is (for example) $750.00 a month.

It is too bad that many people have such a misconception of SSDI.

It is really not all that complicated. SSDI like anything that involves a bureaucracy. (meaning a lot of BS and paperwork) For me it is like I have one part of my brain that can think very logically... and well... the other half is like an outer-space tourist.

Problems just seem to really occur when the outer-space part wants full control!

Let's just say you & Ben are younger then me...

I am not sure looking back if that made a difference for working or not. I guess in some ways, yes. Sometimes, I just hate it when my Mother is right (just as my kiddo's do, ha-haa). As you get "older", you loose some of your stamina in different areas of your life...tolerances change...blah, blah, blah.

 

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thanks for all the explantions and links everyone.

It must suck to be disabled in America with the high cost of prescriptions. At least over here I can buy a 4 month prescription certificate for around $70 that will get me all my pills and potions for 4 months. It truly must suck balls to have to pay exorbitant prices for some of the more expensive drugs like the atypical anti-psychotics.

Well I may be heading back to work shortly, my p-doc sent a report to Occupational Health and they have decreed that I can go back to work with close supervision and support but in a role that does not involve any interface with the public. This means that I will have to downgrade my position as there are no jobs at my current grade which dont involve interface with the public. It means taking less money but I get a benefit here called Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which you can claim and work at the same time. It will make my life easier. I guess I just have to be thakful that I was not medically retired at the age of 27. They also recommended that I get put forward for the DDA - Disability Discrimination Act - the equivalent here of the ADA

thanks again for all the explanations!

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