Can I Work With Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder which causes you to have difficulty telling the difference between delusion and reality. It can be caused by a number of contributing factors; ranging from genetic factors, home environment, and various types of infections. In most cases, schizophrenia symptoms first show when a person in their adolescence, though it may also manifest in older or younger people.

Common symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, an apparent absence of emotions (called flat effect), negative emotions, loss of ability to feel pain, repetitive behaviors, child like behaviors, disordered thinking and withdrawal from the environment. The severity of symptoms and the ability to control them with anti-psychotic medication and behavioral therapy varies widely from schizophrenic to the next.

Obviously, when symptoms of schizophrenia are severe, it can cause a great deal of difficulty adapting to any kind of work environment. Generally speaking, even those with milder symptoms of schizophrenia need a very supportive environment and some special considerations in order to maintain gainful employment. Those who have severe or unmanaged symptoms will often find it impossible to keep employment, and may even be in need of assisted living services.

Unfortunately, Schizophrenia is not always easy to diagnose. Diagnosing schizophrenia is often a matter or ruling out other possibilities which could be causing the disconnection between reality and delusion. Those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia should be careful to follow all of their doctor’s and mental health professionals’ prescriptions.

When applying for Social Security Disability benefits based on schizophrenia, make sure that all of your symptoms are thoroughly documented along with the effects they have on your ability to perform work. You should also make sure to note all other effects the symptoms of schizophrenia have on your daily activities.

Schizophrenia and Your Ability to Perform Physical Work

Schizophrenia does not directly stop you from performing physical work, at least not in the sense that it hinders you from pushing, lifting, pulling, or otherwise performing physical tasks. Because of the unpredictable nature of schizophrenia, however, and the difficulty those who live with the condition have in distinguishing reality from hallucinations or other delusions, many physical type jobs can be dangerous.

Your residual ability to perform physical work will largely be tied to the degree to which your schizophrenia hinders you from being in public without assistance. Those who require a greater degree of supervision to be among the general population safely will be less likely to be able to keep gainful employment. While some schizophrenics whose symptoms are well managed may be able to find work, there are others whose disability makes it impossible to perform any kind of meaningful work, and these are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Schizophrenia and Your Ability to Perform Sedentary Work

Sedentary work often involves a greater amount of concentration than physical labor. Often, sedentary jobs require you to sit in one place for extended periods of time, and to interact with other people at work and the general public. Other sedentary jobs require being able to concentrate on using your hands for assembling or repairing things with small parts.

Often, for those with schizophrenia, performing sedentary work is more difficult than performing physical work. Of course, different people with different schizophrenia symptoms may be able to do either kind of work, or neither. If you are unable to work due to your schizophrenia, it’s generally a good idea to contract a Social Security Disability lawyer to help you with your Social Security Disability claim. When choosing who you would like to represent you, look for a Social Security Disability attorney with experience dealing with clients with mental disorders.