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Lowering your horizons - necessary?

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Worriedyin

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Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
423
Location
UK
I'm not sure if I'll get the answers I'm looking for here as it seems like a lot of members join then leave so maybe the recovery story gets missed out, but...

Since I got ill with my 'official' first episode psychosis, I feel like a lot of the advice I've received has been designed to manage my expectations for recovery.

Things like recommending taking an extended period off, voluntary work instead of paid employment, choosing job roles with low levels of responsibility (and pay!)

Even my SO told me I should stop making plans for the future (like returning to full time work) and concentrate on lowering my horizons - the next 24 hours, the four walls around you.

Is this how everyone is treated?

Maybe I'm just feeling prickly because I've lost so much from getting ill, and maybe they're right.

But I feel like no one really believes it's possible to make a full recovery, and a lot of the support given is really just help to adjust to a much sh*ttier life.

Does anyone feel the same / differently?
 
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schizolanza

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
2,795
I was told most people recover. Then told I have treatment resistant paranoid schizophrenia. Now described as lifelong paranoid schizophrenia.
I was diagnosed in 2006. I lost my drivers license and my job. I've been a recluse since then. Wish I could say something more positive.
 
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Fern

Active member
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
32
Location
Ireland
For a long time i kept looking for full time work. I felt i was able for it but potential employers and drs etc didnt agree. Im now doing two voluntary jobs and looking for part-time work. I guess i see the volunteering as a stepping stone to going back to work parttime and see that as a stepping stone to full time. Im looking for paid work in retail, my qualifications and experience are in accounts. Im looking at office jobs too of course but would be happy with retail at the moment. Somedays i feel i would be well able for my old life and Somedays im glad i dont have all that responsibility any more. I think deep down im not quite ready to go back to my old life pre illness.
 
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schizolanza

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Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
2,795
I want to be a musician. Haven't been accused of having delusions of grandeur yet.
 
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Worriedyin

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
423
Location
UK
I was told most people recover. Then told I have treatment resistant paranoid schizophrenia. Now described as lifelong paranoid schizophrenia.
I was diagnosed in 2006. I lost my drivers license and my job. I've been a recluse since then. Wish I could say something more positive.
Yes, not all that positive! From your posts on here, it seems like you are quite together. I have a one year driver's license which is coming up for renewal soon. I don't drive often as my confidence is low. Are you still classed as treatment resistant?
For a long time i kept looking for full time work. I felt i was able for it but potential employers and drs etc didnt agree. Im now doing two voluntary jobs and looking for part-time work. I guess i see the volunteering as a stepping stone to going back to work parttime and see that as a stepping stone to full time. Im looking for paid work in retail, my qualifications and experience are in accounts. Im looking at office jobs too of course but would be happy with retail at the moment. Somedays i feel i would be well able for my old life and Somedays im glad i dont have all that responsibility any more. I think deep down im not quite ready to go back to my old life pre illness.
Hi fern, it must be so frustrating having qualifications and experience in accounts and not being able to use them. I moved house and got a new part time job within a few weeks of being out of hospital because I thought I'd quickly bounce back, got a slightly better job after a few months and been there for a while now but definitely not ready for full time or a career job. All the health appointments don't make it easy, either.
I want to be a musician. Haven't been accused of having delusions of grandeur yet.
Haha, I should hope not. Its a good ambition to have!
 
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linus

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Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
698
Location
Eastern Europe
I would say: on the contrary. When my son "entered" his FEP we all stopped having any kind of expectations, it hit us all so hard that I thought we would be better off dead. He was so terrified, he was thinking that he can't handle the pressure of being "threatened" that he also contemplated killing himself and even told us this a few times. As the road to recovery started we have discussions like he was afraid to choose wether to turn left or right on a street and he was asking me to decide for him because he felt that any choice he makes it brings him to danger. But what was important was to cool down, to come out of the existential continuous threat and then the desire to do things came back. He started doing what he likes again (IT programming, gaming), he started asking about options related to higher education, work, etc. And it takes quite a while to "produce" something, but now he wants to attend the best faculty in our country, he is considering work options as well so I would say that it is very important to get back to imagining how would you like your life to be and start working on that path (even if it a slow pace).
I was thinking that my wife, who never experienced anything close to psychosis, had a period of stay-at-home mom and for years she couldn't get back socially/professionally, so it's somehow in human nature anyway, you have to work your way up, day by day, exercising to gain confidence. There are just a handful of people who are born confident, for all the others it takes even a lifetime or it never happens (without mental health problems)
 
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smallgeezer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
310
Location
Europe
CPNs will say unprofessional things, such as: you cannot work.

They don't know anything!

Only you know what your capabilities are.

Having a zero hours job might help, so if you were ill you could cancel your shift.

Volunteering is a good litmus test to check how you will cope.

There are many options to get you started off:
Paper round/posting flyers
dog walking
house/pet sitting
volunteer for the wildlife trust/RSPB a dog rehoming charity etc.
making things and selling them on ebay/etsy
busking
join a band:look on gumtree for bands looking for an extra musician.
volunteer at local music festivals in the summer.
 
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smallgeezer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
310
Location
Europe
Sorry @Worriedyin, I re-read your post and realized you have a well paid job already.

Your question: Does everyone get treated like this? In my experience YES! (unfortunately)

They are not supposed to treat you like this though. They are supposed to talk about recovery and support you to get back into your normal routine ASAP as this has been proven to be the best way for people to recover in the long term.

My advice to you is to think about what you feel you can do.

Some people have extremely low levels of symptoms when on the right medication. This enables them to work.

You can take sick leave off work until you feel able to return. You can also have a phased return. So just go in for one day a week at first and see how it goes, to ease your way back in.

Having a well paid job and a good position may be good for your mental health in the long term as you won't need to be reliant on benefits and you will have a routine where you are forced to go to work every day. It will also be good for your self esteem.

I don't know you well and I am not going to tell you what to do. All I am saying is that some people with psychosis can have good well paid jobs, others may not be able to. The psych team should not be treating everyone the same. You could make a complaint about the person who told you to lower your horizons.
 
jackolantern

jackolantern

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Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
117
Location
East Anglia.
Hi, i am almost two years into my Psychosis diagnosis and i personally have lowered my expectations of what i can achieve in the future, i have started voluntary work and have reduced any stressful activity in my life. I cannot plan more than 1 month ahead, my brain does not function as it did and my memory is affected by Psychosis everyday. I do not want any stress in my life so cherish the simple things that make life worth living. You have to cut out stress in your life if you want to move forward with mental illness. Peace Out :)
 
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smallgeezer

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
310
Location
Europe
the meds they put you on can affect your memory.
 
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thisisnotmylife

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Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
80
Location
UK
my mental health team seem to think that I can recover and go home and get my job back. I am currently staying with a friend after a big psychotic episode. the thing thats bothering me the most is that Ive lost everything because of this and it was all over my ex who isn't worth the time of day. Now I cant drive and have to report to the DVLA and this makes my life logistically impossible- I have to drive as its mostly rural round this area and its is where I live. all of this is hindering my recovery and now ive been diagnosed with mixed depressive and anxiety disorder as well as my diagnosis of psychotic disorder. I had prospects in life but now I have very little and thats if I do recover atall as I am too ill to live alone and dont even get dressed. In my case I dont have any horizons but I think it depends on your own circumstances. Ive definetly set myself up for a shittier life and its hard to adjust to but all we can do is plod on.
 
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smallgeezer

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Nov 10, 2019
Messages
310
Location
Europe
It is possible to make a full recovery.

Everyones illness is different though.

Some people have a low level of psychosis which they can just accept and deal with. Other people get sectioned frequently.
 
jackolantern

jackolantern

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Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
117
Location
East Anglia.
I do sympathise with you "thisisnotmylife" , you have to lower your expectations just to carry on somehow. Keep strong :)
 
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smallgeezer

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Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
310
Location
Europe
If you had a physical illness, such as you needed to become a wheelchair user, would you allow this to change your career prospects?

It would change your ability to drive.
 
jackolantern

jackolantern

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
117
Location
East Anglia.
Yes but mental illness affects your brain and thinking, it is a different scenario smallgeezer, but i guess wheelchair users may easily develop depression so it may affect there expectations as what they can achieve. Then there is public perception of wheel chair users which is not so good.
 
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