Trying to work and manage illness

M

Melon

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Feb 26, 2018
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21
#1
Hi all,

I’ve recently gone back to work after nearly three years off. I started out full time but already had to reduce my hours within the first two months. It was hard to ask my boss but I had to do it as I could feel myself on the road to relapse.

I’m just wondering how other people cope with work and Schizoaffective disorder. Am I weak for struggling?

Thanks, Melon
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

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#2
hi
i don't work or have schizoaffective disorder but you certainly are not weak
you should be very proud of yourself for managing to work at all
lots of love
Lu x
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#3
My last job ended in disaster and me being hospitalized. The job before that ended because I was no longer able to do my job correctly and they let me go. I haven't worked for pay since. Years went by and I was in a bad state but I finally started volunteering at a local charity due to my father-in-law's encouragement. I was led into it very gradually. At first I just rode along and hung out with my father-in-law and gave him a hand in whatever he had to do. Since then I have taken on a little more responsibility and have done work by myself or with other people. I fill in for my father-in-law when he is busy with something else or when he had hip surgery. Sometimes the volunteering is too much for me and it seems like it brings me to the brink of insanity. Sometimes I have to take some time off from the volunteering to give it a break. That's why I fear that I still can't hold down a real job. But I think in general the volunteer job is good for me. It gets me out of the house and out of my head and interacting with the real world on a regular basis. My symptoms don't seem to be so bad when I am out and about doing something.

So, no you are not weak for struggling. You are just doing the best you can under the circumstances of coping with a difficult illness. I hope you find strength, and are successful in what you want to do in life.
 
M

Melon

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#5
My last job ended in disaster and me being hospitalized. The job before that ended because I was no longer able to do my job correctly and they let me go. I haven't worked for pay since. Years went by and I was in a bad state but I finally started volunteering at a local charity due to my father-in-law's encouragement. I was led into it very gradually. At first I just rode along and hung out with my father-in-law and gave him a hand in whatever he had to do. Since then I have taken on a little more responsibility and have done work by myself or with other people. I fill in for my father-in-law when he is busy with something else or when he had hip surgery. Sometimes the volunteering is too much for me and it seems like it brings me to the brink of insanity. Sometimes I have to take some time off from the volunteering to give it a break. That's why I fear that I still can't hold down a real job. But I think in general the volunteer job is good for me. It gets me out of the house and out of my head and interacting with the real world on a regular basis. My symptoms don't seem to be so bad when I am out and about doing something.

So, no you are not weak for struggling. You are just doing the best you can under the circumstances of coping with a difficult illness. I hope you find strength, and are successful in what you want to do in life.
It’s hard how it pushes us so far isn’t it? What happens with me is a few things. My concentration can be quite poor and my short term memory can suffer so I find it hard to stay on top on tasks.

Then I get tired so easily and that causes symptoms to rear their heads. I start getting so agitated and high at the same time as being tired that it’s hard to function. I just feel so overwhelmed by the amount of information coming my way. I cannot keep up!

I doubt they’ll keep me on past my probation period which is up at the end of the month. But what can I do? I’ve tried so hard.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

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#6
Yes, I agree and feel for you. In my jobs that ended I was a troubleshooter of mechanical/electrical equipment and I got to the point that I just couldn't think clearly enough to figure out what was wrong with the equipment, or I would take something apart to fix it and I wouldn't remember how to put it back together again, and felt like I was literally dying from the stress of not being able to properly do my job. And like you said, the higher stress made the symptoms worse. I knew things could not continue this way. I was either going to get fired or I'd have a total breakdown. The first job I got laid off, and the second job I had the breakdown and was hospitalized. Things that did help for awhile was I started writing everything down. I kept a little notebook in my pocket that a coworker called my pocket brain that I wrote everything down that I knew I had to remember. And I would get sheets of paper and write down or draw diagrams of how I took something apart so I would know how to put it back together again. I also recommend you do stress relieving exercises, and try to look at life and your illness in a more calm, relaxed way. It won't be the end of the world if you lose this job. I thought my life and world would end if I lost my jobs but they didn't. Things got difficult for awhile but I think I have come out of the other side and I get along all right now. The volunteering thing is working for me as long as I am able to pay my bills with the disability payments I receive. Life is not as good as it used to be before I got ill, but I've finally come to accept the way things are now....well, maybe not always, but I think usually. Maybe I should rather say that I've gotten used to the way things are now.
 
vanish

vanish

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#7
I am not working but am a full time college student with schizoaffective disorder. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to cope but I find with good management, I can still complete my assignments and essays achieving good marks. It’s a juggling act most of the time but I have excellent support from my wife and her family as well as a support worker and psychiatrist and psychologist and gp.
Although I study full time, I do not intend to work full time as I know the stress involved could be disastrous.
I think you should be commended for your efforts and no, you’re definitely not weak.
 
A

amp29

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Greenland
#8
Although I study full time, I do not intend to work full time as I know the stress involved could be disastrous..
Hi. In my opinion its better to work part time. Something is better than producing bad reputations of being kicked out of full time jobs.
 
M

Melon

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#9
Yes, I agree and feel for you. In my jobs that ended I was a troubleshooter of mechanical/electrical equipment and I got to the point that I just couldn't think clearly enough to figure out what was wrong with the equipment, or I would take something apart to fix it and I wouldn't remember how to put it back together again, and felt like I was literally dying from the stress of not being able to properly do my job. And like you said, the higher stress made the symptoms worse. I knew things could not continue this way. I was either going to get fired or I'd have a total breakdown. The first job I got laid off, and the second job I had the breakdown and was hospitalized. Things that did help for awhile was I started writing everything down. I kept a little notebook in my pocket that a coworker called my pocket brain that I wrote everything down that I knew I had to remember. And I would get sheets of paper and write down or draw diagrams of how I took something apart so I would know how to put it back together again. I also recommend you do stress relieving exercises, and try to look at life and your illness in a more calm, relaxed way. It won't be the end of the world if you lose this job. I thought my life and world would end if I lost my jobs but they didn't. Things got difficult for awhile but I think I have come out of the other side and I get along all right now. The volunteering thing is working for me as long as I am able to pay my bills with the disability payments I receive. Life is not as good as it used to be before I got ill, but I've finally come to accept the way things are now....well, maybe not always, but I think usually. Maybe I should rather say that I've gotten used to the way things are now.
You’ve been through a lot with the work stuff! I’m glad you’re more settled now. I guess it’s trial and error trying to find what works and what doesn’t. But it can take a lot of pain to get to the right place. Thankfully my direct boss has been really understanding which is so helpful. I’m able to function better on the four day week and it’s slightly less stressful. Thanks for replying, so good to hear about other experiences x
 
M

Melon

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#10
I am not working but am a full time college student with schizoaffective disorder. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to cope but I find with good management, I can still complete my assignments and essays achieving good marks. It’s a juggling act most of the time but I have excellent support from my wife and her family as well as a support worker and psychiatrist and psychologist and gp.
Although I study full time, I do not intend to work full time as I know the stress involved could be disastrous.
I think you should be commended for your efforts and no, you’re definitely not weak.
That’s brilliant that you’re doing well with your studies! I’m so glad to hear it. I bet it is a juggling act. The support is so needed right? I get great support from my psychiatrist and my employment support worker. But yeah, it’s a balancing act alright. Take care :)
 
M

Melon

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#11
Hi. In my opinion its better to work part time. Something is better than producing bad reputations of being kicked out of full time jobs.
I think I’ve learned my lesson here. I’ll not try to go back to full time again. I need to recognise my limitations but try to do as well as I can within them. It can be quite hard to have to admit to those limitations but it’s either that or relapse and I know what I choose if and when I can make the choice.
 
R

RKA1952

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#12
I returned to a promising career after the onset of my symptoms, but I gradually found my job performance deteriorating, to the point that I got out of working entirely. I’m much happier since reducing my workload, and the attendant stress, though I frequently hear accusing voices that say I’m a quitter and a failure in life. I just have to remind myself that having an illness does not make me a loser.
 
M

Melon

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#13
I returned to a promising career after the onset of my symptoms, but I gradually found my job performance deteriorating, to the point that I got out of working entirely. I’m much happier since reducing my workload, and the attendant stress, though I frequently hear accusing voices that say I’m a quitter and a failure in life. I just have to remind myself that having an illness does not make me a loser.
No, it certainly doesn’t. It’s hard having to adjust to live within the lines that illness draws for us. Your health has to come first, without it there is nothing else. Please don’t feel like a quitter. Work really is hard. I guess the stress trigger is too powerful for so many of us. I’m totally realising how easily things are triggered now.
 
Ecri

Ecri

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#14
I'm currently on disabilty but I have worked a couple jobs and I've been a full time student a few times. I'd have to say that stress is the biggest factor for a lot of us. Just reading the comments I see a trend. I got kicked out of my ex's place for a little while after a hospitalization and my parents gave me shit about not having a job. So I broke down and applied to subway. They hired me. Lucky, they were short staffed. Anyway, I couldnt hack it. I made it two weeks and finally one day I thought I was either going to snap and yell at someone or cry uncontrollably, so I stepped outside to smoke. Obvsioulsy got yelled at. Anxiety spiking, I quit and left.

I felt like an utter failure. 16 year olds from highschool could do this job and I'm having a panic attack in the back room and crying myself to sleep every night. Over a fucking sandwich job!

Before that, I worked in a factory, 2nd shift and honestly, it wasnt bad. I was just starting to see things more vividly and I'd gotten back into writing. They usually had me on a machine in the second building, and most likely I'd be alone most the night with something that didnt run that fast. I was happy. to an extent mind you but still happy. I lasted 6 months and got fired over an injury. Eh, it happens.

Point is, I did well with the factory bc I wasnt dealing with things that stressed me out.

It also depends on what your symptoms are because it seems like everyone deals with more of this or less of that. I have more delusions and thought problems like association, or in some cases dissocation but they dont really understand that one with me yet. But there were times when I was having way more hallucinations and delusions when symptoms were starting up. Art was my method of coping. Yeah I drew stuff and all that but my talent was in writing. So like during summer break when my stress was highest I would write all day long sometimes and just let all of my thoughts and desires wind through my mind and let my fingers do the typing.

I always recomend some form of "getting your thoughts out". I dont write much these days but I find a good time and record myself talking or rambling about whatever and just save it. I also tend to just randomly talk to things that may or may not be there. Its kinda like therapy but if your looking to stay away from your hallucinations then I recomend channeling your thoughts in some way like playing with clay (or whatever that stuff is that doesnt require anything), or draw, or write, or sing, or dance (o_O dancing is fun), any way to express that thing inside you that you've been struggling with.

Give it a face. give it a name.

And then.

Put a party hat on it or throw Mjolnir at it bc you are WORTHY!!!

I'm a nerd.
 
aspieguy1984

aspieguy1984

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#16
You are not weak. You just need to find a balance in your life.

I work between 3-5 hours a morning (very early morning) 6 days a week delivering newspapers. I buy sell and trade stuff. Deal in scrap metal. Etc. The only thing i "have" to do is papers.
 
M

Melon

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#17
Hey Ecri, I had a job once that was in production and was kind of like you said with the factory, I knew exactly what my job was and I did it on repeat and it was great! Problems came when I got promoted. Things really fell apart! So this job I’m doing now is only for four more months if they keep me that long. I think I’m going to look for a part time peer support role in mental health. I think I’ll do better in that kind of environment.

Hey aspieguy1984 that sounds like a good balance. I did overtime last night, worked a 12hour day and feel a wreck today. No more overtime!!!

Hope you’re all doing ok x