Why is it hard for my friend with schizoprenia to work?

He says he can’t work cause it’s stressful & it’s meaningless. Then he told me he can’t work because he lost his I.d. & ss card. Then he said he’ll just file for disability. Is this him being lazy, or is it his illness? I know he had 2 jobs last year before he stopped taking medication, & had a relapse.

And I’ve heard it’s hard for some schizophrenics to work. Why is that? Anyone with schizoprenia have any insight on this? I would greatly appreciate it.

Hi again,

I don’t want to generalize, but when my brother and when my boyfriend had a relapse, staying organized, motivated, being abel to handle the stress of this illness took all the strength and ability they had. My brother had to stabilize before he was able to get back into working. My ex-Bf is still going through a prodormal phase and isn’t strong enough yet to manage getting back into working or school

I would never call my ex bf lazy. I know negative symptoms can take a lot of someone’s life away. You might want to look into those.

For my brother, the negative symptoms were the most debilitating. For my ex- Bf, it was the positive symptoms that makes it hard for him to function.

symptom over view

Thank you for letting me post.

If you are one of the lucky ones then your negative symptoms will go away when psychosis and depression ends. But for a very large percentage this doesn’t happen. Professionals distinguish between primary and secondary negative symptoms, where primary symptoms are due to the illness itself and secondary are due to other symptoms like psychosis or depression. I have strong avolition (powerty of will) and it’s a primary negative symptom. This means, for me personally, that every day, all day, I am more tired than normal people are after coming home from an 8 hour shift. I know this because there was a time before I got ill when I could work 8 hour shifts. I do get some chores done but it takes all my spare energy and it’s not enough to keep my apartment clean. I will try working maybe half a day a week soon, and I hope I can manage it, but I doubt I will ever be able to work more than 8 hours a week. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it. And it has taken me years to get this far.

Edit: Actually avolition means you have a hard time doing what you want to do (i.e. willing things). I call my tiredness avolition too since they go hand in hand. Technically it might be wrong though, just so you know. And I also have a hard time doing what I want to do. Especially when tired.
Wikipedia explains it a lot better: “Avolition, as a symptom of various forms of psychopathology, is the decrease in the motivation to initiate and perform self-directed purposeful activities.[1] Such activities that appear to be neglected usually include routine activities, including hobbies, going to work and/or school, and most notably, engaging in social activities. A person experiencing avolition may stay at home for long periods of time, rather than seeking out work or peer relations.”

depends on the person and the severity of the illness. stressful, yes, but meaningless, not accurate.
toughest part of working for me was getting along with co-workers. when you do not have a grasp on what is happening/ not happening, this can create all sorts of mishaps and misunderstandings. with that said, there are ample jobs out there with minimal supervision and/or exposure to co-workers, I’m sz and work in sales; this is a stressful job for anyone but it actually compliments nicely with my illness. won’t go into full detail now, but finding the right job is as vital as just finding a job.

Lot of the schizophrenics are busy to fight the negative symthoms 24h / day. Imagine if you’d have to work when you always would have a hangover. You wouldn’t work then, right?

When I was working I was always on the verge of being overwhelmed. My insides were twisting. Even when my positive symptoms were under control I always thought - “What’s the use?” When you’re mentally ill even simple tasks can seem overwhelming. It’s always easy to become demoralized.

i dont think i will ever have a full time job or even a part time job, things are tough for us guys even on meds, meds help us function but they sedate us so much and things its really hard to do anything, you are lucky you can do anything tbh, i can do some things but i know my limits. its a struggle.

My family member’s positive symptoms made it hard for him to work because he felt frightened and angry all the time; he could not understand instructions or do the work in a timely manner. He got into arguments with co-workers… Could go on.

jasminez4u2, 80% of schizophrenics are never able to work, so your friend is certainly not lazy. A lot of people have mentioned some of the symptoms that make it extra difficult to do the tasks that you and I take for granted. Another thing is that the stress of doing that can provoke a relapse. Relapse is bad. That can lead to decreased functioning and medication resistance, not to mention the suffering of the relapse itself. Studies have shown that work is beneficial for those that are able to do it. Personally, I think a lot of people would benefit from part time supportive work place, but that’s not an option for everyone.

Sometimes my son will make an excuse for not doing something-when actually-he can`t. I think he hates to admit these things.
Your boyfriend is not lazy…

because we do not handle stress very well. we have a lot on our plates dealing with the full time job of mental illness.
it can still be done. but it is challenging for sure.

because lets see…mmmmmm…;
we hear voices 24/7
we see things that are not there
our minds get muddled
we find it hard to wash
we find it hard to socially interact
medication for some cause side effects
you would not last a second in my mind…try and show some compassion :heart:
get informed and get educated…then you can support him properly. :books:
take care :alien:

I know I will never work again because of anxiety, paranoia. And even on medication I still hear and see things. I have no motivation sometimes part of that is due to my meds they make me tired even after a full night’s rest.

@darksith, soooo validating…thank you. Concise and to the point, and I relate completely!

@jasminez4u2 I work, at a job helping disabled students. It is meaningful and that is important, and it’s also pretty relaxed in a lot of ways. I still need to take just about all my sick days and I need the summer off. I 'm not lazy; I’m really really busy insde my mind and it is exhausting. Like darksith wrote, there’s a lot going on. It does sound like getting back on meds might help though? I wish both of you well.

People with sz can be VERY tired most of the time - have difficulty concentrating - have difficulty reading - have difficulty conversing with people and lots and lots of other jazz…