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Occupation For People Who Suffer From Schizophrenia

Sep 3, 2008
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder, in which the sufferer experiences a grossly distorted reality, paranoid or bizarre delusions, and disorganized speech and thinking. A person diagnosed with schizophrenia is likely to also suffer from clinical depression and anxiety disorders that cause them to face social problems. Their outrageous behavior, which may include talking quickly and incoherently, hearing voices, developing paranoid thoughts, and dressing inappropriately, may cause people to fear and isolate people who suffer from schizophrenias. Social problems are common among people who suffer from schizophrenia, and their average life expectancy is 10 to 12 years less than the average people due to high suicide rate and increased physical health problems.

However, it should be noted that schizophrenia is by no means an untreatable disease. People do recover from this disorder and return to their normal lives. Unfortunately, some are not as lucky. It is quite understandable, as it can be difficult to cope with a normal life after an active phase of schizophrenia. However, there are a few options for people who suffer from schizophrenias who are willing to recover from their social dysfunction. Programs such as vocational rehabilitation, for example, can help rebuild work skills and self confidence. Finding the right occupation is also important, as it may motivate the person who suffers from schizophrenia disorder to have a meaningful life.

There are, of course, a few things that should be considered when finding the right occupation for people who suffer from schizophrenia.

1. Asses the severity of the disorder
First and foremost, the severity of the disorder should be assessed to know what types of occupation the person is able to do. It would be best if the person with the disorder takes on an occupation that he has done before or is familiar with to minimize troubles, but if he has never worked before then all hope is not lost.

An occupation that does not cause stress should be selected. If the person still has trouble socializing or controlling his emotions, then maybe a work-at-home job can be considered. If possible, the vocational rehabilitation center should be contacted to find job coaches or listing of jobs.

2. Explore his skills and interests
It would be better if the person who suffers from schizophrenia disorder does something that he likes or wants to do, as like any other person he would be more motivated. Hopefully by doing something he likes, he will recover more quickly.

If the person has special skills that enable him to create his own business, than this too can be an option. However, it does not mean that a person who suffers from schizophrenia has to do a paid job; unpaid voluntary work, as long as it helps give the person with a sense of identity and purpose, can also be an option.

3. Asses how his job can increase his life quality
As the main goal of finding an occupation for people who suffer from schizophrenia is to increase his life quality, it should be considered. Find out if the job could help the person with the disorder improve his social skills yet accommodate him with little to no stress.

4. Make sure the workplace has accommodation for people who suffer from schizophrenias
Once the right occupation is found, it is also important to assess the workplace. It needs to accommodate the demands a person who suffers from schizophrenia disorders, so that he does not have troubles in the workplace.

Finding the right occupation for people who suffer from schizophrenia may be difficult. But it is an important step as employment can reintegrate people back into community. It may also help lessen financial burden. However, should problems occur when looking for the right occupation, Disability Employment Support agencies can be contacted to find suitable one.
About the Author
Ronen David is the chairman of "Malam" (an Israeli organization supporting and representing those dealing with mental disabilities). He is the author of the "How to Cope With Psychosis & Schizophrenia Self Help Handbook".
Visit his web site and learn Coping With Schizophrenia
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