Schizophrenia Watch

Ki Yung Na
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Newly diagnosed with schizophrenia; how do you deal with it?

Can you learn to drive, can you go to university? can you get into and maintain a life in high paying roles like investment banking?

Just curious about other peoples experiences with shizo,
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StormyOcean
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Hi, I dont have schizophrenia but I do experience paranoia and delusions as a result of another disorder and one of my closest friends has had schizophrenia for over 10 years.

To answer your questions - yes you can lead a perfectly normal life and do whatever you want.
1) Can you learn to drive - yep! If you are currently experiencing hallucinations or are on medications that make you very drowsy then you shouldn't but you can work with your GP to manage your symptoms and side effects so you can drive
2) Can you go to uni? - Yes my friend with schizophrenia did a 3 year degree, got a first and then did a masters. If you let your university know about your condition they can offer you support such as counselling, disabled students allowance and provide accommodation best suited to you
3) Can you get into and maintain a life in high paying roles like investment banking? - Yes. It would be illegal for a job to discriminate against you due to a mental health condition. As long as you work hard and do all the necessary training you should be able to do what you want.

I really wish you all the luck with your new diagnosis and going forward with your life. Things may be difficult at times and feel impossible when your mental illness is holding you back, but it is only one part of you. You are still the person you were before your diagnosis and there is still so many good things about you. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your doctors and communicate with them. If you get prescribed medication take it as advised and don't suddenly stop as that can have some nasty effects! Don't go through this alone, talk to people and get support
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Ki Yung Na)
Newly diagnosed with schizophrenia; how do you deal with it?

Can you learn to drive, can you go to university? can you get into and maintain a life in high paying roles like investment banking?

Just curious about other peoples experiences with shizo,
I've been diagnosed with schizophrenia for about 3 years now.

I drove to my job this morning. The job requires a master's degree which I have. Gotta admit though, I have to take things easy because stress is a huge trigger for me - so definitely not investment banking but if stress doesn't trigger an episode in you then I don't see why you shouldn't be able to be an investment banker. Be realistic though buddy.
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Ki Yung Na
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
I've been diagnosed with schizophrenia for about 3 years now.

I drove to my job this morning. The job requires a master's degree which I have. Gotta admit though, I have to take things easy because stress is a huge trigger for me - so definitely not investment banking but if stress doesn't trigger an episode in you then I don't see why you shouldn't be able to be an investment banker. Be realistic though buddy.
Did you learn to drive before your diganosis? Would you ever stop taking medication? How does the condition effect you in regards to studying? I would like to study but i find it very difficult with memory and concentration to be able to actually focus on a subject and had to drop out of a mathematics course

How functioning are you? because it sounds like you are doing very well for someone effected by this terrible condition, how do you manage it?
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Ki Yung Na
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(Original post by StormyOcean)
Hi, I dont have schizophrenia but I do experience paranoia and delusions as a result of another disorder and one of my closest friends has had schizophrenia for over 10 years.

To answer your questions - yes you can lead a perfectly normal life and do whatever you want.
1) Can you learn to drive - yep! If you are currently experiencing hallucinations or are on medications that make you very drowsy then you shouldn't but you can work with your GP to manage your symptoms and side effects so you can drive
2) Can you go to uni? - Yes my friend with schizophrenia did a 3 year degree, got a first and then did a masters. If you let your university know about your condition they can offer you support such as counselling, disabled students allowance and provide accommodation best suited to you
3) Can you get into and maintain a life in high paying roles like investment banking? - Yes. It would be illegal for a job to discriminate against you due to a mental health condition. As long as you work hard and do all the necessary training you should be able to do what you want.

I really wish you all the luck with your new diagnosis and going forward with your life. Things may be difficult at times and feel impossible when your mental illness is holding you back, but it is only one part of you. You are still the person you were before your diagnosis and there is still so many good things about you. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your doctors and communicate with them. If you get prescribed medication take it as advised and don't suddenly stop as that can have some nasty effects! Don't go through this alone, talk to people and get support
How do you manage your symptoms and how did you identify the triggers to your condition? Did your friend live outside of home for university? and does he work?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Ki Yung Na)
Did you learn to drive before your diganosis? Would you ever stop taking medication? How does the condition effect you in regards to studying? I would like to study but i find it very difficult with memory and concentration to be able to actually focus on a subject and had to drop out of a mathematics course

How functioning are you? because it sounds like you are doing very well for someone effected by this terrible condition, how do you manage it?
Hey man, I'll try to answer you.

I learned to drive in 2014 which was before my diagnosis, but I have been hearing voices since 2008 I just didn't get the schizophrenia diagnosis until around 3 years ago.

I've stopped taking medication a few times and ended up in hospital or under the crisis team every time. But I certainly don't plan on being on medication for life. My psychiatrist says I can't stop it but I will prove him wrong. I think I can do it with the right circumstances and support.

I have the same problems you mention with memory and concentration and that has really stopped me doing my best at...well....anything, but especially studying. I dropped out twice before getting my undergrad. Masters took 2 years. And I tried to retrain by doing classes at a local university, but I'm not doing great at that. However, I don't want to work this job forever so I'm trying. I have a lot of trouble with motivation too: motivation to study, motivation to get out of bed and shower.

My functionality is often pretty good now that I have the right medication and a ultra low stress job. However, I still have difficulty often - I forget where sentences are going when I talk to people, or just forget simple words. I get ideas about people wanting to hurt me so I have to talk those kind of things over with my psychologist and we try to work through them. My mind also tends to go down rabbit holes of thinking and I get completely obsessed and lost. My memory is terrible, and my concentration still really bad. I found keeping to a schedule really helps me avoid relapsing - I think that's the most important thing I do day to day, my phone has a lot of alarms set for different things throughout the day.

A diagnosis of schizophrenia isn't the end of the world, buddy. You can still achieve, You just have this hurdle but it can still be conquered.
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Lostx
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I have a Schizophrenia too. Do you find it difficult to cry? I’m wondering if it is my meds. It is as though I’m crying without the tears.
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Ki Yung Na
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Hey man, I'll try to answer you.

I learned to drive in 2014 which was before my diagnosis, but I have been hearing voices since 2008 I just didn't get the schizophrenia diagnosis until around 3 years ago.

I've stopped taking medication a few times and ended up in hospital or under the crisis team every time. But I certainly don't plan on being on medication for life. My psychiatrist says I can't stop it but I will prove him wrong. I think I can do it with the right circumstances and support.

I have the same problems you mention with memory and concentration and that has really stopped me doing my best at...well....anything, but especially studying. I dropped out twice before getting my undergrad. Masters took 2 years. And I tried to retrain by doing classes at a local university, but I'm not doing great at that. However, I don't want to work this job forever so I'm trying. I have a lot of trouble with motivation too: motivation to study, motivation to get out of bed and shower.

My functionality is often pretty good now that I have the right medication and a ultra low stress job. However, I still have difficulty often - I forget where sentences are going when I talk to people, or just forget simple words. I get ideas about people wanting to hurt me so I have to talk those kind of things over with my psychologist and we try to work through them. My mind also tends to go down rabbit holes of thinking and I get completely obsessed and lost. My memory is terrible, and my concentration still really bad. I found keeping to a schedule really helps me avoid relapsing - I think that's the most important thing I do day to day, my phone has a lot of alarms set for different things throughout the day.

A diagnosis of schizophrenia isn't the end of the world, buddy. You can still achieve, You just have this hurdle but it can still be conquered.
The motivation bit sounds exactly like me! And the studying part, I'm glad i'm not alone

That sounds like it's been a very difficult journey. I've also dropped out of university twice now and am still feeling like it's the only option to progress career wise! I don't want to be stuck in a job where i have little motivation and interest or pay, it's a difficult place to be.

Did you have any troubles learning to drive or maintaining your licence after you contacted dvla to inform them of your condition? I've been worried that I can't live without medication tbh but I feel much better when I'm off, at least cognitively speaking and feel like that's the major hurdle for me in regards to studying.

If you don't mind, what medication are you taking atm and do you go to the gym?
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Ki Yung Na
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(Original post by Lostx)
I have a Schizophrenia too. Do you find it difficult to cry? I’m wondering if it is my meds. It is as though I’m crying without the tears.
It's funny you bring this up (not in a humourus way) because I was wondering if it was only me too! I do not cry at all and I tried to think hard about something that'd upset me and make me cry and i found my thoughts just divert elsewhere and I can't do it! It might be the meds or it might just be the way we're programmed? I'm not too sure mate
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Lostx
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I really want to stop the meds.

What are the repercussions of stopping meds?
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Ki Yung Na
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(Original post by Lostx)
I really want to stop the meds.

What are the repercussions of stopping meds?
I wouldn't recommend it. Every time I stopped my health deteriorated. I started getting paranoid thoughts and it just spirals down from there
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StormyOcean
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(Original post by Ki Yung Na)
How do you manage your symptoms and how did you identify the triggers to your condition? Did your friend live outside of home for university? and does he work?
My friend did live away from home at uni. She went to a uni relatively close to her home so if she did relapse she would be able to spend a weekend at home etc and now she has a job as a mental health nurse and lives with her boyfriend having a normal life!

In terms of how I manage my symptoms, I haven't exactly figured that out yet. I'm currently going through the procedure of getting a formal diagnosis to find the best treatment. To identify triggers it might help to use a diary or some way of tracking when you have bad episodes. Then reflect on what may have caused it. For example due to trauma I know I can't watch certain stuff in movies so I always check online to see if that particular content comes up. I guess you just need to take responsibility for your well-being and stay aware of how your actions affect your emotions in both positive and negative ways and then act accordingly.

Sorry I couldn't be more help
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