Can You Work With Schizophrenia?

can you work with schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can severely limit your ability to work, but you may be able to if your symptoms are controlled by medications

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. This severe and often debilitating disease can cause problems with differentiating reality from delusion. 

The disorder adversely affects a person’s ability to manage and express their emotions and make decisions, as they may experience distorted perceptions. Symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations: Hearing or seeing things that are not there.
  • Delusions: Fixed false beliefs or suspicions, which are firmly held even when there is evidence to the contrary. For example, they may believe that people want to harm them or are conspiring against them.
  • Abnormal behavior: Examples include moving around aimlessly, lack of self-care, laughing or crying for no reason. or talking or mumbling to oneself.
  • Disorganized speech: Speech may not make sense or be illogical.
  • Emotional disturbances: Diminished facial or vocal expression of emotions or inability to feel pleasure.

How can schizophrenia impact your ability to work?

Schizophrenia can severely limit a person’s ability to perform daily activities. This is especially true for people who experience visual and auditory hallucinations, since these can make carrying out tasks impractical or even dangerous for themselves and others in the workspace. In addition, adapting to a work environment can be especially challenging since the disorder can cause disordered thinking and inability to concentrate or interact with others.

However, when symptoms are controlled through medications and therapy, it’s possible for people with schizophrenia to hold gainful employment. For some, working can help in the healing process and build a sense of independence and well-being.

What kind of work can a person with schizophrenia do?

While you may be able to work with schizophrenia if you are managing your symptoms with medication, the type of work you can perform depends on the severity of your symptoms in addition to your skills and qualifications.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about finding a suitable job, since it may take some trial and error to find one that works for you. Discussing your condition with your family, friends, and doctors can also help you narrow down some options regarding what job you may be able to handle and how it could affect your illness and vice versa.


Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness. See Answer
American Psychiatric Association. What Is Schizophrenia? Can I Continue Working with Schizophrenia?