Schizophrenia And The Americans With Disabilities Act
The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act .
Negative Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
The word “negative” here doesnât mean “bad.” It notes the absence of normal behaviors in people with schizophrenia. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Lack of emotion or a limited range of emotions
- Withdrawal from family, friends, and social activities
- Less energy
- Loss of pleasure or interest in life
- Poor hygiene and grooming habits
A Review Of Schizophrenia
It is not easy discussing schizophrenia, its etiology remains unknown and the treatment does not significantly help the bizarre cognitive dysfunction.
There are still a lot of misunderstandings with schizophrenia but one factor that is very necessary is using a lot of compassion.
Its very important to gain trust by families or individuals affected by schizophrenia because its a constant battle with reality. Being sympathetic is the best approach to truly build a therapeutic alliance because schizophrenia can greatly impact everything.
Frequent reorientation is key but even with medications and early treatment, theres still a progressive declined in cognition. Overall, compassion and having patience is the most important virtues to guide the care:
Also Check: What Are The Three Stages Of Schizophrenia
Health Literacy Is Incredibly Important Yet Uncommon
Despite the global rates of mental illness, many still dont understand what mental illness or mental health mean. For example, a 2015 study of working-age adults in the United Kingdom found that about 61% of respondents had a poor understanding of mental health conditions, symptoms, and treatments.
This lack of health literacy, the study said, could have a negative impact on the ability of those in need to get help and make informed decisions about managing their conditions. Based on studies like this, health experts have led efforts to boost mental health literacy and increase awareness and understanding of mental illness.
The thing with all mental health disorders is that none of them define the entire person. Although their symptoms might impair their ability to do things others are able to do, they still have areas of strength and competence. Whenever we talk about health versus illness, its always important to remember this. Dr. Christopher Palmer
Poor mental health literacy also contributes to the problem of mental health stigma. Those who do not understand mental health or mental illness often hold negative and harmful attitudes toward those with psychiatric issues. These attitudes lead to shame, anger, and feelings of worthlessness.
Giving Mental Disorders Adequate Attention
We hope our findings ensure more disabling disorders are given adequate attention, support, and funding.
The study is a collaboration with researchers from the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Denmarks National Centre for Register-based Research and UQs Queensland Brain Institute.
This research is published in Lancet Psychiatry.
Funding was generously provided by The Danish National Research Foundation, Queensland Government Department of Health, European Unions Horizon 2020, Lundbeck Foundation and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.
You May Like: Pristiq Anxiety
Disorganized Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
These are positive symptoms that show that the person canât think clearly or respond as expected. Examples include:
- Talking in sentences that donât make sense or using nonsense words, making it difficult for the person to communicate or hold a conversation
- Shifting quickly from one thought to the next without obvious or logical connections between them
- Moving slowly
- Being unable to make decisions
- Writing excessively but without meaning
- Forgetting or losing things
- Repeating movements or gestures, like pacing or walking in circles
- Having problems making sense of everyday sights, sounds, and feelings
When A Mental Health Condition Becomes A Disability
A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.
Your condition is long term if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.
Normal day-to-day activity is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.
If your mental health condition means you are disabled you can get support at work from your employer.
There are many different types of mental health condition which can lead to a disability, including:
Read Also: Does Celine Dion Have An Eating Disorder
The Most Common Early Warning Signs Include:
While these warning signs can result from a number of problemsnot just schizophreniathey are cause for concern. When out-of-the-ordinary behavior is causing problems in your life or the life of a loved one, seek medical advice. If schizophrenia or another mental problem is the cause, getting treatment early will help.
Attitudes About Mental Illness And Mental Health
A CBS News poll conducted in the fall of 2019 detailed American attitudes and awareness of mental health issues. Almost 90% of respondents said there is some stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness in our society. More than 30% stated that discrimination and stigma associated with mental illness has decreased over the past ten years. However, about 30% said that the situation remains unchanged.
Most of the poll respondents said they had some understanding of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Many said that they know someone who had been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. The poll found that most Americans considered mental illness a serious issue.
Recommended Reading: What Is Pristiq Used For
How To Prove Disability If You Have A Psychotic Disorder
If you are unable to work due to Schizophrenia or a psychotic disorder, you may qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits. The SSA states psychotic disorders should be evaluated under listing 12.03. For example, the SSA considers psychotic disorders that include delusions, such as hearing voices or seeing things that arent there. Visual hallucinations occur when you see things that arent really there. If you hear things that are not there, then you have aural hallucinations.
The SSA uses Listing 12.03 to define the symptoms of a psychotic disorder that qualifies for disability benefits. Below is listing 12.03, which outlines the symptoms you must document to prove disability. Listing 12.03 can be found on the SSA website and is also discussed below.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophreniform Disorder
Symptoms of schizophreniform disorder are similar to those of schizophrenia and might include the following:
- Delusions .
- Hallucinations .
- Disorganized speech, such as: your statements not making sense, using nonsense words and skipping quickly from one topic to another.
- Odd or strange behavior such as: pacing, walking in circles and writing constantly.
- Other symptoms, including: limited emotional expression, lack of energy, poor hygiene and grooming habits, loss of interest or pleasure in life and withdrawal from family, friends and social activities.
You May Like: How To Get A Service Dog For Anxiety And Ptsd
Medical Qualifying With A Mental Illness
The SSA conducts a detailed review of your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits. During this review, they try to match your records to a disability listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSAs medical guide that is used to evaluate every disability application.
Disability listings outline the severity level requirements and the specific medical evidence needed to support a claim for benefits. Mental illnesses appear in Section 12.00 and include:
- 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders you may qualify under this listing if you have a severe phobia, post-traumatic stress, a panic disorder, or another anxiety-related condition.
- 12.08, Personality Disorders this is the listing under which you may qualify if you have severe, clinical depression.
- 12.04, Affective Disorders if you have bipolar disorder, your application will be reviewed under this listing.
Extensive medical records are necessary to qualify, including:
- Information on your diagnosis, ideally from a psychiatrist or psychologist
- Brain scans or other evidence of physical abnormalities that document an organic cause for symptoms, if applicable
- Treatment records, documenting medications, therapy, and other management methods used and their effects
- Thoroughly documented episodes of increased symptoms or periods of decompensation
- Well documented affects of your symptoms on your everyday abilities or activities of daily living
Schizophrenics Should Get A Lawyer’s Help
Disability applicants who have complex mental conditions like schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders should consider hiring an experienced disability attorney to represent them. Not only is schizophrenia a complicated disorder, but those who suffer from it are at a great disadvantage when they choose to represent themselves, particularly in light of the limitations this condition places on concentration, memory, and logical thinking. A disability lawyer can take over getting necessary medical records and doctors’ opinions and can manage the hearing process for the applicant.
Recommended Reading: Does Pristiq Help With Anxiety
How Is Schizophreniform Disorder Diagnosed
If symptoms are present, your healthcare provider will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophreniform disorder, your healthcare provider might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of your symptoms. These tests may be blood tests or imaging studies of the brain.
If your healthcare provider finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These are health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate you for a psychotic disorder. The healthcare provider or therapist bases his or her diagnosis on your symptoms and his or her observation of your attitude and behavior.
Your healthcare provider or therapist then determines if your symptoms point to a specific disorder as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the standard reference book for recognized mental illnesses. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder is made if you have characteristic symptoms that last between one and six months.
Evaluating Your Residual Functional Capacity
If your medical evidence does not “meet” Listing 12.03, then the SSA will determine your “residual functional capacity” to perform basic work tasks, which means how much you are still able to do in spite of your illness. To be found disabled, your RFC must show that you are able to do so little that you cannot perform any jobs you’ve done in the past or any other work in the U.S.
If you have schizophrenia, it is likely that your ability to perform mental skills will be greatly reduced. Therefore, your mental RFC might also include the following: an inability to concentrate on tasks on a long-term basis, an inability to work well with co-workers, and an inability to perform most basic work tasks quickly and under a deadline. If you have severe problems with basic mental skills such as concentration and understanding directions, then it is more probable that the SSA will find you unable to perform any work. But if the SSA finds you can do some type of simple unskilled job that doesn’t require much contact with co-workers, it may find that you aren’t disabled.
Don’t Miss: Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia Definition
Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders
Childhood schizophrenia was not directly added to the DSM until 1968, when it was added to the DSM-II, which set forth diagnostic criteria similar to that of adult schizophrenia. “Schizophrenia, childhood type” was a DSM-II diagnosis with diagnostic code 295.8, equivalent to “schizophrenic reaction, childhood type” in DSM-I . “Schizophrenia, childhood type” was successfully removed from the DSM-III , and in the Appendix C they wrote: “there is currently no way of predicting which children will develop Schizophrenia as adults”. Instead of childhood schizophrenia they proposed to use of “infantile autism” and “childhood onset pervasive developmental disorder” .
In the DSM-III-R , DSM-IV , DSM-IV-TR , DSM-5 there is no “childhood schizophrenia”. The rationale for this approach was that, since the clinical pictures of adult schizophrenia and childhood schizophrenia are identical, childhood schizophrenia should not be a separate disorder. However, the section in schizophrenia’s Development and Course in DSM-5, includes references to childhood-onset schizophrenia.
Because The Two Are Used Interchangeably Warning Signs Are Often Overlooked
Mental health and mental illness are not the same thing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control , mental illness refers to conditions that affect a persons thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. These can include but arent limited to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Mental health reflects our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Affecting how we think, feel, and act, mental health has a strong impact on the way we interact with others, handle problems, and make decisions.
Christopher M. Palmer, MD, director of McLeans Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education, pointed out that mental health and mental illness are similar to the concept of physical health and physical illness.
Its not all or nothing, he said. The term mental health implies the absence of illness or disorder. But there are a lot of ways people can be mentally healthy or ill, just like there are many ways to be physically healthy or unwell. Both mental health and mental illness are states of being that are on a spectrum.
This misunderstanding can be problematic, leading us to sometimes overlook signs that someone needs help. The CDC points out that many individuals with poor mental health have not been formally diagnosed with a mental illness. Also, many people who do have a diagnosed mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.
Recommended Reading: Can You Be Bipolar And Have Bpd
Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness
Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.
Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia symptoms range from mild to severe. There are three main types of symptoms: positive, negative and cognitive.
1. Positive symptoms refer to a distortion of a person’s normal thinking and functioning. They are “psychotic” behaviors. People with these symptoms are sometimes unable to tell what is real from what is imagined. Positive symptoms include:
- Hallucinations: when a person sees, hears, smells, or feels things that no one else can. “Hearing voices” is common for people with schizophrenia. People who hear voices may hear them for a long time before family or friends notice a problem.
- Delusions: when a person believes things that are not true. For example, a person may believe that people on the radio and television are talking directly to him or her. Sometimes people believe that they are in danger-that other people are trying to hurt them.
- Thought disorders: ways of thinking that are not usual or helpful. People with thought disorders may have trouble organizing their thoughts. Sometimes a person will stop talking in the middle of a thought. And some people make up words that have no meaning.
- Movement disorders: may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may stop moving or talking for a while, a rare condition called “catatonia.”
- Trouble using information to make decisions
- Problems using information immediately after learning it
- Trouble paying attention
Recommended Reading: Fear Of Spoons
Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed On A Spectrum
Schizophrenia is just one of several conditions that fall under the spectrum of psychotic disorders.
While there is one set of criteria for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, the severity of symptoms can vary both by individual and over time in the same individual. Sometimes symptoms can be mild.
Someone who has some symptoms of schizophrenia but doesn’t meet the criteria for a diagnosis may be experiencing a different psychotic disorder that is similar to schizophrenia.
Can You Get Disability For Schizophrenia
A simple diagnosis of schizophrenia is not enough to get disability benefits an individual suffering from schizophrenia must be able to prove that schizophrenic symptoms prevent him or her from working, despite taking anti-psychotic medication.
The disability criteria for schizophrenia are a reflection of the complexity of the medical condition itself. There are no biological tests that can be conducted to establish schizophrenia, but brain imaging shows distinctive changes and may soon be accurate enough to use. For now, diagnosis is still currently by mental status examination.
Read Also: Pristiq Vs Effexor
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Schizophreniform Disorder
- Do I have schizophreniform disorder or schizophrenia?
- How long do you estimate my symptoms will last?
- What specialist should I see?
- Can I attend work/school?
- Do I need to be hospitalized?
- Do I have another mental health disorder such as depression?
- What medications do you recommend?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Schizophreniform disorder can be devastating. It can make you act in odd ways, think inconsistent thoughts, change topics too quickly when you speak, express emotions inconsistently, change your relationships with others and damage how you see and interact with reality. It can be scary to experience, but fortunately, some specialists and treatments may help.
Remember to trust your friends and family and any healthcare provider youre working with. What you perceive as reality may not be true, so try to listen when they correct you. Take your medications exactly as ordered. See your healthcare providers frequently to ensure the best care. Manage depression symptoms that may occur and avoid substance abuse to improve your overall quality of life.