- Del Meyer, MD - https://delmeyer.net -

Work & Mental Illness

It is commonly accepted that satisfaction of a job well done adds to our sense of well being. But just maintaining a job–any kind of job–can be difficult for a patient with mental illness.

People that are mentally ill, e.g. Schizophrenia, have confused thinking and impaired social functioning. This obvious impairs insight in most jobs. Even treatment with drugs has shown minimal help. These people have great difficulty in taking any medical regimen and therefore, the treatment generally fails.

One study of patients at a Veterans Hospital shows that even part-time work may help enhance the self-esteem of such persons, leading them to develop better insight about how to cope with their illness. These researchers found that insight could be improved in high-functioning people with schizophrenia in a variety of jobs. These jobs were more effective than standard psychiatric treatments.

These studies point out that in addition to what most of us have known, Work defines us. Work is beneficial for us. It is also therapeutic.