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Thread: Retired due to schizoaffective disorder

  1. #1
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    Retired due to schizoaffective disorder

    Hello. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder about 1 year ago, which led me to suicide attempts and social anxiety.
    I was retired/disabled because of it but I have support of a doctor and therapist, I take my medication and I live basically a normal life except that I do not work.
    I have a boyfriend, the sex is great, he treats me with respect but I feel very anxious to meet his family and friends when the question comes: what do I do for a living.
    I think mental health issues still carry a lot of stigma and I am embarrassed to say that I am disabled because of a mental disorder.
    My boyfriend wants me to join him and his friends on a concert next weekend and I am feeling very anxious.
    What should I do?

  2. #2
    Silver Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    You don't have to divulge personal information. If someone asks what you do, just say, "I mostly do volunteer work when I'm not tending to my garden."

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    Sorry you're feeling so anxious about this, and I don't think there's any need to tell anyone you're disabled due to a mental disorder. Basically, what you do for a living is nobody else's business but if you feel the need to say something, think about how you fill your days. If you do any kind of creative/practical activity, tell them that's what you do.

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    Hi I have the same diagnosis and canít work as well. I usually am good about adverting the conversation away from me when they ask because Iíll I say is Iím working on my writing. Which is true. So if you have something creative you do you could use that to your advantage.

    Or just tell them a hobby you do or volunteering.

    Lisa

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  6. #5
    Bronze Member Afireblue's Avatar
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    Does your boyfriend know about your situation? If he does know, you should try to educate him on the facts of your condition and how you can live a normal life by staying on your meds, just in case the subject comes out later with his family and he has all the information.

    I agree that it's nobody's business what you do or don't. I am sure you don't seat on the couch all day, you must have hobbies, activities, you can talk about those, or simply say I am not working at the moment, I am doing "this".

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    Sweet, I'm sorry too that you're feeling anxious, hopefully they won't ask, but if they do, all you really have to say is "I'm not working at the moment, but keep busy doing "x, y, z."

    Maybe they'll think you're independently wealthy or something!

  8. #7
    Gold Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Well, what do you do aside from volunteer work? I'm asking this question mostly for you (not to offer to the peanut gallery). This may be a good exercise for you. I'm sensing a lot of insecurities and you've been shouldering a lot of judgment from others in society. Pick up your spade, girl, and start digging those naughty weeds of self-doubt! Start looking at your life in a more positive way: think about activities you do do in your free time and do not brush off your volunteer work as just volunteer work. In fact you don't even have to mention it is 'volunteer' work. To hell with labels.

    There are all kinds of rewards, not just monetary. If you spend time at a non-profit doing work for them, talk about your position and the kinds of people you help. If you help the environment or you work with gardens(for example), talk about how that kind of work fulfills you and how you help the community. Empower yourself with your calling and what you feel best fulfills you. Don't talk yourself down!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Please understand too, that any concern they have isnít likely judgement of you but concern for their kid. They may be concerned heís supporting someone who wonít be able to financially contribute. If I was a parent, I would be concerned about that.

    So if probed, just be aware theyíre likely asking if you can exist independently of him - meaning you donít need him - which it sounds like you can. :)

  10. #9
    Platinum Member RainyCoast's Avatar
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    He says he is cured now without going through any kind of treatment but he had a gambling addiction problem that left him with the debt of 90 thousand euros.
    Sometimes he would gamble his whole salary away and was left with no money for rent and food.
    I made the mistake to tell this problem to my family and now they are terribly against. They said I had to choose between my fiancť and the family.
    He wants to buy tickets for me to visit him in 15 days and I have been avoiding him because I don't know how to tell that I can't go.
    I tried to break up with him before and he threatened gambling and suicide, he went to work drunk and said he would quit his job and live on welfare drinking all day.
    i don't think the parents of this guy have anything to judge you for. And seeing as you mentioned his brother manages his finances due to worries of relapse, they also are not worried you'll latch onto his money.

    Three days ago you wanted to break up with him. I'm not saying to do that or to not go and meet them if you want to, but i am saying to keep things in perspective so you can let go of your shame.

    i would be surprised if they treated this relationship seriously and barraged you with questions about future plans. If they do, you could say staying healthy is both of yours priority now and future decisions will depend on how that goes.

    As for your question, since you've mostly known each other online and only met twice, and given your respective circumstances that prevent anyone reasonable from treating it very seriously, i too don't feel it necessary to be entirely truthful when the question arises if you're not comfortable with that. You could say you are currently volunteering or something like that, working on a creative project or similar as others have suggested.

    Perhaps, because their son had problems, you will be pleasantly surprised and find they have quite the understanding about and compassion for mental health issues, and if that happens, you may feel comfortable saying more.

    If the relationship lasts and you are both doing well, you can always divulge more layers of the truth if you feel you're getting close with his family.

    i am very concerned about the last bit of the quoted post. If you want to break up with him but fear he'll hurt himself, you're taking way too much responsibility on yourself. He will not kill himself, and he has other people who know exactly how troubled he is and to look out for signs he needs help. If he quits his job and drinks his welfare away, it is because that is a life he wants to be living. If he takes the easy way out (in any meaning of the phrase) when you dump him, it is because he never wanted to bother in the first place (and i'd say that's highly likely, seeing as he never sought treatment for what was a massive problem). If you ever, ever in your life feel like you drove someone insane by doing something very basic for yourself, it is only because it was a ridiculously short trip, and they were headed that way voluntarily anyway.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    How long have you been dating? How much does he know about your condition/disability? He most likely has spoken to them about dating you so perhaps ask him what he told them already. They probably won't ask since it's a nosy question. If not tell them you are retired or whatever you used to do.. Keep your health issues to yourself/between only you and your bf. TMI is not a good idea when meeting a bf/gf's people for the first time.
    Originally Posted by Sweet5000
    I was retired
    feel very anxious to meet his family and friends when the question comes: what do I do for a living.
    My boyfriend wants me to join him and his friends on a concert next weekend and I am feeling very anxious.

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