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Schizophrenic physicists

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  • #1
katatosh
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Main Question or Discussion Point

<< Mentor Note -- After a Mentor discussion we will try to let this thread proceed in the Academic Guidance forum >>

Hi all! I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 17. It has put me behind at school because I had to drop out for 2 semesters to get my mental health back. I was just wondering, is there anyone on here that has schizophrenia while pursuing a job/ degree in physics?
 
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  • #2
berkeman
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Hi all! I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 17. It has put me behind at school because I had to drop out for 2 semesters to get my mental health back. I was just wondering, is there anyone on here that has schizophrenia while pursuing a job/ degree in physics?
As you know, we can't give medical advice here at the PF, but we can try to offer academic advice for folks with different levels of disabilities. So we will try to let this thread go forward to see if we can offer helpful advice for students in your position.

First, though, it's important to establish a baseline. How long have you been in a doctor's care for this condition, and have you and your doctor been able to titrate your medications well by now? It can take several years for you and your doc to get your meds titrated so that you are able to function at your best. Are you able to drive now? Do you live on campus, or do you commute to school?

Sorry that you have been afflicted by this disorder. I do have some friends who are able to cope with it well, because it was caught early and the meds have been titrated well.
 
  • #3
Dr Transport
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If you are a US citizen, that condition will prevent you from getting a position with any US agency that requires a security background clearance. As for whether or not you can get a position anywhere else I couldn't tell you. Getting a degree shouldn't be a problem provided you keep on your meds and take care of yourself.
 
  • #4
kimbyd
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If you are a US citizen, that condition will prevent you from getting a position with any US agency that requires a security background clearance. As for whether or not you can get a position anywhere else I couldn't tell you. Getting a degree shouldn't be a problem provided you keep on your meds and take care of yourself.
I don't think this is strictly true, but at the very least they would keep an extremely close watch on your mental health care. I personally wouldn't want to touch that with a ten foot pole, because I would consider the continual oversight required to be rather dehumanizing.

As far as jobs which do not require a security clearance (of which there are a great many, though you may find yourself in the private sector as academia is pretty crappy for long-term jobs), the ADA should prevent employers from discriminating against you based upon your mental health. Making sure your mental health is controlled enough that you can remain productive for an extended period of time should be sufficient for any educational program or employer.

One thing I would caution is that academia can, in general, be rather stressful. Especially in graduate school. Many graduate students feel they are tremendously overworked. It's certainly possible to avoid this, but bear in mind that selecting physics will require some care in selecting a school and (in grad school) an advisor that is generally supportive. A bonus is that physics majors generally have a really easy time moving from physics to the private sector (this is what I did: Ph.D. in physics, but I now work in software engineering, with a six-figure income to show for it).

Anyway, I wish I could provide more precise guidance. I have ADHD which was undiagnosed when I was in college, and it definitely had some significant negative impacts, but the experience is surely quite different from schizophrenia.
 
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Quotation deleted which used the word "nuts".

"Nuts" is a stupid word. There is no diagnosis for nuts and to call every one in 200 people (estimation found on Wikipedia) nuts because they once in their lifetime suffers it, is even more stupid. Some famous mathematicians indeed suffered it, some for many years, and still were at the same time acknowledged famous mathematicians.
 
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  • #6
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"Nuts" is a stupid word.
Agreed.

Maybe they were eccentric to the eyes of common people because they thought differently.

Most of us have eyes but we fail to see what's really what,to qoute from literature.

If anyone thinks differently, it is not right to classify them as "nuts" because we are all very different from each other.

One may like ice cream one may not, Einstein disliked QM (“Discussions with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics by Niels Bohr“) while many liked it.

What's the point of being human if we cannot think or act differently?

"I envy you for having the gift to see the world from a better perspective, most try, few can, so it is truly a gift."
 
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  • #7
Hi comrade, good morning if you are from the US or good afternoon if you are English,

I am majoring in Physics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and I was diagnosed with paranoid schoziphrenia with 16 years old (2013). When I was diagnosed, I wasn't in shock but a long time later (months later) I discovered why my letter was horrible, My speech was confused and my essay in English had confused ideas, all of because about the schizophrenia.
I no longer have schizophrenia in itself as a whole, only in itself (I have no more hallucinations, delusions, paranoias). I'm just taking my remedies for the disease to not manifest itself. Take the medicines on time, do not stop taking, unless the doctor says to stop to take. I only improved faster because of transcranial magnetic stimulation, which accelerated my treatment, after 2 years (2015), I had to change neuropsychiatrists, since it was too far for me to move from the Western Zone (Bangu) of Rio de Janeiro to South Zone (Flamengo, near from Copacabana), and my doctor had told me to look for a psychologist. I let to have hallucinations after 4 years of treatment because there was a day that I let first to belive in God, my hallucinations stopped partially and then I stopped to believe in God, and my hallucinations totally disappeared. You can search on Google articles about that, as for example: https://scholar.google.com.br/scholar?hl=pt-BR&as_sdt=0,5&q=To+be+religious+affect+the+schizophrenia&btnG=

And then you out on Sci-hub and read some paid article, these articles proove that the religion influenced about schizophrenia.
Summarizing, Do not tel to anyone that you do treatment, except for a person of confidence. Any type of schizophrenia there is no cure but with the medicines, and perhaps with 8 years of treatment or 10 years, or even with 12 years ( I know people in this band and I am 5 years in treatment), you'll let to take antipsychotics after this long time, varies from case to case. In my case, as I have accelerated metabolism, my hallucinations disappeared with 3 years.

Knowing that you have this illness, that doesn't make you incapable, you are very smart as you here on this forum. Fight against this disease, you can, you must.

I wish you a good journey on this road of life to overcome your illness.

Best regards.

Sincerely,
José Ricardo.
 
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