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Why are schizophrenics lazy?

If you live or work with a schizophrenic person, you may as yourself a question often asked. Why are schizophrenics lazy? In this post, you’ll learn why it’s not laziness. Motivation deficiency is a psychotic symptom that contributes to the reason why schizophrenia is classified as a disability. Spoiler alert: in non-aggressive schizophrenic men, motivation deficiency can be effectively managed through lifting weights.

Today I’ll talk about one of the negative symptoms that have been a huge problem for me. A symptom that, like my delusions about aliens, is extremely pervasive throughout my daily living. This symptom is the lack of drive or initiative. This post is my personal experience with motivation deficiency. For a more detailed, 3rd-person description of avolition or lack of motivation in schizophrenia, read this post.

Motivation deficiency can hit at any moment

Like right now! As I write this, I lacked the drive or initiative to keep talking about it! Okay, okay, let me buckle down and get through this. I think my biggest problem with this lack of drive is when there are days where it doesn’t exist. I have incredible energy, I’m able to do things, take initiative, work towards the next steps. As a result, I sort of bite off more than I can chew. Then, in the following days or weeks, the lack of drive hits and hits hard. I can’t express how frustrating and embarrassing it is. To start something and be completely drained of any motivation when the time comes to finish it.

Sometimes I’m able to push myself incredibly hard and get through this symptom. But, by the end of it, it seems to do more harm than good. When I try and force myself into doing things, it takes me an incredible amount of time to finish it. It’s sort of like procrastinating. However, the whole time I’m consumed by the thoughts of finishing what I want to do. It ends up stressing me out so much that it results in more schizophrenic symptoms. This ends up making things all the more worse for my overall situation.

Motivation deficiency can cripple ambitions for relationships and career

I wish I could elaborate more on how this affects me because I really feel like this symptom is the number one reason my quality of life has suffered as a schizophrenic person. This symptom has had significant effects on how I view how my life should be lived, on how I’m able to live it. I think it has psychologically damaged me in fairly fundamental ways.

I always say I’m open about my schizophrenia, but this is one thing I have a tough time talking about. I’m still not sure if what I’m experiencing is my illness affecting me, or if there’s something fundamentally flawed with how I approach my way of life and how I establish relationships with others.

Schizophrenic teens do worse in school because of motivation deficiency

I suppose an example I could talk about is how I have a tough time in school. The only reason I didn’t fail high school outright was that I was held accountable if I didn’t show up to my classes. As a result, I almost always showed up. When I show up, I have nothing better to do than to listen to the teacher. So if the majority of the course was graded by testing my knowledge, I did exceptionally well. However, as soon as I had to do homework or projects, my performance was considerably lacking. Whenever I did poorly in a class, chances are it was because the grades were scaled more heavily toward homework and projects.

I barely graduated high school, and to go to college, I would have had to take online high school upgrade classes. When everything is online, everything is homework. As such, I never got anywhere with it. So because I cannot be admitted to college, I sort of coasted by in life working in entry-level retail positions. Occasionally I would be promoted to management positions, but I never had my heart in it.

Motivation deficiency can lead to settling for less

Eventually, my complacency in a string of minimum wage jobs led me to convince myself that I can be happy living like that. Perhaps I can. Maybe living paycheck to paycheck (and hoping that the safety nets where I live will still be there when I get too old to work) is something I can accept as a way to live. And I don’t mean this as a slight to those who do live that way, we all have our reasons, I certainly have mine, but I feel like I can do better. Like I should do better.

With all that said, however, I am pleased with my life. Could things be better? Indeed, things could always be better. That mindset is why mankind has done some fantastic things. So for the time being, I do my best to capitalize on days where this lack of drive doesn’t afflict me.

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Photo Credit: Randy Jacob

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Life is an ongoing series of lessons. Because I live with schizophrenia, my hope is that the lessons I learn and the solutions that come from those lessons will help you and anyone else dealing with schizophrenia or mental illness/mental health issues.

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