College denying admission because I was diagnosed with schizophrenia

<p>I was admitted to Case Western Reserve University for Fall 2009. In September 2009, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent back home to recover. I had assumed that I would be able to restart school in Spring 2010 but the university said that I would have to be symptom free for 6 months, which meant that I could rejoin only in Fall 2010. Last month, I submitted my health form to the university but they have denied admission again on the grounds that I met the psychiatrist only 6 times while at home. Now, the earliest I will be able to reapply is Spring 2011. It seems that the university really doesn't want me back. Is there anything I can do? Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>Go someplace else? I don't know what else you could do that would be practical.</p>

<p>mmmmm.... isn't that listed under the disabilities act? If so, your school is in violation of it.</p>

<p>Yeah it might be in violation of the ADA but probably not.</p>

<p>I don't think they are in violation. They probably have a standard for treatment (ex. being seen a certain number of times by a psychiatrist) that the OP has not met. Without it, they can't be sure he is okay to return to school. Being seen by a psychiatrist 6 times does seem awfully low.
From the governments website on the ADA: "The ADA expressly provides that a public accommodation may exclude an individual, if that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be mitigated by appropriate modifications in the public accommodation's policies or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids."
That may or may not be an issue with the OP. But it can be an issue with some people with schizophrenia. It seems like the school wants to make sure it isn't, which isn't at all unreasonable.</p>

<p>To the OP:
If you still want to go to the school, I suggest calling and finding out exactly what the school requires from you to return. If you meet these requirements and they still refuse to readmit you, it might fall as discrimination under the ADA.
If you don't want to go to the school, you can transfer.</p>

<p>I go to Case and actually had to go through some similar obstacles to stay enrolled. I can give you the details if you message me. It's too personal to post. </p>

<p>Basically, they can make standards to ensure you are healthy. Mine weren't as stringent. I am more than happy to give you the full story. It may help you out a bit. I fully understand how difficult the administration can be. Honestly, they are trying to do the right thing, but liability issues get in the way and the people making the decisions are making them based on the school's best interest, not yours.</p>

<p>Based on your previous posts (see footnotes,) it sounds like the college is willing to work with you. They just want to be sure that you're addressing your illness, and that you won't be a danger to yourself or others. By asking you to take anti-psychotic medication, and by verifying that you're regularly seeing a mental health professional, the school is doing what it can be gain reassurance that you're in the right state of mind to re-enroll. </p>

<p>That said, I think it's important to examine the circumstances regarding your treatment. You've made your thoughts on taking your neuroleptics quite clear. You don't want to take them, and it's implied that you don't intend to do so. That suggests to the school that you aren't willing to address your disease, and are incapable of assessing the risks posed by not receiving treatment. Schizophrenics in the grip of a psychotic episode are quite often a danger to themselves, and occasionally to others; Case may be covering themselves legally, but they're also looking out for you. </p>

<p>You say that you were expelled in September '09. It's now almost August; you've been out of school for 10-11 months, and you've seen your psychiatrist six times. One psychiatric visit every 1.5-2 months isn't enough, especially in the early stages just after initial diagnosis. Even if you are taking your meds (though I stand by my inference that you're not,) you need to see a psychiatrist regularly to have a medication check. Anti-psychotics have a host of serious side effects, and psychiatrists will want to see you to be sure that the drugs aren't hurting you. A particular drug may also lose its efficacy after a period of time, and psychiatrists are trained to watch for signs of relapse. </p>

<p>I'd also stake money that those psychiatric visits aren't evenly dispersed over the past year. I imagine that immediately following treatment, you were compelled to visit the doctor whether you wanted to or not. If you've stopped going, or have long gaps (say, 3 months) between visits, that's another sign that you're avoiding the problem, not dealing with it. </p>

<p>I personally see my psychiatrist once every two weeks, and my psychologist 1-2 times per week. It sucks, it's a hassle, but it really is in your best interest to address the problem with all the resources that you have available. Go to the doctor, go to the therapist, take your meds. If re-acceptance to school isn't enough of an incentive, think of all the grief associated with jail, or involuntary commitment. Most unmedicated schizophrenics end up in one of the two, and I can assure you, commitment isn't a walk in the park; it's one of the most horrible, dehumanizing experiences that I've ever had, and I promise that it's not something you want to happen. </p>

<hr>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/903744-diagnosed-schizophrenia-college-may-revoke-acceptance.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-life/903744-diagnosed-schizophrenia-college-may-revoke-acceptance.html&lt;/a>
<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/ask-dean-topics/903319-when-do-colleges-rescind-acceptances.html#post1064566170%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/ask-dean-topics/903319-when-do-colleges-rescind-acceptances.html#post1064566170&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Never tell anyone that you have schizophrenia. People freak out on it and a friend of mine had major troubles because he disclosed it to his employer. Next time do not send medical records.. just an official note from a medical doctor that whatever the medical condition was it has been treated or stable and believes you are able to return to school. </p>

<p>Schizophrenics who do not abuse drugs do not have a higher level of violent crime than the general population. Schizophrenia</a> does not increase risk of violent crime</p>

<p>Could be that they arent assuming your dangerous though. It could be that they want to make sure you are really ok. In which case get letters from all doctors you can saying that you can return to school if you really are ready.</p>

<p>I agree with everything long.897 said.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Never tell anyone that you have schizophrenia. People freak out on it and a friend of mine had major troubles because he disclosed it to his employer. Next time do not send medical records.. just an official note from a medical doctor that whatever the medical condition was it has been treated or stable and believes you are able to return to school. </p>

<p>6 times is not a low number (although it could have been higher) because it can take about 2 months to know if a medication is working. Furthermore usually it's only one part of treatment and other people are involved like other doctors and psychologist.</p>

<p>Schizophrenics who do not abuse drugs do not have a higher level of violent crime than the general population. Schizophrenia does not increase risk of violent crime</p>

<p>Could be that they arent assuming your dangerous though. It could be that they want to make sure you are really ok. In which case get letters from all doctors you can saying that you can return to school if you really are ready.

[/quote]

About 40% of schizophrenics have problems with substance abuse, and the ones that do ARE at a greater risk of being involved in violent crime. Violent crime isn't the only concern here though; plenty of unmedicated schizophrenics lose the ability to function properly, and suffer from severe self neglect. Vitamin deficiency from neglecting to eat (or eat properly,) various infections from poor hygiene, and lack of exercise all have a high co-morbidity with schizophrenia. </p>

<p>I don't know if the OP is seeing a doctor regularly; antipsychotics can take a while for their efficacy to be noticeable, but serious side effects can appear immediately. To give an example, the neuroleptic Olanzapine has been confirmed to have a causative relationship with diabetes mellitus. Regular wellness checks for signs of hyperglycemia can detect the prodrome, and the medication can be switched before the symptoms progress to full on diabetes.</p>

<p>
[quote]
About 40% of schizophrenics have problems with substance abuse, and the ones that do ARE at a greater risk of being involved in violent crime.

[/quote]

Right.. but if the OP doesn't have a history of drug abuse then I dont think that the sole diagnosis of schizophrenia can be used to exclude under the ADA unless he was violent to begin with. </p>

<p>
[quote]

Violent crime isn't the only concern here though; plenty of unmedicated schizophrenics lose the ability to function properly, and suffer from severe self neglect. Vitamin deficiency from neglecting to eat (or eat properly,) various infections from poor hygiene, and lack of exercise all have a high co-morbidity with schizophrenia.

[/quote]

Yeah I saw this with my friend... many times. He kept stopping his medication because he would get better and would think he was ok. Anyway this is why I said 'Could be that they arent assuming your dangerous though. It could be that they want to make sure you are really ok.'.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I don't know if the OP is seeing a doctor regularly; antipsychotics can take a while for their efficacy to be noticeable, but serious side effects can appear immediately. To give an example, the neuroleptic Olanzapine has been confirmed to have a causative relationship with diabetes mellitus. Regular wellness checks for signs of hyperglycemia can detect the prodrome, and the medication can be switched before the symptoms progress to full on diabetes.

[/quote]

Deleted that section while you were replying and I completely agree with you.</p>

<p>
[quote]
thomas, what is it that you did in college with your schizophrenia that caused you to get expelled and is this behavior still occuring?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>One day in college, I told my RA that I wanted to go back home to India immediately. This is what caused them to admit me to the hospital.</p>

<p>I'm sorry, but that can't be the full story. Confiding in your RA that you were homesick wouldn't be grounds for commitment.</p>

<p>I can understand from the school's perspective why they want to make absolutely sure that you are tackling your schizophrenia before they allow you to return. I used to go to Virginia Tech, and due to the fact that the tragedies there were based on mental health neglection, I think most colleges have taken notice. Not to say that you are violent or would do anything of that nature, its just that colleges cannot afford to take risks in any possible way, and are looking out for you as well as the student body.</p>

<p>
[quote]

back home to India

[/quote]

That may explain the lack of treatment vists since mental health services are a lot different over there; one psychiatrist per 1000 persons with schizophrenia.. and they have a lot of other mental illnesses to treat other than schizophrenia.. obviously.
Also since you were 'admitted' (do you mean committed?..different thing) to the local hospital I imagine they got you somewhat stable before the plane trip home?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also since you were 'admitted' (do you mean committed?..different thing) to the local hospital I imagine they got you somewhat stable before the plane trip home?

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I was not admitted by force, although they did not take my consent.</p>

<p>I was on 15 mg Zyprexa (Olanzapine) for 2 weeks before the plane trip home.</p>

<p>
[quote]
You've made your thoughts on taking your neuroleptics quite clear. You don't want to take them, and it's implied that you don't intend to do so.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>That's true. I stopped taking my meds and intend to get a medical certificate stating that I do not need them.</p>

<p>You were diagnosed with schizophrenia, and meds were deemed a necessity. I'm sure that (while treated) you might be able to fool a doctor into writing a note saying they aren't necessary, but what will happen after? It's clear that you aren't taking them now; there's a definite undertone of persecution to your posts. That's really something to be worried about if you've stopped the drugs.</p>

<p>I don't think some of the people on here understand what meds do to you. A lot of people get zombified and feel removed from reality, lucid. Things can seem fake and numb. They aren't for everyone. They may work for some, but not for others. I believe there are different levels of seriousness involved in schizophrenia as well. It may be a mild case. Regardless, meds can make people feel worse.</p>

<p>tiff90
Finding the right medication regimen for the individual is important. I acknowledge that side effects can be bad; when I was taking Quetiapine, I was almost catatonic. As it is though, the psychotic individual is very often not the person best equipped to make the decision regarding medication. Even with no "side effects," a schizophrenic individual may feel adversely negatively affected by the treatment of the disease; for example, they may feel that the medication is dumbing them down (which it may,) when all it's really doing is treating a delusion of grandeur. A well informed psychiatrist should be the one making the ultimate decision to not take meds.</p>

<p>Also, there is definitely a wide range of severity in schizophrenia. The concern I'd have though is that schizophrenia is invariably a progressive disease, and tends to progress much faster without treatment. Further, someone with mild/early schizophrenia might be at a point where they're cogent enough to make the decision not to take medication, and progress to a point that they won't be able to make the choice to see a doctor.</p>

<p>Just to over analyze the wording of his last post, he says he intends to get a medical certificate stating that he doesn't need them (EDIT: them being his meds.) It's my interpretation that by stating the intention to get one, he has been unable to get one already. Perhaps he just didn't think to do so, but I would think that he would have thought to ask when he was reapplying to Case. That suggests to me that his current doctor/psych, or his most recent doctor/psych doesn't approve of the medication cessation. Once again, a cause for concern.</p>

<p>I understand your point, but the other concern with meds is they all cause long term health problems. For example, lamictal hurts your liver, especially if you drink. Obviously there are many different options, but I can see his perspective in not wanting to take any. Sometimes, IMO, you need to go through a period without meds to understand that they benefit you in some way. I know a lot of people are reluctant to take them at first, and it has to be frustrating finding the right kind. If you go through two or three different kinds, and they don't help, I can understand the logic in not wanting to take them. </p>

<p>Again, if you start taking them at 18/19/20/21, they will hurt your health in the future, which is a legitimate concern. Yes, you can say staying unmedicated can lead to worse situations, but having someone tell you you need to take something to conform with socities standard of behavior can be frustrating. Especially when a lot of people in that field really don't understand what people are feeling, and a lot of times are more worried about fixing things than exploring the emotional element. The whole thing can be very impersonal, and I mean you're basically trusting the advice of a stranger.</p>

<p>I can just understand the view of not wanting to take meds. I think it takes time to figure out what will work for you. That's all.</p>