What Is “High Functioning” Schizophrenia?
Play • 50 min

“High functioning schizophrenia” is not a clinical diagnosis, but it is a term that is heard often when describing how someone is managing life with schizophrenia. So what exactly does that mean? What criteria do you have to meet to be considered “high functioning”?

Host Rachel Star Withers, a diagnosed schizophrenic, and co-host Gabe Howard delve into these intense subjects in this episode of Inside Schizophrenia. 

Dr. Matthew Smith joins us who is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan and a researcher of high functioning schizophrenia.

To learn more, or read the transcript, please visit the show's official episode page.


Guest Bio

Matthew J. Smith, PhD, MSW, MPE, LCSW, received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed post-doctoral fellowships in psychiatric epidemiology and biostatistics at Washington University in St. Louis and in translational neuroscience at Northwestern University. Dr. Smith also completed a fellowship on leading randomized controlled trials to evaluate behavioral interventions through the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. His primary research interests focus on developing and evaluating technology-based interventions that can be delivered in high schools, community mental health agencies and prisons to improve employment and mental health outcomes for transition-age youth with educational disabilities, adults with severe mental illness and/or other disabilities, and returning citizens.

Dr. Smith is currently the principal investigator on five projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Justice, the Kessler Foundation and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research. See research link below for more information on these projects.

Dr. Smith's research team includes full-time staff, postdocs and graduate students. Please email smithumlab@umich.edu about opportunities to join the research team.


Inside Schizophrenia Podcast Hosts

Rachel Star Withers creates videos documenting her schizophrenia, ways to manage and let others like her know they are not alone and can still live an amazing life. She has written Lil Broken Star: Understanding Schizophrenia for Kids and a tool for schizophrenics, To See in the Dark: Hallucination and Delusion Journal. Fun Fact: She has wrestled alligators. To learn more about Rachel, please visit her website, RachelStarLive.com.


Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, "Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations," available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

Gabe makes his home in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. He lives with his supportive wife, Kendall, and a Miniature Schnauzer dog that he never wanted, but now can’t imagine life without. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.

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