PIP assessment - telephone — Scope | Disability forum
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PIP assessment - telephone

shellbell20
shellbell20 Community member Posts: 259 Pioneering
I have my PIP assessment tomorrow if it's not cancelled. This morning I woke up with a churning in my stomach and subsequently was sick.  It will be my 2nd assessment, the 1st I found gruelling and emotionally draining, it went on for two hours and it took me days to recover from it.  However, my MH has declined rapidly since then and I am not sure if I can manage another 2 hours. I will have my carer with me this time, but I hear they are not allowed to intervene.  Can anyone give me any tips on how not to have an anxiety attack? I am shaking just typing this and having one now, I can hear my heartbeat getting louder and have a feeling of doom coming over me and I feel like someone is about to attack but they are not.  Any suggestions would be welcomed. Thank you.

Comments

  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
    Although the carer won't exactly be able to answer every question for you, they will be allowed to speak and support you throughout the call and for further information, the assessor will ask if you have anyone with you when you start the assessment. I know it's difficult but the sooner the assessment has been completed, the sooner you will feel at ease. The 'horror stories' you read about online can seem daunting but please believe me that most assessors are very understanding and will make you feel as calm as possible and being honest you rarely see anything positive online but for the majority it's simply not true.
  • shellbell20
    shellbell20 Community member Posts: 259 Pioneering
    bg844 said:
    Although the carer won't exactly be able to answer every question for you, they will be allowed to speak and support you throughout the call and for further information, the assessor will ask if you have anyone with you when you start the assessment. I know it's difficult but the sooner the assessment has been completed, the sooner you will feel at ease. The 'horror stories' you read about online can seem daunting but please believe me that most assessors are very understanding and will make you feel as calm as possible and being honest you rarely see anything positive online but for the majority it's simply not true.
    I am still feeling really sick like I am going to throw up again. Thankfully it's a phone call, I could not cope with a video call, refused to have one with my psychologist for many weeks due to anxiety, nor an in-person assessment. I can understand the horror stories and I have always wondered if the assessors are on some kind of stats, and get bonuses for the ones they turn down, it's always been in the back of my mind, especially when it's government funding.  I remember my last one which I was alone the whole time, my carer and my family couldn't be there and I wasn't as bad as I am now. I remember the guy kept asking me the same questions did I drive, no, when did you last drive? 8 years ago my licence expired and he asked the same question again. He also asked what hand I held my phone in, my right one, I replied as I couldn't hear in my left ear and I have tinnitus, what does your tinnitus sound like? I couldn't put it into words like tiny bits of glass shattering that's how I feel it sounds, very high-pitched and a constant, never ceasing but getting louder at times.  I felt like I wasn't believed to be honest, but I could only answer the truth, so each answer was the same no matter how many times he asked me or in which different way he asked.  He was polite, I didn't request his report, so no clue what he said. I didn't want my anxiety to get worse by reading it.   The guy from WCA was completely different, it lasted about 10 minutes and he was very caring and patient with me and just asked me to describe how my anxiety felt and then said that's all I needed.  Plus they had my medical records. I am hoping the PIP tomorrow is the same as my WCA.  Thanks for reaching out and reassuring me, I am glad they can intervene as I know I won't even be compos mentis in the morning, the strong anti-depressants knock me out, but it takes hours to fully awake in the mornings.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,858 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @shellbell20 - wishing you well with your phone assessment, & the length of these can vary anwhere from 20-120 mins, so hoping this one may not be as long.
    I'm hoping you may try, & find this breathing exercise helpful. I used to suffer from panic attacks about 4 years ago, & remember that feeling of doom all too well, but this exercise did bring them under control. Please see: https://www.cheshire-epaige.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Diaphragmatic-breathing-techniques.pdf

  • Leigh14
    Leigh14 Community member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    Good luck today @shellbell20. You are not alone with how you’re feeling about the assessment. Just take your time, if you need a break tell the assessor. Sip water too, that helps me with the feeling of being sick. It’s good you’ll have someone with you. Hopefully it won’t be a long assessment. I think mine was just over an hour, but it seemed to go quite quick. Take care🤗

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