Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Feel unable to cope with ESA assessment due to mental health

sandalina18sandalina18 Member Posts: 6 Listener
I have suffered with depression and panic attacks for many years. I don't trust my doctor and am fed up taking  ineffective antidepressants - so no longer do so. I feel very guilty as I rely heavily on my children to cope with day to day situations, they are in their 20s and I feel that I am holding them back. We lost their father 4 months ago suddenly we are all devestated and I'm sure they think I will end my life.On top of this I now have to attend an esa interview and my daughter always accompanies me when I leave the house. She is 5 months pregnant and I don't want to stress her any more than she is when answering their questions. I have read recently that people are getting 0 points and I'm terrified of having to attend and try to explain my illness when I don't understand it myself it's all getting too much

Replies

  • ClaiireLouiiseClaiireLouiise Member Posts: 33 Connected
    Hi @sandalina18.

    Welcome to the community. It's good to have you here. 

    ESA are really tough and it's understandable why you're feeling stressed. I wonder if you would feel more comfortable and able to be more open and honest at the assessment if you took an advocate with you instead of your daughter? Are you under mental health services at all? If so perhaps a professional could attend with you? 
    🌦Look for something positive each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder 🌻
  • sandalina18sandalina18 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I was attending a mental health clinic a couple of years ago although every time I went I saw a new person and had to try and explain my problems again, the Dr prescribed me antidepressants which he said may make me suicidal for a couple of weeks until they started working so I didn't go back. I feel like all j do is moan. At a previous esa interview the woman told me to dry my eyes as I had nothing wrong with me she shocked me with her comments and gave me 0 points I appealed and had her decision overturned but I couldn't cope with that again
    Thankyou for responding I do appreciate it
  • crackercracker Member Posts: 324 Pioneering
    I have had Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia for most of my life. Medication has helped somewhat, but I have had to work very hard at behavioural changes. IT's very difficult. I made myself take just one step, then 2, the back, the three, etc.

    Jon Kabbatt-Zinn's books and tapes helped a kit, too. You can get better. It is a lot of work and will take time. If you have a god counselor or a trusted friend, have them go with you to desensitize yourself.
    I am making these suggestions only because they have helped me. I have nort recovered, but at least can go into stores, make my appointments, cross the street, leave my apartment and ride in a car, all of which were impossible for many years.

    I am here to talk to, and welcome.n
  • sandalina18sandalina18 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks I will try and look at the books
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Member Posts: 7,418 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @sandalina18 welcome to the community!

    Sorry to hear this, I’m glad some of our members have been in contact with you. I found ESA Assessment Support which may be of use to you!

    Do let us know if we can be of any further assistance! :)
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • sandalina18sandalina18 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    hi i attended my esa medical in Jan 2019 my daughter who always accompanies me when i go out lost her baby, i lost my husband who i had been with since 14yrs old and grandaughter was stillborn. I have had the worst year of my life. However the dwp have moved me from support group to wrag and have stated that my mental health has improved!! I have an appeal on 26th July which i cant attend so i am having to do a paper hearing. Can anyone advise where i can get help to write this appeal as i tend to ramble.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    I'm sorry to hear that!

    Is there any way at all you can attend the hearing? Is anyone able to go with you? Paper based hearings only have between a 5-8% success rate. Appearing in person gives you a 74% success rate.

    You say your appeal is on the 26th do HMCTS know you're not appearing in person? Usually for a paper based decision they don't give a date because i believe they do these when they have time, so in between the oral hearings.

    This link will tell you what's in your area for help. https://advicelocal.uk/

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
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