PIP, DLA and AA
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PIP assessor phoning me at home, help.

firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
Hello.

I had my PIP assessment two weeks ago.It was very long, over an hour and forty minutes.

After this on the Tuesday following I got a phone call at home from the assessor. I thought it was my mum as she had gone to the shops to pick some things up for me. I answered the phone and it was her asking me more questions about going out with my mental health. 

I was quite shocked, didn't know what to say as I didn't expect it. After the call I was in a huge panic, thinking something was wrong, shaking, couldn't breathe, I had a bad stomach (sorry if TMI) and didn't calm down for hours.

I'd finally put it out of my mind, and the same woman from the ATOS office has called agan. I was resting and my mum took the call. She said she has more questions for me on that question. I'm in a panic again, the same thing, bad stomach, shaking. 


I've never heard of it once, but now twice. It makes me worried something is going on here. And also, it feels a bit intrusive. I knew what to expect in the assessment centre, but now it's in my home.
They must have enough information, this was a REASSESSMENT too, a renewal. The forms had a lot of information too, and I was in there over almost two hours.

Part of my issues are mental health, and this is really not helping. Should we call the DWP and ask why I'm being called so much by the medical assessor. I've never had this.

Thanks for any help.

Replies

  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    I forgot to say, I also really struggle on the phone. I'm terrible and it drives my anxiety mad.

    I hate not being able to see the person and really struggle with that. I have mental health issues, but we suspect I have Aspergers through a few things, and this is something I really find difficult, so to have to speak on the phone is a lot of trouble to me.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Sometimes if they have more questions to ask they will ring you, even though they already rang you once. It's also possible that your report was chosen for audit, if this happens they may have further questions to ask before the report is returned to DWP. I realise it's very stressful but hopefully you won't have anymore calls regarding this and DWP will receive the report back soon.

    Once it's back, if you live in the UK then you can ring to request a copy to be sent to you. You'll still have to wait for a decision but this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be.
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hi Poppy.

    I think I've seen you elsewhere. I came to another forum too as I can't explain the panic I'm in, and just wanted double the traffic.

    Thank you. The trouble is, I feel all of the questions have been answered now. How many times going out, where to, and the fact it causes a panic.

    I just don't know why it's still the medical assessor too. Two weeks afterwards isn't it usually sent off to a decision maker?

    What does it mean to go to audit? 

    I'm just so bad on the phone too.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    An audit means it's just a random check that the HCP is doing what they should be doing and nothing for you to worry about. If inconsistencies are found in the report they will need to be corrected. If it is in audit then there's no timescales for how long this process can take. My daughters PIP report was in audit for almost 6 weeks.
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Oh, I see, so if it is, it could be a while until I would get a result?

    Should we ask if it's under audit and perhaps this is why there are now multiple calls afterwards?

    I don't even know if it's that.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    @Ilovecats

    It seems you are exactly right.

    She hadn't phoned back and my mum could see how much distress I was in and so called the centre and asked to speak to a manager explaining it all and that it was all making me a lot worse.

    The man was apologetic and said she is new and they do an internal assessment of the reports before they go out and they have some issues with hers. 

    She's too busy to call today, so it'll most likely be tomorrow. It's just all added stress, as if the medical alone isn't stressful enough!
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hopefully, but I'm terrible on the phone, really bad, so I don't know if it will help me.

    At least if the result is bad it will help in an appeal/MR situation. That the manager has been apologetic about it and said the issue is she is new, it can't hurt.
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    No, and that's also an issue I'm worried about.

    I agree, it seems she's abusing it a bit too, and it's on my PIP and ESA forms that I struggle on the phone with communicating what I actually mean or think. As I said, we think it may be Aspergers, but I don't do well on the phone and misunderstand the people on the other end.

    I wonder in the report whether it will state a difference in when my answers came, if it will be noted certain answer came form the phone, the first one in a surprise call I couldn't prepare for at all? I would think it has to be, but I have no idea.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Why do you have to always be so negative? Why put the answers in writing? That's really ridiculous! No one wants to delay the process even more than they have to. It's stressful enough without more delays.
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    I don't know, if the President of the US can put his answers in writing instead of testifying under oath, it seems OK to me! 

    Sorry, that was a joke.
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
    ilovecats said:
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Your advice is not correct or helpful and once again overly negative and designed to cause more worry that is necessary.
    They cannot be put in writing. That would delay the process massively and there is no guarantee who is answering the questions that have been sent back. 
    The questions that were asked and the answers that were given are recorded on the report form and if a claimant is unhappy with what has been recorded then they can complain in the same way as if they were unhappy with the assessment.
    It is correct and is most helpful especially where assessors and the DWP are involved. There is nothing stopping the Assessor/DWP in asking for the information in writing. Please show me/us any link that says that it must be via a telephone call?
    The system is already falling apart time wise. I am pretty sure that a claimant to protect themselves would not object to a couple of weeks longer. Do I presume that you are assuming that with letter writing and not knowing who has written the letter that the claimant could well have intentionally colluded with others when giving the answers? Wow not very trusting.
    Do you seriously expect us to accept what you say about the questions and answers being properly recorded on the report form? The many reports I have heard about on this site are generally full of lies including my own two. Even the Tribunals disregard the assessors reports as being normally a fairy tale. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    We don't need links to prove anything here. Very often putting things in writing when it's just a simple question is quite ridiculous.
    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.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    firefly22 said:
    No, and that's also an issue I'm worried about.

    I agree, it seems she's abusing it a bit too, and it's on my PIP and ESA forms that I struggle on the phone with communicating what I actually mean or think. As I said, we think it may be Aspergers, but I don't do well on the phone and misunderstand the people on the other end.

    I wonder in the report whether it will state a difference in when my answers came, if it will be noted certain answer came form the phone, the first one in a surprise call I couldn't prepare for at all? I would think it has to be, but I have no idea.
    They have to write the questions they have asked you and the answers you gave in the 'continuation' section of the form and they will reference this if any of your answers influence the justifications that they write. 

    I wouldn't say she is abusing it, however it may be that she thought she had enough information but a mentor has disagreed again. What she should have done is prepared a list of questions and gone over them with a mentor before she called you. Especially if it is noted that you struggle on the phone. 

    Try not to stress about it, you cannot get the questions wrong! Just do your best and be honest, that is all you can do!
    I suppose it feels that way to me because I kind of feel it like an invasion. Like the assessment was awful, it went badly, me and my mum said it afterwards that it was bad. I was having a huge panic attack, she didn't even want to do the assessment and then it was bad.

    So afterwards I could leave it there in the centre and home is where I'm safe, but to phone out of the blue twice, it feels like an invasion in my safe place.

    It's hard not to stress about it, having answered these questions twice already and knowing I struggle on the phone. It's really taking it's toll on me.

    So, I'm guessing she's given me a bad result then. I was on the enhanced rate for both. 

    I wish I had gotten anyone else now.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
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  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @twonker / @yadnad.....I don't agree with your advice to ask for the questions to be put in writing..

    1) It will inevitably slow things down
    2) It makes no sense to have an assessment in which you respond to the assessor's questions as they are asked and don't have a written record, but then insist that supplementary questions are put in writing.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @apollo14lmp - my assessment was't done well...but bear in mind that most assessments are OK..

  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    ilovecats said:
    firefly22 said:
    Hopefully, but I'm terrible on the phone, really bad, so I don't know if it will help me.

    At least if the result is bad it will help in an appeal/MR situation. That the manager has been apologetic about it and said the issue is she is new, it can't hurt.
    It is incredibly common. Assessments take practice and new assessors take a while to learn what sort of questions should be asked of different claimants and conditions. When I first assessed I used to have to make a lot of phone calls, though I would explain why I was calling and try to reassure the person I was speaking to. 
    Sorry, I missed this bit.
    Oh, so you was an assessor?

    And you made calls to people at home afterwards? 

    I was thinking that it was quite rare and the DM did it instead. At least it can happen, especially with new assessors. But as it stands, we're two weeks past my medical and clearly the DWP hasn't got a report yet. She seems to have delayed it enough.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
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  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    twonker said:
    Do you have any evidence of what has been said during these telephone calls?
    My advice in cases like this is to tell them to put the questions in writing that way there can be no confusion in what has been asked and what the replies were.
    The DWP and assessors are far too handy in using the telephone especially when it involves something as important as an assessor's report or indeed anything relating to benefits claims.
    Why do you have to always be so negative? Why put the answers in writing? That's really ridiculous! No one wants to delay the process even more than they have to. It's stressful enough without more delays.
    Maybe that after 6 years of PIP people may well have come to the conclusion that assessors and the DWP  have earned little trust in their ability to be totally honest, above board and record what was/what wasn't said at  the assessment.
    My advice has been that as you are not obliged to give your telephone numbers to anyone so why would you? Dealing with any government department and especially the DWP everything should be done in writing. That way there can be no confusion as to what was said by whom. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Totally disagree that everything should be done in writing or snail mail as it's often referred to. I have no issues giving my contact number to DWP for mine and my daughters claims. There's enough of waiting times as it is without adding to it, with the addition of snail mail. Plus the fact letters can and do get lost.

    I've said this many times and i'll say it again, i've never had a bad report for any of my claims. HCPs have always been nothing but helpful and friendly. It's so true that you rarely hear the good stories and always the bad.
    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.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The report not being returned to DWP yet can only mean it has been in audit, if errors were found then it won't be returned to DWP until those errors have been corrected.
    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.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
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  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    To be fair, I have posted previously when I had a good medical. Not here, but elsewhere, my ESA assessor was great, a real nice person, he said he didn't think I should have been called, it was only bureaucracy that I was called, only asked some basic questions and said I had nothing to worry about in the result.

    My other PIP was middle. The man didn't seem to care at all, but I got a good result.

    This one has taken me by surprise. The assessment was awful and went on so long, my whole body had seized up in the chair for that long and now all these complications that have dragged it on and also made my health take a decline.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
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  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
    Totally disagree that everything should be done in writing or snail mail as it's often referred to. I have no issues giving my contact number to DWP for mine and my daughters claims. There's enough of waiting times as it is without adding to it, with the addition of snail mail. Plus the fact letters can and do get lost.

    I've said this many times and i'll say it again, i've never had a bad report for any of my claims. HCPs have always been nothing but helpful and friendly. It's so true that you rarely hear the good stories and always the bad.
    I will not disagree that all of your claims (daughter and self) are some of the 52% or so that are right first time. What we see on here represents in part the other 48% that fail. You have been most fortunate many others aren't.

    If you were able as an exercise to read both of my reports you would come to the conclusion that I do not have any form of disability. In fact at the age of 69 I am fitter than most men that are under 45! The look on the face of the Tribunal chairman when he asked me if it really was true despite all of the evidence supplied that I still played senior level rugby union said it all! From then on the report was completely dismissed.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Well @Yadnad didn't have a PIP award, so they claimed. @twonker does, so they claim... so on that part i remain completely confused.
    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.
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    Well @Yadnad didn't have a PIP award, so they claimed. @twonker does, so they claim... so on that part i remain completely confused.
    You, me and the rest are too.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @twonker - everyone's entitled to moan and I've done my fair share!

    However I don't believe that constantly making negative posts about what is wrong (and under your previous username @yadnad)helps anyone.

    Do you genuinely not have anything positive to say?
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    cristobal said:
    @twonker - everyone's entitled to moan and I've done my fair share!

    However I don't believe that constantly making negative posts about what is wrong (and under your previous username @yadnad)helps anyone.

    Do you genuinely not have anything positive to say?
    Previous username? thankfully it's not just me then that is losing the plot.


    I am not moaning and do not believe that my posts are negative. It's plain common sense that for as long as the assessors and the DWP produce and accept these assessments as being true and totally accurate and represent what was said at the assessment then contact with the aforesaid people should always be carried out via letter. Up to 48% of PIP claimants have no trust in those that administer the system. So as to have a clear record of what is or isn't said in a telephone conversation should instead be put in writing.

    Even today what M/s Rudd said about the 280,000 pensioners in receipt of PIP has made a mockery of what she said in March this year. If she was running the railways she would be installing turntables at every junction on the off chance that she wanted to go backwards. 
     
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh come on @twonker everyone knows you used to post under the name of yadnad. You both have exactly the same stories, type the same way etc. The only difference is one didn't have a PIP award, the other did. Oh and your ages are slightly different. lol

    Both of your posts are/were always so negative.
    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.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @twonker  @yadnad   Perhaps it might be a matter of perception but I personally can't remember anything positive...

    Let's move on ...this isn't adding anything to the topic as far as I can see...



  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Honestly, I don't know any member, or previous member.

    However, I suppose I seem like I'm moaning too, however when the stress they put you through gets so bad, I suppose we all wish to vent or moan. And it is stressful, no matter if you try not to worry, or not think about it, it's still there.
  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    cristobal said:
    @twonker / @yadnad.....I don't agree with your advice to ask for the questions to be put in writing..

    1) It will inevitably slow things down
    2) It makes no sense to have an assessment in which you respond to the assessor's questions as they are asked and don't have a written record, but then insist that supplementary questions are put in writing.
    Most would want to have the assessment recorded. That way there is confirmation of what was said and the questions asked.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    @Firefly123 -Have a moan, it's good for you!

    As I said previously my assessment wasn't done well and I've had a whine about it. If you look through this forum a lot of others are the same - their first post is a full page moan about how bad their assessment was. Everyone understands this, and it actually does them good to vent.

    In the long term constantly making negative posts doesn't do any good (in my opinion) It's not good for the poster, and it's certainly not good for anyone else reading the forum because there are times when perfectly good advice (in my opinion) is lost in posts about how poor the system is.

    You may or may not believe that my assessment was done poorly and, if I'm honest, the only reason I can be certain about that is because I recorded it. I acknowledge that other claimant's assessment's went badly, and that's is down to the assessor but it's also clear to me, if you read through the posts, that:-

    Some people haven't read through the form before completing it so they don't know what the criteria are
    Some people think that they will qualify for PIP if they attach more than xx pages of reports from their clinicians.
    Some people apply on a 'wing and a prayer'

    I was angry and annoyed about my assessment but my answer is to try and post something positive.

    In my opinion, constant negativity by @yadnad and others doesn't help anyone. All that it achieves (in my opinion) is to portray the system as a lot worse than it actually is...
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  • twonkertwonker Member - under moderation Posts: 617 Pioneering
    edited May 2019
    What is worse than ESA PIP torture .... 4.3 k owed in rent 
    You might like this system till these people dont give you what you think you should get
    Then you might moan too ... no im sure you will ...nowt positive about dwp  ...
    The workings of the DWP and the systems that they employ are no different now than they were way back in the mid 60's As it was known as the DHSS they have always had a reputation of poor service, fudged standards of work and poor training. Anybody that was interested in furthering their career within the Civil Service refused point blank to work in that department. It was a one way ticket to a damaged career. Nothing has changed - poor quality staff - poor morale - poor training.

    Unless you make it so simple for the DWP to understand a claim then you are onto a bad decision. That's the level of quality of their staff. They find it difficult to understand anything that is not black and white.
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    edited May 2019
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  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    She called this morning at just gone 8am.

    It went OK I think, it was different questions to before, how I cope with panic attacks and how I would cope on my own etc. She says she thinks she has it all now.

    I'm terrible on the phone and I'm expecting a bad result, but I just hope it's over now!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,940 Scope community team
    Hello @firefly22, that's very early to have to confront something like that! How are you feeling now? Have you managed to distract yourself a bit over the course of the day?
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • firefly22firefly22 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Yes, it was very early, and I had had no sleep for hours the night before. I had only woken up at just before 8 too, but at least  didn't have time to worry about it.

    I've been better now it's over and I'm trying to tell myself it's all done now. Hopefully it really is this time.
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Why are you deleting comments ??,,
    The only ones that can permanently delete comments are admin.
    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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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,940 Scope community team
    Hi @apollo14lmp,
    I'm sorry to hear you want your account deleted. I'll contact you by email to explain the process and we'll get it sorted for you ASAP.

    Best wishes,
    Adrian
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,940 Scope community team
    Hi @apollo14lmp, I've emailed you to ask about deleting your account. If you can get back to me, I'll get it sorted out for you.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
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  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,940 Scope community team
    Hello @apollo14lmp, I'm very sorry to read that you're in a bad place and that you don't feel the community has been supportive of you. I'm also sorry if you feel as if I've been rude to you, as that's never my intention and if there's anything in particular that you'd like help with, I'd be happy to assist. You're always welcome to make a post here, or message the team at [email protected]

    The reason I've had to email with regards to closing your account, is that there are different ways of doing this, such as leaving your content intact but deleting your account, or by deleting everything and I need your explicit permission to do either. If you can let me know your preference, I'll be able to assist with this.

    Additionally, if you'd like to make a complaint, you can do so here.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You can like comments and still have nothing to comment about.

    I remember your problems with the housing benefit but that's something you really do need to get some expert advice about.
    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.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
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  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    @apollo14lmp - I'm very sorry for the problems you have and I hope you can find some help to sort them out.

     Lot's of people who post on here - and I'm one - have had a bad experience with PIP but I don't think that constantly making negative posts on here helps anyone. People seem to 'vent' and then move on and I'm sorry that you can't do that. If you check back through this topic you will see what I mean.

    Personally I've always thought of this forum as been for 'advice'. I wonder if your posts about Amber Rudd and "tories would send you up a chimney' might be better on a political forum?
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  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 965 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2019
    @apollo14lmp - It is very hard and sometimes everyone needs to sound off. I don't know if this might help?

    When I became ill I get stressed very easily and also see a lot of negative in things.Whatever happens I always see the worst... I can't change that - it's just the way i am now.

    If someone/something is making me stressed I ask myself "Can I actually change this?" If the answer is "No" then I try (and this is the hard bit) to just let it wash over me and not worry.

    The same with thinking negative thoughts. I have to think all of the time "What's the positive in this?" and look at the positive rather than the negative. Same with posting on the internet, although I do lapse from time to time!

    Can't help with your Housing I'm sorry as I've not claimed it but there is another forum for that I think..
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