PIP, DLA and AA
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Mental health and mobility pip

JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
Hi, 
My girlfriend has her tribunal hearing next week and I'm worried about the mobility question because cases seem to be split when it comes to mental health. I think she satisfied 13f in that sha cannot take any journey familiar or not without me (or someone else very close to her) for several reasons.
The main one is that for many years I've seen them she loses concentration very badly when walking, where she will be in her own head worrying excessively, trying to calm her breathing, slow he heart rate down and concentrate on not getting dizzy or trying to escape a situation that causes her distress, because of the anxiety she suffers in public places. She's had several panic attacks when I haven't been there and it's made her terrified of it happening again and drawing attention to herself and thus people coming to see if she is okay and talking to her. She had to wait for me to come get her when this happened because she couldn't think properly about what to do next. When she's like this, she used to walk into road without looking all the time and on a few occasions has got lost because she isn't concentrating on what's happening. If it's crowded her only thought is to get away from where she is asap, meaning across the other side of the road, down streets she doesn't know etc and then ends up getting lost, or alternatively, just finding a seat to sit at so she doesn't faint from feeling too dizzy. 
So considering the above, what do you think for this? I am now with her all the times so she doesn't get lost or walk into a car because she's almost done that too many times when I was with her, nevermind alone.

Thanks in advance
Tom

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @JazCo, I understand how stressful this can be, especially when trying to justify criteria that you feel is met. Unfortunately, it is very hard for us to say if your girlfriend will be given this outcome during the tribunal. However, the success rates for Tribunal are much higher than Mandatory Reconsiderations and I really hope you are given the best outcome.

    Please do let us know how you get on and I hope others will be able to share their experiences. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

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  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    Thanks for getting back to me? I guess I'm just trying to manage my expectations a little and also give her a little confidence if possible so she isn't feeling so stressed with it. She's been spiralling into depression because she feels no independence and we have a 1 year old who she feels is suffering because she can't take her out to places because of her condition. 

    I hope some people who have the same difficulties will be able to advise of their outcomes


    Tom
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @JazCo   Pleased to meet you .

    Thank you for sharing.

    Please can I ask does your girlfriend have a support team receiving any help or advice with her mental health?

    I know that might give her a lot of confidence and hopefully can help with the tribunal .  Also might help a lot of the issues and problems. Every one is entitled to good mental health and wellbeing.

    Also may I add it is a stressful time .  Always good idea to have some one who is there. Besides yourself.  Speak on her behalf.

    If your girlfriend does not have a support team or any one to advise and be helping her with mental health. 

    There is help and support out there which can be useful to cope with any mental health issues.

    You could and should speak to your Doctor.  What is available to help your girlfriend.

    I use mental health charities might be something to consider.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Get floating support or an outreach worker.  Wellbeing and mental health advice.

    I know do not cover all areas.

    Just concerned and caring member of the community . 

    Happy to help and be supportive.

    I have mental health issues my self.

    Please get in touch . If I can help with anything further or you need to ask anything.

    Wish you well and take care.

    @thespiceman .


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
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  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    Hi @thespiceman she has had a nightmare trying to get a referral to the local mental health centre. The first referral got rejected and sent to the postnatal team because she was within 1 year of giving birth, they then rejected it (shouldn't have at all) and her referral went no where for months before I enquired. The second time the doctor forgot to send the referral through. Again, months wasted. The third time they rejected it because they said medication and the GP can help. She had to explain as best she could how the medication is currently not helping despite going up in dose and she has such severe panic symptoms and issues she thinks she deserves to see a psychological professional who can look at her issues more specifically as all other routes just give general anxiety advice. Our local mp has written to her go to request another referral because she doesn't feel she can go through speaking to yet another Dr (her previous one left the surgery) about everything and justify why she should be seen.

    Unfortunately, she only has me as she has been waiting to see a professional for 10 months and no GP knows her well enough from us moving to talk on her behalf or even write in with anything more than basic health record. This is why she is so worried. Despite having it documented as an issue for many years and diagnosed over 3 years ago, she doesn't have any professional that knows of her difficulties on an intricate level to speak to the other professionals, she just feels like it's our word against the dwp with relatively little evidence to bakc us up, apart from diagnosis, medication history and minor involvement with a light touch mental health team. All of this is no fault of hers, she's just been let down over and over. 

    Thanks for your advice. 
    Tom
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @JazCo   Thank you for reply and also sharing. Sorry to hear this. I do understand .

    I think the situation is not ideal and you need to look at what other options and choices there is around your area.

    If the help and support is not coming your waiting or there are concerns that you maybe need to think through some other support.

    One other link forgot to add is advocacy.  https://www.rethink.org.

    Helpline 0300 500 0927 

    This is a service that appoints advocates to represent you at any meetings . Mental health or any appointments the Doctors with your girlfriend present. Speaks on her behalf.

    Will meet up first with your girlfriend to talk over options what she wants to say.

    Very useful especially Doctors.  Can make a difference.

    I would suggest have a look at the mental health  charity I recommended if there in your area please do.

    I know would help.  Please if you can give them a try.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman




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  • MisscleoMisscleo Member Posts: 646 Pioneering
    You can recomend yourself to any mental health clinic.
    I took a friend to one in Birmingham. They were very helpful and Pam now gets to speak with someone every month.
    Look them up on net and ask for an appointment.
    There was a 4 month waiting list so do it now
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    The mental health centre around here requires a doctor recommendation only and even after 2 referrals made they've sent them back. 
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    @thespicemanthere are no advocacy groups in our area. Only group support meetings which is my girlfriends worst nightmare, being in a room full of people she doesn't know. Southport always seems to fall between the cracks when it comes to support. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,119 Disability Gamechanger
    JazCo said:

    Unfortunately, she only has me as she has been waiting to see a professional for 10 months and no GP knows her well enough from us moving to talk on her behalf or even write in with anything more than basic health record. This is why she is so worried. Despite having it documented as an issue for many years and diagnosed over 3 years ago, she doesn't have any professional that knows of her difficulties on an intricate level to speak to the other professionals, she just feels like it's our word against the dwp with relatively little evidence to bakc us up, apart from diagnosis, medication history and minor involvement with a light touch mental health team. All of this is no fault of hers, she's just been let down over and over. 
    Hi, I've had exactly the same experience with the medical system & mental health issues sadly, I expect there are a lot of us in a similar position.  I'm now on GP number 4 in the same surgery (after going at least 10 years without a Doctors visit!)...none of them understand my problems and I'm not able to effectively express myself in face to face situations...especially in medical environments which I cannot cope with due to contamination OCD.  I did eventually see a professional mental health assessor but again was unable to express myself clearly so most of the report was incorrect.  This report was the only bit of evidence I had but even that was disregarded entirely for the PIP as it's now over 3 years old...

    I also scored 0 points and am now in the process of waiting for the MR decision.  I don't expect it to change though as it is just my word against theirs without any proof.  I do receive ESA and had to be re-assessed early (due to my previous GP being awkward and unreasonable!).  The ESA assessor did seem to have some understanding of my issues and awarded me ESA no problem...I asked if her report could be used for PIP as it was more recent but I think that was just ignored and I don't think I can get a copy of it to send to them.

    Sorry that's not more positive but it really is about the evidence for mental problems.  Did the light touch mental team provide any reports at all?
  • JazCoJazCo Member Posts: 48 Courageous
    @OverlyAnxious they don't do reports sadly, just letters of attendance. They don't diagnose, they aren't medically trained to write reports like a psychologist, they just treat with things the CBT (which she finds doesn't work for her) and other general treatments. She has really severe body dysphoria which prevents her from doing a lot of things like, bathe, brush her teeth, change her clothes because it all involves undressing and/or looking at herself. All the doctors think is its low self esteem and she doesn't deserve an official diagnosis by a medically qualified psychologist he knows a lot about her specific issues. They just think all anxiety and depression is treated with the same therapies and that's all that matters. Her first go said "why do you want a diagnosis if the treatment is the same?" (which it's not) never been so angry in my life. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @JazCo   Thank you for your reply.  I did not mean support groups .
    Rethink are a charity who helps one to one patient get the help they need from services.

    If I can explain this to you. Need to talk to the Doctor that I have. Out the door every five minutes no clue no answers to any questions.

    That I have.  Anxiety on my own just me the meds and no answers and solutions.

    Asked through Rethink on advise of my support worker. Got in touch local branch.

    Manna from heaven when they arrived talked over what we wished to say. Arrived next appointment Doctors.

    Flood gates opened she the lady from Rethink told her the Doctor everything.

    Now the Doctor my best friend. Since advocacy have had some a lot of positivity.

    Looking at reviews of everything mental health.

    One final point as a mental health charities have drop ins . Support groups and lots of activities.

    Because not always does this help the patient but you learn from each other.

    Education, knowledge is the key to help yourself and any one else.

    Can be very useful and very much aware of helping those like your girlfriend.

    I have had my illness since early teens and now in my mid fifties always a find some days difficult some days hard always will.

    Other days using coping methods, strategies does help this is something they do. All charities.  After what is important is it not. To get the help your girlfriend justly deserved..

    Anyway got the following details on line for you.

    Rethink does have on line two centres.   I am not at all suggesting your girlfriend joins the support groups.

    That is a big step. It is contacting some one who in the branch to help your girlfriend.

    Have the number 01704 534014

    I have been there and some days still am.  Have and some days struggle mentally to get out.

    Do have the coping methods learnt a lot.  

    I wish you well and hope you understand just being a caring gent of the community.

    Pleasure to meet you.

    Take care

    @thespiceman


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
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  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,119 Disability Gamechanger
    JazCo said:
    @OverlyAnxious they don't do reports sadly, just letters of attendance. They don't diagnose, they aren't medically trained to write reports like a psychologist, they just treat with things the CBT (which she finds doesn't work for her) and other general treatments. She has really severe body dysphoria which prevents her from doing a lot of things like, bathe, brush her teeth, change her clothes because it all involves undressing and/or looking at herself. All the doctors think is its low self esteem and she doesn't deserve an official diagnosis by a medically qualified psychologist he knows a lot about her specific issues. They just think all anxiety and depression is treated with the same therapies and that's all that matters. Her first go said "why do you want a diagnosis if the treatment is the same?" (which it's not) never been so angry in my life. 
    Ah ok, that's a shame.  Does the letter of attendance state the symptoms at all?  PIP isn't about the diagnosis, it's about the actual symptoms and how they affect daily life so might still be useful if so.

    Yes I know what you mean about GPs and mental health.  I wouldn't expect a general psychologist to have any more understanding though tbh, unless I was unlucky.   My report summary just stated that I had too many problems to deal with on the NHS and just recommended another course of CBT...as if that was going to help!  I wonder if it would be possible to find one that specifically deals with her problems and write to them as a self referral?  I've done this with a couple of places that are meant to be GP referral only and did actually get a response...    
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