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My introduction

Kev1374 Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello. I'm not really used to social media and I don't really interact too much with others so bear with me.
I've suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life which exacerbated to my current situation after my mother and father died in the same year. This was just the last straw in quite a long line of events but I won't go into those.
Add to this that my mobility is deteriorating rapidly, I have chronic pain just about everywhere and have recently been diagnosed with diabetes. I worked as a carer for disabled people and those with learning difficulties for over twenty years and both loved and loathed every minute of it. (Loved the people I got to work with, loathed the bureaucracy, red tape and stupid regulations)
I applied for and received both ESA and PIP not long after becoming unable to work and that was the beginning of a further exacerbation of my condition, particularly my anxiety and depression. I'll share this here although I'm not sure if I'm supposed to;
I had a very helpful counselling intervention but afterwards suffered several knock backs, which I'm sure those others of you with mental health issues will appreciate can be devastating, but as far as my benefits were concerned things were rumbling along quite smoothly. I received the dreaded Health Reassessment Letter for PIP in 2018 and by this time was finding it difficult to sit and get up from regular chairs - I'm six feet eight inches tall just to add another element of challenge - so I contacted the assessment centre to ask if they could provide chair raisers for me. After a brief consultation with other assessment centres, I was told none of them provided anything like that but I was offered a home visit, which I accepted.
Big mistake! 
The "medical professional" sent out to assess me spent around twenty minutes going through his questions, made no effort at all to interact other than carry out his spiel, then departed rapidly after seeming completely disinterested in my case. I'll skip to when my decision letter arrived, just suffice to say in the intervening period my anxiety was through the roof.
Upon getting the decision letter, I found that my higher care and my mobility had been cut with the explanation being that the assessor found no evidence I needed to be accompanied when going out despite providing supporting evidence and clearly explaining to him that unless I venture into my immediate locale, I require support - usually from my poor, long suffering sister - otherwise I suffer from panic attacks. I submitted a mandatory reconsideration and gave it the full term of response but for about three months I was left with only income from ESA which didn't even cover my bills and debts, let alone being able to buy food. My sister prompted me to contact the DWP to see if a decision on my case had been made and upon contacting me back the next day informed me my case had been placed on suspension with no explanation as to why. I'd been surviving on tins of Spam for three months and if my sister hadn't supported me to contact the DWP, I'd still not be in receipt of anything from PIP. As it stood, the decision saw my higher rate care restored but my mobility remained at the standard rate despite still needing to be accompanied when going out and my physical mobility deteriorating.
I now can't make ends meet and am constantly living within my overdraft at the bank. It was difficult before but now staying afloat is nigh on impossible. I can't even afford to purchase any PPE to deal with this bloody virus outbreak and I'm terrified that if I contact the DWP to request a further reassessment, I'll end up losing everything or having to take it to court which I probably wouldn't survive.
This whole thing makes one feel like a criminal just for being ill.
Anyhow, that's me. I'm sorry it's such a long introduction but as stated, I don't really interact with others too much.
Best wishes, stay safe and wash your hands.


  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
    Hello @Kev1374    Pleased to meet you.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    Sorry to hear what you have been through.

    I know it is painful difficult decisions to cope with .  I would always appeal any decisions if you need benefits to live.

    Despite the problems and issues around the assessments.

    Please if I can reassure you been doing assessments a long time had good and bad but many positive ones.

    Please if I can suggest further what would help is talking to a support workers from mental health charities some thing I used all the time.

    Accessing support means have to some one to discuss talk and speak on your behalf any issues around your mental health.

    Also would look at this situation you have right now give you a lot of support some advice and guidance.

    I used these three charities .

    They offer a lot of advice and information on coping methods and practical sensible discussions on any thing you have difficulty with.

    I know they would fill in any benefit forms and attend assessments speak on your behalf. Look at diet, nutrition and well being so important.

    Whether on medication or not usually ask you and can intervene with Doctor discuss with you options and choices.  Attend and speak on your behalf.

    Any medical professional having problems with.  Sleep any other health issues or problems. 

    Sorry to say some areas are not covered please look at the websites to apply or speak to your Doctor.

    Please if you do have any questions please ask me . Have a wealth of knowledge, expertise on Mental Health.

    Please if I can help with anything please ask your are not alone.

    We are a friendly supportive community offer compassion and empathy .

    Please take care and safe.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Kev1374
    Kev1374 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hello thespiceman
    Thank you so much for your response and your comments. I will definitely be checking out the links you provided.
    I've had so many knock backs now and they all happen right at the point where I feel strong enough to ask my GP if I could start some treatment like counselling etc but then something happens and it puts me right back beyond square one.
    Thanks again.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,390 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Kev1374   Thank you for reply. Many times have had knock backs.

    A saying in my mind is always there.

    If you put a rock or a stone in your path.  Do you stand still or go around or over.

    Another one success comes in cans not can nots.

    I have a lot o contend with so many times including life or death struggles with addiction.

    Reason am here clean and moving on is to help and instil those of your good self as a volunteer.

    To make decisions about your issues and problems to deal with them, give lots of reassurance.

    One other might be interested some thing to consider.

    New avenues and path opportunities lots of these charities offer.

    I have admin office experience through them changed to gained qualifications in diet, nutrition and so on.

    Many are looking for clientele if they are suitable to work for them.

    Use their own health experience and knowledge to support others.

    Something which can not only benefit others but helps you.

    Small steps and small goals can turn into a victory and joy.

    Negativity and thinking the worse is so hard to over come, trust me been there.

    Use what I learnt to pass on to my community.

    Please if you think you need a helping hand of friendship am here most days.

    Also advisor and mentor to many with mental health on the forum, happy to suggest and give you inspiration to move forward.

    Time is a great healer.

    Please take care and keep safe.


    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 10,605 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Kev1374 _ Welcome to the community. I'm pleased you've joined, as I see you've already had some great information, links & insight from my dear friend thespiceman. I'm glad to read you're going to look at the links he gave as he has helped many people who have joined our supportive community. Please post here any time, as we're all here to support each other. :)
  • Kev1374
    Kev1374 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thank you.
    I'm planning on utilising those links as soon as possible. That is, as soon as my meds wear off to the point that I can think straight again😁.


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