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The diagnosis is not why you get ESA, it's how it affects your daybto day life.

 

I agree that maybe you should write something and ask your GP to read it as you write very well.

 

You may or may not be on the autistic spectrum. My friend was diagnosed by someone she was put in touch with by an autism charity. Have a look on the Autism U.K. Website.

 

I am not saying you are autistic at all - I'm not qualified. You need to start somewhere. There are some questionairres on line which can give you an indication.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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"The diagnosis is not why you get ESA, it's how it affects your daybto day life." At the moment the "diagnosis" is trivial stress and anxiety states. Also without a diagnosis any discussion about how it affects day to day life can't occur.

 

I'm not a clinical psychologist and if I were I would not be trying to diagnose any condition over the web. Might I suggest you don't either as it can be very misleading and confusing.

 

Could you get someone to come to your GP with you as an advocate? Also, does the GP know of your suicide attempt? This is something GPs tend to take seriously as they ought.

 

Could you get support from any other organisation?

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I am sorry to ask why would you not want to seek proper treatment - your GP will help if asked.

No GPs are not trained in MH matters that is why they refer you.

You seem very capable of explaining your needs and wants in emails why not write some down and read them to your GP.

Some of this does not sense to me.

 

 

Because what proper treatment is there? GP's havent helped when I asked and as I have put, I have been going to GP's specifically about this issue for over 10 years now. GP's haven't referred me to any service which could have benefited me. The only time I have spoken to people who should know more about it was on the 2 times I tried to end things and I saw the MH team's at hospital.

 

Both times it was like I was an inconvenience. The first time I was left waiting in hospital for what must have been 3 or 4 hours, so I walked out and the police came after me and took me back. When the MH team arrived they seemed to be a bit off towards me because they were called out and had to travel nearly 3 hours to the hospital at 2am.

 

Furthermore, I know the problem I live with very well as I live lived with it all of my life. Via research and the things I have tried, the main help will be with having help to live with it.

 

Yeah, i'm aware that from an ESA perspective, there needs to be a named condition. For me I feel both ESA and medical help would come hand in hand. The problem faced is serious and the main way for a GP to confirm they get it is by understanding. If they do understand, confirmation of that understanding would be in the form of being enabled to claim ESA, because no GP can say they understand but expect me to be out there working at this moment in time.

 

Let's face it, my mother saved up that money to give to me when she passed away for me to do something decent with and put it towards my future. In the last 6 months I have spent nearly £4000 of that inheritance on general bills and living expenses (food, bus fare, etc). In other words, that amount of money has been wasted with nothing to show for it. That either means I am the laziest person on the planet who would do anything to avoid working (even if that means I end up losing my home), or, I am genuinely unfit to work at the moment.

 

Logically, if I was fit enough to work then I would be out working in order to safeguard my inheritance to do what mum would have wanted me to do with it. Instead, I know that at the moment, I am not able to cope with the pressure of an interview let alone a job and it could make my health worse.

 

I tried everything I could to avoid going on CA when mum was alive. Just before I went on CA (After another let down with a GP), I pushed 1 last time to try and get a job instead. I had an interview and it was really embarrassing. Half way through they stopped the questions and started being patronising. They said i'm not in trouble but they needed to ask me something. They asked if I had taken any illegal drugs, which I answered no to. Their reasons for asking was because I was speaking quickly and was very jumpy. They repeated i'm not in trouble but they were asking for my own safety. After the interview I had a letter in the post a few days later saying I didn't get the job.

 

 

 

The GP would be aware of my suicide attempt as the MH team said they would contact this GP. I have never seen this GP before though as I registered there not long before mum died. Then mum took a bad turn, she was in hospital for weeks before passing away. Then I had everything like the funeral and then to deal with mums estate on my own.

 

I don't know anyone who would come with me. Nobody knows me. Aside from 1 or 2 very distant family members who live many miles away and I haven't seen for a long time, I have no family left. Also no friends, I haven't had any for pretty much over 10 years.

 

 

I have lots of notes written to take with me. I explained everything in them but they total 8 or 9 pages. In order for the GP to get a full understanding, they would need to read all of the notes but even with a double appointment, their might not be enough time for the GP to read through all of them.

 

 

A lot of this is about proving it. I can't exactly prove that some people have assumed i'm on drugs or how i'm feeling inside when out and about.

 

Equally, I can't prove the possible link to Parkinsons disease. Well neither mum or the other close family member had Parkinsons. It was a relatively new and rare disease that in many ways mimics parkinsons disease, but in other ways is completely different. Their nervousness before diagnosis was the same as what i'm experiencing, but as neither of them are alive, they can't clarify this to medical professionals. Which is why I can't factor this in with appointments.

 

I would say I have huge potential of becoming an alcoholic. After being left to battle alone for so long, I had to integrate my own ways to reduce the physical and internal nervousness. The physical symptoms would sometimes bring assumptions i'm on drugs and the internal mental symptoms would make even going shopping uncomfortable and mean I don't manage to buy half of what I need. Alcohol is perfect for reducing both symptoms.

 

I must admit, until this year it has done me more good than harm. I wouldn't have been out and about half as much if I never consumed alcohol. Although the death of mum has meant the only person I had social interaction with has gone, which means at home alone I have relied on alcohol even more to have that boost at home. Before I consumed up to 10 units a week. Now i'm drinking 15 units 2 or 3 times a week.

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I wanted to post this bit in its own post for easier reading...

 

It does feel frustrating with everything I have to go through to possibly get ESA. There's someone who does a video blog on youtube who gets the support group version of ESA for over 5 years. They are very open about all parts of their life and show proof to clarify what they get. Their problem is fish odour syndrome and their reasons to the DWP as to why they cant work is the syndrome means they can't go anywhere due to smelling of fish which people then make fun of and that makes them low and suicidal.

 

In this persons videos though they regularly go to betting offices, the gym and restaurants alone. They drive a nice car, go on holiday alone and meet up with people they have never met before off the internet. They don't even help themselves reduce the fish odour syndrome with a healthy diet, but instead will often eat unhealthy foods at restaurants and stock up on junk food from Waitrose.

 

I could only dream of doing the activities they do and if I was able to, I would be fit enough to work and be out working. Yet the DWP fund their lifestyle continuously without question.

 

Then there's me who needs to be on ESA by the end of this month so I don't lose my home, who will have to battle with an assessment and probably go through an appeals process.

 

It's very frustrating as I know I don't want to sit around on benefits all of my life. I just need the help now with the overall goal being to have a job and pay my own way out of the money I work for.

 

It's around 2 weeks today that my appointment will be booked for and we will see what happens

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One sure thing is that you are drinking too much at particular times which is binge drinking, you are drinking more in general, you are drinking to avoid stressful situations and you are concerned about your drinking. Now excess drinking might be a secondary problem at present but it will become primary if you keep drinking in the way and for the reasons you are. I strongly suggest you get yourself to AA.

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Is this genuine - I am at a loss to understand what you are driving at.

Are you complaining about people who you don't think deserve help, or the fact you are not getting any.

If it has been going on for this long then why not have taken action earlier.

I fought hard, and I live alone coping with my MH problems, true it is not handed on a plate, and MH problems make it hard as your mood changes from day to day (well can be hour by hour) so keeping committed is hard, but you emails seem to follow track so surely you can get your point across.

 

I find it hard to believe that after admitting twice you have threatened to take your life that you have been ignored.

I have a crisis contact number (and I have never attempted suicide) so surely you, with your two attempts should be receiving help.

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"The diagnosis is not why you get ESA, it's how it affects your daybto day life." At the moment the "diagnosis" is trivial stress and anxiety states. Also without a diagnosis any discussion about how it affects day to day life can't occur.?

 

A diagnosis is not why you are paid a benefit. Take me as an example. I have arthritis in several joints plus a neck problem. Plenty of people get ESA for that and they are entitled to do so. They way if affects my day to day life is such that I can and do work full time with a few minor adjustments to my work station.

Some people have multiple issues which taken separately do not make render them unfit for work, but taken together do. So it's not the diagnosis, it's how much the person can or can not.

 

I don't think anyone was trying to diagnose the o/p over the internet.

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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What do you mean mrs poppers? I have gone into detail trying to explain it as much as possible but here are a few answers to your questions:

 

If it has been going on for this long then why not have taken action earlier.

 

As I have been nervous ALL of my life, how I am meant to know any different what "normal" is? Let's take a physical illness, if someone has a pain in their leg that wasn't there before, they know to see a dr. If someone like me is nervous all of their lives, how are they supposed to know anything was wrong (and it's not something that everyone feels)? I only knew something was wrong because others pointed it out (saying it seems like im on drugs) and by seeing that other people were not nervous like me when in a supermarket.

 

I went to the dr's was told it's stress and had no reason to doubt them as they are the experts. Eventually as my life was going down the drain I knew the offered treatment (1 week off work) was not going to work and so went to another GP. This next GP didn't do much aside from give me a blood test to see if I was diabetic... the results came back and i'm not diabetic. I went to another GP soon after and again, no help offered.

 

It was then I researched online what could be wrong. My symptoms seems to have matched "social anxiety" in quite a few ways. I plucked up the courage to see other GP's over this. The understanding with that first GP I saw about it is "social anxiety" is a mild problem and aside from being offered citalopram, nothing else was done. I took citalopram for a while but it did nothing for me, after many months of taking it, it made no difference. This same view of "social anxiety" was also the opinion of other GP's I saw.

 

I felt reluctant about going to GP's from then on because it was a really bad experience for me having to go there all nervous, see the GP, explain everything to them only to be given next to no help, but I still visited 4 different GP's after that GP. (1 of them gave me sertraline, which I took for months but again felt no different from taking them).

 

All with a similar result, with the final GP I saw telling me to my face "you are not going through depression, otherwise you would be low all of the time" and for the anxiety giving me a print out of the name of a book I could read for "self help". I got that book, read through it all and did the steps it said to take but it did nothing for me.

 

Bear in mind, that throughout my GP appointments altogether, I had to go on my own. The close family member was ill and not able to go with me and my mother was ill herself. So on each visit I had to go to the GP on my own. It answers the age old question of "why do people with mental health problems not keep pushing to see a dr?".... well... because they are mentally unwell and struggle to do so. In my case I am mentally unwell but through being a strong person after caring for ill family members since I was just a child, I pushed myself as hard as I could to see them.

 

I find it hard to believe that after admitting twice you have threatened to take your life that you have been ignored

 

Tried being the word, not threatened. It's area specific with what help you get though, unfortunately I now know that in this area there isn't much help. I see articles frequently about people who tried to take their own lives, were taken to hospital, patched up, discharged with no help and later than same day ended things for good.

 

 

 

A diagnosis is not why you are paid a benefit. Take me as an example. I have arthritis in several joints plus a neck problem. Plenty of people get ESA for that and they are entitled to do so.

 

I agree with you there ShoeLover...but (being the key word).... It can vary between physical and mental illnesses. A GP seeing someone with more physical problems could easily grasp an idea of what is wrong on that appointment. Someone could say "hey, I have this sharp pain in my leg/arm/back/neck" and the GP will on the spot be able to run some basic tests (getting you to try and move your arm or leg, seeing facial expressions) to get a rough idea of what could be the problem. They then will refer that person to a specialist or consultant who specialises in that field and that GP could sign someone off as unfit to work (for ESA purposes) because they "cant walk properly like an average person can" or "in pain when moving arm/leg to a certain angle". Which gives the ESA people something to go by... i.e... joe bloggs is unfit to work because he cant stand up for more than 5 minutes without being in pain.

 

With MH problems, it's more about the person explaining that day what they have trouble with, the GP taking their word for it and then *in an ideal world* referring that person to a specialist who can go through accurate tests and diagnose them.

 

For ESA purposes, in my case for example, a GP wouldn't know that I am nervous when leaving the house, that some people think i'm on drugs or I struggle at home to do basic daily tasks. They would be taking my word for it. For all they know I could be telling lies to get a golden ticket out of having to work. So would they risk being in trouble by saying "Matthew has problems with xyz and he has xyz" or would they avoid being in trouble by saying "Matthew has suspected xyz, he SAYS he has problems with xyz and has been referred to joe bloggs for tests to confirm this" ?. Obviously the latter. The people who process ESA applications have a decision makers handbook, which lists illness names and what type of illness it is. "suspected" is not "definite", so it might make the ESA people think twice about processing the application.

 

One sure thing is that you are drinking too much at particular times which is binge drinking, you are drinking more in general, you are drinking to avoid stressful situations and you are concerned about your drinking. I strongly suggest you get yourself to AA.

 

Well.... that is tricky with things. Back 9 or 10 years ago up until now... Well let's say 5 or 6 years ago since I was out of work.... I had perhaps 2 pints twice a week to get rid of the nervousness (twice a week because on those 2 days I would be out in public shopping or travelling to mums house). Aside from maybe 1 or 2 real ales at home on a Saturday evening, I wouldn't drink anymore (So 12 units per week at most... under the now 14 units per week limit... perfectly fine).

 

When mum was alive, it was the only thing I really had left. I cared for her but I enjoyed going to her home, talking to her and it being like a mother/son relationship is. Caring was never a chore for me, which is why my main aim was to care for mum unpaid, as long as I had the help with my health to get me back into work (which I never got of course).

 

When she died, so did my last form of social interaction. Well enough people would then use that new free time to first grieve the loss, do things they enjoy doing (days out) and then get back into the workplace. As mentioned, my nervousness heavily restricts that, so I have to spend a week, if not longer at a time stuck in. That just sends me in a rock bottom low mood especially as i'm still grieving the loss.

 

In order to break a week up, I assign 1 day to getting in shopping (2 pints to reduce the nervousness) and on the frequent days where the upset of isolation kicks in, the "drink ups" help me not to forget... but to remember. It gives me that missing buzz in life and it allows me to get upset over the loss of my mum.

 

If I was to consider AA at this moment in time, what good would it do? Their policy is focused more on no alcohol is good alcohol.... So, if I did have the help from them and gave up alcohol altogether... what would happen? I would have 6 days a week stuck in being really low and 1 day doing what? Ordering shopping online because without the 2 pints to reduce the nervousness, going out to buy shopping will make me feel worse?

 

The nervousness truly dominates me... even with silly things. If someone knocks at the door, I can't answer it, I freeze up, feel sick, dizzy and just cant answer. If neighbours are outside when i'm about to leave my home, I cant face them and will wait until they have gone.

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Matthew, have you been offered CBT? I am a type1 diabetic of 35 years and understand the nonsense of getting a GP appointment, further I rarely get to see the same GP and therefore relationship and trust is difficult to establish. I do recommend that you keep searching for a GP whom you can establish a good relationship with, my GP now asks me what I think my medical problems are and approves or disaproves while explaining why.

 

You need help and you are aware of this, you just have to go after the help you need, tell your GP that you don't feel capable of work at present and he/she will help you, im sure?

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Mathew.. my GP relies on my account of how my disability affects my life as much as they would with MH issues.

 

anxiety can be totally disabling- it can have physical symptoms too. You can get help...

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again all, I had some time out to get everything I needed ready for the appointment. I have re-written my notes a bit and have 8 A4 full pages for them to read through. Hopefully I can book a 20 minute appointment and they will read through all of it.

 

I will have a look for that Eric Berne book thank you.

 

As for CBT, as I recall, I was never offered it. Even so, at the moment, after thinking about it, I do not feel at this moment in time it would be suitable for me.

 

I will explain...

 

 

In order to know what would be the most efficient form of treatment, I would need to know for certain what I am dealing with. There is a place in a town near me that does offer CBT (after being referred via a GP), but their main advertising is something like "Suddenly stopped feeling yourself and now feel anxious/stressed/depressed? We can get you back to feeling yourself". The "get you back to feeling yourself" is important here because what is feeling myself if I have always had this health problem?

 

Bear in mind so far the only things GP's have told me it is has been stress because a family member isn't well and very mild depression. There has been no official diagnosis from an expert in that field (psychiatrist), because GP's never understood or believed my health problems were serious enough to be referred to one.

 

So first thing is first this time.... If the GP understands I will be signed off to claim ESA and be put on a waiting list to see a psychiatrist who is more likely to be able to accurately diagnose exactly what health problems I am going through.

 

That is all I need for this visit. No meds (as they have never done me any good), no self help leaflets to read, no referrals for counselling and no guessing by them of what it might or might not be.

 

Then after I have been accurately diagnosed, go back to my GP and discuss how to treat/cure/manage living with the diagnosis.

 

Hopefully this is the way it works out. We will soon see next week when I have booked and attended the appointment

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The appointment was today and although it was very difficult (shaking so bad there and couldnt stop talking quick), I am now signed off with chronic anxiety for the next 3 months.

 

He said he didn't feel I came across as someone with Apergers and so that seems very unlikely.

 

I went there armed with a big list of things to talk about but the idea I got was before I even entered the room, he had read a letter I previously sent to a GP explaining a lot and had already decided what my problem would be. In the first 5 minutes I think the way I was confirmed what he had thought.

 

I don't think he was happy with my criticism of the nhs over mental health services. He was asking what I would like to happen and wrote out a list for me of things with the first step being to book an hour long appointment with the mental health team. Other things included CBT, small steps I can take and some different medication.

 

Another thing said was I appear to be obsessive. That is probably right.

 

 

I think it went well overall. I can tell it's going to be a very long process though. Going to try and phone the ESA people tomorrow or Monday to apply for it

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Could I please ask a moderator or admin to remove all posts in this thread aside from this post and the 1 above about my GP appointment (As that part is complete and I do need help with my ESA claim, but less members will scroll to page 2 to give advice due to the huge messages I posted). Thank you.

 

I just wanted to ask a few things about when I apply for ESA on the phone regarding capital. My inheritance was paid in over 6 months ago and I declared that with the housing benefit team who calculated I was entitled to full HB.

 

The ESA team wont need to be told about inheritance because it was paid in over 6 months ago?

 

I am a gambling addict who has struggled with battling addiction for years. As a result of this, my bank statements are in a mess. What I do to try and stop myself gambling is I take money out of my bank account and store it at home, so it cant be gambled online. Unfortunately, after the lows of mums death I have had slip ups with gambling. I should have something like £9000 to declare to them now, but instead I have just under £6000 currently... made up of....

 

£400 in the bank

£4300 in cash stored at home

£920 of shares (current market price for them but goes up and down each day)

£28 in my PayPal account

 

How would I go about explaining this to them? The bulk amount of cash I lost was lost 6 months ago (over £3000). Then recently I won £1200 which was paid into my bank, a few days later though lost the lot and more (maxed my overdraft). I then paid £1000 in cash to someone who wrote me a cheque and paid that into my bank to clear the overdraft. In other words my most recent statement will show nearly £2500 paid in with £2000 paid out.

 

What about deprivation of capital? I lost that money purely through addiction and not to try and claim extra benefits. It's pretty obvious too as nobody would flush away over £3000 just to avoid having their benefits (When they got round to putting in a claim for them) reduced by £12 a week.

 

Also what would I need to say about income from things like online surveys?

 

The income isn't much at all but it varies. 1 week I might be lucky to earn £5, the next might be £15 or £25. How would I go about declaring that as its always different amounts each week? Would it be classed as permitted work?

 

Thank you

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I would just like to add, that the gambling addiction I speak of is linked to the chronic anxiety. As the anxiety restricts what I can do in life (forming friendships, doing things I want to do), I first turned to gambling to get that buzz and excitement I don't have in life due to being unwell, but fell into it deep and ended up becoming addicted

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Hi Matthew - rather than delete posts in your other thread (which we don't generally do), I've moved them all to a new thread so that the two separate issues won't get mixed up. If you'd prefer a different title for this thread, just let me know and I'll change it.

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Hi Matthew i am like you i have had anxiety all my life.I was placed in esa support group on a paper based assessment after being on assessment rate for 10 weeks,hopefully you will have the same outcome.

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Hi Matthew - rather than delete posts in your other thread (which we don't generally do), I've moved them all to a new thread so that the two separate issues won't get mixed up. If you'd prefer a different title for this thread, just let me know and I'll change it.

 

Excellent, thanks very much Antone. The title is great and I appreciate you moving the post to a new thread

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Just wanted to add my input after spending the last few days researching this situation, in case it helps anyone else who might be browsing the forum.

 

As per gambling... I think the DWP will question it, but, there are obvious signs that money was lost through addiction opposed to depriving myself of capital (patterns are, £20 deposit, then £40, then £80, then £150, then £200... and so on... obviously was me chasing losses) and there are quite a few cash point withdrawals which again, obviously is me trying to take money out in cash to safeguard against online gambling. I can just send a note with my bank statements explaining this.

 

With the surveys, it can get a bit more complex....

 

When I declared the inheritance to get HB and £1 for every £250 was classed as income, it said something like my income: £25 per week. What the law says I need to live on per week: £75.... So £50 short.... My survey earnings at tops was just £20 per week.... so still under what the law says I need to live on.

 

Surely, the council wouldn't have had the time and resources for me to email them each week saying how much I earned, but instead would prefer me to only contact them if I earned over what the law says I need to live on.

 

As for mentioning it when I apply for ESA on the phone tomorrow.... I will tell them I get at maximum £20 paid to me each week for surveys. By the looks of it, it could come under "permitted work" which I can earn around £110 a week for doing.

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Surely, the council wouldn't have had the time and resources for me to email them each week saying how much I earned, but instead would prefer me to only contact them if I earned over what the law says I need to live on.

 

If your local authority is anything like mine, and your weekly income is variable, they will want regular updates. The regulations give the claimant a little flexibility in that a change in circumstances should be notified within four weeks unless there are mitigating factors. Consequently, providing evidence of earnings once per month satisfies the legislation.

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No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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With regard to your gambling, can you demonstrate this such as have you disclosed to your GP or have you had any therapy?

 

I do suggest therapy if you can access it, it doesn't work for everyone or indeed not always permanently but it does help in the battle.

Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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I can only demonstrate it via bank statements (with the deposit pattern showing increasing amounts deposited in 1 session... so chasing losses), plus at the time when the bulk was lost, I was claiming no benefits at all (Except HB, who I declared the inheritance amount to and they were paying me full HB anyway). Had I not lost it, I had planned to not go on ESA, but instead support myself while I was getting treatment.

 

I did try multiple types of therapy including with gamblers anonymous, gamcare and various web forums. It didn't work though as its not just a straightforward addiction. My triggers to gamble stem from my chronic anxiety. As I don't have friends, no close family left and don't leave the house much at all, I eventually hit periods of total depression where I crave some fun or excitement in life and so then become vulnerable to gambling slip ups. As an example, until recently I hadn't gambled at all for 5 months, but had been drinking much more than normal. Recently though, I had 3 weeks off the alcohol, but then the most recent gambling slip happened.

 

The key is to eradicate the trigger, which can only be done by treating the chronic anxiety (which I am in the process of doing). Then once I am getting out and about more, the feelings of complete isolation and lows will be removed and so will the temptation to gamble.

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