Sunday 25 March 2018

An Open Rant to the Powers That Be.

It's been a while since I last posted. People who know me well will have worked out that this is a good (or rather, bad) sign that my MH is not quite as it should be, and it's not. It hasn't been for a good while; since I was signed off, unfit for work, by my GP and had to apply for Universal Credits. Wow! That's a whole new world I never expected to end up in and as a reasonably intelligent adult, may I say, I am finding it difficult and stressful to navigate. As a result, of that and the battle I now have to get my youngest the help she needs with her MH, my anxiety has shot through the roof once again and I'm a bit of a blubbering mess (understatment of the year).

Following my stay at the Maytree, I had clawed back so much ground and my levels for both depression and had anxiety had reduced to normal. I felt more confident that the future would be brighter for us as a family, that I could rebuild my life. Yes, there were still the odd days here and there which were tough, days I cried a lot, but compared with where I was, the improvement was vast; until, as I said, the Universal Credit torture.

It is the single most degrading system I have ever had the misfortune to experience! I feel that I have gone from being a capable, intelligent individual to being nothing more than an annoying government statistic with the intelligence levels of a two year old! My GP has now signed me off for another two months due to the distress the process is causing me, but her professional opinion and personal knowledge of my situation, and my ability to work is of no consequence. Neither myself, nor my Doctor are believed, the DWP must carry out its own assessment.

I received the questionnaire for the health assessment a little over a week ago and I want to say this, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and the DWP, I thank you. I thank you for making me feel like crap. I thank you for making the suicidal thoughts return. I thank you for the new thoughts, the ones that make me want to hurt myself, just to check I am still human. Just to make sure that I can still think and feel. Just to check that it is indeed blood running through my veins. I thank you for not trusting my GP. I thank you for screwing up Mental Health Services (at least in my area, I acknowledge that some Health Authorities are doing a fab job, I just don't live in one of those coveted locations).

Incidentally, when I returned to my GP, presenting in a rather distressed state, thanks again to yourselves and the system I am forced to be a part of, she kindly asked if I would like to be referred back to our local MHT (Mental Health Team), I declined. Previously, I was assessed by a Social Worker and told by her that they only work with those in crisis. I'm not in crisis, yet. I'd like help to stop me going into crisis again, but do you know what? I don't tick all your bloody boxes! Never mind that I cannot walk to the local shop, even with my daughter, without collapsing in a heap of tears when I return. Never mind that I find the simplest of tasks overwhelming, or that I regularly forget what I'm doing or where I'm going because I am so worried about it. Never mind that the simplest comment from someone can upset me and raise my anxiety levels. Never mind that I am exhausted from having to fight to get through each and every day. Never mind that the suicidal thoughts and desire to self harm are creeping back in. Never mind that I cry more than half the days of the week. Never mind that both my girls are suffering from stress and anxiety because of me, so now I am also beating myself up about that. I don't tick your boxes, but...

...but, I sure as hell will tick the boxes to be 'fit to work' at my ESA assessment, won't I? You won't give me the medical support I need, but you'll push me back to work. You'll continue to degrade and dehumanise me. You'll make me jump through your bloody hoops and treat me like a number until you can get me into a job and make your stupid stats look better. Why? Because you don't care. You don't care about individuals. You don't see the damage the system does to people. And the irony of it? If you invested properly in our NHS, if Mental Health patients were treated as quickly and with as much respect and dignity as those suffering from physical illnesses, many of us would be able to continue working, we wouldn't end up in crisis and we wouldn't need to apply for benefits. That's not how it works though. We seek help, then have to wait weeks or months to receive it. We get told we're not ill enough to receive this help or that help. For those of us, whom are high functioning, whom are articulate and able to do basic tasks (most of the time) it is even more difficult. Our ability to express ourselves, to understand what is happening to us, and why, means we must be able to recover on our own and we can't possibly be unfit for work, can we?

OK so I know, I'm ranting quite a bit, but I'm angry. I'm angry that having never claimed benefits before, I am made to feel like scum, (not by my work coach, she is lovely) but by the government and it's obvious dislike of those in need (yes, that's how it feels). I am angry that as a Metal Health patient, I have to seek support from charities because I can't access the help I need from the NHS. I am fuming and distressed that I have to go and justify my illness to a complete stranger and that on that one interview, they will decide what I am, or am not, capable of.

As I've said before though, what would I know?

1 comment:

  1. Awww. This is horrible. Hope you get what you need. Hugs.