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To fake having a disease, just because what I do actually suffer from is unheard of-even with doctors?

(376 Posts)
XoticEngram Thu 01-Oct-15 18:31:58

I suffer from a sleep disorder which in itself isn't/shouldn't be a big deal. In the grand scheme of things compared to cancer, or some progressively deteriorating mental condition I am lucky.
However it does limit the work that I can do. Basically it is genetically impossible for me to fall asleep before 2-3 am so if I have to wake at 7am for a job that starts at 9am then its unworkable. If I was in a big city, this would not be a big deal but I live in Cornwall-a place with much reduced work opportunities.

As a consequence of this condition I have been claiming job seekers allowance for a long time. I have repeatedly tried to talk to Drs about it but in this country GPs are useless for sleep conditions and do little other than dole out platitudes about good sleep hygiene.

Now my job seeker advisor-who knows that I suffer from this condition- has rail-roaded me onto a 6 month work program placement which demands that I get up at 7am at the very latest.

Basically I have been put into a situation where I will have to endure 6 months of 360 degree hell with no respite whatsoever. I do not compensate any sleep I miss in the same way as other people. Being exhausted does not mean I fall asleep earlier.

Best case scenario- people on this work placement think I am belligerent and have an attitude problem.
More likely scenario- I incur damage to my health (in the form of excema like rashes-to start with) and succumb to alcoholism (something I have abstained from for over a year) and become a danger to other workers due to concentration problems. And end up receiving benefit sanctions on account of failing to meet the requirements of this program.

If I lived in USA and had easy access to a fire arm I might just turn my self off and experience Peace Perfect Peace.

Ive made an appointment with the Dr. It is unlikely that will be able to help me with what I actually suffer from so I am thinking strategically it might be better to say I am suffering from depression/psychosis in order to try and get myself on the sick. If I am forced to do this program this will probably be the result anyway as constant cortisol has a negative effect on any ones brain.

Please by aware-I WANT TO DO THIS PROGRAM. But the people who run it are unable/unwilling to work with me, refusing to acknowledge that the problems that cause unemployment are intrinsically complicated preferring to insist that a 'one size fits all' approach can be used for everyone. I think one of the people who runs it have an RAF feel about them, so they are probably full of militaristic virtue and belief in a regimented application of a hegemonic schedule in the curing of all of societies evils.
BTW- the name of my disease is Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. I doubt you've heard of it, but its a real thing

StealthPolarBear Thu 01-Oct-15 18:35:18

Tbh I don't think yabu at all. You can't win and your situation sounds awful

DancingDinosaur Thu 01-Oct-15 18:38:58

What would be your ideal job? Afternoon / evening work?

anothernumberone Thu 01-Oct-15 18:41:08

I am confused what do you mean by only getting to sleep at 2-3 am. Does that mean you would sleep a solid 8 hours after then or are you an insomniac and wakeful during the night?

Is it possible for you to work at all later in the day or is this a currently unrecognised disability?

It sounds shit so I am not being unsympathetic or challenging you I am just trying to understand what you mean.

GreenPetal94 Thu 01-Oct-15 18:41:31

Can you request a part-time, afternoons only placement?

It would also be helpful in terms of the advisor to have some proof of your diagnosis as its a hidden condition. Can you think of any way that is possible?

What kind of work do you ultimately want to do, you might be one of the few people to prefer the late shift.

Remember if you pretend to have a mental health condition then you create an artificial medical record which you may regret later. For example if you are asked for a medical report for a job you love and could do well.

Good luck.

XoticEngram Thu 01-Oct-15 18:42:51

Dancing Dinosaur- my ideal job would be something that allows me to start at around 11 am. The 3-4 hour difference might not sound a lot but the deficit builds up and then I am in a really dark place. Because I am in Cornwall though, there are not much opportunities.

yorkshapudding Thu 01-Oct-15 18:43:12

YANBU to be frustrated by the situation. But as someone who works with people with Psychosis and Depression you would be unreasonable to pretend to suffer from either of those illnesses. Also, in my experience, it's usually very obvious when people try to do so.

mummydarkling Thu 01-Oct-15 18:44:29

Could a sleep specialist/ neurologist referral be facilitated. If GP refuses to refer pethaps use PALS to get advocacy. What you describe for the 6 month programme sounds nightmarish and unviable.

ImperialBlether Thu 01-Oct-15 18:45:04

Why not work evenings/weekends? Surely there are bars and hotels you could work in?

The problem with a self-diagnosis like this is that there's very little difference between someone with the disorder and someone who's just got into very bad sleeping habits.

You say you've not worked for years and you basically want to remain unemployed, yet all you are actually saying is that you can't get up early. Not all jobs start at 9 am.

Micah Thu 01-Oct-15 18:45:52

Do the doctors recognise this condition? Does it have a name?

How do you know it's genetic? Do others in your family have it? How do they cope.

I wouldn't pretend I have a different condition. I'd do research and get the dr's to treat the disease you do have. Look up specialists, anyone doing research or publishing in the disease. Push for referrals to those experts.

You could end up on inappropriate medication and make things worse.

XoticEngram Thu 01-Oct-15 18:46:04

rainbowspiral- I already asked for that- I need to do 30 hours a week and on friday i have to go and do a jobsearch with them. because of fridays obligations I cannot start later in the day as will be unable to make up my hours on friday

3littlefrogs Thu 01-Oct-15 18:46:22

Have you been referred to a sleep centre?
I know that Papworth Hospital has a big sleep disorder centre.
At least you would be able to get a proper "label" IYSWIM.

I have heard of this - I met someone who was doing research into sleep disorders at UCH.

XoticEngram Thu 01-Oct-15 18:47:02

Micah its called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

XoticEngram Thu 01-Oct-15 18:50:03

3liitlefrogs- I have tried a few times but they always screw it up. The last time I was booked into a sleep centre in Plymouth(miles away) only to find it was a sleep apnoea centre( unrelated to my condition). Because I am exhausted most of the time I have pretty much given up trying to negotiate all the bureaucracy the NHS puts in front of you

3littlefrogs Thu 01-Oct-15 18:50:19

Would agency work be an option for you?
My friend works 5 days a week from 12 till 6pm for the local council.

Phineyj Thu 01-Oct-15 18:50:42

Presumably there is a good reason why you cannot seek work outside Cornwall?

Sirzy Thu 01-Oct-15 18:51:16

Unfortunatly unless you have been properly diagnosed then I don't see how they can be expected to make allowance for it. If you have been diagnosed then surely the proffessional who diagnosed should be able to support you and provide evidence?

Ywbu to lie though.

SurlyCue Thu 01-Oct-15 18:51:44

Have you been applying/looking for afternoon/evening work? You could become self employed as a cleaner, dog walker, after school childminder, data input at home. Call centres regularly require staff for their evening shifts.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 01-Oct-15 18:52:07

They are some of the main illnesses that are faked - the GP would see right through you. Even if you pulled that off, you wouldn't be signed off for long, and you'd be very unlikely to pass the ESA assessment. Best case would be that they put you in the work related part, which would lead to schemes like the one you are on.

I feel for you, but lying about your conditions will come back to bite you.

Have you asked the company to work with you, specifically asking for consideration under equal opportunities and non discriminatory legislation? They may respond better to that.

Badders123 Thu 01-Oct-15 18:55:04

Have you contacted your local MP, or PCT?

ilovesooty Thu 01-Oct-15 18:56:27

So do you have a medically documented, official diagnosis?

Prettyeyedpiratesmile Thu 01-Oct-15 18:56:38

Sounds rubbish op sadflowers

bessiebumptious2 Thu 01-Oct-15 18:56:54

But why are you exhausted most of the time? Assuming that you are not able to take a 9-5 job because of your sleep pattern, then you are therefore sleeping as long as you need at the moment and getting enough hours?

If that's not the case then you may well have sleep apnoea (unless you've been to the sleep clinic already then you may not yet know whether this is the case). I do know from experience that sleep apnoea causes daytime fatigue.

You would be unreasonable to not take a job working hours that suit you. They are out there, even in the back-of-beyond places - you just need to put the effort in and you sound as though you're making excuses.

IsItMeOr Thu 01-Oct-15 18:57:17

YWBU to fake another illness. And unlikely to succeed in pulling the wool with clinicians.

I do have sympathy with your struggle to pursue the bureaucracy to get a referral appropriate to your actual condition.

Why are you exhausted most of the time if you're not currently working?

wonkywheel Thu 01-Oct-15 18:57:36

Would definitely not fake a mental health disorder because of possible later repercussions but depending on which part of Cornwall you live in is bar work/evening delivery work/evening-nightshift care work not a possibility? Used to live in south Cornwall and someone willing to do evening shifts all the time would have been in great demand.

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