MH and PIP. I’m losing my mind.(37 Posts)
I’m sure many of you have heard this before and will continue to hear it but I really need someone’s help in dealing with PIP. I’m from Northern Ireland. So I’m assuming there might be a few differences in how cases are dealt with over the pond.
I have MPD that was caused by abuse in my past as a child. This combined with severe anxiety and depression makes me a difficult case. I have had numerous therapists and therapy groups but I am on a waiting list for psychotherapy. Anything can be a trigger for me. I find it incredibly hard being out and about. I force myself sometimes for my daughter. She’s 6 with Aspergers and a sever learning disability, her father is not in the picture. I am trying to get myself back into a good place of control and good mental health, I have been out of work because of my condition and to support my daughter. I am not making excuses not to work but right now I’m trapped in my own head. My life is challenging to say the least but I have a great support network from my father’s family. I realise others may be worse but this country is incredibly primitive and the horror stories with PIP and mental health aren’t helping me.
I’ve received an appointment for next week. I told the advisor that I could not go to a clinic and could I please have a home visit. I was told no a home visit wasn’t possible for my case. I don’t know what to do. I can’t face these people without switching. I will be bringing my aunt but it doesn’t help my situation as I’ve explained that new places are so hard for me.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve thrown up because of this. What do I say to these people? Do I ask what their background in mental health is? Will they think I’m crazy? Will they bring my child into it? How do you interact with someone who is judging your every move but knows nothing about your condition and how it changes your life completely? Please I really need help here.
Did you have help with the forms? The assessment is basically going through the forms verbally so they will be asking you how your condition affects your life in relation to the descriptors on the forms.
They also observe your appearance and demeanour and if you make eye contact, show visible signs of distress etc.
It is very, very hard. Can your aunt help you with answers and giving examples of how you are affected? Unfortunately I think you need a consultant letter to get a home visit. Bring examples of evidence such as prescriptions, doctors letters and any other aids you might need.
Not all the assessors are bad people but they are trained to pick up inconsistencies. Have a look at the works and Benefits website and definitely contact Mind for more advice on mental health assessments.
Unfortunately they don't do home visits unless you're bed bound. My brother suffers from debilitating anxiety and he had to attend. He was allowed to take our Mum with him - could your dad or another family member attend with you? If you give them a copy of your application before hand so they're familiar with your issues they could possibly answer on your behalf or just be there to support you.
I’ve explained that new places are so hard for me.
Can you do a trial run to the clinic, find out where it is and what it is like inside. Then it won't feel so unfamiliar to you.
I am by no means an expert, but from what I have heard said on here, answer all questions with regard to how you are on your very worst day. Don't fall into the trap of making light of how hard things are for you. Best wishes
My aunt is basically my mum. My real mum I have no contact with because of the past. She’s been there since the start of my diagnosis and knows every bad day so I’m more than happy with her being there. Dissociation and memory lapse are common with MPD so I’m just afraid Incase I’m called crazy or a liar. I don’t know how to get someone who doesn’t know the first thing about my disorder to believe me.
Do you have any support like a mental health worker or advocate? I was awarded daily living enhanced after waiting 9 months after mental health team and social worker took over the whole thing for me. I was not in a fit state to attend any meetings so they did a paper based assessment based on medical evidence and my social worker s statement. She was brilliant. I wouldn't have coped on my own (bipolar /anxiety /paranoia). If you can get any help with it do it.
Hi Snork, no I have no SW or mental health team. Currently on the waiting list for our main MH facility’s psychotherapy but that could be 2 years at best! I had a SW involved when DD was first born and couldn’t have copped with more contact than needed from them. The SWs I had knew nothing about my condition and basically wanted me to ‘turn it off’ for the safety of my daughter. Even though my daughter was never in danger from me or my alters. These people just didn’t understand and I’m so terrified of risking my child.
Definitely take your aunt with you for support. I hope things go well.
Thank you Daisy. I’m not hoping for much though.
I would explain it as dissociation and memory lapse issues, as people should be able to understand that even if they've not heard of the condition. Say that sometime the lapses and dissociation are followed by amnesia, so you may not be aware of what went before. Probably easier for them to understand that than if you try to say you were there, but it was a different alter
Good luck Op, sorry you have to go through this.
Unfortunately they don't do home visits unless you're bed bound
Yes they do. It depends what area you live in. I wasn't given an option to have one anywhere except my home.
OP, a Pip assessment is based on how you care for yourself and how your mobility is. If you can walk, put a meal in the microwave, use the toilet independently and change your clothes if needed, you probably won't get anything. That's all they seem to look at now and it's extremely hard to get it solely for mental health issues.
I was wondering if SW was viable option as you said you have a young DD maybe you wouldn't want them involved. My breakdown happened when all DC grown up so different to you. Also I m in England if that matters? I think my GP fast tracked as I have been seeing her for years with on/off MH issues but like you I was scared to ask for too much when DC were young in case it looked like I couldn't look after them, which was never an issue but I understand your worried.
When you take Aunt with you get her to explain you will find it hard to talk at assessment and DO NOT hide any noticeable distress/anxiety. Give it to them straight, this is a bad day etc. Good luck x
Thank you sand.
Jam I was going over ways to phrase and explain it and I think your way sounds best. My experience with the past SW taught me that people really do automatically assume crazy. It makes me feel like fucking shit most of the time.
Do you care for your child as well? Take her to school, feed her etc.?
I was scored zero points for everything. I'm bed ridden with a carer who has to physically carry me to a toilet. I can't go downstairs and on very bad days I have to be fed bymy carer. I cannot wash myself, brush my hair or change my own clothes. I scored zero for every marker.
If you look after a child, I really can't see you getting anything.
My brother gets PIP and ESA for mental health issues alone so don't be discouraged OP. It is hard but if your honest about the severity of it and don't downplay out of embarrassment (which a lot of people do) you should be awarded it. My brothers original claim was refused but he appealed and won, so even if it's an initial no that doesn't mean that's it.
Here's a link to the Citizens Advice Bureaus page on PIP assessment- there's some pointers and links to other sites/resources that may help with the process.
Cat, my alters see DD as an extension of me so I can take care of her to an extent. I have family come by at set times during the day to check on things and deliver food that is already prepped and made. I don’t go out unless family/Carer is with me or else family can take DD out or to her social activities. My child doesn’t suffer because of my issues. I just feel the need to say this as I feel like I’m constantly judged on it. I realise MH will not be taken seriously with PIP but I thought I could at least try.
You are more likely to get the care rate of pip than dla.
You are less likely to get the mobility rate of pip than dla.
Also awards for mental health tend to be five years, rather than two or three.
I am by no means an expert, but from what I have heard said on here, answer all questions with regard to how you are on your very worst day.
Please don't take this advice, to do so leaves you in danger of misrepresenting your condition, that in turn could result in a fraud investigation, the last thing someone with mental health difficulties needs.
It's really tough, but you need to be honest with them, if you can't cope in new places or situations then let them see that. Don't be afraid to say anything embarrassing, they'll have heard it all before and they need to know the truth.
You need to get whatever medical evidence that you can. You're far more likely to get an award if a professional can confirm the difficulties you face.
You can ask the assessor their qualifications, but they don't have to have a mental health specialism. The assessment criteria relates to your functional abilities, 'can you do x or not', it could largely be done by someone with no medical qualifications at all.
MotherofGoblins - I can't take the credit, I was just paraphrasing your own words I'm so sorry you feel shit about this - people can be do bloody ignorant about mental health issues. If they start looking blank, you could try saying it's like a form of PTSD, due to abuse. I would hope most people have at least heard of that!
Bombardier25966 - shit, sorry, the last thing I meant to imply was that people should overstate their condition. Thanks for giving better advice
Thank you Daisy. Any advice helps !
Bomb, I won’t exasperate my symptoms at all. There’s too much misrepresentation in terms of MPD as is. I would never live up to a stereotype. That being said my triggers can virtually be every where. Switches can be random and frequent hence why I need family around constantly since my actions will depend on the alter that surfaces.
You already meet the criteria motherofgoblins. You have family who cook for you, care for you. You need someone to come with you when you go out. You have trauma from past abuse. MH issues mean yes we could physically do these things but our illnesses mean we are not motivated /able to consistently do so. No one should judge you but I know the feeling.
Thank you snork. I wish everyone could think like you. I’m not some chancer trying to cheat the system. All I want is to get into a better place for my daughter. I just need a bit of help doing that. I don’t mean to come off as my illness beating physical disabilities or coming close but some things physically aren’t possible for me because of my MH.
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