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(13 Posts)
whethergirl Fri 16-Nov-12 22:30:58

A couple of friends at uni have disability status due to mental health problems and we've shared our experiences. I also have had mental health problems, and while they have taken over my life in the past, I have been much better over the last few years and have learnt to make sure my well being is paramount.

My two uni friends have been urging me to get classified as disabled because I'd get a free laptop (I need one and can't afford one), help with travel expenses etc. Perks of the status as it were.

However, I don't feel I should because, really, I'm fine, and most of the time nothing stops me from studying.

I've spoken to a few other friends about this and they've also told me I should go for it. It would be no problem for me to get a letter from the doctor as I have a long history in mental health problems.

I just don't feel it's the right thing to do...I don't see how a free laptop would help with health problems anway!

The friends I have spoken to don't understand why I have such a guilty conscience about it and that I should just grab the opportunity.

What do you think?

AgentProvocateur Fri 16-Nov-12 22:32:41

I think you should retain your dignity and do the right thing, and also rethink your friendships.

Feckbox Fri 16-Nov-12 22:36:18

You know what's right.
Congratulations on having come a long way and retaining the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.
I hope your mental wellbeing stays strong.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 16-Nov-12 22:45:59

You might not get a laptop. I know a few people with serious mental health conditions who were refused this year. Your doctor would need to say there was a likelihood of you missing a substantial amount of time and therefore you'd need a laptop. The uni get a copy of the report and that could cause real issues.

You could apply to the access for learning fund?

I think applying now would be fraudulent and I wouldn't be able to deal with that. I couldn't use a laptop I felt I had cheated to get.

whethergirl Fri 16-Nov-12 22:50:37

That's just it, I have come a long way and do now have my dignity - worth more than a laptop.

Thanks Feckbox, tbh people I talking to me like I'm being a right mug about it and I'd hate for them to think that I was being 'above' them to not go for it. Even my mum thinks I'm being silly and says that after all my years of suffering I should get something back for it!

whethergirl Fri 16-Nov-12 22:56:42

Caja, I have asked about the learning to access fund but apparently you can't apply for the purposes of getting a computer. However, I do think, with a bit of planning, I could get one in a couple of months. I don't want to feel like I've cheated, everything is going so well for me that I feel it would tarnish things.

Feckbox Fri 16-Nov-12 23:33:52

I have had serious mental health problems in the past.
I'm doing quite well now . Being authentic is a big part of keeping me on the straight and narrow.

It's a little different but over 20 years ago when I was a student I was heavily criticized for NOT claiming travel expenses. The reason I did not claim was I had NO expenses. I walked to and from Uni. I could have taken the bus ( if I did I would have claimed) but I walked. many people thought I should have claimed the bus fare anyway.

I detest that sort of mild cheating the system

Nigglenaggle Sat 17-Nov-12 21:16:23

The cumulative effect of all these little cheats is what is helping to bring the country to its knees. Good for you for not going the same way.

whethergirl Sat 17-Nov-12 21:39:21

"Being authentic is a big part of keeping me on the straight and narrow" - Feckbox - I am so with you on that one. I had a completely different mentality when I was younger, it was the "screw them" mentality, 'they' were all cheaters so why shouldn't I?

However, I found there was a price to pay. Having that cheating mentality does not give you a peace of mind, quite the opposite in fact. After a while, it got me down, it made me feel bitter and worthless (obv it wasn't only that, I was depressed, but it was a byproduct of what I was going through at the time). It made me feel stressed and nervous (because I was dishonest). It was a burden to live with.

I've gone completely the other way now and I go to bed with a clean conscience, liking who I am. So I don't really want to go back to any of that.

Also, because I've battled with mental health problems and in a really good place now, I feel to even lie and say I am still suffering would be taking a step back iyswim. I really wouldn't want to tempt fate!

whethergirl Sat 17-Nov-12 21:42:16

Nigglenaggle, I have been a part of it in the past (see above post) but at least now when I have my moan about the way the country is run, I can do it knowing I am not contributing to the problem!

Nigglenaggle Sat 17-Nov-12 21:44:57

smile exactly

Feckbox Sun 18-Nov-12 00:28:02

You are a good person, OP

Crinkle77 Wed 21-Nov-12 15:11:58

I work in a university and I think what your friends are referring to is Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). You can apply for this to Student Finance but for your application to be successful you need to have strong medical evidence. If you are approved for funding this does not automatically mean you would get a laptop. Your entitlement would all depend on what the needs assessor recommends. An application would be fraudulent if you lied to your doctor about your condition but not sure how easy that would be

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