I have a lot of time for Martin Lewis of Money Savings Expert, for his advice on consumer finance and his annual debt advice booklet for people suffering with mental health illness.
He is also the face of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, based in London UK. I am proud to contribute to their research by being a member of the research community. This involves completing online questionnaires and surveys from time to time. There is no obligation to complete all surveys and there is also an opportunity to partake in online discussion groups.
The Money and Mental Health policy Institute have recently completed their research into how people are able to deal with financial institutions, including banks and utility companies and the impact having a mental health illness has on that. You can read the research report Access Essentials here
I had been receiving DLA and then PIP for the past 5 years or so, because of my mental health and Ulcerative Colitis. Following a mid award review which started in August 2017 and a medical assessment by Capita in November 2017, my PIP award ended on the 11th December 2017.
I have been reflecting on this a lot over the past 6 months. Financially the impact was significant, as it meant I also lost my Tax Credits award from the 11th December, and any day I expect a bill for £500 over payment following the year end tax credit review.
I have been lucky and been able to earn a little more money through the work I do and been helped by family.
I think the assessment found me no longer eligible, because I have moved into an acceptance phase of my illness. I accept the limitations of what I can do, because of my Anxiety and Colitis and have found a way to live which suits those conditions. Continue reading “Reflection about losing PIP Award”
Last night you had kebab, not just any kebab, you chose the extra-large mixed kebab, with three pittas- there is a clue there, in theory to share with your wife, (but she didn’t eat much). Today you have been awake since 5am feeling bloated, nauseous and sweaty. You started going to the toilet at about 7am, wanting to rid your body of the bloated sick feeling. But now at 11am having been to the loo more than 10 times, you are in pain, your bottom is sore and bleeding, you still feel sick and bloated and in pain. If you are lucky this will ease around 1pm and you will start to feel better.
Why does this happen? Well in simple terms you have a bad relationship with food that started at secondary school around 12 years old, when you would spend lunch money on ice cream, secretly make sandwiches to take to school and beg for food from friends. From there your bad relationship with food has developed.
I have been eating rubbish food all weekend. Last night I ate an extra large mixed chicken and Donna kebab and minstrels and chocolate and Pepsi Max and biscuits, having had porridge for breakfast and poached eggs for lunch
This morning: I feel ill:
I feel nauseous
As if a heavy weight is on my stomach and chest,
My throat is dry – dehydrated from all he grease & fat
I feel greasy / dirty,
I feel lethargic,
I have no enthusiasm to get up,
i am m cross with myself I am the berating myself.
I feel pain in lower underside on the left of my stomach my chest is tight
I attended a DWP Medical Assessment with Capita in Northampton following a review for being submitted in August.
During the Assessment the assessor said that she was not there to advise but she thought I should go back and see my GP.
Having talked about my illness with the assessor I have realised that my anxiety has got worse. I can separate my mental health illness into three areas Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) , Social Anxiety and Depression.
The depression will mainly be a result of the impact of GAD and social Anxiety
Social anxiety is relatively easy to explain: I have suffered with social anxiety most of my adult life, I feel uncomfortable in groups and crowds and don’t find conversation easy, unless with immediate close family members. This has now grown to mean I avoid all social events and a gatherings, I am scared to answer the telephone
They have produced it for World Health Day on the 7th April 2017, which this year is all about Depression. Lack of knowledge of where to find help and social stigma are the prevalent reasons for insufficient and late treatment, so there is a need to spread the word. Therefore, they designed an info-graphic on depression in the UK. It contains facts and figures as well as helpful resources such as crisis lines.
Today, has been a difficult end to a challenging week. I knew it would be difficult, because the builders were in for three days, repairing a leaking shower and using my bedroom as a workspace, so not only was my retreat and safe zone out of action, but I also had to be up and about early (for me at least). So reduced sleep with the pressure of entertaining my family to celebrate my daughters 26th birthday all day, with the builders still here, and an expectation of a home baked birthday cake and lunch, followed by a meeting in the evening, made Wednesday an overwhelming challenge, but I did it and the builders finished that night. Relief.
Or in my case I have a Black Dog. I have found the books by Matthew Johnstone about the subject of living with black dog, ie depression and living with someone with black dog very useful, well helpful. Below are two youtube videos created from his books which are worth watching.
Well, things are different, better, yes better and good, still traveling on the path to recovery, but better.
I had a break with dad in France in October (2013) and again he was telling me about this hypno-therapist that had worked ‘magic’ with people suffering anxiety and depression. Dad has been encouraging me to go see him, the therapist for some time, by that I mean for at least a year. So at the end of our break, I agreed I would make contact with the therapist and go see him.
A week after my return home, dad called and in passing asked if I had contacted the therapist. I replied am feeling better at the moment, so ‘no’, his reply was well if you are feeling better, then it is a good time to contact him – good point pops.
I have had a renewed effort to tackle my anxiety. I have been to a few group depression and anxiety meetings at Rushden Mind. I enrolled on a self esteem course too at Mind; sadly there were not enough attendees, so the course is postponed to November. I am also fast approaching the top of the list for a therapist.
In the meantime I am reading a Self Help book: The Complete CBT Guide for Anxiety and read How Not to Worry by Caroline Carr. The key message I am taking from the books is that I am now in numerous habits of avoidance to minimalise my anxiety. But as this is preventing me from doing things I wish to do. I have started tackling the issues and reversing my habits.