How will i ever work again?

SewSo

SewSo

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I was told at my last assessment for PIP that i should not even think of working at the moment, not even voluntarily. This was very welcomed but i am still confused as to whether i am ever expected to work again or when i will be expected to work. I am never stable for more than a couple of months but there are other reasons also holding me back from work, most prominently, the ongoing risk of self-hurting if put under pressure or exposed to things that make me want to hurt myself. I say hurt myself instead of suicide because i don't think i would go that far, but i would go half way and that is risky in itself. My last overdose was only a couple of months ago and i did not speak to a doctor. I could hardly walk and didn't know if i would wake up.

I digress.

My question is how bad are things now, really? I worked most of the time for about 15 years before no longer being able to. I have a diagnosis, i have letters detailing how ill i have been, but they are quite old. My support now is not from the NHS.

My brother also has mental health problems but he works and just has time off sick.

I don't think i could even work part-time. I cannot imagine ever being able to but i have a good couple of decades during which i might be expected to work.

My question might anger people or make them think i am lazy. My answer would be that you don't know what i have been through nor what i have to deal with daily. I am sure many of you would say the same to people who would criticise you for being on the ESA and PIP.

Is it really that bad or am i just over-anxious about it? I don't have a doctor but then i didn't have one during my last assessment and still got an award. I don't think i will be as lucky next time unless i have engineered some support between now and then such as a counsellor, which i probably need. I don't want a counsellor though and it would look obvious probably anyway.

Are the DWP focusing on those off with less severe disabilities or those who don't have disabilities at all? I am always worried about it and i am not living my life because i am constantly preparing for the worst. I am getting myself ready for a fight, for a time where i will need to prove why i cannot work which will cause much humiliation for me such as being drunk in public or ending up in A&E which is my worst nightmare. I may also end up dead. The stress is going to be immense.
 
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barry

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No idea what pip is :s

But been put forward for ESA and even that I'm struggling with a bit to understand .

I do want to and intend to do well . But right now I fear being around people I don't know . Always kinda have had an anxiety I've gotten over on a daily basis and have in the past managed a shop , written for a magazine , managed a workshop and built kitcars . So I'm capable but also very limited , Spend a lot of time in silly social fears , like freaking out in the supermarket . But have in the past been in crowds of thousands where most of them knew me , even if it was only by name or reputation .

Right now can't imagine me being in any job role where I don't panic and run away . It will pass though , I'm going to better myself . All the factors are within me , its picking them out of the big jumble of mess .

Trouble is I end up doing something and because of a factor making it less than perfect or that it doesn't feel very "me" I run away . Little factors can make something great unbearable . And as for jobs at the lower end , I get depressed because I know I'm not excelling , as a result something invariably gets me fired . Or theres the ones I pile my all into , before quickly burning out , losing steam and then onto something else .
 
SewSo

SewSo

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I understand. Similar issues.

I did stop trying to aim so high or rather aim to be as successful as I once was. It's going to be hard doing minimum wage work after the education I have and the work I did. I feel it was all a waste sometimes.

I used to give talks in front of a hall of people and now I find it hard walking into a small restaurant.
 
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barry

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Oh , what kind of things have you done in the past ?

I never aimed high , never aimed at anything . Very much aimlessly wandered and got by on natural ability . Gave up at school because they were only teaching things that would be on an arbitrary test . Makes it all worthless for me . So of course no college or uni . Didn't want to be part of any of that and sought nothing from it .

Have no English qualification , would be nice to have an English degree . But it would only be to say I have one , a bit of paper to file away . Not having one hasn't held me back . I have lol
 
SewSo

SewSo

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Hi Barry,

I agree that degrees can be a waste of money unless in preparation for employment or out of personal interest and enjoyment. Many people are not made that way and have different talents that you cannot learn or teach in a university. People often call it the university of life.

I working in journalism and then for a charity so was always talking and always around people. I was very good at my work but it all fell apart one Christmas when i had a psychotic break. It affected me so much on an emotional level as well as obviously whatever was going on chemically, and i have never been the same since. In many ways i think i would be much better at my job now, but that would be based on me finding a job that would let me work only a couple of hours a day, and time off sick as often as i needed it. With enough money to live on! Not possible, especially with these tax credit cut backs, although the Lords are deciding on that this evening aren't they?

You can study English for free i think.
 
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barry

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I've often thought I'm at my best when nobody's telling me what to do . If I'm limited in any way I get frustrated , that either leads to anger or depression . Better suited to roles with freedom and self employment .
 
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Amy Pond

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Well if you are on the daily living component of PIP you are better off not working.
Because unless you are skilled you would only take home about £190 a week after tax if you are lucky, and out of that you would have to pay all your rent and full CT plus food and bills.

Where as if you get the care component of PIP you get about £250 a week and HB and all of your Council Tax paid. So financially you are better off as you are as the money you would get working would not be enough to live on.

Also if you were to come off your benefits to work then say you found you could not cope with work.
It might be difficult getting your old benefits back and you don't want to end up on £50 Jobseekers allowance like some people have to live on.
 
Nikita

Nikita

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Don't spell it out so clearly Amy.The government see what you've written here and we can kiss goodbye to those kind of benefit rates.We get it cos we are sick not because we can work but are better off on benefits.
The way you put it you make it sound like you can work but it doesn't pay to so you prefer benefits and we know that's not true!
 
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Amy Pond

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NO I did not mean it to sound like that.
I was merely advising the OP who says he wants to go to work.
That he should not unless he is sure he was fit for work.

As if he comes off of disability benefits and says he is fit for work.
If he then finds he cannot cope with work or has another breakdown it will be harder for him to prove he is sick and get his benefits back again.

Which I think is true. As if he were to get a job then could not cope with it,the DWP would ask a lot of questions and might think he is not ill enough to claim again.

I myself have never been able to work because of my high care needs and mental illness. So there is no way I could work.
I was talking about the OP.

Even if the OP did get more money working he might not be well enough to cope with work or hold down a job.
Most employers won't employ someone who has had MH problems or has other disabilities.
 
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Amy Pond

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Don't spell it out so clearly Amy.The government see what you've written here and we can kiss goodbye to those kind of benefit rates.We get it cos we are sick not because we can work but are better off on benefits.
The way you put it you make it sound like you can work but it doesn't pay to so you prefer benefits and we know that's not true!
NO NO NO I cannot work.
I was talking about the OP who maybe used to work before he became ill not myself.
 
Peaceful

Peaceful

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Not working takes a hell of a lot of getting used to.

I have had all sorts of jobs over many many years and had to give up every single one of them through illness.

The last one I truly put myself through the ringer.

It is four and a half years since i last did paid work now.

Coming from a family that all are so called achievers and very high earners, myself despite being the most well educated, from my perspective at the time being ridiculed by fellow workers many years younger than me and laughing at myself for the efforts I put into my work, which was never truly financially recognised, you begin to wonder.

With family members not contacting since not working but feeling the need to visit when they think because I am not in hospital, then why the h*ll am I not working, and feeling within their rights to beat me up in my own home - first visit for four and a half years btw (w**k*rs), I had the chance to prosecute but stupidly didn't - strange logic going on for me - finally starting to feel if people think they are big and clever just because they work and earn shedloads and have the right to denigrate those who don't - in my eyes - it's not rocket science - who are the condemned here. They are in my eyes.

Please do not put pressure on yourself to be earning big bucks at this time, you are on your benefits because you deserve to be on them.

Maybe sometime down the line you can start off slowly ie doing small amounts of voluntary work and see how you go.

I now do two voluntary roles and enjoy them - money isn't the meaning of life. Good friends and as stress free life as possible is what counts.

You have the doctors saying to you - just go easy on yourself - take it easy - you have had a few horror work experiences - today and the near future is going as easy on yourself as you can.

Am sure in time - who knows how long could be six months, a year, five years - but you will get some kind of semblance of normality back with careful determination.

Right now - take things incredibly slowly - to me it is not about what we do and how much we earn but what kind of people we are.

If we are kind, gentle and hopefully at times fun loving and stress free - then this is the way to go.

In particular for men, being without work can be hard to adjust to.

It has taken me a long long time to get even into voluntary work and I have had a few false starts with that one too.

I have also had the thinking within me that no woman is going to be interested in me as a person if I am not paying my way - more sort of my family dynamics unfortunately - tbh I still have truly conquered that one - I seriously hope one day I can do that though - because the thought of being alone for the rest of my life is not a thought that helps me in anyway so have to believe on that one too.

I did though have a great deal of therapy over many years and the key thought that came up for me consistently was - I am not my job.

ie What I do for a living does not define me. This was even harder to come to terms with for me - with not doing any kind of work for so long.

I am back doing small voluntary roles and some training courses again and back out in the community - thanks to some brilliant mental health support from local mh charity, and although I do now have a few nice women friends - my thoughts on a relationship perhaps I still feel I am not quite ready yet, because not earning my way either.

I truly wish I didn't think like that, because it is counter productive to my mental health, I also still need to review my thinking consistently too.

But what I would say op - take things day by day. For a time, fear will be high, but try at least to incorporate some nice things for yourself in your day - ie nice bubble bath - watch favourite comedy programme etc - try as hard as it maybe to focus away from working thoughts.

There are a lot of a**h***s in very highly paid jobs - certain members of my own family very very sadly - but you maybe surprised at how many people that are out there that cannot or at this time cannnot work for whatever reason but are absolutely delightful people.

Me personally I have had a great deal of respect and love for various people that I know nowadays that have never worked or not for many many years and they not never working because they have been lazy at all. It's just their abilities to cope with stresses are much lesser than many many others for a variety of different problems, conditions, circumstances etc.

If it is just this forum that is your crutch for now then so be it, but absolutely take the docs advice and go real easy on yourself especially. You deserve to - as we all do.

Best wishes and lots of luck most definitely.

Peaceful.:hug1:

But whatever you do - don't beat yourself up because you are not working. I am certain you are a decent person and that is so much more important than notching up another big sale. Trust me seen both sides of the coin. Am glad to some degree that I personally have had this time to reconsider and reflect and in all reality recover.

But unfortunately yes it does take time, so at this time go very easy. Tbh wish I had followed my own advice but always definitely easier solving other people's difficulties than our own.

Be kindest of all to yourself, as I was always told, but never did.

You matter and are important enough just for simply being you.
 
SewSo

SewSo

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Well if you are on the daily living component of PIP you are better off not working.
Because unless you are skilled you would only take home about £190 a week after tax if you are lucky, and out of that you would have to pay all your rent and full CT plus food and bills.

Where as if you get the care component of PIP you get about £250 a week and HB and all of your Council Tax paid. So financially you are better off as you are as the money you would get working would not be enough to live on.

Also if you were to come off your benefits to work then say you found you could not cope with work.
It might be difficult getting your old benefits back and you don't want to end up on £50 Jobseekers allowance like some people have to live on.
Thanks Amy, There is a daily living and a mobility component of PIP. Car i think was DLA although i may be wrong. I am on PIP daily living. I get full HB and reduced council tax, about £60 a year is all i pay.

I agree that if i tried to work i would be worse off, but i couldn't work enough to even support myself, and with the working tax credits for disabled people, i have no chance. Something needs to change if we are ever going to be able to work. There needs to be a way where i can work for two mornings a week, and have my earnings take out of my ESA. That is the only way it will work. I do want a job, but i cannot work the amount of hours required for me to support myself. I could do freelance work, but not all the time. It is a really poorly thought out system.
 
SewSo

SewSo

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NO I did not mean it to sound like that.
I was merely advising the OP who says he wants to go to work.
That he should not unless he is sure he was fit for work.

As if he comes off of disability benefits and says he is fit for work.
If he then finds he cannot cope with work or has another breakdown it will be harder for him to prove he is sick and get his benefits back again.

Which I think is true. As if he were to get a job then could not cope with it,the DWP would ask a lot of questions and might think he is not ill enough to claim again.

I myself have never been able to work because of my high care needs and mental illness. So there is no way I could work.
I was talking about the OP.

Even if the OP did get more money working he might not be well enough to cope with work or hold down a job.
Most employers won't employ someone who has had MH problems or has other disabilities.
Thank you Amy, I am female but people on here keep thinking i am male.

I would like to work and then go sick when i need to, but as you say, it is so hard to get ESA that many are scared of doing this. It is mostly the stress involved which can bring on relapses.

There should be a way of working and giving that money back to the dwp. It used to be like this many years ago.
 
SewSo

SewSo

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NO NO NO I cannot work.
I was talking about the OP who maybe used to work before he became ill not myself.
Just because someone used to work does not mean they can again. I have been ill on and off but managed to hold down a job. I saved when working so i could support myself when ill. It does annoy me that the government give people on income-related ESA all sorts of 'perks'. It makes it out that people who have worked are less deserving. People on contribution-based ESA also only get benefits for one year if not in the support group and living with someone who can support them financially. That is very unfair. These people have paid a large portion of their wages for many years towards those who need benefits and should not be treated any differently. Do you not agree? Question aimed at everyone, sorry Amy not just you.
 
Peaceful

Peaceful

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Just because someone used to work does not mean they can again. I have been ill on and off but managed to hold down a job. I saved when working so i could support myself when ill. It does annoy me that the government give people on income-related ESA all sorts of 'perks'. It makes it out that people who have worked are less deserving. People on contribution-based ESA also only get benefits for one year if not in the support group and living with someone who can support them financially. That is very unfair. These people have paid a large portion of their wages for many years towards those who need benefits and should not be treated any differently. Do you not agree? Question aimed at everyone, sorry Amy not just you.
Some people work through the pain barrier Sew So.

I was never truly fair to myself - worked very very long hours always always sick though - pushed myself way way beyond what I could deal with - six times in hospital - you think I would have learnt.

Still do push myself way too hard and critical of me, but I do accept the schizophrenia needs absolute minimum stress possible and that's why I get the benefits I do.

I paid into the system for twenty five years without benefits simply because I never thought I could get them, so had to endure tough times living in the family home for way beyond what I wanted.

You live and learn I suppose.

The benefits system is an incredibly complex minefield and the stigma of mental illness is often increased by the stigma of being on benefits in todays society, but I do think it is a lot fairer at present ie if you have a really serious condition, you should - I say should - get the most available to have a reasonable home and some money for your own wellbeing too.

Too many very judgemental people around though in "Great" Britain.

And the wealth gap is huge in this country absolutely.
 
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