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Social Security disability Mental Illness & Being Judged for it.

  • Thread starter Black Despondency
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Black Despondency

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I'm on Social security disability, I don't tell most people because a fair amount of the few people I have told have been very judgmental and seem to expect more than a brief explanation. It seems like some people I've told that I'm on ssdi have basically wanted my medical records and school records, then they might be less offended that I'm not physically crippled. I haven't told most of my family members that I'm on disability. I was thinking about making a couple of different pamphlets, just in case I feel I should tell someone or someone pokes and prods to much. People tend to talk about work a fair amount, so it's just usually someone trying to get to know you better not anything malicious.
what are your thoughts on being on a disability program for mental illness? Are any of you on a financial disability programs? How do you feel that people have reacted to being told you or someone else are on ssdi? I'm just curious about other people's experiences with this topic.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I’m on SSDI as well and I agree it’s a sensitive topic. Only my parents know, although my extended family I’m sure suspects it. I don’t spread the word in general about it because people have such strong opinions about it and I do feel shame. I had high expectations for myself in life and have not been able to live up to them. It’s sad that there should be so much stigma around SSDI in general but I guess it’s just the way it is.
 
Antimatter

Antimatter

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All a fabrication of insuffiency, it's bollocks really x
 
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Black Despondency

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I’m on SSDI as well and I agree it’s a sensitive topic. Only my parents know, although my extended family I’m sure suspects it. I don’t spread the word in general about it because people have such strong opinions about it and I do feel shame. I had high expectations for myself in life and have not been able to live up to them. It’s sad that there should be so much stigma around SSDI in general but I guess it’s just the way it is.
I think I will try to write an explanation of how much my mental health relies on low stress, sleep hygiene and how difficult those things are to maintain for me. If I feel up to it tomorrow I will write something about how long it took me to become mostly emotionally stable and rational. Maybe I try to come up with some sort of outline for any one to use.
 
Fern

Fern

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I'm on disability allowance in my country. I've had someone tell me I don't look disabled and after explaining about psychosis they asked me how I can drive. These people have no clue about the level of ignorance they are displaying. People think because you are on a social welfare payment you are answerable to all the world. One ignoramus can't get a job because they live in the middle of nowhere and never learned to drive yet still feels they have the right to question me on money I get to support myself.
 
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SunnyDaze

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I am waiting for a determination for SSDI. I had a hard time making the decision to apply because I didn't want the label of "disabled".

If I am approved I most likely won't even tell anyone. And if 'work' or a 'career' ever comes up in a conversation I guess I will just say I'm on disability due to an anxiety disorder. That's sufficient,nobody needs to know anything more.
 
Ghost_Owl

Ghost_Owl

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Everyone has a right to dignity. If its just a loose small talk enquiry I talk about the book I am working on as a deflection or that I am studying grammar. All technically true minus the leaving my home to do it. If someone is grilling me like they are spontaneously a doctor with xray vision like superman. I ask them if they are a doctor? If they say no but persist in being denigrating I will say something like. So you are more qualified than my doctor, but don't have any credentials? Feel free to take it up with him then.


I wrote this for someone else who was very down on themselves about having to claim. It sums up my views and why there is no shame in it.

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You are unwell, being unwell does not make you useless. On the other side of that thinking is black triangle levels of thinking and you don't want to go there. It is not about what you economically put in or out. Because life is not just money it is about what else you add of value that can't be measured. The people with one foot in the grave rarely talk about the economic value they brought to society. But the memories and connections they made and the things they did. For some its career others its family or what other passions they have and who they shared that with. If you reduce your worth to a pound sign then you are telling me you are a product and not a person.

There is no point making society happy, as society can never be happy. You will always be wrong somewhere in some one's eyes. So let that go, don't appease anyone if it is at the cost of your health or integrity. Otherwise, you are saying sick people don't have a right to autonomy.

If people are going to tell you, you are a cost burden and they don't want their money going on layabouts. Tell them it is not their money. As tax is not yours to choose where it goes. Its your elected that set that. But if they want to take ownership of tax then you can too. It could be anyone else's money who recognise ill people have a right to dignity. Maybe it is your uncles' money or someone else who cares about you? Maybe it is your money from before? Maybe it will be your money from in the future. Who knows...

You are still putting in money regardless when you buy bread or purchase anything. There are entire industries that are reliant on you existing in an ill state. Pretty sure those shareholders are glad you exist and don't view you as a burden because you buy their stuff.

If you are on disability that is a recognition you are unwell. Are you lying, are you committing fraud? If no, then this is your money and you have a right to it and should not measure your self-worth just because you claim it. That is societies contract to you in the first place. It is just certain ideologies have done a good job at making people feel guilty for claiming what is actually theirs. Or what people agree to share recognising its wrong to let ill people starve and die for simply being ill. This is why these safety nets exist. No shame in that. People shaming you are the ones in the wrong. So don't shame yourself either as there are plenty out there already who will do that for you.

Don't lose sight of everyone here has a right to dignity despite illness. Or they need to put us down, someone else already had that idea. They are generally universally reviled.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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There was a show I was watching not too long ago that featured a woman who was a junkie and one of the characters told her to “keep on drawing your disability checks.” That pissed me off because it reflects a general societal bias that all people
who draw disability are liars, con men or frsuds. It’s a very small sum of money to get to support yourself with. Most of the qualifications for SSDI are some
of the most stringent in the world. Life is hard enough already for folks with a disability of any kind without people shaming them for it constantly.
To be honest no one has ever asked me so I haven’t had to tell them. Which is just as well anyway because they don’t need to know.
 
Antimatter

Antimatter

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There was a show I was watching not too long ago that featured a woman who was a junkie and one of the characters told her to “keep on drawing your disability checks.” That pissed me off because it reflects a general societal bias that all people
who draw disability are liars, con men or frsuds. It’s a very small sum of money to get to support yourself with. Most of the qualifications for SSDI are some
of the most stringent in the world. Life is hard enough already for folks with a disability of any kind without people shaming them for it constantly.
To be honest no one has ever asked me so I haven’t had to tell them. Which is just as well anyway because they don’t need to know.
People like to frown on what they deem as below them. Yet blindly follow the ruling classes that despise them. Frankly the system is farked.
 
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Black Despondency

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I
There was a show I was watching not too long ago that featured a woman who was a junkie and one of the characters told her to “keep on drawing your disability checks.” That pissed me off because it reflects a general societal bias that all people
who draw disability are liars, con men or frsuds. It’s a very small sum of money to get to support yourself with. Most of the qualifications for SSDI are some
of the most stringent in the world. Life is hard enough already for folks with a disability of any kind without people shaming them for it constantly.
To be honest no one has ever asked me so I haven’t had to tell them. Which is just as well anyway because they don’t need to know.
Addiction is also over stigmatized and under treated especial in the United states. There's usually a good reason that people turn to street drugs. If you get prescribed an opioid you don't need to abuse it to become addicted. They're a lot of reasons why people turn to street drugs. In the United states, our health care system is incredibly expensive even if you can afford private insurance you still have to pay a lot of money for treatment in some cases. I don't know what it's like to have a strong compulsion to use an addictive substance. I quit smoking Newport cigarettes cold turkey I had withdrawal symptoms, but no real urges to smoke again. I binged drank to the point of blackouts, I didn't have any urges to need to drink more. I will have to do some more research on what addiction is like, so I can inform others about it.
Disability money should definitely not be spent on street drugs. There are ways to make doing things like this more difficult. EBT food stamps is an example or financial monitoring, I hate the idea of monitoring someone's personal finances, but if they have shown to be using it to buy illegal drugs I think it's a reasonable option. Rent and utilities could be automatically withdrawn from their monthly payment.
 
J

Jules5

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Hi all. I am on SSDI-and yes I got a $1200.00 stimulus this month to add to it. I wish I could work I am going stark crazy sitting up home-left to my own means I am a disaster. I loved working. But something snapped inside my brain that made me unemployable. I do not tell people due to the stigma. I can see that when someone ask you about SSDI you feel you have to explain. I would always try to say I am paranoid schizophrenic. I even started to believe this about myself. Until a few good people told me recently I do not present this way as schizophrenic.


So now I just try to be likeable person and do good deeds to others. I will say that I am not that nice when I go out of the house-but at home I am a kind loving mother of a son, 4 dogs, 6 birds, 8 chickens and 4 ducks.

I wish I could be ashamed to be on SSDI-this would mean I could work again as let me tell you being at home not working is pure hell. My family and friends all know I am on SSDI and guess what not one of them asked me why-They know already without me saying one word. So lets not go overboard and just be thankful we are not in the dog eat dog work world. Big Hugs Jules
 
Ghost_Owl

Ghost_Owl

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Disability money should definitely not be spent on street drugs. There are ways to make doing things like this more difficult. EBT food stamps is an example or financial monitoring, I hate the idea of monitoring someone's personal finances, but if they have shown to be using it to buy illegal drugs I think it's a reasonable option. Rent and utilities could be automatically withdrawn from their monthly payment.
I always find approaches like this so laughably dumb and short-sighted and ultimately cruel. Because all that happens is the person takes those food stamps, sells them for a lesser value to a criminal element to still get what they crave, strengthening another black market and putting themselves in front of the very people that have what they crave. At the same time, this punishes people who do use such provision in good faith whilst also limiting their options when it comes to the random slings and arrows of life that can't be offset by food stamps. Also makes them stigmatised for buying steak or alcohol or it being immediately assumed they are defrauding the system. Stared at in shame on the reveal of the card that marks them as a probable scrounger.

Addiction is often part of a maladaptive coping mechanism, the cause just as important as the chemical dictates of the drug. People also often get it backwards, thinking people are homeless because they were an addict. But the grinding misery of homelessness and being approached by drug dealers constantly has its own role to play that is rarely talked about. As does cutting provision that helps people with addiction because no one wants that in their backyard or their tax going on druggies.

Add in mental health provision working backwards Assisting only at the point a person is usually thoroughly broken and maladaptive responses to stress deeply entrenched by that point. Worsened by non existent care in the community from the start.

Punitive approaches generally backfire. There is so much crunchy science on that. Really I think it comes down to society always needing its scapegoats. Because while they exist it means the complexity of multilayered problems can be reduced down to. It is their own fault so no change or broader societal responsibility is required.
 
B

Black Despondency

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I always find approaches like this so laughably dumb and short-sighted and ultimately cruel. Because all that happens is the person takes those food stamps, sells them for a lesser value to a criminal element to still get what they crave, strengthening another black market and putting themselves in front of the very people that have what they crave. At the same time, this punishes people who do use such provision in good faith whilst also limiting their options when it comes to the random slings and arrows of life that can't be offset by food stamps. Also makes them stigmatised for buying steak or alcohol or it being immediately assumed they are defrauding the system. Stared at in shame on the reveal of the card that marks them as a probable scrounger.

Addiction is often part of a maladaptive coping mechanism, the cause just as important as the chemical dictates of the drug. People also often get it backwards, thinking people are homeless because they were an addict. But the grinding misery of homelessness and being approached by drug dealers constantly has its own role to play that is rarely talked about. As does cutting provision that helps people with addiction because no one wants that in their backyard or their tax going on druggies.

Add in mental health provision working backwards Assisting only at the point a person is usually thoroughly broken and maladaptive responses to stress deeply entrenched by that point. Worsened by non existent care in the community from the start.

Punitive approaches generally backfire. There is so much crunchy science on that. Really I think it comes down to society always needing its scapegoats. Because while they exist it means the complexity of multilayered problems can be reduced down to. It is their own fault so no change or broader societal responsibility is required.
You are probably right. As far as applying this to someone abusing their benefits I was thinking that it would only apply to people with a multiple abuses to with their benefits and not actually monitored regularly like caught on multiple times buying drugs. With a scale of financial control loss repeat offenders. Maybe instead of throwing people in jail and taking all of their financial benefits? I think that is a common accurances anyways, I haven't researched that last part. This is just speculative ideas.
 

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