• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

To Those Who Think it 'Must be nice to be on Benefits/Disability' - stigma and prejudice

AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

Well-known member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
15,094
Location
UK
To Those Who Think it 'Must be nice to be on Benefits/Disability' - stigma and prejudice

This is a perfect example of the stigma that exists with mental illness. It minimizes everything I have gone through and will go through on a daily basis. The impression is that I sit around watching TV all day or go shopping or whatever fun activity I choose to engage in.

The truth is...

There is nothing nice about not being able to take proper care of yourself...

There is nothing nice about the thoughts I battle non-stop, morning and night...

There is nothing nice about seeing a psychiatrist every month...

There is nothing nice about having suicide attempts or thoughts...
From What It’s Like to Be on Disability for a Mental Illness | The Mighty

Since this section is also for discussing "prejudice, ignorance, stigma & discrimination surrounding these issues" I thought this article was worth posting. Sometimes I think this is what people must be thinking, that I'm 'lucky' not to have to work, and 'lucky' to be able to spend my time doing as I please (hmmm!). But as this article says, there's nothing lucky or nice about having a mental illness that means you have to claim benefits and aren't able to do paid work :low: And besides, some who claim disability benefits still do some work (through choice or necessity) even if not in a paid capacity... caring work (including looking after children, or after other people with care needs), voluntary work, study. Even just getting through each day can be 'work' :rolleyes:

If only people knew what the reality is like, rather than what they imagine life is like for people on benefits/disability due to a mental health condition. This prejudice and stigma needs to be countered.
 
Last edited:
American Boy

American Boy

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Mar 30, 2016
Messages
16,729
Location
London UK
Well said.

I've got that impression from other people, one time I went to a center which is a center for people that need support and one of the staff engage in a conversation with me and she asked if I watched TV all day and said I was lucky not to have to work then tried to talk me into working :confused:

Its the same with a lot of people they assume people just sit at home all day watching there "Sky" TV I don't have sky or cable and I hardly watch TV in fact I can't remember the last time I actually turned on my TV.

Oh and apparently we all have huge flat screen TV's bought by "tax payers money" from all that money we are "raking in" each week we must get like 1000 pounds a week right? according to the stories guardian most of us are living the high life.

People claiming benefits are either druggies or alcoholics or both...

All the benefit/Tory propaganda is working very well.

There are a lot of benefit programs on TV and every single time they show alcoholics and drug users.
 
Last edited:
H

Helena1

Well-known member
Staff Member on Leave
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
10,581
Location
UK
I am not on benefits, but yes it is so annoying. I get it from my whole family. they seem to think my life is one long holiday. I tell my parents it is full time job keeping myself alive, but they don't believe it.
 
Zardos

Zardos

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
3,258
Its either keep me at home.. Or keep me in the hospital... Keeping me at home is cheaper.. Work is just not an option...

Being ill keeps me from working but it also keeps me from enjoying not working.. I've been trying to turn the playstation on now for a month.. But I can't get motivated to do it.. Even though I think it would help me pass the time.. Instead I find myself staring into space and drifting in and out.. At least there'd be something to do at work..
I feel wretched as I sit here and type this and its only half ten... I've got a whole day of misery to look forward to before I can go to bed.. Working would be a small price to pay for feeling 'normal'

aw.. screw it... i'm off to watch a movie and wait for my jab :popcorn:
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
17,956
Location
london
I am not on benefits, but yes it is so annoying. I get it from my whole family. they seem to think my life is one long holiday. I tell my parents it is full time job keeping myself alive, but they don't believe it.
if i wasn't on benefits what would i live on, at best i'm borderline fit for work on these drugs, that despite been exposed to the on drug cure when a young lunatic, i now have enough experience to know thats crap, then theres the stigma of a schitzoprenia diagnosis, when i was young again it was considered schitzoprenics shouldn't work, so now i'm following the benefit magic money tree which requires proof of severe illness, alternatively for the reasons above i'd starve, drs and people push better the dwp pushes illness
 
W

winofunk

Guest
Thank you for posting this.

I was employed until my mental health deteriorated and it was affecting my behaviour in the workplace.

I now receive benefits and I despair when I hear of these reality TV programmes which show what life is like on benefits in Britain. I have a TV that I rarely watch. I rarely feel able to go out. I do not enjoy the long periods of anxiety, and feeling so tense that my muscles ache. I loathe the times when my depression consumes my whole being and I resort to self harm. I am saddened by the number of times I spend at home sitting in silence, deafened by the negative thoughts in my head, but afraid to do anything incase someone comes to my door and they hear that I am in.

I hope that the time will come that I will be able to return to work. I understand that many professionals push for people to get into employment, seeing at as a way of getting structure into the patient's day and getting them out among people. It is, however, not for everyone. Those who do get into work are often faced with lack of understanding and discrimination because many employers understand so little about mental health.

Never mind a day lazing on the couch, watching Jeremy Kyle, eating takeaways, scrolling through Facebook on my new iPhone while buying a new pair of Jimmy Choo's online....I would love 5 minutes of peace to open a book and enjoy it.

While benefit claimants continue to be vilified in the tabloids and on TV, it is unlikely that attitudes will change :(
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
17,956
Location
london
i read books not heavy ones, at the moment i'm not haven't recovered from visiting brum, i don't think the builders down the road are very understanding about me sitting in the front garden reading whilst they work, the front garden is the only one i have acccess to

i'm told by that psychiatrist i should be grateful i'm functioning at a high level for my illness, they've now closed my case and i haven't a carer

as they say some people like social workers are gatekeepers to the benefit system, it's worrying not having a gatekeeper and has probably effected my income
 
W

winofunk

Guest
Good afternoon to you Rambo!

When I first started beginning a claim for benefits I was told by a family friend that I would not be successful if I did not have a social worker. I did not, but I was still successful getting ESA and PIP.

I don't think a social worker is essential to getting benefits, but I think their knowledge of benefit entitlements is very helpful and them supporting a claim is accepted by the DWP as the claimant being vulnerable.

Other specialists have similar benefit knowledge, and supporting evidence to go along with a claim can be obtained elsewhere - from GPs, Mental Health Teams, support workers, etc.

This is only my opinion, but I do think another reason that Social Workers are seen as a gateway to benefits is they see getting the client additional income is the first step to improving their life - basically just hoping that once the client has more money, all their other problems will go away.

During my last episode of depression back in 2008 to 2010, I was on an electricity prepayment meter - I had not being paying the bill and my electricity provider forced entry and installed a prepayment meter. Because of the debt, the meter was deducting £34 per week from any credit to go towards the debt before I had even boiled a kettle. In the weeks waiting for my benefita to start the meter went down to a minus of about £110 and it cut off the electricity, meaning I would need to put in over £110 to get it back on. I simply couldn't deal with it. When my GP referred me to the local Mental health Team, Social Work picked it up. I met with a Social Worker and that same day she phoned my electricity provider, got my electricity back on with the debt repayment reduced to about £4 per week. Having done that she felt they had done all they could do and closed my case with them. When the CPN tried to refer me back to Social Work they said my case was closed.

I am envious that you read. I have tried to read books recommended to me. I have even tried re-reading books I have enjoyed in the past hoping reading something familiar will help. But without any success. I love to read, but cannot. It's poop.
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
17,956
Location
london
my brother i visited in brum he's staying with my sister who is his carer, he's had heart surgery and had a stroke, he can hardly walk needs food cutting up

i feel bitchy because he's got the work capability asssessment and today apparently some social worker is filling up the form, he's got other sources of income, is renting out his flat, he doesn't need state benefits to the degree i do, i haven't a social worker or cpn or support worker for that matter, they've closed my case, haven't seen the present gp for long, either, i've had a diagnosis of hebephrenic schitzoprenia at 19 been on meds ever since, as i take my meds i'm just left as saneline put it

doesn't the above prove my street credibility as sick?

i've got prepayment meters thought they cut off as soon as the money ran out though there is an emergency amount don't know what this minus £110 is about

my gp referred me to the cmhc a month ago, they just referred me back to her saying if necessary the pills can be raised to 12 a day, it doesn't take much to read the british pharmaceutical, when i said i wanted someone to talk to the social worker interviewing me said phone samaritans
 
Last edited:
W

winofunk

Guest
As someone with absolutely no street credibility (my neice very kindly confirmed this :) ) I would not like to comment on your own street cred!

I find it can be soul destroying to reach out for help, only to have it denied. It is not helpful at all.

On the flip-side, for yourself on benefits, is it the case that there is little that these agencies can do for you because of your condition? That sounds very pessimistic, sorry. What I am try to say is that for yourself, when it comes to applying for benefits, can you put forward the case that these agencies are not involved because other than medicate you, there is little they can do?..such is the severity of your condition.
 
W

winofunk

Guest
Rambo, I am sorry. I think my last post comes across as very negative, when in fact I was trying to put a positive slant on your current situation. I am sorry. It was not my intention to judge or be pessimistic.
 
R

ramboghettouk

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
17,956
Location
london
personally i prefer pessimistic posts theres nothing that winds me up more in my mind support group than bipolars on a high been all positive
 
W

winofunk

Guest
To Those Who Think it 'Must be nice to be on Benefits/Disability' - stigma and prejudice

hahaha. that made me laugh. thank you. then i felt guilty for laughing. but thank you :)
 
C

crazychaos

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
20
I reapplied for PIP last year and someone involved in my care said I was trying to get a change of diagnosis from BPD to Bipolar for benefit purposes... I was manipulating a change of diagnosis!

I was so angry especially since I've been going on about wrong diagnosis for 13 years and I was working full time back then...

There is nothing worse than judgemental people who work in mental health!
 
Top