Author Topic: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)  (Read 351 times)

Sunny Clouds

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PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« on: October 19, 2017, 01:34:12 PM »
Something Fiz wrote about going out then made me think also about what Bub wrote about pain and getting about and I thought more about something...

As some of you here might weary of my saying, I have falls as a result of neurotoxicity from my antimad pills.  At the moment, I'm keeping the dose low so my balance isn't too bad, but my mood is dreadful.

But one problem I've had over the last three years or so is episodes of not feeling able to go out at all.  These days there are more and more days when I stay at home and the main way I'm getting out now is making appointments to meet friends who are neighbours, i.e. with whom my friendship is based around bumping into them.  Thus I have to get it together to go out to specific place at a specific time.  To say that I find that difficult would be an understatement.

The other thing I am doing is something I read on a board, so either here or in an Archers place, which is to set a timer for 20min and get up and do something every time it goes off.

But I'm putting on weight, and whilst part of that is comfort eating, another part is not enough exercise.  I don't believe that getting out to go to an appointment or to do some shopping actually burns off many calories, but it modifies appetite (unless your appointments are all for high-calorie meals), and for a lot of us it can improve mood, which reduces comfort eating.

But if people get fatter and less fit, doesn't that cost the state money?  How many people get physically unable to get out of the house as an indirect consequence of being emotionally unable to go out?

I'm not suggesting it's a simple mapping-on, but surely there's a link?

Further, something occurs to me.  If you're not supposed to need help getting out if the difficulty is psychological stress, what if you're on the dole not otherwise sick/disabled, or you're entitled to ESA but you want a job:  if you can't get out, how do you go for job interviews?  You may say ah, yes, but surely if you can't get to the interview, how will you get to the job, but the job  might entail mainly working from home or might pay enough for help getting to work or there might be works transport you feel ok using.  My dad couldn't cope with driving and he had dreadful anxiety and distress but pursued a successful career.  However, at one point, he secured part-time work he hadn't expected where, to his amazement, the job counted as senior enough for them to send a car to pick him up and take him to work and also to pick him up for evening functions. 

But of course, we have the stereotype, don't we?  If you're the sort of person that would struggle to get out, you couldn't possibly be the sort of person that would ever be wanted by an organisation that would provide transport.

But even at a low level they might.  What about, say, being afraid to go out alone but being able to do what I'll call basic, ground-level work such as painting or weeding?  You might get a job with a firm where they can pick you up in the van on the way to whichever house they're working at.

I suppose what I'm really doing here is venting my frustration at parliamentarians that not only want to cut benefits but don't seem to see the interplay between different conditons/problems.  (Yes, ok, another of my 'their incompetence sickens me as much as their deliberate cruelty' rants.)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

SunshineMeadows

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 11:03:32 AM »
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How many people get physically unable to get out of the house as an indirect consequence of being emotionally unable to go out?

I know physical illness can cause psychological and emotional distress making it hard or impoosible for some people to go out and about but I had not thought of it the other way around . Good point  >thumbsup<

It is probably more common now we have things like online shopping and banking. It used to be every two weeks people claiming benefits would have to go and get their benefits paid to them in cash at the Post Office, this is unless they had someone they trusted to go get it.

The timer idea is a good one  >thumbsup<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 03:09:50 PM »
With me, it goes in both directions.  I'm working hard at it at the moment, but I've gone from being someone who for years went out pretty much every day to going out two or three times a week, and mostly a short walk after dark.

I feel horribly low.  Maybe it would be worth the new physical problems I'd get if I increased the pills that lift my mood.  It's a difficult choice, though.  Why can't life  be as straightforward as politicians seem to think it is.   >steam<
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

SunshineMeadows

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2017, 02:09:07 PM »
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It's a difficult choice, though.

Very much so  :-(

I have been thinking about asking to go back on Pregablin just for a month to give me a 'holiday' from how much pain and nausea I have been in lately. I am thinking a month would mean I was off Pregablin before weight gain stomped back in the room so to speak.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 03:01:05 PM »
Weight gain?  Eek, so many people seem to be trying to put weight on  or lose it.  I currently have too much fat.  I decided to try to kick my sugar habit and at the same time, I'm reducing sweeteners to see if I can change my taste preferences.  Oops! Caffeine crash without my coffee!

But I seem to feel full for longer without it.

I've been thinking about weight loss, though, and some of the same logic also applies to weight gain when needed.

I was thinking how I reckon, given I've got too much fat and not enough muscle, I'm about 3 - 3.5 stone overweight (more like 2 stone overweight if I were to build up muscle and lose fat).  Ok, so that's almost as much kit as a trained soldier would carry for an ordinary short exercise or patrol with what I'll call overnight stuff.  (I.e. not what they'd carry for long distance war stuff.)  Yet I'm unfit.  So the 'they should just get exercise' people want me to go and get vigorous exercise with less muscle and as much kit as a basic soldier.  Ridiculous. (I used to be one so I can make the comparison.) 

Now let's turn it round to people with the opposite weight problem, significantly underweight.  They've got less to carry but often far less muscle to carry it with.  People want them to put on weight but don't think about the muscle-building that's necessary.  It takes time and kindness.

I've been hiding indoors so much that I find that now if I go out shopping and potter in and out of the shops up a high street, let's say mostly charity shops, then go in a supermarket, plus 10-15 min plain walking either end, I'm significantly tired.  So  just feeling scared to go out has a significant impact on my physical fitness.  I put on an awful lot of weight when I got scared to go out.

Looking back on it, the two previous periods when I gained a lot of fat were firstly when getting aggro from some very nasty neighbours I had to move away from, and secondly when in the 'care' of the psychiatric team and getting no help at all for my PTSD, just lots of negative messages undermining my confidence.  On  both occasions, I did a lot of hiding indoors.

Hmmm, I'd better get down to the DWP and see if they've got some over-simplified quick-fix CBT.  Forgive my cynicism about CBT - I did two modules of it on a university postgrad course and was a bit suspicious at the time.  It seemed to reduce everything down to Actions, Beliefs/Behaviours, Consequences.  Looking back, I now see things totally differently.  That sort of over-simplified CBT that's all-too-often all that's on offer (as opposed to something more nuanced).  It's all about what you do with nothing about what anyone else does or has done to you, and never any acknowledgement that your beliefs & behaviour might be rooted in a rational response to anything.

Anyway, I'm going to keep trying to get a bit fitter physically and emotionally, but a big rasberry to all the people out there (thankfully not here in Ouchtoo) that try to make it all sound so easy and are so scathing of anyone that might find anything difficult or get scared.

And a big, unprintable, expletive to politicians who sneer at those with mental obstacles without seeing the interplay with physical obstacles.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 04:52:22 PM »
Sunshine and Sunny  >bighugs< >bighugs<

KizzyKazaer

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 09:30:19 PM »
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...a big rasberry to all the people out there (thankfully not here in Ouchtoo) that try to make it all sound so easy and are so scathing of anyone that might find anything difficult or get scared.


Sunny Clouds

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 12:24:05 AM »
 >lol<

That was just what I needed.

I've been feeling very stressed, as you all know, and as I await my PIP letter, issues like the interplay between  physical and mental are leaving me very ranty, so things like hugs and humour make such a difference.

I thought today what if my decision on how much medication to take was primarily focussed on benefits?  My meds are neurotoxic.  If I take more, I fall over more; if I take less, I struggle more emotionally.  I'm currently in-between and working really, really hard to cope.

But in all seriousness, I bet there are people out there who'd simply take the line that they'd max out on the meds and have the combination of feeling happier and also finding it easier to get PIP.  Which is ridiculous, because it runs against the notion of  recovery (as in the modern recovery model, not as in cure).

It's like UC, how more and more is  being revealed of how much a deterrent it is to work.  One old Tory politician (can't remember who, but I think it was one from the Thatcher era and not known for being pro-welfare) pointed out that working people on UC pay tax on their income (above the personal allowance), then they've got the 'withdrawal' rate on UC, and they pay a higher proportion of their income than wealthier people do on VAT-rated goods.  Result?  What amounts to a scandalously high rate of tax.

I'm open these days about the fact that a very significant reason why I didn't try to find more voluntary work after leaving what I was doing before because of my sensory impairments was that it was such a nightmare over the last time I tried to take on extra voluntary work.  The DWP can't relate to charities that aren't huge entities with a bureaucracy.  Asking for a letter from a little local charity might actually just be a  letter from me.  That's to say that's what I'd be volunteering to do, i.e. run it so that all it's income of, say, 5k a year could go on whatever it does like a few activity days for elders.

There was also the fear that it would trigger a migration to PIP, but that's happening anyway now.  Nevertheless, I'll be open about the fear that it could cause someone to hit a 'change of circumstances' button and trigger mountains of paperwork I can't face.

I don't know which I'm more worried about - falling over, not coping emotionally, or getting a brown envelope.

But those expletive politicians don't get that. 

After all, this is a system that's cut scary amounts from people whose level of impairment and disability are massively worse than mine. 

I don't know what the answer is, but at least the government's backtracking a bit on UC.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 04:26:18 AM »
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There was also the fear that it would trigger a migration to PIP, but that's happening anyway now.  Nevertheless, I'll be open about the fear that it could cause someone to hit a 'change of circumstances' button and trigger mountains of paperwork I can't face.

I ran into one of my old mates from the day centre when over at the hospital visiting Mum on Friday.  My friend told my about two mutual aquaintances who have migrated smoothly from DLA to PIP without loss of income. Both have MH conditions and mobility impairments. Hoping this is a good omen for yourself, Sunny and for us all.  >hugs<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: PIP & psychological distress (not benefits query)
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 10:57:15 AM »
I hope so.  I'm not confident, though.

My GP gave me a certificate for PIP & a printout off his computer, but I noted that he used the word 'unsteadiness' for my physical problems.  I sent a copy of a couple of neurologist's letters but I'm not sure whether that will have helped.

When I saw my GP again, he said he'd spoken to the DWP and was so sure I'd get PIP, but when I told him more about my current physical problems, he looked shocked, so I'm not convinced he's said anything useful on the mobility front.

Still, at least I'll have the care element, and if I'm savvy how I use that, I can use the money for mobility.  E.g. I'm a 'fire hazard' in the kitchen, so I use a countertop oven with a dial that's ventilated on all six sides, so wh en the dial reaches zero it cools down really, really fast instead of burning.  I'm also now experimenting with thermos cooking.  I have a microwave but am still experimenting.  Doubtless at some point the government will decide that if we can buy this stuff, we don't need PIP.

But then at the moment, I'm also overweight.  That can't mean I've got self-care problems, can it?  Yes, it can mean I've got problems with timing of eating and eating appropriately, although online friends are now helping with that.

Oh well, my consolation is the government's quandry over sheltered housing.  I'm going to post a thread about that.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)