What are my chances? PIP assessment

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What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby Kwerkee » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:00 pm

Hello,

I'm very anxious and depressed right now, so please excuse if I go off on a massive ramble and if I don't reply back, please know I appreciate all answers but I have severe social anxiety and I find it hard even being on forums. But as of now I am desperate as my mind is going crazy about my assessment and earlier I was even contemplating suicide (not looking for sympathy...I'm just weird).

My PIP assessment is this Thursday and I'm wondering what exactly happens? I know there has been a few posts in regards to this, but they have rightfully so been more on fibromyalgia rather than mental health.

Medical diagnoses: (Physical) Diagnosed with fibromyalgia this year and I won't reel off what pain that puts on me, as sadly most/if not all of you know the pain it causes! However, my GP has only put me on naproxen/nothing at all as she is concerned with me being so young taking such strong painkillers? I agree with her, but its hard at the same time as even now laid up in bed my back aches, even my arms feel tired and my left leg is tingly and I want it to stop. Last week I was put on beta-blockers due to having a very fast heart. I have an underactive thyroid. PCOS. Freibergs disease in my right foot. Btw, I appreciate the latter do not infringe on my life! Its just for clarity.

The effects of the physical: When I have flare I feel as if I am going to die; get chest pains, migraines and whole body seizes up it feels and no matter how much I tell myself to calm down, I don't. I can walk (somewhat) about 10minutes? But then it has to be in the right setting i.e.; an area I deem safe, barely any people and the list goes on. Oh and fibro fog! Some days I wonder how my boyfriend puts up with me lol. Oh I am trying to do exercise...Will this go against me? The exercise totally knocks me out and I need another week to recharge, haha, but I've got this image in my head that the assessor will hear what they want to hear? When in reality the exercise is barely anything *sigh*. My thyroid and PCOS basically cause hormonal changes, weight gain (the sheer joy), and the list goes on. Nothing major, in fact they impact my mental wellbeing more rather than medical which brings me on too....

As stated earlier I have severe social anxiety and I agoraphobic(sp?) tendencies as I won't go out, unless my boyfriend is with me and I have depression too, along with strong suicidal thoughts which is horrid as I'm scared to die!? Logic isn't my greatest talent. I don't even like being on the phone and now even thinking about it I go goosebumpy and not in the good way! I've had depression and anxiety for over a decade and still suffer from it (screw one of those years, its one of those life's! I'm currently awaiting another referral for these problems and my GP has now forced me on antidepressants which I've been fighting not to be on for years "I can't keep having you come here saying you're suicidal and do nothing". I'm doing Open University right now as a 'positive' focus but wondering whether this will go against me? I have a mental health mentor though who helps and additional support? I don't know, I'm so scared as I'm not sure the assessor will see the 'little things'? I.e. like when I write an e-mail I have my boyfriend check it over for me? Even a simple e-mail. So, when I write an assignment you can guarantee there will be tears, suicidal feelings, frustration, more tears and its an experience I'll say that much. I have to re-read material over and over as sometimes it doesn't seem to 'fit' and in a similar vein I'll hear somebody but not understand it? I don't like public transport because it consists of going out, people and being trapped. I can cook? But, when boyfriend is at work I'll pretty much go for hand foods/snacks? As I think 'Why bother' and whilst boyfriend is at work/out he always tells me he worries that he'll come home and find me dead. My boyfriend won't even have his friends around as I'll hide in the bedroom and his Mum is getting married next month and I can't go. Hm not sure what else to say, as telling you all this stuff is making me feel worse i.e. 'Aren't I a useless person'.

I'm pretty much petrified as boyfriend and I are living off pittance a day as he works 2 part time jobs for us and I feel like I need PIP for confirmation? Despite waking up in pain, knowing I truly ache, the clumsiness, the visit to the Drs, the anti-depressants, years of therapy and the like...I need this to say I'm ill!? I wish I was the Tory image of somebody on PIP because than at least I'd be lying! And I wouldn't be scared in my own home if I hear a knock and get suicidal over writing an assignment.

Anywho, there is more but I feel an idiot and worried taking up more space than I need to. So, basically what happens? Do I need to be as scared as I am right now? Oh and my boyfriend is coming with me, so he can do most of the talking as I struggle to make eye contact even with my GP, never mind a total stranger judging me!

Sorry, for waffling I needed to get it off my system as I was getting really low in mood about it. Thank you for any help.
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby FluppyPuffy » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:44 pm

We can't say what your chances are unfortunately. The decision is made by a DWP decision maker based on what is in your claim form, the assessment report and any other evidence that you have included. Also, rather than being paid based on conditions you have, the decision is made based on how all your conditions and problems affect you overall. All you can do is explain how things affect you in as much detail as you can, making sure you include problems/risks you have.

Sorry I'm not much help st the moment, being away from home and lappyless, accessing usable liked etc is a bit fiddly by phone:cry:

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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby jezebellow » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:54 pm

Thank you for having the courage to share your feelings in such an honest way. I expect you're feeling quite exposed right now. Try and bullet point in into one or two word statement. ie *agoraphobia *eye contact etc., so that you can be sure to get all of your points across. Try some Rescue Remedy before your appointment, And good luck :!:
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby jackaddict » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:54 pm

Just tell them how everything effects your daily life and tell then your worst day. Every question you're asked, reply as if you were having that worst day for everything at that moment in time. Bearing in mind you have social anxiety, shouldn't be to hard to do. Make sure they know how long it takes you to recover when you do physical things and how long it takes you to mentally prepare to leave the house etc. If something varies you have to take in to account the following... Can you do these things safely, reliably and repeatedly? My partner has Tourettes, ADHD, Social Phobia and Aspergers and what you describe with your anxiety sounds just like her. She gets DR A for those reasons. She can't answer the door, telephone, leave the house without me being with her. She has panic attacks when out of the house and will get lost if she is alone, this has happened before. Now, with the Fibro, that's what I have along with ME and depression. You really need to stop exercising if it is making you so poorly, have to find that sweet spot of what you can get away with doing without putting yourself in bed for days. We are all guilty of doing that sometimes when we want to do something special, but exercise needs to be built up very gradually and if it puts you in bed, you've done too much. Now I know you said you don't want to take antidepressants, I was the same as was my partner but it sounds like you could really use a bit of help. Antidepressants can also help with the anxiety as well as the depression and could make your life just that little bit easier.
I do understand your phobia of forums, my partner is the exact same, so I won't be insulted if you don't reply. I will worry about you though but is sounds like your boyfriend is a really nice guy and understands your difficulties. Way to go boyfriend! :) If you need help we are here and you can always private message me if it's easier for you. Take care. X
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby Moobaloo » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:02 pm

Hi kwerkee,

I can totally relate to a lot of what you're describing about your anxiety & mental health problems, I have struggled with severe anxiety, depression & self harm for the best part of 20 years (I'm mid 30's now), so please don't feel like you're weird, or alone in feeling the way you do! I get DLA, as a lot of us do with fibro & depression/anxiety, so although it's different to PIP, a lot of the same criteria apply.

It sounds like your mental health issues significantly impact on your daily life, in particular your ability to go out unaccompanied, use public transport, or go to unfamiliar places, without becoming distressed or having a panic attack. Your boyfriend is coming with you to your assessment, so you will both need to explain to the assessor that you wouldn't have been able to come to then assessment without him/another trusted friend etc. You need to demonstrate/explain the effect your conditions have on you in comparison to a 'normal' person your age, and if you need extra help & supervision to ensure you don't hurt yourself or cause a relapse in your mental/physical state, then it means you need care and should qualify for a PIP award.

With regards to your physical conditions, I put on my form that I can walk slowly for about 10 mins before it starts to hurt & I need to take a break. I have a dog & try to walk her once a day so that I'm getting some exercise and as far as my GP is concerned, this shows I'm trying to help myself, even though I often can't walk her every day. Antidepressants can be helpful in managing both your mood & pain, but everyone is different & you need to be comfortable with taking them. As far as your open university course goes, I would assume you do the work as and when you feel well enough to do it, and if doing assignments makes you stressed and anxious over & above a 'normal' level, you need to stress that to the assessor. Same with cooking, if you aren't ALWAYS able to do it, because you're depressed/can't be bothered or aren't physically well enough to do it EVERY day, then you need extra care.

I suppose lot will depend on your assessor on the day, but please remember that if you don't get it first time round, you can get help from members on here and other groups to appeal against it. I got nothing when I applied for DLA - the decision maker said that my GP hadn't mentioned anything about me having severe depression/anxiety, but it was clearly written on the form they asked him to fill in! I ended up being awarded mid-rate care & low rate mobility. Try not to panic too much over your assessment, though I know that is most definitely easier said than done! Are your beta-blockers to help with your anxiety? If you get upset at the assessment, don't force yourself to put on a brave face & make sure your boyfriend asks the assessor for a break if you need it.

Good luck!
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby Hannah24 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:05 pm

Reading your message above is like reading my own story. I too am now suffering mental health problems alongside my fibromyalgia. I am becoming more scared and nervous to go out without my husband and I certainly can't contemplate going out anywhere where I feel there maybe confrontation or a difficult situation. It has led me not being able to go out even to the doctors. I am currently seeing a psychologist who I feel is helping me. I have got to the point where I feel I can go and see her on my own despite the spiral of anxiety it causes.

I too have applied for PIPs and had an assessment sent through. I went into a panic and all time low at the thought of having to go, so I contacted them to arrange a home visit. I also intend for my husband to be there. This way I don't have to worry about my fibromyalgia stopping me but I'm hoping that it may also reduce my anxiety/depression. The only problem with asking for a home visit is that it can take a lot longer. I'm still awaiting my appointment and apparently I could be waiting a long time. Still, this is the only way I feel I can do it.

I know its going to be hard and as soon as the appointment comes through I know it will still fill like a nightmare but I also know it's just something I have to do. I'm also getting as much evidence together as possible in the hope that they may not ask me too much.

I hope you get it sorted.
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby Kwerkee » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:10 pm

I thought I should be brave and polite and reply back to all of your lovely messages. I really did appreciate them and hoping when not so drained I'll reply fully.

Got back from the ATOS face to face assessment; I was just me. I didn't have to make out it was my worst day as in terms of fibromyaglia, it was already a horrid flare day, although I'm sure my anxiety did not help with the tenseness of my muscles.

Got there, cried and ended up having a panic attack. When called into the room the atmosphere was really cold and I'm not sure whether that was purely perception, rather than reality. During the whole thing I could not shake off the idea "they're out to get me" it felt as if I was being tested, asked trick questions and I suppose you technically are? But, I got massively clumsy and mixed up dates and even which foot I have pain in (My upper body today has been massively sore)...It was as if my mind went "Yeah, will be seeing you later!" ha. I noticed the main of the assessment was predominantly physical rather than mental, is this normal? I tried to do a physical as despite the pain, I thought by saying no it would look as if I was acting but I just couldn't raise my arms that much as an extra level of tenseness happened when I was asked to stand in front of the assessor, once again though that could be my anxiety as I hate people watching me and I could not even make eye contact with the assessor (very worried she thought me ignorant.) Thankfully, my boyfriend was with me and on hand to reply to some of her questions and there for when I felt weak.

I'm not sure if it helped, but I took in letters from the hospital who I see for my IBS, my medication and a letter from my psychologist about a referral to a specialist to help with my social phobia and anxiety.

I'm not sure on when I'll get a decision from DWP, I've read around and it could be anything from 4weeks to a year. Which is horrible anybody, but due to the constant worry and needing routine; I hope the wait isn't a long one. Also, I keep having paranoid thoughts and wondering "Oh did my arms raise a bit more when sat down than they did on the physical?" they may have done, but that was probably because my body was not as tense due to being faced with one of my 'nightmares' i.e. being tested, having somebody watch me and the like. Anywho, rambling...

Thank you all again and will hope to reply better soon, best wishes
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby leetankers » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:43 pm

From the length of your post I would suggest that you won,t qualify for pip as they will say you can do a keyboard job..Hope this helps........Lee
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby FluppyPuffy » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:19 pm

Kwerkee, from how I was when I first joined the forum, I think I have somewhat of an idea about how you feel wrt posting on here. I suffered with really bad forum shyness as a result of my anxieties, thoughts etc, which meant for a good while replying to a post, even with using just a smilie or 2 was pretty much impossible. So it's a big :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: :bear-dancing: to you for being able to start this topic off and then come back with your update :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

Knowing how sensitive I could be to some replies, I just wanted to say that you shouldn't be put off by the appearance of any unhelpful comments that can appear. There are many, many lovely people on here who are, and have been, in a similar position to yourself, who will gladly offer support, advice and :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: whenever you do post. So please try not think that you are idiot, as you're very definitely not. Nor are you taking up too much space. To quote what I posted on a different topic recently
FluppyPuffy wrote:......if you need 200 pages, or even more, they're here for you to use, we won't run out of them, so if you want to get some of that :scream-1: :pull-hair: :too-upset: :waiting: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: :face-slap: out, there's a pile on the table for you along with a :cup1: :cup1: and a slice or 3 of :cake: :cake: :cake:
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby denys » Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:21 pm

Fully endorse what Fluppy has said, ignore the unhelpful and concentrate on those offering support. It sounds like you have been through the mill so jsut be kind to yourself till you feel a little less stressed and just try to put it to the back of your mind for now (difficult to do I know) but you have done everything you can for the moment and worrying wont hurry the reply for you :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

As for the length of posts Leetankers no-one knows how long it takes anyone to type out a post. So the length of any post is not indicative of ability to carry out a task :nono: :nono: :nono:
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby InkyBob » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:08 pm

leetankers wrote:From the length of your post I would suggest that you won,t qualify for pip as they will say you can do a keyboard job..Hope this helps........Lee


Hi Lee, you are aware that PIP is not an unemployment benefit aren't you? It's nothing to do with what job you can and can't do, and everything to do with what support you need in daily life.

To the OP, can offer nothing but my crossed fingers, and some hope that you get the outcome you need.
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Re: What are my chances? PIP assessment

Postby FluppyPuffy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:37 pm

InkyBob wrote:
leetankers wrote:From the length of your post I would suggest that you won,t qualify for pip as they will say you can do a keyboard job..Hope this helps........Lee


Hi Lee, you are aware that PIP is not an unemployment benefit aren't you? It's nothing to do with what job you can and can't do, and everything to do with what support you need in daily life.

To the OP, can offer nothing but my crossed fingers, and some hope that you get the outcome you need.

Hopefully the situation with, and reaction to some of the comments, as well as points of misinformation made by this poster have now been rectified.
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