No one will help, I've tried twice since January to self harm myself!!!!!!!!! Please, please any suggests!!!!!!!

I've suffered depression on and off for about 30+ years after suffering mental and physical abuse from my parents and ex husband. I've had counselling, last section was intense counselling for an hour a week for a year. I've suffered ill health for years emphysema etc. And been put on ESA only to fail the medical in December. I'm still waiting to hear about my reconsideration and been waiting since January. The SLUG who told me I had failed my medical, has undone all the good work that the counsellor had done and now I'm back at stage 1.

17 Replies

  • Hi Maisiemoo

    Firstly it is important to say that if you desire to self harm no one can stop you from doing that except yourself, so as long as you are seeking help from others in that way you will be disappointed.

    However you are having to cope with a lot at the moment. It sounds as though you are feeling despair about the abuse that happened in the past, perhaps with the way that has left you feeling, then ill health and that failing the ESA felt like the final straw. I imagine you are really angry about that, and rightly so, and I think that is why you are feeling you are back to where you started - I imagine you are enraged!

    You say you had counselling for a year, but with a history of abuse it may be that you require a more specialised kind of psychotherapy. I suggest you remind your GP that you are still struggling despite the counselling and ask him/her to refer you for an assessment by the secondary mental health services - they should be able to offer specialised psychotherapy for people with a history of trauma. I suggest you might also seek support from the local branch of Mind - they are able to offer an advocacy service in many areas of the UK and may be able to help you to be awarded ESA.

    In the meantime do continue to use the website for support - we have all had or have experience of depression and many other problems such as yours and can offer ongoing support.


  • I've tried Mind but they didn't want to know. I've tried getting an advocate but they are so busy. It was the CAB who put in my reconsideration for my ESA and I keep phoning the ESA up and being told that it will be another week or two. I've been back and to, to see my doc but I feel he isn't listening. In the meantime my health has suffered, I've lost weight as I'm not eating, my emphysema and bronchiectasis have got worse. My scoliosis is causing me pain and because of the medical, I've just had 2injections in my right shoulder because I've taken my ligament out again.

  • Have you not been referred to your local CMHT for psychiatric support? Are you on antidepressant medication?

    I suffer from long term depression, COPD (emphysema) and chronic lower back pain and was on IB before they changed to ESA and had no problem getting swapped over. It is all about how you answer the questions.

    There is a benefits advise website that you can join for a small fee and it was invaluable to me in filling out forms. I didn't even have to attend an interview as my depression and meds have made me agoraphobic so I rarely leave the house.

    I am 57 and have been unable to work for the past 13 years when I had a 'total breakdown' and had to be admitted for 3 months to a psychiatric unit for extensive ECT due to feeling suicidal for 6 months every single day and no medications were relieving the symptoms. I also get DLA at the high rate care component but lower rate mobility.

    The fact that they have turned you down is based on a points system depending on your answers to their questions. It almost certainly puts stress on you but doesn't by any means undo any of the hard work you have put in by having counselling for your history of abuse...their decision isn't a 'personal' attack on you, you simply haven't scored enough points to qualify by the way you've phrased your answers!

    Focus more on the issue at hand rather than seeing it as yet more abuse...they're just doing their job.

    BTW - what have you been doing for money up until now?

  • Oh that sounds absolutely awful! I agree with the suggestions in the other replies, about seeing another doctor and also about the decision not undoing the counselling benefits unless you let it. Do try to eat properly and take care of yourself as best you can. It must all be very difficult for you with children to cope with as well, how old are they? Suex

  • I am struggling to understand what you mean about Mind not wanting to know as they are usually really supportive of people who are struggling with the system. I wonder whether you are feeling so exasperated that your expectations are of immediate help which no one can provide.

  • Why does failing the medical undo the progress that you have made? Is it because your money will stop and you won't be able to manage? The medical is just one person's opinion based on how you performed. All the progress you made still stands. Are you appealing the medical decision?

  • I feel like I'm back at stage 1 because the slug who phoned kept saying "can't you ask your parents to help you" when I put down in the form about the abuse I suffered at the hands of them. The money don't really bother me as I've sold some of my sort just to get money to feed me and my children. My JSA was sanction for the last 4 weeks then yesterday the decision was overturned, but I still won't receive any money until Wednesday.

  • The benefits system is a complete mess at the moment. I put up a post the other day to say that ATOS who used to carry out the medical assesssments for ESA have pulled out of their contract a year early. I don't know who has replaced them but the whole thing is a big mess. I can completely relate to all the stress this has caused for you. I know it set me back completely when having already got DLA (finally) I then had to plead my case to get ESA and if I hadn't have been put in the group I am now in (the support group) I would have lost the housing I am in as it is provided by Mind the mental health charity and only available to those in the support group because of some rules that they have. I was beside myself and suicidal (I know I get suicidal anyway but the stress of these things is unbearable when we are already suffering so much anyway and we have to go through telling people how bad we are rather than how much we are trying. We are not deceiving anyone but in order to get the money you don't feel you can say you have even one moment of being able to do anything at all for yourself.Having been through all of that and going to appeal (which I eventually "won" in that I got put in that group) another 12 months later I had to go through the whole process again as they can review when they want. Again I was suicidal and my mental health got a lot worse. Some may say this is an overreaction but when you know how bad you are the last thing you need to do is to prove it and to have to emphasise it for their benefit as we all do the best we can day by day. I was doing a bit of voluntary work but stopped doing it because I felt it would look like I wasn't being "genuine" if it was proved I could do anything at all. It was only a couple of hours a week, but in the end I couldn't have gone anyway because the stress had mad me so ill.

    This last time I never heard back from them I am still getting the benefit and living in the housing but it is all always hanging on a "knife edge". There is no point in which you can say "I have now got this benefit and I can rely on getting it". So I do know how you feel I think. It will never be how it was. I am not a scrounger. I contribute in the way that I can but this is made difficult by the way the rules are currently set up and the complete lack of understanding of fibromyalgia, depression, and other disabilities and how they affect you.

    You have to understand this is the system and not you. It is not personal. People have committed suicide because of this ridiculous benefits regime but like I say ATOS have now pulled out. Lets hope they realise that many of us have already been through enough without having this hanging over us constantly. I have physical pain as well (probably spondylitis and fibromyalgia). Just living is a big problem let alone these additional worries.

    Take care, hope it gets sorted. X

  • Sorry now but being in Ireland I can be no help on your benefits issue. It's

    A different system here. But only you can decide to not self harm, if you continue to self harm then you will go right back, and that would be a pity.

    Try not to see it as more abuse and start looking after yourself, no

    Dr. Can make you eat, you must do that, so really apart from your

    Benefit, the choice to get well and take good care is in your hands,

    This may seem hard , I think you should tell Dr. Everything or he might

    Think your ok.

    Hope you begin to care for yourself.


  • I think one of the reasons you feel so abused by the system is that you are expecting them to have a level of understanding and care that they simply do not have the resources to provide. I know that sounds harsh - but many workers especially within the financial side of public services are simply looking at facts and not about how you feel. My guess is that the 'slug' meant could you ask your parents for financial support - and given the abuse you suffered at their hands I can understand why you would not do that - but the person was trying to be helpful and not intentionally abusing you, he was just not holding your past in mind as you will do.

  • Is it possible to see a different doctor? If there are more at your surgery you can see anyone you like. You haven't got to stick with just one.

  • My two children are 26 and 15, and I'm 50 this year. I've got the age gap as I had 2 bladder tumours removed so my youngest is my miracle. After that everything went wrong (I mean after the tumours not my precious children).

    Got rid of my abusive husband as my youngest saw him trying to hit me with a hammer, she was only about 2 and she screamed and screamed. That burst the bubble I was in and I started to wake up. Then I got diagnosed with double scoliosis (you can see my bottom curve), osteoarthritis, hearing problems. Then last year I got diagnosed with Emphysema and Bronchiectasis.

    My depression was diagnosed as clinal depression and I was put on antidepressants with sedative to help me sleep but they don't really work now as I keep crying. When the job centre sanctioned my JSA I had a meltdown. No one helped me and I had to wait for my daughter to collect me, I went to see the doctor and he reckoned I've had a mini breakdown with everything that's going on but all he did was tell me to look after myself and try to relax.

    A couple of years ago my daughter took an overdose and no one helped her as she was still awake and being sick.

  • I'm sorry if you have said elsewhere in the posts, but have you contacted the local mental health services for support? There is little available what with the cuts to services but they should at least be able to formally assess your needs. x

  • Sorry to hear about all this - it is really difficult.

    The benefits system is a mess - probably always has been and always will be, especially when the press seem determined to paint benefit recipients (whatever benefit) as scroungers. Unfortunately the job of people who are deciding on benefits is more focused on ensuring people don't get benefits than ensuring that people get the help that they need. Please try not to take it personally, because it isn't personal - far from it - and focus on the fact that you did find the CAB and they are helping you.

    I know this is really hard but one of the things I learnt from my divorce is that actually dehumanising people, tempting though it is, probably does more harm to you as a person than any benefit. The person that rang you was a human being who is probably just as much of a victim of a system that seeks to depersonalise us all and turn us into percentages or points as you are. It isn't him/her, it is the system that is wrong/horrible, but it does get things right occasionally. Hope that the appeal goes well though I understand it is really distressing and depressing that it is dragging on so long.

    Posting here to externalise your frustration is a good coping strategy

  • Definitely get monetary advice/representation from an outside body. Personally, I have pictures and positive affirmations dotted all around my flat to help me get by. Try not to associate the ESA medical with all the good work you have achieved in counselling. You will see better days.

  • Just have to remember so far as benefit goes always explain everything as if it is a bad day - how you are at your worst it is the only way ...........also keep a mental "distance" from the person even if they seem nice they are not your freind focus on the negative ie you cannot follow tv programmes you have no interests.....then remember the positive side it is for you & others who you may trust to help you

  • Living in the past, this is so awfully true. What a terrible position we are in though and with our problems as well. (As if we don't suffer enough internally with what we are already going through ) People who don't know say "just trust in them and tell the truth" The (benefits) world no longer works like that; what a sad indictment on our society; we always have to be seeing our friend as our enemy. But you are right, and it tears us apart . X

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