Is this not bordering on breaching basic human rights ??

I am informed that when claiming for sick pay (ESA) you have more chance of being successful with the claim continuing if you are taking anti depressants. I am struggling at the moment and have been prescribed Citalopram, it is my wish not to take them, I have many different reasons for this. I totally understand that the tablets can make people feel better and I'm sure they have assisted many on the journey to recovery, but I prefer not to take...

I am currently receiving ESA but believe when they assess me after 13 weeks. They will ask what medication I am taking....

So if I prefer not to take them then I have the risk of losing ESA which I cannot afford to lose. This therefore takes away my choice, ? I could of course lie and say I'm taking them, my anxieties don't really allow me to lie.

I suffer with bad depression and anxiety and seriously try to get better, have had CBT and my therapist has now put me forward for counselling which commences in a weeks time.

This just feels like I am not being allowed an important choice to me...I would love to know what others think or any experiences with the system and the taking of anti depressants ..

I thank you in anticipation



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17 Replies

  • I think you are allowing yourself to worry too much. In my experience it is best to always give full details, be mindnumbingly boringly long winded if necessary!. Say that you are prescribed them and that you struggle to take them, tell them how you feel and why (its confidential and others share your view). This is factual. Make sure that when you fill in the forms you are honest about how hard you find things, such as eating properly, sleeping, cooking, and getting out and the help you need. It is always helpful to put that when you can't do something or you find it very hard that this isn't a choice, for example, of you need help going out that its not s choice, its a need. Do you get me?

    The reason why taking any medication or being prescribed meds is helpful for them to assess you is because the medication is for amedical condition. Make no mistake, depression is evidenced to be a medical condition. We all make our choices and that is to be respected, I have recommended Tim Cantopher's book 'depressive illness: the curse of the strong' to others as I have had and am currently been treated for depression, it is very informative and helpful - I've read a lot of books as well! Lol. I have done it both ways and I personally have realised I don't know why I felt that I wouldn't take it, I felt it was like admitting defeat, I wasn't really ill, and my god did I suffer, and my family suffered. So perhaps read thatbook, you can get it on amazon.

    Anyway, that's my story, but I wanted to tell you this as I have been there. But with your forms try not to worry and just be honest, and get somebody who knows you to check it for you. Post something here and get opinions if you aren't sure, people can advise you, and they are very helpful and supportive. If you get turned down get your appeal in, I don't know if they have tribunals / hearings like they do with DLA but these are very positive and allow people to have somebody with them to support them to say how it really is.

    I hope that helps? Xx

  • Thank you so much.

    I'm not feeling too good today and woke up worrying about several different things this being one of them, your comments have helped me.

    I am due to go to Wales on Saturday for a break and not sure I can go if I feel like this , a shame as I have so been looking forward to it....trying to rectify my worries so I feel more like I can go, you have certainly alleviated a big one of them...

    Sorry to hear you have suffered to, it's quite overwhelming this illness sometimes I feel I am in shock..

    I truly appreciate your response ..


  • No worries, it is very difficult and like wading through treacle sometimes or a roller coaster!! To to Wales! Being around positive people and having positive experiences is good for your mind / distracting. My gp told me to do things with my hands, apparently uses other side of the brain, so I did some weeding / bit of knitting - I'm not very good, so my little girls will end up with lots of dolly blankets! (Lol). My parents would not leave me alone last week one day as I felt so awful, and my dad took me out for lunch, and I did feel so much better just chit chatting to him, so go on! Dare to enjoy yourself! Have a laugh if you can, that's very good for you, and as you say you were looking forward to it.

    Depression is a curse for waking us up with worries, and the world does indeed seem like its imploding on us! I have also found going back to yoga helpful (I did it when I was pregnant). I didn't realise I was quite so tense, even my jaw.

    Anyway, sorry for my ramble and grammar (!), you take care and try to distract yourself xxxxxxxxx

  • That was spoked to say go to Wales! Lol xx

  • Thank you so have helped me today....I have slowly started packing...hmmmmmm maybe I'm going to do it

    Thank you xxx

  • Hooray! Well done you! There's no rush, go and enjoy yourself, your aim for the weekend is to 'loose' your troubles and smile and laugh! Good for the soul. and remember - you behave the way you want to become, and be around positive people. I love Wales, I lived there for 8 years, lovely beautiful country. Say hello from me!

    I'm glad I could help- you deserve to allow yourself to be happy! xxx

  • Thank you ..I'm now packed :) I have a 4 hr journey tomorrow but hopefully the weather will be nice and I can enjoy the journey..

    Sue xxxxxx

  • That's great! Have a lovely time!!!!! Let us know how you get on! Remember you are on a mission to have laughs! I'm so glad you are going, I'm smiling xxx

  • :) I will let ya know how it goes...glad your smiling..

    And thank you again xxxxxx

  • I got here wasn't without some anxieties

    My rewards are here it's a peaceful lovely place...I had forgotten just how beautiful parts of Wales are....found the beach...looking forward to exploring...thanks for your support :)


  • Hooray! I'm smiling again now, I'm so glad, I love Wales too xxxx

  • CBT and counselling are equally valid methods of handling depression, and they sould accept this. It isn't that you are refusing any treatment.

  • Thank you so much missrat

    It's very helpful to know this..


  • I understand many gov allowances are based on how many boxes you can tick. Keep the prescription up to date on your docs records. Illustrate how you use other systems like couselling ets. Unfortunately it is like diplomacy, choose your words carefully in any interview, and be prepared to appeal. Find out what info you can on the process. and no the folks rating your answers are not interested in human rights, they are accountants at heart.. A

  • Hi A

    Thanks for the heads up on all helps when your new to the process..

    Much appreciated

    Sue x

  • Hi

    I perhaps shouldn't ask this, but who is to know whether you are taking them?


  • I don't think it matters whether your taking AD'a or not. As far as the 13 weeks then assessment goes, that not likely to happen on time. I am still on the basic rate ( now on ESA for 16 monhts.. Was orginally on contribution based esa now on income based after a year, but had to show bank statement to say I had less than 6k in the bank.

    I have had my medical sept 2012, did not get enought points as you need 15, it went to appeal and will now end up in a tribunal,

    Its all very stressful, hope this wil help

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