Suffering from depression and degenerative di... - Pain Concern

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Suffering from depression and degenerative disc disease! Feel like my Doctors don’t believe me

Jimluton39 profile image

I have suffered from depression and degenerative disc disease for a while now! I take pretty strong painkillers! Zomorph! I am currently claiming esa benefits! My doctor said she couldn’t sign a unfit note because she believes I’m fit for work! But that’s the first time in my life I have ever seen her! She said she wasn’t allowed to give me one! How can this be? I have no other money coming in! Now I have nothing! It’s like they think I don’t want to work! I would love to! I can’t live on £60 a week! Nobody can! And now they have taken that from me! I sometimes feel like they are trying to see how far they can push me! Not sure how much fight I have left!

13 Replies

You say you are receiving ESA 'benefits'? Can you explain which benefits you are getting



I get ESA work related! But am still waiting on my tribunal! My last note run out on the 12 and my doctor won’t give me another from that date saying I’m fit for some work! But I have never seen the doctor before! Just flat out said no!

Bananas5 profile image
Bananas5 in reply to Jimluton39

So you haven't actually been awarded it yet?

Did you go to see a different Doctor?

Can you go back to the one who signed you off sick originally?

You will be best getting advice from Welfare Officer if you have one or CAB.

They will be able to advise on other financial help you can get


Hi Jim, frustrating. Been there with a doctor i had only met just the once who refused to give me more meds. When I returned to see my own, he sorted it. It's unnerving esp when you suffer from depression and that obv wasn't taken into account!! They do i understand have a certain amount of time to discuss said problems but I cannot for the life of me understand why they didn't sign for you. I want you to do this please. Put this in writing and hand deliver it to the practice manager. All surgeries have one. Make sure you take a copy. Explain exactly what you have done here and make sure you explain the hardship you will suffer because of this. You honestly should have made another app to see someone else if unhappy. I'm not saying they would have done it differently but they are only human and who knows what that gp was feeling that day! Perhaps another would have been more sympathetic. Also contact the benefits department and explain the situ you find yourself in. Depression isn't to be messed with and explain that it's exasperating you're symptoms(if indeed this is). Of course it's a financial worry but I'm more concerned about you're welfare at this point. Please let us know how you get on. J

It is a bit premature involving the practice manager. Don't forget that whilst they can't remove you for complaining they can state the doctor - relationship patient has broken down.

I would make an appointment to see your own GP. Did you tell the Doctor you saw why you can't work... I know it is on the screen, but i'd have highlighted the fact you are on morphine and the potential harm you can come too.

You have a point there actually yes. I stand corrected!.

You might want to take a look at Benefits and Work to see if there's advice for someone in your position:

Maybe Turn2Us:

Sorry to read that you are having a tough time. If you are not happy with that response from that doctor you can ask to see another doctor. I am sure another doctor will give you a different response. If you still remain unhappy then you can complain to the management of your surgery to discuss the problem.

Are you taking anti depressants for your depression? Sometimes they stop you from showing your emotions and this makes it hard for Doctors to see how you are feeling. Meaning, you may need to resolve this by telling them instead.

I understood from ESA that you only needed to supply sick notes while you are applying for ESA? Have you completed your assessment and had your award confirmed? You may be at the stage where you do not need to be providing sick notes all the time. You can speak to someone at ESA and confirm that. Either way it will help you decide what you need to do next.

As for working, that is something you need to decide for yourself first. You are the one who knows how your pain is on a daily basis. Some days I can’t get out of bed from being in too much pain but my employer lets me work from home on those days making things easier on me.

It is possible to work beyond your pain. I’m living proof. I suffer with CRPS and on Tramadol and Morphine. I work part time and also studying. I just completed my undergraduate degree and half way through my masters. I have been in pain for over 15 years, which is why I said you need to decide first. I was on ESA but decided to come off. There are other benefits to help support you into work. It was my choice and a difficult one. Breaking my safe, at home routine was the hardest step and at first my body kicked back hard and I was tired all the time.

It gets better. Not pain free but you change how it makes you feel. Talk to your surgery and tell them you are not happy. If you are not ready, then tell them that. Put your foot down and complain like crazy. They will help you. I always think they don’t believe me half the time but trust me. It’s not true. They somehow think what they are doing is the right thing for you.

Look after yourself.

gindy profile image
gindy in reply to darrenseuk

Wow, Darren I'd just like to 'tip my hat' to you as that's got to be the absolute hardest decision to ever make.

I have Systemic Sclerosis with secondary Raynauds. It causes the most debilitating pain, and immobilizes me regularly. As there's no predicting how each day might pan out, and add in digital ulcers (raw open wounds on your hands and fingers (finger tips in particular)) to the mix. There's just no way I could commit to work, not even from home.

When it's really bad I can't even lift a glass of water without it being an excruciating exercise.

That doesn't stop me from craving some sort of work type stimulation though, and I've considered attempting to do something, anything, to stem the absolute boredom being disabled and housebound can cause.

To the OP. You say your doctor won't issue the sick note you need. Can I offer some advice I've had to follow myself. Swap your doctor or even your surgery. Being depressed, (from your post you're obvs struggling massively and this has compounded the probs) is reason enough to investigate your pain issues and to write the sick note.

You need a new doctor as this is a situation that CANNOT stand. Citizens advice can really help in these instances, it might be worth reaching out to them as well.

All the best x

Matt8394Alien profile image
Matt8394Alien in reply to gindy

I would agree completely that CAB are a great place to go to for help. An ESA tribunal will want to see doctors reports supporting evidence that health issues are bad enough to warrant not being physically able to work.

I love to read stories like yours. There is life from pain. Yes it’s hard but can be done. I had spinal injuries from military where I was near paralysed and been on Fentanyl etc for number of years and also completed university and now work in the DWP. All this from being told I would not walk correctly again. Sitting around the house made my pain levels worse. Sometimes the days at work are really bad and others are better but we must fight through it. Lived with this pain for 7 years now and I’ve been close to suicide at times from it. Lower spinal injuries I have and nerve damage.

Really wish you best wishes with your masters.

To all of you who manage to work, can I second ‘Gindy’ what Inspirations you are.

Gindy I have managed to take up some little things, not hobbies as such, but when I am really down from being imprisoned within this body and my home I re-style old furniture with Chalk Painting just little bits when I am able. I also crochet (something I never thought I’d do) and make little toys for my grandchildren, who are the only thing that can help me forget my pain. They should put them on the NHS !!!

Get out do things if got depression it helps get out that house go out days out meals etc I go places helps me much better than taken. Medication get out self poor me me just do soMething

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