Mental health issues
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John151278John151278 Member Posts: 5 Listener
I'm struggling really badly with my mental health and agoraphobia. I have two children living at home and I struggle in the mornings with getting them ready for school and out the door. I don't leave the house and if I am ever forced to, I suffer badly with panic attacks. My depression and anxiety is really bad. My husband has spoke about leaving work to take care of me but we are bit sure where we would stand with that or if we would be entitled to any cares allowance of benefits. Can anyone advice me please? 

Replies

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @John151278 Pleased to meet you welcome.

    Thank you for joining and sharing.

    I am one of the team of community champions who guide, advise and help new members who join the forum.

    Sorry to hear what you are going through. I have myself mental health problems. I know how difficult it can be.

    I would advise first speak to your Doctor looking for additional support.

    I would also consider looking at your mental health wellbeing.

    I use mental health charities.

    Used this one last time.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    Getting a floating support or outreach worker would help with also your mental health. Plus additional support includes benefit and welfare support.

    I have also the following link may be useful to you.

    https://www.gov.uk./browse/benefits

    Please may I add have a look at our website. For further benefit advice and information.

    You could also speak to CAB.  They have benefit knowledge and expertise.

    Hope that helps.

    Please ask if we can advise and help with anything else. There will be members of our team or a member of our community be able to answer.

    Pleasure to meet you.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • EmmaBEmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Hi @John151278

    It sounds like you are struggling... But I'm wondering rather than your husband leaving work, giving up his income for benefits [Carer's is only £64.60/week and he'd only get it if he was providing you with 35 hours of care/week and you were getting certain benefits already eg PIP, DLA...] I would have thought it would make far more sense to get some treatment for yourself?

    Your first port of call is your GP, if all they want to do is give you medication then switch GPs til you find one who is willing to give you more effective help.  They can refer you for counselling, CBT [great for panic/agoraphobia], and/or trauma therapy eg EMDR [if relevant].  

    The wait for treatment may be a while so if you have the money it could be well worth thinking about funding some private therapy - finding someone who uses CBT to directly tackle your panic/agoraphobia head on and hands on.

    The trouble with anxiety and panic is that you HAVE TO face up to it and ride it out, the more you avoid it the worse it will get.  That's why I don't think your husband ditching work is the answer because my guess is that you might start avoid going out even more if he does that because he will be on hand to do the going out tasks...

    I would strongly recommend you try to work with your GP to get your life back on track?  Depending on where you are there are also some great services out there now eg we have this service where I live:  https://www.wellbeingexeter.co.uk/  you or your GP might be able to find an equivalent where you live?

    This book is from a good series of self help books:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Overcoming-Panic-Agoraphobia-Books/dp/1849010021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1553356687&sr=8-1&keywords=overcoming+agoraphobia

    I hope that is helpful and I hope you can take some active steps to tackle this problem rather than avoid it.

    Best wishes.

    Emma


  • John151278John151278 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thanks for your replies. I am currently seeing an Occupational therapist for the Agoraphobia but not getting very far just yet. I have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder which I don't really have a good understanding of. I seem to go through bouts of feeling good for 3 or 4 weeks then plummet quickly and have several weeks of feeling Rock bottom. Like just now, I've had to ask my husband to lock my tablets away. I hate being like this. I don't want to be like this all the time but I can't seem to pull myself out the cycle. My husband keeps saying it's only me that can do it. I WANT TOO!!  I just don't seem to be able to. 
  • EmmaBEmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Dear @John151278
    People with the sort of issues you are describing [and the sort of random diagnoses like BPD... - I see lots of psychiatric diagnoses as value judgements...] often have a history of trauma, if that applies to you then you are going to need more specialist help eg Somatic Therapy or EMDR as well as the OT support.  Your GP can access this help for you but you [hopefully with the support of your husband] will have to push for it...
    Is the OT working on taking small steps to get you out eg standing in the hallway, standing at front door, taking a few steps outside etc ie graded exposure to the idea of getting out - this is what is needed...
    I just wonder though that if there is a trauma background that that also needs to be worked with [NB it's not necessary to recount what happened to you to get over trauma].  Trauma can also take all sorts of forms and is not just about sexual/abuse.
    I hope that helps.
    Emma
  • John151278John151278 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    The OT has said what he intends to do with me to help but has been fortnightly, three times as he has been made to take Annual leave that has built up. Hopefully once he is back after this holiday then we will be able to have more consistent sessions. And, yes. My BPD was diagnosed off the back of past trauma. I did see a psychologist for a while but didn't find that very helpful and often left the sessions with more questions and more upset than when I went in. My feelings are very mixed up at the moment. I want to sort myself out for my kids and my husband and to enjoy life again but for the last while, my only thoughts of relief for the people I love is to just disappear permanently. I like to think that I wouldn't do that to the because I love them too much to leave them hurting like that, but there's a small part of me that thinks "what if...." 
  • John151278John151278 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    God, I sound so sorry for myself. I apologise. 
  • EmmaBEmmaB Member Posts: 263 Pioneering
    Dear @John151278
    Please don't apologise... to be honest it is the system that should be apologising to you for not providing you with the help and support you need to recover from what has happened to you.  Peter Levine, a expert in trauma, says that trauma is a fact of life but it doesn't need to be a life sentence.
    But in order for it not to be a life sentence people need very specialist help to help them deal with their trauma rather than unhelpful labels such as BPD - it's interesting that you already use the term 'my BPD' like it's an innate part of you - remember such labels are value judgements - I would take a bet on it that your reaction to what has happened to you is in fact 'a sane reaction to an insane situation' and the label you have been given is a lazy approach to supposedly 'helping' you.
    Working with your OT is a good move, but I feel you will need more than that to unleash yourself from your past.  Your GP should be helping you but a lot of GPs don't understand trauma... Please go and ask them what help is on offer for someone with trauma in your area?  Ask them to refer you.
    I just find it so frustrating that people aren't getting the help so that they can function and LIVE, rather than just exist.  What's great is that you've got a husband who is trying to help by the sound of it so hopefully between you you can start to access the help you rightly deserve.
    Best wishes.
    Emma

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger

    Hello @John151278 Pleased to hear from you.  I hope you do not mind commenting.

    Thank you for sharing with the community. What you are going through.

    You have been given some excellent support and advice from @EmmaB.

    I wanted to just add some times making the first steps is hard to deal with anything effecting your mental health.

    I suggested the charity I went to because having had many issues with my mental health.

    Including may I share abuse from a family member.  Plus had an addiction history all related with anxiety, depression.

    The problem is how to cope and deal with any trauma or anything that effects the mental well being of your self.

    There are ways and means. Talking helps. Also by accessing some help from organisation I added. Could be very much useful to you.

    Having doors closing and you know in your heart you need help, guidance and also some how to cope. Is never easy to experience.

    This charity was different though, first they have a recovery programme with coping methods and strategies to deal with any mental health issues.

    Usually in form of floating support, outreach worker. They will work with you. Also look at anything else related.  Your disability, welfare, benefits. Plus they offer wellbeing programmes.  Looking at diet, lifestyle, sleep, meds and anything else.

    Using the above I was be able to talk about my problems as now. Add to that helped, advised me on many other issues.

    All I can say is healing is always ongoing. This time though I can talk about it and deal with anything, if I can.  Some days good but I can adjust. If I had a bad day no one is perfect.

    I hope you whatever you decide. We are here to help, support, advise and be a friend.

    Always supportive. Remember small steps. I add if I throw stones in my path on my journey. Do I go around or over. Or just stand still and not move.

    I want to go around and over.. Not stand still as I used to be.

    This is you I know but I use that line constantly.

    No one can hurt me now.

    Pleasure to meet you.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • John151278John151278 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you all for you kind words 
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