Null points…

…for BPD and depression?

I had to attend a Work Capability Assessment last year, in order to have my benefits renewed. And, as for the previous year, once again I’ve been assessed by a medical professional as fit for work and allocated 0 points on their functionality scale.

What a great big kick in the teeth for those of us with mental health difficulties!

I was told of the decision over the phone yesterday which, as you can imagine, triggered a huge BPD fit of tears and fears.

I know it’s possible to find work with BPD and, sometimes, even enjoy it…but I also know from previous experience that the wrong job will lead to a major depressive episode with suicidal thoughts. Been there, done that, picked out the spot to drive off the road.

It’s difficult for others to understand how I can be so sure about this. It’s not that I’m being picky for no reason; I would (after initial crippling anxiety) go to the right job in the right place with the right people. It’s not that I never want to work ever again and am being lazy; I get bored at home and feel low because sometimes I don’t feel useful.

I know the wrong job will make me ill because that’s how my brain works. If something is wrong, it upsets me. And BPD upset is nigh on impossible to control once it’s been triggered. The only way I’ve found to ‘control’ it is to leave the situation that caused it in the first place.

You can’t leave a check-out or a reception desk if a customer upsets you. You can’t hang up the phone on an irate customer in a call-centre. You can’t refuse to go back to that office because of how it makes you feel. You can’t refuse to drive to a different branch because of anxiety. You can’t turn down a contract because it’s temporary and temporary is too uncertain to deal with. You can’t explain that helping out in a different department makes you want to slit your wrists.

Well, you can, but I suspect you don’t get any job offers that way.

How do some of you cope with working with a mental health condition? How do you get to an interview in a strange place through your anxiety? How do you cope with the changes that happen day-to-day? How do you cope with uncertainty of what will happen each day? How do you leave work at work and not take the worries home with you? How do you find work that pays enough to support you and your family without killing you through stress?

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Monday and I should get the official paperwork through today/tomorrow explaining what happens next (mandatory reconsideration period before being allowed to appeal; new since the last time).

I can feel the uncertainty and fear gripping me just from writing this. I hate how it makes me sound. I hate how the whole thing makes me feel…but this is how my life is. And apparently that makes me fully functional.

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16 thoughts on “Null points…

  1. I really hope you get approved for benefits, but if you don’t… “How do some of you cope with working with a mental health condition?” You do the best you can, one day at a time, one hour at a time, even one moment at a time. “How do you get to an interview in a strange place through your anxiety?” Maybe try something less stressful. How would you feel about working from home (usually a phone interview)? Or even working for yourself, either freelancing or starting your own business? That may be more stressful for you, I don’t know. “How do you cope with the changes that happen day-to-day? How do you cope with uncertainty of what will happen each day?” Learn coping skills in therapy, a book, or online, and a good prescription for anxiety! “How do you leave work at work and not take the worries home with you?” This is really hard for some people. It helps to have the right job. “How do you find work that pays enough to support you and your family without killing you through stress?” One way to help ith this is to expand your options by cutting your budget. I hope something here is helpful for you and that none of it comes off trite <3

  2. So far I’ve not had an assessment for work capabilities because I attempted suicide in July of last year. They seem to be leaving me alone…I also have BPD and severe depression and I know I’m not fit to work because of some of the problems you listed. I can’t work where people are involved because no matter of the job I would just display fits of anger, upset and I will walk out and never come back. I’m certain to be sanctioned. I’m fighting along with my partner that it would cause them too much trouble and legal difficulties to even consider me fit to work. I can only see what happens. I am so sorry that you had to experience this; huge hugs for you.

    • Thank you Carrie-Jane. I’m sorry you’re experiencing the same mental health problems…which, for me, are less of a problem if I’m able to live my life in a manner I know works for me! Hugs and hopes for a better year this year x

  3. Wow so sorry to hear you have so much trouble getting them to understand.
    I have BPD as well, but the Danish system at least recognizes that I wont be able to function in a normal job right now, so I’ve been given benefits while doing a 2 year therapy thing and then they’ll review to see how much better (if any) I am doing. It’s a relieve to know I don’t have to worry about it for those 2 years.

    Most of your questions I really have no answers for, I struggle with them just the same :) but as for not taking the worries home with me, I either write and/or paint/draw on the way home or once I’m home. It allows me to get the stress and anxiety out or at least makes it more manageable.
    Though I’ll have to admit I still suffer from the occasional bouts of insomnia due to anxiety and worry for the next day, and have yet to find a good solution that works close to every time.

  4. Am in the US & on mental disability & want to work but have the same misgivings. My own therapist says I need a successful sustained hobby before trying to work. I hope you get your benefits!

  5. I have luckily found employment with my BPD. I am open and honest with my colleagues and management and I am incredibly lucky, I have also been told by my care-coordinator how well I do cope with work, I have faith you’ll achieve it. Hopefully your psych will have some good answers

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