When speaking about broken WCA, i was thinking of my own situation when a lot of the mental stuff is caused by the physical stuff.
The insomnia by the tablets. The naturally resultant anxiety of illness, etc etc. The displacement, the fears, a whole raft of mental health issues exist directly resultant of physical ill.
For the DWP / ATOS to separate these in the WCA and say either or with no link, as it APPEARS to do is a complete fallacy.
Its well documented and thought widely that mental health issues are dealt with appallingly in the WCA.
So I decided to think on how people cope with a diagnosis of chronic illness. What it does, what it means to their life, things that those without might understand the way it weaves a different pattern to your life, changes things, transmutes into places you have never been. And how difficult yet often invisible that side of things are.
I know. Because its changed me radically. Some of you reading this will identify and have a cloud of understanding from these basic words.
To highlight it from an individidual's own perspective , a lady called Penny has given permission to share HER story of this life changing impact.
Without more words, here it is:
Coming to terms with this disease has been and continues to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
My life has changed beyond recognition from the self assured, independent, professional woman I was up to a few years ago. I studied, qualified and worked as a Dr of Psychology for many years, firstly within organisations and then when I could no longer work out of the home I ran my own private practice from home. My work was a very big part of my life but since this condition has progressed these last few years my concentration has been affected and I am no longer able to be reliable for clients, I also find it impossible to sit for the hourly sessions that are required.
I have had to adapt each time another part of my independence has been eroded, I can no longer drive, I am no longer capable or safe to go out of the home alone. This has caused isolation and depression recently and I have had many discussions with my GP about my emotional well being.
As well as socially my life has changed beyond recognition personally, I am no longer able to cook or prepare food for myself or even a simple cup of tea when I want one, I can not bathe or keep myself clean and need physical help to do this and so my dignity has suffered.
I can not simply decide I wish to do something and be able to do it so have had to come to terms with my daily limitations.
Stress is one thing that aggravates the Psoriasis and the arthritis but life as me is very stressful much of the time as asking for and accepting the constant help of another person/people is very hard, also the constant forms and need to continually prove to yourselves and others that I have actually got what is a recognised medical condition brings the whole sorry process to the front of my mind again and again.
I get very upset very easily, partly due to frustration with myself I suspect and wanted to write this statement to show you that a physical condition also impacts on a persons mental health.
Now that shows a personal impact in such a lucid way, and I hope reading that, you can see if someone says they have a chronic illness, its so much more than the physical.
I stated earlier that the WCA seeks to separate, or mitigate these effects as irrelevant. The BMA state the WCA is broken. They voted for its cessation.
Theres something you can to to help this happen. Sign Wowpetition. Many thanks.
Facts on claimants with mental health conditions Cross posted from http://ilegal.org.uk
(1) Of 1,609,430 claimants coming off Employment & Support Allowance between March 2010 and February 2013, 566,250 (35%) had a mental health condition.
(2) Of 2,699,780 claimants taking up a claim for Employment & Support Allowance between March 2010 and February 2013 (including those converted from pre-existing incapacity benefits), 1,0930,330 (40.5 %) had a mental health condition.
(3) Out of a total of 1,591,040 claimants on Employment & Support Allowance in the February 2013 quarter:
724,150 (45.5%) had a mental health condition, of which (percentages relating to the 724,150 figure)
24,890 (3.4 %) were of 'unknown' claim status
214,090 (29.6 %) were in the Assessment Phase
252,250 (34.9 %) were in the Work Related Activity Group
232,910 (32.3 %) were in the Support Group
(4) Of the 724,150 ESA claimants with a mental health problem in February 2013, 401,390 were new claims and 322,760 were claims which had been 'converted' from pre-existing incapacity benefits claims.
(5) Of 918,560 claimants still on the older incapacity benefits (not all have been transferred or assessed for ESA conversion) in the February 2013 quarter:
389,580 (42.5%) had a mental health condition. Of the 389,580 claimants, 29,750 have been claiming between 2 and 5 years and 355,520 have been claiming over 5 years. Claimants who claim on mental health grounds constitute by far the largest percentage of the total claimants followed by 143,560 claiming with diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective Tissue and 75,120 claimants affected by diseases of the nervous system.
(6) Geographical breakdown of the 389,580 claimants with a mental health condition on pre-existing incapacity benefits by region (this does not include ESA claimants but the longer term breakdown is likely to be similar when the reassessment programme is completed in 2014):
Yorkshire & the Humber
East of England
(7) Taking just one quarterly set of figures covering the period between December 2012 and February 2013, out of a total number of 155,180 ESA claimants coming off the benefit, 57,670 (37%) had a mental health condition.
Of the 57,670 coming off ESA in the February 2013 quarter:
14,110 were of 'unknown' claim status
34,010 were in the Assessment Phase
6,340 in the Work Related Activity Group
3,190 in the Support Group
(8) Of the 724,150 ESA claimants with a mental health condition in the February 2013 quarter, the age breakdown is as follows:
18 - 24
25 - 34
35 - 44
45 - 49
50 - 54
55 - 59
205,380 is the total number of ESA claimants aged 50+ (but not exceeding 65) affected by a mental health condition.