Monday, April 19, 2010

Personality Crisis

I had just been reading about Kate's celebration
When the postman delivered my new application
I should have been annoyed. I should have been paranoid.
The envelope's brown should have made me frown,
But Her Majesty's letter didn't get me down
I was expecting a ban from the DVLA
But it was a request for my own DLA
The DWP sent a whopping great form
Asking me to prove that my mind had strayed from the norm
My wife filled in the huge application for me
Hoping taxes we'd paid would be money we'd see

My Disability Living Allowance doesn't run out until September so I was a bit gobsmacked to find they were asking me to re-apply now in April (I say I was gobsmacked but there was a delay, I don't open my mail anymore, my wife does, I have no interest in mail or anything else from the outer world)... I just know they will ask me to fill it in again in August... "just in case your circumstances have changed". The bastards. It is a fucking huuuuugggge formidable form and is totally inapplicable for a condition like mine that varies. Do I need help getting out of bed? Well yes and no, sometimes not, sometimes I need encouragement. When I'm down I don't get out of bed at all and when I'm high I don't go into it at all. There is no answer. How the fuck do you fill in a form that is asking for details of a permanent disability when you have a permanently fluctuating condition. probably the most pertinent question for me is... WHEN should you fill the form in? At the moment I feel great, I am full of energy and raring to go. However, in October I was depressed, hallucinating and delusional. Today I couldn't give a toss... benefits schmenefits. We went out today and I blew more of our dwindling savings on a DVD/HDD recorder, you only live once... or is it twice? I can't remember.

Anyway, my wife filled out the ridiculously long form, God Bless her. She decided to fill it with examples of my extremes such as lying moribund in bed for days or racing the neighbours dog down the hill till I fell head-first and knocked myself unconscious. I guess these sort of examples are honest and bode well for claiming benefits but a more typical picture of my existence would probably fluctuate between long periods of lying on the couch watching Judge Judy, short periods of making records and brief periods of madness. Either way, I cannot conceive of ever going back to work again. If I lost my benefits I dread to think what would happen.

Another big shocker this week was the UK's (2nd) most celebrated (after Fry... even though he is cyclothymic so she is actually #1) bipolar sufferer, our friend Seaneen, being whacked with that muthafucka of a diagnosis... Borderline Personality Disorder. Now sadly, BPD is much maligned and I'm almost scared to talk about this unfortunate mental illness for fear of retribution (In fact I'm scared to talk about most things these days, freedom of speech is fine as long as you adhere to modest liberal views) but there is little doubt that mental health "professionals" aren't particularly compassionate to this diagnosis. Anyway, despite her current self doubts, Seaneen has in the past been prescribed Lithium and Depakote, surely it would have been grossly unethical for a doctor to prescribe these in the absence of bipolar disorder. So just as loads of your readers have commented Seaneen, give yourself a break and try and chill. Fuck the label. It's just one doctor, they all have different viewpoints depending on the latest seminar they were at. We're all thinking about you. I hope I have not upset you, I only wish you well.

The reason I mentioned  Seaneeen's unfortunate experience is that this is a recurring fear of mine. That one day the doctor will turn round to me and say "you're not bipolar" and expose me as a five year fraud. Will I have to reset the clock to 2004 and return to work, to a job I can no longer do, to a person I no longer am. How could I integrate? How could I function in that world? They hypnotised me and injected toxins in my brain when I was in hospital. ECT erased my memories. I am not the man I was. I still dream that I am back at work, it still feels real. It still scares the shit out of me. My dreams are usually more real tham waking life.


The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive said...

Cheers, Mo :D

personality disorders said...

Personality disorder is a type of psychological disorder. There are many negative effects of personality disorder. It affects badly to a person's life, family and social life. People with personality disorder have conflicts with many other people. There are many types of personality disorders like Paranoid personality disorder, Schizoid personality disorder, Dissocial personality disorder etc. People with this disorder have negative attitude, instability in relationships, loves breaking rules and regulations, mistrust for others etc.

Kate said...

Hi Mo,
Sorry you've had to deal with that vile form again. Probably too late now but my/our advice re. fluctuating conditions is to use the phrases - 'On bad days../on better days.... Never 'on good days' as yes, they will assume you don't have a problem during these times. Also give as many hideous, lurid examples as you can think of for a little more local colour - which it sounds like you did. I don't know what rate you're getting but there's as much chance of an increase as there is a decrease - condition depending.
I agree that being mad is a precarious state, one in which we almost fear getting better for thought of what 'they' might deny us.
You've been through shit so DLA is but meagre compensation. Don't let the bastards get to you (or your dosh).
best wishes,

Anonymous said...

they only do that to girls.

Mo said...

Hope you're doing OK Seaneen.

PD.. not sure if you're info or spam but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately didn't read your page as all the ads turned me off.

Yo Kate! I'm currently on the high rate of care and the low rate of mobility. We did as you suggest, Mrs Mo painted the bleakest picture in the hope that my benefits continue otherwise I'm off to dig ditches.

Hi Anon, yeah the diagnosis seems to be much more prevalent in women.