Treated like a second class citizen claiming benefits

I recently created an account to start my debt free journey but havent yet started a proper debt free diary. Myself and my partner have mental health issues but i work full time in a family members company. My partner has a severe depressive/ anxiety disorder to which he is highly medicated for and diagnosed with autism. He previously worked until he was 26 but then his mum died and she was the only person he could relate to and it went to hill from there with multiple hospitalizations. Tried working again 12 years later and he lasted 6 months before nearly being hospitalized again. 3 years later we now have our own house and a beautiful toddler.

My issue apart from my own mental health and debt worries is the way my mum and other people treat him like he is just a lay about not working. Another close relation of my has bad mental health, not worked in years and has children. But because she is a woman nothing is said. Are we the only ones who deal with things like this? Why is it so hard to ignore what they think

Even on the new lately with handouts for people on benefits you see it all the time people sitting about lazy get all the help. 
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Comments

  • Muttleythefrog
    Muttleythefrog Posts: 19,740 Forumite
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    edited 16 January 2023 at 3:14PM
    Yes people have plenty opinions.... the endless news stories carrying what is often not news at all is designed to provoke reactions and pit people against each other simply to generate interaction and interest. There seems an endless stream of angry people. No you're probably not alone... many family members or friends might keep their opinions to themselves.... and in my experience the greatest ignorance often comes from close quarters.
    "Do not attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence" - rogerblack
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,429 Forumite
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    If you converse with ignorant people you are likely to get ignorant responses.

    If you want to ask about your debt problems over on debt-free wannabe I think you'll find non-judgemental support there from people who have been through it themselves.

    Similarly if you have problems with benefits, ask on the benefits board
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, I know what you mean but I think people everywhere are judgemental anyway. They make their own decisions based on what they see or hear and then they assume. Very often incorrectly.

    My daughter has suffered from ME/CFS for over 20 years and although she's managed to find a way to work part time and incorporate that into her daily living, it has taken time and she may still be judged as 'lazy' because she needs a lot of rest. Her mental health has been affected by ME too and generally, people don't accept that ME is a recognised illness (not even some doctors). She managed to come off benefits when she started working (which she does from home) and was very glad to do so as the people she had to deal with in the benefits office were often very rude to her and told her she could do more 'if only she tried'. They were most unsympathetic and weren't even qualified medics. 

    So no, I don't think it's just men who are badly judged - from our experience. It can be anybody. And it's difficult to ignore the judgements, especially when they come from close relatives. 

    If you and your partner are happy and it sounds like you are now, then what other people think really doesn't matter. You can just say something like "I'm not going to discuss that today" if relatives try to wind you up - and move on with discussions about other things.

    As fatbelly says above, there's a lot of support from those of us who've been through hard times on this forum, if that's what you need. 

    All the best to you, try to ignore the naysayers, what do they know?
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • I think it is up to you to talk to your Mother and explain the situation to her and advise her that you will  no longer tolerate your partner being treated as 'lesser than'.  You do not have to accept this from a family member

    As for the wider public - yes they are extremely judgemental but I think that is human nature.  It is easier to think the worst and place ourselves in a 'superior' position - than to acknowledge someone else's struggles. 

    With love, POSR <3
  • I use to feel like you and more often than not judged more by those supposed to help and support me, mental health staff and therapists. It’s taken a long time to accept who I am and how my disabilities affect me and I don’t care what people think.

    I am judged mostly by older people where my dad lives because I don’t look mental or disabled but not all disabilities are visible and if they have a problem, it’s their issue!

    I would rather be fit and well and able to work than not but people don’t see that, they judge and see what they what because they are prejudiced and ignorant!

    Try not to let them get to you!
  • BungalowBel
    BungalowBel Posts: 221 Forumite
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    edited 17 February 2023 at 9:23AM
    Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma around mental health issues.  I think all you can do is try to explain to people just what the problems are and try (if you can!) to grow a thicker skin.

    I also agree with the post above.  Whatever they think in private, tell your family that  you will not put up with any negative  remarks about either yourself or your partner in regards to their mental health and/or working.
  • Murphybear
    Murphybear Posts: 7,260 Forumite
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    Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma around mental health issues.  I think all you can do is try to explain to people just what the problems are and try (if you can!) to grow a thicker skin.

    I also agree with the post above.  Whatever they think in private, tell your family that  you will not put up with any negative  remarks about either yourself or your partner in regards to their mental health and/or working.
    Unfortunately you are correct in what you say.  I worked for a mental health charity and one Christmas  we were collecting at a big London Station.   They allowed 2  charities at a time and the other charity when we were there was the WWF and 2 of their collectors were dressed as giant pandas.  Many people asked what we were collecting for and when we told them you could almost see their thoughts.  Naturally young children were going to give money to the pandas.  

    I am pleased that some of younger members of the Royal Family are involved with mental health issues, they have always been seen as the poor relations.  
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,587 Forumite
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    edited 26 March 2023 at 8:08PM
    If I had to hazard a guess I would say that many will take the view that someone who roughly 40 (based on the information given in your post) should have sought out some help for their conditions and would have seen improvement. Perhaps that opinion is exacerbated by the fact that he previously worked but stopped upon the death of his mother. Lots people will have experienced the death of a parent and not given up work, many will have done so with existing mental health difficulties and so that will also shape their views, the same view will likely be "if he can work for six months he can keep working". Rightly or wrongly people's opinions of others are shaped by their own lives and experiences, that leads them to judge others based on that experience, if may not seem fair to those who experience negative judgement, it is however human nature.

    Finally there will be the judgement that if individuals are unable to support themselves, financially and/or emotionally then they should should not have children and pass that cost onto taxpayers and wider society. In general people are more forgiving when people have children first and then fall upon hard times than those who choose to have children whilst unable to support them, the former tends to follow a "there but for the grace of god* go I" viewpoint, where as the latter is seen as a deliberate decision to burden the taxpayer (*god in the metaphorical random chance way, not in an actually believing in god way).

    People judging others for their actions and choices is part of human nature, it will never go away because it is part of human interaction and is indeed essential for a functioning society. Some of those judgements may be objectively fair, others may not, others may appear fair or unfair whilst being objectively the opposite. The same human nature leads us to care what others think, sometimes even chasing approval from the wrong people, or feeling disapproval more harshly.

    I agree with other posters, mental health issues should not be stigmatised, the discussions being more open are a good thing, but we are still some way off from seeing parity with physical health. There is also the unfortunate side of people who pretend to have mental health issues as a "get out of jail free card", just as people used to use generic back pain in the past in the same way, before medical science caught them out. Unfortunately there will always be those who attempt to game the system and they harm those with genuine issues, but hopefully with time can get better at detecting them so the help can go to those who are in genuine need.
  • If I had to hazard a guess I would say that many will take the view that someone who roughly 40 (based on the information given in your post) should have sought out some help for their conditions and would have seen improvement. Perhaps that opinion is exacerbated by the fact that he previously worked but stopped upon the death of his mother. Lots people will have experienced the death of a parent and not given up work, many will have done so with existing mental health difficulties and so that will also shape their views, the same view will likely be "if he can work for six months he can keep working". Rightly or wrongly people's opinions of others are shaped by their own lives and experiences, that leads them to judge others based on that experience, if may not seem fair to those who experience negative judgement, it is however human nature.

    Finally there will be the judgement that if individuals are unable to support themselves, financially and/or emotionally then they should should not have children and pass that cost onto taxpayers and wider society. In general people are more forgiving when people have children first and then fall upon hard times than those who choose to have children whilst unable to support them, the former tends to follow a "there but for the grace of god* go I" viewpoint, where as the latter is seen as a deliberate decision to burden the taxpayer (*god in the metaphorical random chance way, not in an actually believing in god way).

    People judging others for their actions and choices is part of human nature, it will never go away because it is part of human interaction and is indeed essential for a functioning society. Some of those judgements may be objectively fair, others may not, others may appear fair or unfair whilst being objectively the opposite. The same human nature leads us to care what others think, sometimes even chasing approval from the wrong people, or feeling disapproval more harshly.
    This is a very judgemental reply. Yes as per your guess he is in his 40s and has autism and severe social anxiety doesnt leave the house very often. His mum was the only thing keeping him going at work and he was ill before his mum died. Hes been hospitalised 4 times for suicide ideation and after working the 6 months was put on suicide watch i couldnt even go to work. So to say he should have got help and seen an improvement is very judgemental. 

    And we can support our child thank you very much. We wouldnt have had a child if we couldnt. We dont claim any benefits for low income, we own our own house. Only benefits we get are for his disability which he is fully entitled to. Rant over
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