'Mental Health and Debt: True Bravery' blog discussion



  • LadyMorticiaLadyMorticia Forumite
    19.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    The local MIND had workers out with "sandwich boards" out and about town today. Janette said they came back soaked after half an hour.lol. Hey, I'm a service user. I'm allowed to laugh.lol.

    Tomorrow there is going to be an anxiety group and a speaker coming in to talk about mental health and debt. I expect it will be busier than usual. I'd better go early to get a good seat.lol.

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  • Just to let you know I am Doubledeclutch, but I posted as bunky, which is my sisters log in, by accident.

    I have just had a phone call from my ex to say my son has a broken knee cap and is due to go into hospital for key-hole surgery.
    My son and I have a great relationship luckily, whilst he travels to kent in the holidays to be with me, my daughter wont, for various unproven reasons.

    Unfortunately, at a time when my son would desperately want me to be at his side, and I obviously feel the same, its just not possible because of the money problems depression can cause.
  • scm77scm77 Forumite
    1 Post
    Hi there,

    What a great idea. I am another sufferer of depression and could have done with this kind of advice years ago. Last year I lost my little flat I had worked hard to get after only living in it for 12 months! I've had to completely uproute my life near London and move back to my parents (I am in my 30's!!! - imagine how that feels). I can't afford to pay them any rent, only a little towards food each month.
    I had student debt, credit card and overdraft still hanging round my neck. Fortunatly my parents were able to give me a bedroom and clear my debts for me. Only temporarily though, as they are retired so will need the money back in the long term. I don't know what I would have done if they were not in that position to help. I hated the fact that they had to step in to help but at the same time it lifted a huge cloud off of my shoulders.

    With regards to capturing your target audience, I think you'll be surprised at how many people with depression do still use the internet. With depression, you tend to struggle in social environments, email and the internet keeps you in contact with the outside world, it's a lifeline.

    From all of the other posts here and my own experiences, there is clearly enough subject matter to run a programme on TV which could help launch the topic on your site....maybe an extra 1/2 hour special tagged on to your Wednesday show?? (incidently, I think your show should be on for an hour anyway as the information is too rushed sometimes)

    I'm glad to hear it's you doing it Martin. You have a very likeable way about you ...which makes talking about boring money matters so much more interesting.

    Good luck, Keep up the good work, and any chance you could get it all done before December??? (a great time to get in debt, just before Christmas!)

  • fabwitch_2fabwitch_2 Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Claiming DLA on mental health grounds can be difficult as it all depends on how you word your form. If you want to apply again Ill be happy to help you
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  • moggylovermoggylover Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    bunky wrote: »
    Thankyou Sly for your kind remarks.

    I did actually apply for DLA, with the help of a Doctor, but was rejected.
    Presumably because depression is not classed as a permenant disability.

    Please apply for DLA again, but get someone from the CAB to help you. They ask the questions (I believe deliberately) so that you give them an answer that will mean that you can be refused (although the newer forms are not so bad as the old ones).

    For instance: Can you dress yourself - YES/NO

    Well actually yes and no! I physically can - whether I WOULD dress myself without the urging of my carer - that is another one altogether!

    Can you cook yourself a meal with all the ingredients etc., - YES/No

    Well actually the question should be would I bother to eat at all without being urged to!!

    You do not have to tell any lies to get the DLA - you just have to be so painfully honest about your lack of ongoing motivation and inner emotions that you feel quite stripped to the bone after filling the forms in as you have to admit things that you are often ashamed of - groundlessly ashamed I might add.

    Depression, and all the other horrible things that come with that totally down and out feeling - is due to something physically going wrong in our brain (and even the "EXPERTS" do not agree totally what that is - i.e. hormonal, seratonin depletion, etc.,) and so far none of the "miracle drugs" has really shown any long-term answers! Thus we firstly need to not be ashamed of the illness ourselves - and then not let anyone shame us with it!

    Keep your chin up - keep hold of your love for your children and your need to be there for them, and keep going - and concentrate on what you DO like about yourself, and what you CAN do - and try to just make that a little more each day or week.
    "there are some persons in this World who, unable to give better proof of being wise, take a strange delight in showing what they think they have sagaciously read in mankind by uncharitable suspicions of them"
    (Herman Melville)
  • moggylovermoggylover Forumite
    13.3K Posts
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's 'Mental Health and Debt: True Bravery' blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Click reply to discuss below.

    Thank you Martin - we really do need people who (forgive me) would normally be in the bracket of those that do not understand or tolerate the illness - to make it less shameful. So many middle/higher income young people (and even middle/higher income older people) treat us as a plague of benefit scroungers that it is often hard to have any pride left - even when you can remember that you used to be a high-income, highly organised, over-achiever yourself, lol.

    Sincere thanks.
    "there are some persons in this World who, unable to give better proof of being wise, take a strange delight in showing what they think they have sagaciously read in mankind by uncharitable suspicions of them"
    (Herman Melville)
  • I have been lucky that I have a good GP and Physiatrist and our CAB have been really helpful but the most important things to know are your not alone and dont be afraid to ask for help.

    My Life
    I started to receive help for my depression and anxiety in 2004 after suffering alone for many years we have a family history of depression on my dads side of the family and he himself suffered for years when we were young.
    My Dad died in 1990’s and at the time I was in the middle of a very difficult marriage break up where I suffered mental, physical abuse.
    This had all had a serious impact on my confidence well being and over a period of years i had just tried to get on with my life as best I could until the death of my great uncle had triggered a lot of un dealt with grief.
    I was at the time working and had 8 months off before I tried to return to work the first time round building my hours up gradually and then more days over a period of time Unfortunately my employers did not understand the severity of my illness and I was made redundant in 2006 (due to medical health not that they would admit that)
    This completely crushed any glimpse of confidence and self a steam I had left and I have been on incapacity benefit since then.
    I at first didn’t want to claim the benefit as I was too proud I guess for handouts. But after spending my redundancy money over the first year trying to keep up repayments and household costs I soon began to realise that we were not going to be able to cope.
    I had contacted the Citizens advice bureau about our debts mainly credit cards which before earning 30K a year we had no problem repaying, and they helped me write letters and make phone calls to the companies involved.
    We had great difficulties in getting the companies to listen to us and accepting the fact I was unable to work Insurance companies argued a to the nature of the depression and causes and I have found the whole thing completely demoralising.
    I feel for the last 18 months I have been constantly writing letters beating my head against a brick wall due to the lack of understanding of the illness not just by employers but also debt collection agency’s and how rude and aggressive they can be our debt has almost doubled in the time I have been ill.
    Being in debt is I’m sure not a nice way of life for most people but for me this has been a constant drain on my emotions and energy and I’m sure I would have progressed much further in my recovery had I not had so many negative situations to deal with whilst I know the debt is mine and I have to deal with it the help available and the treatment of the problem is quite shocking these companies just don’t give a damn how they treat people we are now at a stage where we have put it in writing we do not want to be contacted by phone as I cant cope with the constant bulling tactics.
    The only work I am able to return to due to the medication and ongoing anxiety is again quite frustrating I am able to earn £88 per week but this would mean I am not longer able to use my insurances due to being back in work.
    The only solution for us at the moment is to sell our home adding more stress to our lives.
    The government websites whilst covering a range of problems do not give advice for hard working people who become unwell and unable to work and because my partner still has a job we are not able to get much help at all.
    It is no wonder that ordinary people have such a hard time in coming to terms with mental health problems as you just feel despair and desperation as what ever you might try to do to help your selves just isn’t enough or it creates further problems.

    Mind is a breath of fresh air and i hope they sucseed in educating the mass majoritys.

  • ShainShain Forumite
    41 Posts
    bunky wrote: »
    I empathise with the previous writers. I too have suffered with depression of varying degrees throughout my life, ultimately meaning I havnt worked for the last five years. I am now 40 and have had to move back in with my parents as there is no way I can afford to live on my own or support myself on the incapacity benefit I receive. I have also been through several CBT courses and the drugs I take combined have me on an even keel. I now feel in a position where I would like to return to some form of work, although not the highly paid sales jobs I used to do as I cannot cope with the pressure. Thats where my problems start.
    I live in kent, whilst my son 10 and daughter 8 live in Yorkshire with my Ex-wife. I used to drive up to see them every fortnight and stay in a cheap hotel with them. But now with the massive rises in petrol costs, hotels, food and entertainment I have had to reduce our contact to once a month.
    Out of my benefit the CSA take £20 a month towards the cost of my children, although my ex wife doesnt recieve this as it goes back to the government to count, pound for pound, against the working family tax credit she gets.
    So, if I go back to work in a much lesser paid job than I used to have, which I will have to, by the time the CSA reasseses me, I pay the usual tax and NI and start paying for the 8 prescription charges Im on I will no longer have the money to visit my children at all.
    The one thing that has kept me from committing suicide through all this.

    At the end of the day Im better off staying at home watching Jerramy Kyle and sponging off my retired parents than I am trying to go back to work, much as Id like to, to pay off my maxed out credit cards and exceeded overdraught.

    At least that way I get to see my children. Not much of a role model though is it ?

    Bunky, I've had clinical depression and have some small understanding of what you may be going through. It sounds like you're doing everything you can right now, including the single most important thing, which is valuing your children above everything else. Just a suggestion: Letters and cards can be sent fairly cheaply, really mean something, and are often kept for years by the recipient - I still have letters my parents sent me 3 decades ago. When you watch Jeremy Kyle, and you see the selfish, useless excuses for fathers, trying to do anything to avoid their responsibilities, remember you're worth a thousand of them.
  • chimp_chokerchimp_choker Forumite
    307 Posts
    I'm not sure how knighthoods are given out but I think that Martin should be nominated for a knighthood for services to mankind or something like that.
  • headcaseheadcase Forumite
    86 Posts
    hi there, I'm in the same sitution as richard. I suffer from depression and heavly in debt. Five years ago, we brought a very large house and with it a very large mortgage. I'm self employed and the private sickness plans do not cover depression as had it in the past. Everything was fine then, no debts other than the mortgage; business was doing well etc... Then depression came back. I had a nervous breakdown two years ago, but I had to work - as if not no money to eat. Some weeks we had £40 per week to fed a family of 5. We took out loans etc to survive. we are now heavy in debt and in arrears and working is very hard thing to do. Our marriage is on the rocks - becuase of this. Somedays we get upto 30 calls a day from the Halifax over over loans etc.. I could sell the house and pay everything off; but that for me - would the final nail in the coffin. I suffered depression and been working for myself for 20 years ( I'm 41 ). Some people turn to drink or drugs - but I turn to food and now 19 stone. Over this period I have never never given in - but now I'm in debt to the tune of about £45000 and the mortgage of £242000 and not forgeting the savings used up. I feel gulity has hell and ashamed of what I have done to myself and my family. Houses around North Leeds are not selling and the house is in need of doing up. So I need lots of money to get up to date with everything and start to pay off stuff. I'm not good at putting stuff down on paper / I preferr talking to people. I went to a Mind session in Leeds a couple of years ago and I felt like so out of place. I was like Mr Movivator. I not as depressed as I was a couple of years ago - but how do you deal the aftermath of it. There is nothing there - no one to help you , no one with answers. Go to the doctor - all the do is give you tablets. You have counselling- all it is - for you to find the answers and work it out and carry it out. Its the carrying out that the problem. My O/H is so fed up with it and worn out. Depression is like this. 2 steps forward and then a issue and then back to square one. Oh, better go as its dinner time. I'll be back on later on. Thanks
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