Any #Spoonie will tell you ESA & PIP assessments are extremely stressful. Whilst I understand these assessments are in place to stop people abusing the system, it’s tough for someone who genuinely struggles day to day and needs that support to apply in the first place without going through an assessment too.
For example my ESA assessment, it was booked well in advance which left me worrying constantly about how it would go, what I would have to do and the outcome. I am grateful for the outcome as it has meant I have started to focus on my physical and mental health more.
Now I’m sitting here stressing about my PIP assessment which is tomorrow. I was told to apply once my ESA was in place but I was so worried about having to go through another assessment I held off for a while. With things getting worse over the last few months, especially my anxiety and struggling to go out, interact with other’s etc… I decided it was time to apply.
If I pass the assessment it will make things a little easier for us, where we have no car I have to walk or rely on public transport which is honestly both painful and stressful for me. I can do the bus to my brother’s as I know the route, times, costs etc but anywhere else and I panic and stress.
I know the PIP assessments are a lot stricter and it’s making me worry so much, it’s bad enough I will have to sit and tell yet another stranger my weakest points. Knowing I’ll then be judged by that is terrifying. It makes me wonder how many people just like me are sat panicking? How many people who need that extra help are refused? It also makes me worry what kind of impact that will have on someone’s mental health, my own included.
Assessments are draining, my ESA one left me a mess for days & I’m worried I’ll feel the same again after tomorrow. The last week or so has been a struggle anyway which is why I referred myself for CBT. Being discharged from the Pain clinic to Psychology and pain management sessions and going onto Tramadol this week has added to me feeling crappy too. Being told there’s not much more that can be done other than upping medications even more and going through therapy & pain management sessions was terrifying. I am only 26 and it feels like I’ve just been given up on. They may as well have said ‘Nope sorry Ember your just going to have to tough this one out and hope for the best for the rest of your life’.
I know I will learn a lot from CBT and pain management that will help me cope better but it still won’t stop the pain, it won’t mean I’ll cope perfectly 24/7. So it really is just a case of hoping for the best, going through these assessments and hoping I’ll get a little extra help to make day to day living more bearable. If I can even afford Taxi’s to and from my appointments it will help with my anxiety massively knowing I can get straight there and back with little hassle, without trying to drag someone with me when I don’t really have someone who can. The Mr has to do school runs and my appointments are always at awkward times & don’t allow children in so the Mr can rarely come as he has Izzy to look after too. This leaves me feeling very alone, I struggle to remember what I need to do or say so I worry about that too.
Assessment’s really are quite stressful but as I realised with ESA it is worth it if you truly need the help. My ESA decision has meant I’ve focused more on my health this year, I’ve pushed myself to ask for extra help instead of worrying how I’ll fit it in around everything. It’s meant the Mr could stay at home & do the physical jobs I’ve struggled with as well as support me when I’m feeling low and anxious.
If you feel you need the help then don’t let your worries stop you, yes it is stressful but just do it. Take someone with you for support if you can and just be completely honest. You can find ESA Contact numbers here.