Mentally ill? Don’t worry, work is what you need – apparently…

Iain Duncan Smith is a mendacious sack of shit – an observation I’ve made, all too often, over the past 2 years. If you want even more evidence that he’s responsible for a lot of the output of his DWP Lie Factory, a propaganda machine that must have the shade of Joseph Goebbels creaming his jackboots with envy, try this sanctimonious bollocks in today’s Express. The subject – mental illness and work.

Among much else to infuriate any normal person, he says this:-

“The Government’s Work Programme is designed to do just that, harnessing the knowledge of the best private and voluntary sector organisations and giving them freedom to tailor the support they offer to individuals’ needs.

We must also see work as a positive step on the journey to recovery, doing all we can to support those who can work into appropriate and productive employment.”

That is about as wrong as it could possibly be. I think the technical term is “pack of lies”. It might also be “bovine ordure”.

Work is NOT a positive step on the way to anything but disaster for many of those who are seriously mentally ill – or physically ill, as I know too well (every job I’ve had I lost through excessive sick leave).

Work, while desirable, is not always an achievable aim for those with mental illness, the stresses involved – often difficult enough for anyone who is mentally sound to deal with – would doubtless tip them into a crisis. Not everybody, you dumb bastard, rises to a challenge by digging deep into their reserves – many mentally ill people simply have no reserves.

Take my ex-wife – and just for the record, I didn’t leave her because of her mental illness, she left me when I became ill – the first thing I had to do, about six weeks after we were married, was take a massive stack of marking back to her school after Christmas – she taught English to A-level** –  explain that she wouldn’t be back as the prospect of all that marking, plus all the preparatory work that went with it, had tipped her, not for the first time in her life, into a breakdown.

**Something she was pushed into by her parents, more concerned with status than with her mental health, which had always been fragile.

I spent the next five years, at the behest of her psychiatrist, on suicide watch 24/7 (I quit work to look after her, as she had history – the alternative was a secure psychiatric unit). The stress of that, more times that I care to remember we talked round the clock, me talking her up, or down, whatever was needed, coupled with my own rapidly worsening health, tipped me into a breakdown, at which point she walked away. That didn’t help either.

That’s how well some mentally ill people get on with being forced into work..

It’s also how it can trash the lives of those of us left to pick up the pieces – you might want to consider that too, you dismal apology for a human being, because everything you fuck up, which is pretty much everything you touch – means some poor sod has to deal with the consequences.

You get to walk away.

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16 thoughts on “Mentally ill? Don’t worry, work is what you need – apparently…

  1. good stuff – too bad too bad one of his squaddies didn’t shoot IDS when he was in the army

  2. During Labour’s last reign, when they announced that everyone claiming IB were going to be medically assessed, my neighbour’s son who suffers terribly with mental health issues since childhood (he’s now in his forties) threatened to commit suicide. His many mental health professionals were constantly visiting my neighbour’s home to reassure him that everything would be OK!

    One wonders if he and other sufferers will survive this present uncaring Fascist regime?

    (And then the next, and the one after that…)

  3. Mendacious indeed. Why can’t the so-called quite man actually be quiet?

    This assumes that a disabled/unwell person is going to find a job, something that the WP has proved to be singularly inept at doing. That doesn’t even begin to address the scheme’s inability to deal with such people to begin with. So people will be placed in fraught situations because all the scheme can do is make them apply for jobs. Doctors arent part of the WP process and most of them have no real understanding, unfortunately, of what’s going on. The end result is just stress and insecurity for the claimant who will be seen as not puilling his weight and thus the threat of sanctions.
    Still anything to reduce the claimant count eh, Ian?

  4. Thanks for this post Ron, Ian Duncan smiths words will undoubtedly read to a load of ignorant bastards now telling me in the street “you should get a job it will make you better”. And I’ll have to explain to them I did work until I had a nervous breakdown 10 years ago, and have subsequently had another two. And now I feel better I have been trying to find work, but the futility of applying for jobs when I have to explain on the form I haven’t worked for 10 years due to mental illness has nearly drive me to another one.
    You see at the moment there are too many people applying for each job as unemployment is so high, employers can pick and choose who they want from hundreds of applicants.
    If you had a choice between giving a job to someone who’s only been out of work a couple of months, or a person who hasn’t worked for ten years as they have had nervous break downs and suffer from anxiety base depression who would you give it to Ian Duncan Smith?! I don’t even get a letter back half the time let alone an interview, it is absolutely futile! Yet I am eventually going to be forced onto JSA after I’m moved to ESA for one year with no assessment. All the time I will be applying for jobs, but I already know the chances of me getting one are practically zero, it would be a miracle if I actually did.

    • To be fair, after 10 years, no matter what the reason, almost anyone would have trouble finding a job – assuming there were any (one of the few benefits of reaching retirement age was it took me out of this whole mess). That’s something this deeply dishonest government doesn’t remotely comprehend (or, if they do, don’t care about), simply because none of them have ever had to compete for a job – those few that have actually worked at all have had jobs handed to them.

      The best I can suggest, if you don’t get the right result from ESA, is don’t just quietly accept it – take the appeal process as far as you can. And do gather as much documentary evidence as you can to support your claim from GP, psychiatrist, and anyone else you’ve been seeing.

      Something else, too – it’s on my blog but worth repeating – if the questions on the ESA form are too vague, or don’t really apply to you, don’t hesitate to strike them out, write See attached, and type what you want to say on a separate sheet. I’ve always done that since my IVB and DLA applications in the eighties. As long as you put your name, address and NI number at the top of each sheet, and index your answers to the questions, they’re happy with that. That really is the only way to properly state your case, as if you just fill in the form, it’s designed so that most will fail.

      It might be helpful if your GP would sign you off as permanently unfit for work. That was what my GP did when I was unemployable after having had so much sick leave [I lost every job I ever had through excessive sick leave, and in my last job I had six months off in 18 months], before I ever applied for benefits. Of course, it might not carry the weight it once did, but it’s worth a try and costs nothing.

      Ron.

  5. Pingback: This Week in Mentalists – Creeping Hashtags Edition « This Week in Mentalists

  6. I try to work but I’m on breakdown number 4 aged 34 and I just can’t take it. It’s the worry over the uncertainty of benefits that has kept me returning (I’m off suck at present however)

  7. It was work (or rather bullying and pressure at work) that tipped me into CFS and depression. I then lost my job and went through horrible legal process resulting in me running through rush hour traffic in my slippers – completely off my trolley. I have been a danger to myself and others, and struggle with the courage to even leave the house some days. So CFS, Conversion disorder, depression, social anxiety disorder and possible Cushings Syndrome and the government told me I am fit for work and can’t claim ESA. No one would employ me even if I could get out to interviews!

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