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Psychological disorders -excuse for unemployment benefits?

Strelok

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First I would like to consider how diverse the intensity of feeling and thought can be towards an individual. Event or challenge X can be of less or increased intensity requiring more willpower and work than the other individual based on relative circumstances.

Below is just a personal and specific example. I am not looking for sympathy or psychiatric help, although the paragraph may appear that way. This is simply a fairly detailed explanation to get the point across.

For example, for the past decade I have have been diagnosed with relatively every anxiety disorder with an explicit social phobia and OCD. My social and environmental phobias are extreme that some days I cannot leave my apartment or merely step outside if the weather is a certain way. I.E, the optimum place for bees. I get an intense sickness in my stomach, increased heart rate and a reaction to stimulai that simulates fear but without any explicit reason applied to it. The abstrat concept incites anxiety and other symptoms. I'm on medication and have gone through therapy which has helped, however I have tried to go through the workplace multiple times. Within the first day I already obsess and worry about having to do another days of labour the next day. The place itself then gives me an intense, intrinsic fear along with previously mentioned symptoms such as stomach sickness. Feelings like this are instantly relieved when said environment is left. It's sort of like waking up from your worst nightmare and being relieved that it wasn't real. I would love to have a steady career or maintain a job but it is a legitimate, daunting challenge that I have made multiple attempts at.

Considering, what I would feel, the intense trouble I have in day-to-day social activities, am I therefore justified to be on welfare and live off of your tax money? Are others with symptoms such as mine or those who literally cannot interact with reality properly (e.g, forms of autism) be a legitimate excuse?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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If your symptoms prevent you from holding or seeking gainful employment outside the home, you are justified in receiving disability benefits. It's just much harder to get approved when your problems aren't physically apparent.

I'm fighting with Social Security now for psychological reasons. I have a laundry list of diagnosed anxiety and mood disorders, but the main reason I can't return to work is Intermittent Explosive Disorder. I get vicious panic attacks when I'm dealing with any kind of stress, and even on my medication I tend to lash out in scary and destructive ways when people push me. I've been in and out of the hospital for the last year, and my doctor and therapist agree that I can't hold a job, but Social Security is trying to claim that I can return to work. My hearing isn't for another year.
 

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I think that psychological disability is (and should be) the hardest to prove because it is the easiest to fake and hardest to diagnose. It is also difficult to argue that very many psychological disorders make the sufferer 100% incapable of holding any kind of paid employment, doing any kind of gainful work. Korimyr, I feel very sympathetic to your stated disorders, but you do have skills that would permit you to engage in paid work. You write very well indeed and clearly know your way around a computer. Wouldn't some kind of web work be an option, an alternative to life-long welfare benefits? Or perhaps just a supplement to them?

The biggest loser in permanent disability status is the sufferer themselves, as the work ethic and the self-actualisation that work brings is a fundamental bulwark to our self image and to our ego and super-ego. If your sign-off (The basis of all morality is duty) means duty to society and family, as well as to yourself, you may find that the duty to contribute to the work of the community is the key to looking outwards, beyond the confines of your neuroses/anxieties and towards a resolution of those issues.

I hope I am not sounding simplistic or dismissive, but I do believe that we don't just contribute to society through work, but that work contributes more to our own mental health and sense of self-worth.
 

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Considering, what I would feel, the intense trouble I have in day-to-day social activities, am I therefore justified to be on welfare and live off of your tax money? Are others with symptoms such as mine or those who literally cannot interact with reality properly (e.g, forms of autism) be a legitimate excuse?

You are, with a few caveats.

One is that you be assigned a social worker to help socialize you and help you work through your disorders in order to become a more socialized and help you become a responsible and productive citizen.

So you able to live off of tax dollars, but only so much. You'd also be obligated to find some kind of revenue source that doesn't trigger your anxieties. There are many occupations in which you can work from home, especially with the advent of the internet. Also, your social worker should help you find some kind of occupation outside that home that you can use to generate money and take care of yourself.

I have no problem with helping out others, especially with my tax dollars, but I do have a problem with people not getting proper help.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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I have recommended and signed off on dozens of clients to receive disability benefits because of psychological disorders. The Social Security Administration does an excellent job of making sure the applicant both meets the criteria and is receiving psychological/medical assistance for their disorders. If they are not receiving assistance, benefits can be stopped. Make no mistake... psychological disorders are every bit as debilitating as physical disorders, and can certainly prevent one from working, or working as much as someone healthy.
 

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Make no mistake... psychological disorders are every bit as debilitating as physical disorders, and can certainly prevent one from working, or working as much as someone healthy.

No question. But would you agree with my suggestion that they are harder to prove because they are easier to fake and/or harder to diagnose? I know my GP sister, who majors in psychiatry for a large primary health practice, struggles a lot with assessment work that she carries out on behalf of Social Security.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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No question. But would you agree with my suggestion that they are harder to prove because they are easier to fake and/or harder to diagnose? I know my GP sister, who majors in psychiatry for a large primary health practice, struggles a lot with assessment work that she carries out on behalf of Social Security.

The only reason that they are harder to prove is that there are no physical tests that determine a diagnosis. Beyond that, in my experience, they are not more difficult to handle than other medical conditions. I have presented evidence for clients to be placed on disability, probably more than a dozen times. They have always been accepted the first time, no appeal necessary.
 

Strelok

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You are, with a few caveats.

One is that you be assigned a social worker to help socialize you and help you work through your disorders in order to become a more socialized and help you become a responsible and productive citizen.

So you able to live off of tax dollars, but only so much. You'd also be obligated to find some kind of revenue source that doesn't trigger your anxieties. There are many occupations in which you can work from home, especially with the advent of the internet. Also, your social worker should help you find some kind of occupation outside that home that you can use to generate money and take care of yourself.

I have no problem with helping out others, especially with my tax dollars, but I do have a problem with people not getting proper help.
Well I was diagnosed a decade ago multiple times when seeing multiple psychologists, along with my daily symptoms and the effectiveness of medication. I have been with multiple therapists (which would be accompanied by a social worker) - who have helped in some days. Additionally I have been. One for about two or three years and the most recent one lasted a year which had terrible results due to do some disagreeable policies. the problems to an all time high, which is sometimes expected in such a program as they try to have a more pushing attitude. However after a year the program was too ineffective for me and I signed out. Ever since then I've been on appropriate medication and cruising through my linear perception of time. I definitely have been considering alternative workplace options that are less or devoid of social interactions.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Korimyr, I feel very sympathetic to your stated disorders, but you do have skills that would permit you to engage in paid work. You write very well indeed and clearly know your way around a computer. Wouldn't some kind of web work be an option, an alternative to life-long welfare benefits? Or perhaps just a supplement to them?

I am not aware of any kind of Web work for which I am qualified, based on my education. And I am using my skills to attempt to supplement my (hoped for) benefits and eventually replace them.

The biggest loser in permanent disability status is the sufferer themselves, as the work ethic and the self-actualisation that work brings is a fundamental bulwark to our self image and to our ego and super-ego. If your sign-off (The basis of all morality is duty) means duty to society and family, as well as to yourself, you may find that the duty to contribute to the work of the community is the key to looking outwards, beyond the confines of your neuroses/anxieties and towards a resolution of those issues.

Yes, I agree with this absolutely. I hate having to live like a parasite, and I intend to do so for as little as possible. I was designed to work-- if not, apparently, to hold a job-- and I am uncomfortable when I am not working.
 

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Yes, I agree with this absolutely. I hate having to live like a parasite, and I intend to do so for as little as possible. I was designed to work-- if not, apparently, to hold a job-- and I am uncomfortable when I am not working.

Korimyr, you are not, and I'd be mortified if you thought I was suggesting that you were, living like a parasite! You are entitled, as everyone who lives in a civilised country, to be supported through a period of ill health, however that should manifest itself. That's a measure of a functional society.

Not knowing you, I struggle to know what to suggest, but don't the social services department have a rehabilitation/occupational therapy unit that could assist you in identifying your skills and qualifications and matching those, cognizant of your condition, with possible career opportunities?

I really do sympathise with your position and just wish you good luck and strength.
 

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Psyche disorders have become a very common reason in this country for collecting disability checks. I understand both sides of the issue having been in a really difficult psychological state several times in my life, but being in the gainfully employed column all my adult life. It's not as easy as it used to be to get disability status, but is still common. Issues like this can be extremely difficult to overcome, but I genuinely think that it's doable the majority of the time. It takes much personal insight, good therapy, much self-constraint, and a very understanding social circle, including oneself. For me, most of the battle was with myself. I had to learn how to stop fighting, start understanding, dealing with it in creative ways, and accept it graciously as a part of myself and my life. When I stopped fearing it, the fight was over.:)
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Korimyr, you are not, and I'd be mortified if you thought I was suggesting that you were, living like a parasite!

No worries. That's my own assessment of the situation, between applying for benefits and being supported by others while I wait for them.

Not knowing you, I struggle to know what to suggest, but don't the social services department have a rehabilitation/occupational therapy unit that could assist you in identifying your skills and qualifications and matching those, cognizant of your condition, with possible career opportunities?

I've had difficulties working with them in the past. They only seem interested in lining me up with more jobs of the kind that I have demonstrated that I cannot handle.

I really do sympathise with your position and just wish you good luck and strength.

Your kind words are appreciated.
 

Aunt Spiker

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First I would like to consider how diverse the intensity of feeling and thought can be towards an individual. Event or challenge X can be of less or increased intensity requiring more willpower and work than the other individual based on relative circumstances.

Below is just a personal and specific example. I am not looking for sympathy or psychiatric help, although the paragraph may appear that way. This is simply a fairly detailed explanation to get the point across.

For example, for the past decade I have have been diagnosed with relatively every anxiety disorder with an explicit social phobia and OCD. My social and environmental phobias are extreme that some days I cannot leave my apartment or merely step outside if the weather is a certain way. I.E, the optimum place for bees. I get an intense sickness in my stomach, increased heart rate and a reaction to stimulai that simulates fear but without any explicit reason applied to it. The abstrat concept incites anxiety and other symptoms. I'm on medication and have gone through therapy which has helped, however I have tried to go through the workplace multiple times. Within the first day I already obsess and worry about having to do another days of labour the next day. The place itself then gives me an intense, intrinsic fear along with previously mentioned symptoms such as stomach sickness. Feelings like this are instantly relieved when said environment is left. It's sort of like waking up from your worst nightmare and being relieved that it wasn't real. I would love to have a steady career or maintain a job but it is a legitimate, daunting challenge that I have made multiple attempts at.

Considering, what I would feel, the intense trouble I have in day-to-day social activities, am I therefore justified to be on welfare and live off of your tax money? Are others with symptoms such as mine or those who literally cannot interact with reality properly (e.g, forms of autism) be a legitimate excuse?

A 'normal' life is overrated. If one can't live a normal life then one just can't live a normal life. However, lots of people live 'abnormal' lives and exist just fine.
There are a lot of ways of supporting ones self from within ones home - without the need to try to 'be normal' :shrug:

As long as one is making an effort to live a productive life - supporting ones self however possible and not using their ailment or difference as an excuse to be lazy, a recluse and not take care of things that are within their means - then I see no problem with one getting assistance.
 

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If your symptoms prevent you from holding or seeking gainful employment outside the home, you are justified in receiving disability benefits. It's just much harder to get approved when your problems aren't physically apparent.

I'm fighting with Social Security now for psychological reasons. I have a laundry list of diagnosed anxiety and mood disorders, but the main reason I can't return to work is Intermittent Explosive Disorder. I get vicious panic attacks when I'm dealing with any kind of stress, and even on my medication I tend to lash out in scary and destructive ways when people push me. I've been in and out of the hospital for the last year, and my doctor and therapist agree that I can't hold a job, but Social Security is trying to claim that I can return to work. My hearing isn't for another year.

Have you considered contacting an attorney who specializes in assisting people obtain disability benefits? I've known a few people who could get nowhere, even with diagnoses of serious illnesses, until they hired an attorney. My first husband was diagnosed with cancer, and although that is supposed to be a reason for automatic approval for disability benefits, he couldn't get them until he hired a lawyer, who was able to expedite the process, and he was soon getting monthly payments. His attorney did charge 25% of the initial lump sum that my ex was paid by the government dating back to when he was first eligible for benefits, but he considered it well worth it to be able to have the money that he needed.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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I've already retained an attorney, under the same terms.
 

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Yes, I think psychiatric problems are suited to entitle people of support, just like physical problems or illnesses are. I know they can be grave and very well be incapacitating.

Fortunately, I am not personally affected by decapacitating psychiatric problems, but only narrowly so: I was suffering from anxiety disorder as a comorbid symptom for a general susceptibility for psychotic disorder. More than 5 years ago, I had a psychotic episode that fortunately lasted not longer than a month, and since then, I rely on medication. Fortunately, this medication solved more or less all of my problems and working is well possible again for me (currently, that means meeting the standards I need for studying at college). But I believe I might have become a lost case if I did not have access to these meds.

I'm not sure if that's the same in the US, or if this is just a problem here in Germany, or in my particular environment, but I think the biggest obstacle for me is the general ignorance of many people towards psychiatric problems. Many people, especially older people unfamiliar with such conditions, seem to believe the very existence of such problems is nothing but imagination, or just an invention by doctors with the intention to profit from it, or by "victims" who are just lazy, and/or lacking the right attitude towards life and work -- although it should be obvious that the brain, as complex as it is, is just as prone to physical illnesses and problems as the rest of the body is, if not even more. Yet this ignorance makes it difficult to freely reveal such problems. You most likely don't meet the understanding most victims of non-brain physical illnesses (like diabetes, broken bones, etc) naturally encounter, but skepticism whether you are just lacking the right attitude.

But I think these problems are real. And of course, people affected by it need proper therapy, and if necessary, material public support for either therapy and medication, or, if therapy is not sufficient, material public support for maintaining a living. Can this be easily abused, because psychiatric illnesses can easily be faked? I'm not sure it can that easily be faked, but even if that's the case, I'd say rather give one lazy faker some money, than denying one genuinely needy person support.

I generally have a positive attitude towards social welfare, as long as it's within reasonable limits and minimizes abuse -- capitalism alone cannot take care people are appropriately treated with dignity and sufficiently, when they have less to offer on the market than they need to maintain their living. Some just can't sell enough workpower or creativity to cover their costs for a dignified life, and in these cases, public welfare has to step in. So I think a limited redistribution is fine, IMHO. Will people abuse it? Obviously. And measures should be taken to minimize abuse. But no matter how good the system is, some individuals will always be able to cheat on it. But I think that's a risk worth being taken.
 
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Andalublue

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There's a great book that analyses the phenomenon of ever-increasing levels of anxiety and mental dis-orders in the wealthiest nations on Earth. The acclaimed psychologist, Oliver James has coined a term for the effect, Affluenza. He has written two books on the subject and they make extrordinary reading. The books are called, Affluenza and The Selfish Capitalist. I heartily recommend them.

Here's an explanation of the term.
Affluenza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BTW, I am not positing the idea that this has anything to do with Korimyr or Strelok's issues. How would I know? But it is a very interesting issue to look at.
 
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Aunt Spiker

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There's a great book that analyses the phenomenon of ever-increasing levels of anxiety and mental dis-orders in the wealthiest nations on Earth. The acclaimed psychologist, Oliver James has coined a term for the effect, Affluenza. He has written two books on the subject and they make extrordinary reading. The books are called, Affluenza and The Selfish Capitalist. I heartily recommend them.

Here's an explanation of the term.
Affluenza - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

BTW, I am not positing the idea that this has anything to do with Korimyr or Strelok's issues. How would I know? But it is a very interesting issue to look at.

Affluenza, as a condition, is poppycock - I consider it one of the greatest BS conditions ever to be coined.

Years ago my school sent home 'information about Affluenza' - they even held an informational meeting about it - at first I was like "WTF! A new disease, OMG!" - but then I read the information about it and realized it was just about people wanting to buy stuff.

Yeah - in this town where the average person earns 8,000 a year they had a school meeting about kids wanting stuff.
 

Andalublue

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Affluenza, as a condition, is poppycock - I consider it one of the greatest BS conditions ever to be coined.

Years ago my school sent home 'information about Affluenza' - they even held an informational meeting about it - at first I was like "WTF! A new disease, OMG!" - but then I read the information about it and realized it was just about people wanting to buy stuff.

Yeah - in this town where the average person earns 8,000 a year they had a school meeting about kids wanting stuff.

No one is claiming it as a condition. It's an effect. It's an analysis of how and why those in the richest nations on Earth should be so afflicted with a variety of psychiatric and psychological conditions that those who live in poorer, or less individuated, nations do not suffer. I'm not aware of anyone presenting or treating anyone for Affluenza. It's not a clinical term it's a mass psychological and sociological theory. And a very interesting one too. If you're not interested enough to get the books and read them, then just check out the wiki entry. If you're not interested enough to do that, then perhaps we two should not discuss it further, but I for one, am happy to do so.
 
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The acclaimed psychologist, Oliver James has coined a term for the effect, Affluenza. He has written two books on the subject and they make extrordinary reading. The books are called, Affluenza and The Selfish Capitalist. I heartily recommend them.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the case in some disorders. We have technologically outgrown our need for meaning in life, but the need is still there in full force. In times past, people were too busy trying to survive to be overly concerned about having whatever they wanted. If you look at cultures in less affluent countries, you will see a very different "spirit" to the country culturally. I watch and read alot about foreign cultures, and am consistently amazed at how much more satisfied people are who must actively participate in a conscious attempt to merely exist. They don't have the idle time on their hands to worry about frivolous matters. They are living in the here and now. We tend to live for the next new product from Apple or MS. That's a pretty empty existence imo.
 
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Andalublue

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I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the case in some disorders. We have technologically outgrown our need for meaning in life, but the need is still there in full force. In times past, people were too busy trying to survive to be overly concerned about having whatever they wanted. If you look at cultures in less affluent countries, you will see a very different "spirit" to the country culturally. I watch and read alot about foreign cultures, and am consistently amazed at how much more satisfied people are who must actively participate in a conscious attempt to merely exist. They don't have the idle time on their hands to worry about frivolous matters. They are living in the here and now. We tend to live for the next new product from Apple or MS. That's a pretty empty existence imo.

Sounds like you've probably read something on the subject already, or have come to similar conclusions.

I wrote a review of the second book on the subject by James, "The Selfish Capitalist" for my blog and a local newspaper here in Andalusia. You might like to read it...
andalublue
 

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If it's not a condition and instead is a psychological theory then schools should stop pushing it as if it is a condition which has a 'cure' and is 'contagious'
 

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Psychological disability is very real and can be completely dibilitating. I take the poster at face value and wish poster well.

I don't have an answer for the abuse, but it's out there and a very real (and growing) problem. How long can society support people who simply refuse to work? And when others see a perfectly able-bodied person faking disability, getting into the system, and not getting caught, it causes others to get on the same band wagon. Then again, perhaps if someone is low-lifed enough to fake disability that, in itself, is disability enough.
 
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Sounds like you've probably read something on the subject already, or have come to similar conclusions.

I've been an informal "student" and observer of studies on psychology, culture, and religion for 30 years. They are major interests to me, much more interesting than capitalism and money.:mrgreen:
Thanks for the link- I will certainly read it.
 
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Andalublue

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If it's not a condition and instead is a psychological theory then schools should stop pushing it as if it is a condition which has a 'cure' and is 'contagious'

This is true. It should not be treated as a condition, but to introduce ideas to kids that to be constantly driven by the need to have the latest Nikes, the latest iPhone etc is a way of life that holds intrinsic psychological dangers, is not a bad message to get across, perhaps in PSE lessons, if such a thing exists in the curriculum.
 
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