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Suicidailty and DSP application

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I am on the cusp of applying for the Disability Support Pension. The disability employment agency I’m with and my psychologist are supportive and encouraging for me to do this. At 48 I’ve had lifelong chronic pain and multiple challenges with traumatic and stressful experiences. In 2005-2008 my pain levels were extreme and I had to stop work but fought my way back into work doing a program with the then Commonwealth Rehab Service and retraining at TAFE to be an education assistant. I was on synthetic opioid meds to be able to do this. I’ve worked at many jobs over the years.

 

In the last few years my stress levels have been extreme as a primary carer to my parents before they died and numerous other stresses. I’m diagnosed with complex PTSD from childhood experiences and have an autoimmune liver disease. Although on the face of it I may look like a good candidate for DSP, I know it’s extremely hard to get now. The process itself triggers me and I find suicidality comes up every time I have to deal with it.

 

I’ve been advised by an advocacy group who provide advice on DSP to apply on either mental health grounds or physical health grounds but not both as if you fail the impairments test on one they will fail you on both. They’ve also advised the hour long job capacity assessment interview involves them trying to trip you up multiple times by asking you the same question in different ways. Basically it is an adversarial process designed to make you fail. Someone else with my employment agency who cannot stand up for more than 5 minutes at a time was refused it. A man I met at a DSP info session was also told he won’t be able to get it despite the gruelling impacts of two cancers and immunotherapy that has damaged his cognitive capacity and ability to function.

 

I’ve had fibromyalgia since 13, a condition many doctors have not considered real. I’ve actually had a doctor throw a packet of anti-inflammatories at me and told to “get over it” when I went to him for a second opinion about a med another doctor wanted to put me on. I’ve had severe migraines since 13 as well and the only way I got through decades of work was to medicate as I would be debilitated with the frequent migraines otherwise. The liver disease I now have may even be partly a consequence of the long term medication to be able to get through the work day.

 

So I just feel scared and seriously overwhelmed with the DSP application. I am so tired of fighting to survive. I just need to express how I feel.

4 Replies 4

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Feeling slightly better, even if quite down. The consultant yesterday at the employment agency was suggesting I discuss the DSP with the liver specialist today who I was already going to be asking about HRT being prescribed. I think that was a trigger yesterday as I knew it wouldn’t be fruitful trying to talk to him about it and it wasn’t. Appointments are always rushed through. He is a nice specialist but as long as my liver readings have stabilised he doesn’t seem to want to discuss anything else. I just feel deflected and it’s like he cannot deal with anything but the basics (organising standard prescription and blood test). I just sometimes feel so hopeless trying to get help. But my psychologist understands and is fully supportive, so I think I’ll be applying for DSP on mental health grounds given it has to be one or the other. It has just been a decades long struggle with chronic pain and health issues. I have felt mostly not seen and had to do my own research to understand the conditions I’ve had and find answers. Even with the HRT query I got nothing from the specialist today other than do whatever, we’ll just need to watch liver readings. So I have to make the best informed decision about the forms of HRT from the research I’ve done. I just feel I am in a void at times and there are no professional medical people to discuss issues with other than very superficially. It seems to retrigger the extreme aloneness I felt as a child - the world is an empty void. I have to keep finding experiences to the contrary to convince me otherwise. Patted the cat a long while after getting back. She is a better source of health care support than many health care providers! I know the latter are often doing their best in a system that has major limitations though. Just feeling sad 😞 

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

In strong physical and emotional pain this morning. Just so tired of struggling alone. I’m meant to catch up with friends today and will have to medicate and struggle through pain to be there. I just wish the struggle to exist would end. Every day is navigating pain. I only have myself to keep myself going. When I see friends I know they can’t really do much to support as they have their own struggles and lives. I just have to keep trying to be strong and exist in a void. I have always been in a void. I want to give up struggling, but society forces you to keep struggling. I wish there was respite where I knew I could just let go and not have to struggle to exist anymore.

indigo22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Eagle Ray,

I am so sorry I have not been here to support you this past 2 weeks, and I'm sorry that you have been feeling so downhearted.

You are so challenged with many different health conditions, it's not surprising that you feel hopeless at times especially when you are not receiving the kind of medical help and support you need right now. How are you expected to make an informed decision without information?

 

Where are you at with the DSP now?

Have you made a decision about HRT? Even though that is a difficult decision to make without having discussed it thoroughly with a medical practitioner. What is your gut telling you? My suggestion would be to go with what feels like the right thing to do for you, rather doing what you think is right for you. I know you have strong abilities so go with your intuition on this one.

 

I will be here when you want to talk.

Please take good care of yourself in the meantime,

indigo 💜

 

 

 

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Indigo,

 


Thank you 🙏😊 I’ve just seen your other post too and will reply to that too. I started HRT a couple of days ago and already the improvement is very noticeable. I’ve gone from 3-4 hours of troubled sleep a night to a good, solid 8 hours. I’m waking with just mild anxiety instead of intense distress. It’s like my body was just crying out for an oestrogen boost. From both how I felt intuitively and the research I’ve done, I decided to proceed with the HRT. I’ve been reading and listening to Professor Jayashri Kulkarni who has spent 30 years studying perimenopausal depression and women’s mental health. In her clinic in Melbourne she has found the women who have a trauma history are the ones who are particularly sensitive to the drop in oestrogen, but also seem to have a lifelong impact of low oestrogen caused by the physiological effects of trauma. This makes total sense to me and likely explain the struggle I’ve had with migraines from age 13, interstitial cystitis from age 30 etc, and now the horrendous mental health collapse in perimenopause. I most definitely feel different and improved and I think the HRT will be profoundly helpful in improving my life.

 

I will see my psychologist sometime in January to work on the DSP application. She is doing it collaboratively with me, is very supportive and gets the struggles I’ve had. I just felt so discouraged after seeing the liver specialist as although he is nice and polite he just doesn’t engage beyond a superficial level and is always rushed. He provided a verification of medical condition form for Centrelink a few months ago, but I don’t think I’m going to get anything more from him support-wise with regard to DSP and he doesn’t have a contextual understanding of everything I’ve been dealing with.

 

 I was just so down when I posted above. I had to cancel the meeting for brunch with the friends I’d travelled to the city to see as I had a horrendous hormonal migraine. I also had to cancel catching up with an aunty I was looking forward to seeing. I’ve had decades of debilitating migraines preventing me from living life. I’m hoping as things progress with the HRT that there will be ongoing improvement. I totally agree with you about doing what feels right. From multiple past experiences, feeling has been far more useful than thinking. When I’ve ignored feelings it has never gone well. It is good to know that feeling of trust in feeling, like there is that stability of intuition always there.

 

 I hope you are having a lovely, peaceful day today 🥰