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Old 05-19-2008, 07:17 PM   #1
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Question Going on Disability for Depression?

I've heard it is very difficult to be considered disabled because of depression. I was wondering if anyone here is on disability because of depression? I have a college education, I want to work, but I seriously doubt my ability to hold down a job at this point. I know there is no way I could work full-time. The problem is that with my education (I had planned to work in the city where education would actually be a good thing), I'm seen as over-qualified for most of the part-time work that is available in this town. It's in a depressed area in which only 13% of people have college degrees. I've managed to get a job working 10 hours per week, and I did well with that for a long time. My anxiety though has really worsened over the past few months. I started working with someone I dislike. He said something that really offended me and I told my boss this which resulted in me losing my shift and moving to just 5 hours per week. I know that I should have stood my ground and normally would not let something like that bother me so much as to speak to my boss about it. But the desk (I work at a library) was getting busier at that shift, and I'm partly relieved at the hours change. However, it drives home to me that I may have to face facts that I just can't handle work.

It seems that whenever I get an interview and get my hopes up, I'm told I'm overqualified and/or asked questions like am I married or have kids, which is so sexist and illegal in most states to ask. As a young woman, I'm starting to feel like they give you incentives to get pregnant and go on welfare - it's easier than getting a job in this town! Since I make hardly anything, I asked the health dept about health insurance, but the only way I can qualify for that at my age is to be pregnant. It's like they're saying, come back when you're knocked up! I definitely cannot handle children - I can hardly take care of myself. I know some people in my situation who substitute teach (all you need is a degree in this state), but I shadowed one day and chickened out when I was asked to sub. It's still an option for me as my dad is friends with a principal who said I can try it anytime, but I'm just afraid something would happen, and I can't just run away when I have a room full of kids. I have no experience with children, and they don't give any training. So, I'm applying to basically whatever part-time jobs I see. I've not heard from any lately which may be a blessing since I'm unsure of my ability to handle it. But, I feel like such a burden to my parents. I have a lot of arguments with my mom who can't understand why I'm this way. I'm afraid I'm going to start thinking about suicide again if I don't make some sort of improvment in my life. I've already been in a psychiatric ward - shouldn't that qualify me for something, lol? The only reason that I'm giving life a shot at all is because my dad has been so loving and supportive of me and I know it would kill him if I were gone. I'm so desperate for money and a life on my own that I've thought about prostitution, or getting pregnant so that at least I can get an apartment and some support, maybe help to get a job. I can't understand why mental illness is rarely recognized as a disability. Has anyone here gotten disability for depression? How would you suggest I go about trying for this, or would it even be an option in my case?

 
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:45 PM   #2
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Going on to disability due to depression is becoming more and more common. The best place to start is with your doctor or mental doctor as they will know the best way to approach it and if you may qualify.

take care
trg247
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:21 PM   #3
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

hi partlycloudy. your thread title really caught my eye because just last year i was approved for disability for some weird, atypical kind of bipolar. the jury is still out as to what the heck is wrong with me. i drive my psychiatrist nuts. i fought applying for disability for several years because it felt like it was "giving in" and if i did that i'd be weak and a failure. i didn't want to admit it was as bad as it was. this is even after i simply walked off the job in the middle of a shift because i simply couldn't function anymore. i literally hit the wall. walked away from my station like a zombie, got in the car, drove off and never went back. i lived off savings for two years and finally had to apply at the urging of my therapist and psychiatrist. i expected the third degree. i expected to be disbelieved. i expected to be turned down. i got none of that. surprisingly enough i was approved first go. what they give me ain't much but it helps. if you aren't working with mental health professionals but are just relying on a primary care doctor to evaluate you'll likely be turned down. the SS Disability people want to see a pattern of disfunction and attempts to remediate the problem which have not been successful and they want to see it documented by psychiatric professionals. the fact that you had a residential stay should definitely help.

do you have clinicians you work with who would be willing to write letters on your behalf, fill in all the doctor paperwork, attest to the fact that you can't function to the level of holding down a full time job? that's all it took for me. plus a documented twenty plus year history of taking every damn AD with no good results. i still feel a degree of shame and guilt about being on disability but hell i feel guilty about everything half the time any way. goes with the territory i guess.

the anxiety you described really resonated for me. i too felt i couldn't be safe in my job. dispatcher for ambulances and such. if you feel it don't ignore it. supressing it really did me in.

one caution. if you are approved make an effort to stay connected to the world via minimal part time work even if you're over qualified. barring that do some volunteer work. for me, it was too easy to slide into endless unstructured days that only add to the anxiety, despair, whatever. good luck and have patience with the process if you do decide to apply. they lost my application three times before they finally got it right. last thought. this is my first post here and i'm feeling particularly wretched and unfocused so i hope i made some sense. take care.
cat

 
Old 05-20-2008, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

I'm on disability for bipolar. I think I mainly won because we focused on my depressions. I had alot of jobs, a 5 day hospital stay in a mental hospital, weekly pdoc visits, and so on, like the above poster ahd stated. When I decided to go on disability, the first thing I did was get the paperwork and get a lawyer to help me with it. I was denied 2 , maybe even 3 times. I can't remember. It took over 2 years for me to finally get approved but it was well worth the wait.
Good luck to you.
By the way, my husband just told me that Depression is the number 1 reason why people go on disability.

 
Old 05-21-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Thanks for the responses. I do go to my family doctor rather than a psychiatrist. I saw a psychiatrist when I stayed at the hospital. He asked what I wanted to do in terms of treatment, and I opted to stay with my family doctor as that is who I was most comfortable with. I actually did want to see a psychiatrist around Christmastime when I was going through a bad spell and couldn't get in to my doctor. The counseling office (that has most of the psychiatrists in our town) said that since I'd opted to be treated by my family doctor upon leaving the hospital, that I couldn't see a psychiatrist. So, I've definitely wanted to see a psychiatrist, but I'm apparently not allowed.

I just was in to see my doctor a week ago, and don't see him again until August. I don't really want to wait that long to get this started. That is the downfall of seeing a primary care doctor for this. I don't even know if he'd know anything about disability. He doesn't seem all that knowledgable when it comes to depression. When I'm obviously not improving, he'll just pat me on the back, make suggestions like "socialize more," and put me off for 3 months. I think that is probably the best way to get started, though. I don't think I can afford a lawyer; I know from my mom having to get a lawyer for guardianship of my great aunt how expensive it can be.

 
Old 05-22-2008, 05:16 AM   #6
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Heres a different opinion, why not try manage your depression, and get a job? I am not critisizing, but you might not even know how having a job could help. I am just saying that because for me personally having a job was the only thing keepint me going at times. I am a senior at my work and even though i hate it sometimes its the only reason i get out of bed even though its the hardest thing to do. If it wasnt for my job I would probably be at home, isolating myself from everyone, and just mope and become some kind of invisivble blob and just not bothering with anything anymore. Thats just what depression does for me, if i didnt have job i probably wouldnt bother with anything.

 
Old 05-22-2008, 07:04 AM   #7
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Thumbs down Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkywinky View Post
Heres a different opinion, why not try manage your depression, and get a job? I am not critisizing, but you might not even know how having a job could help. I am just saying that because for me personally having a job was the only thing keepint me going at times. I am a senior at my work and even though i hate it sometimes its the only reason i get out of bed even though its the hardest thing to do. If it wasnt for my job I would probably be at home, isolating myself from everyone, and just mope and become some kind of invisivble blob and just not bothering with anything anymore. Thats just what depression does for me, if i didnt have job i probably wouldnt bother with anything.

If you read my entire post, you would know that's what I've been desperately trying to do - for 2 years. I'm not some bum who doesn't want to work - I supported myself through college. I lived on my own from age 20 for 5 years. That is all I want is to be able to go back to that point again, but I can't, and no offense, but your response definitely doesn't make me feel any better about it. Good for you if you're strong enough to handle a job; you obviously don't suffer to the degree that I do and can't commiserate, so count yourself lucky.

 
Old 05-23-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by partlycloudy View Post
If you read my entire post, you would know that's what I've been desperately trying to do - for 2 years. I'm not some bum who doesn't want to work - I supported myself through college. I lived on my own from age 20 for 5 years. That is all I want is to be able to go back to that point again, but I can't, and no offense, but your response definitely doesn't make me feel any better about it. Good for you if you're strong enough to handle a job; you obviously don't suffer to the degree that I do and can't commiserate, so count yourself lucky.
I understand, i wasnt having a go, I was just saying what worked for me. Obviously its not the same for everyone. Good luck, and dont give on trying to beat depression. And sorry if i made you feel bad, I didnt mean to. And yeah obviously I have lived my own life and had my own problems, I am not trying to be the judge of who is suffering the most, no one will really know the extent to which anyone else is hurting, job or no job!What i was trying to say if just be careful that just being by yourself all the time (not having to work), might make it worse, try not to isolate yourself (which is so easy to do when you are depressed), I was more trying to focus on saying that. Once again, I am sorry if i offended you.

 
Old 05-23-2008, 10:35 AM   #9
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Talking Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Hi! New to this website and had to respond to you. It is very common for people to receive disability for depression and from my experience (removed) it is more common than for physical illnesses. I think they are relunctant many times to refuse disability for mental illness and then the person attempts to hold down a job and then freaks out at work..just think..like working for the post office and they figure the people with severe medical issues will give up or expire.

Anyway, it is common to apply but difficult, not impossible, to get benefits. I am in the process. Its been 2.5 years. I have severe depression due to a severe form of colitis, fibromyalgia, chronic anemia, anxiety disorder, ect. I have been sick and out of work for 4 years and then finally applied. I have been denied twice and expect a hearing july 16th. I have a lot of medical records supporting my case but have still been denied. I have had a lawyer since first being denied. I was hospitalized all of january 2008, first for colitis and then on a psych ward with severe depression. Unfortunately, I received my second denial in feb 2008. When I was reviewed the second time, they didn't have these hospitalizations in their records at that time, so I was denied. It stated since you were never treated on an inpatient psych unit. I couldn't believe it because I just got out.

Anyway, I am still waiting. Advice to you, start the ball rolling because it many times takes so long and you have a history of treatment. I agree with still trying to work and I hope if I get approved, I can volunteer or work a small amount of hours (removed) in some aspect.

P.s. I ended up with severe depression due to my numerous medical conditions and frequent hospitalizations. My doctor advised my that listing depression first as my disability would be easier in his experience even though my colitis is severe that I can't stay out of the bathroom due to diarrhea 30 times a day. They stated that I can still work. Figure that one out. (removed) good luck & hope this helped. Sorry to ramble on!

Last edited by moderator2; 05-23-2008 at 02:53 PM. Reason: please read the posting rules!

 
Old 05-23-2008, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by partlycloudy View Post
If you read my entire post, you would know that's what I've been desperately trying to do - for 2 years. I'm not some bum who doesn't want to work - I supported myself through college. I lived on my own from age 20 for 5 years. That is all I want is to be able to go back to that point again, but I can't, and no offense, but your response definitely doesn't make me feel any better about it. Good for you if you're strong enough to handle a job; you obviously don't suffer to the degree that I do and can't commiserate, so count yourself lucky.
I have to agree somewhat with TW. I read your posts and can certainly understand where you are coming from. I live in an economically depressed area and changed jobs often. Finally I learned to cope and with the help of medication and therapy I'm able to function again.

One thing I didn't see in your posts, was any talk therapy you are getting. Are you in therapy? Not with a family doc, but with a counselor or psychologist. Talk therapy can do a world of good when you feel like there is nothing else.

You sound like a very strong person who is just going thru a particularly rough time with your depression. We all cycle. Get into talk therapy "yesterday" and stay out this cycle. It WILL pass. It always does. You've gone thru it before and made it. You will get thru this time as well! Good luck

 
Old 05-24-2008, 05:21 PM   #11
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Well, I went to my state's Job and Family Services site for more information on disability, and it says because of state budget cuts, there is currently a freeze on the disability program. They are not accepting any applicants. I couldn't even find a link on there to get paperwork. I'm starting to think there is no hope, no options. I got in a spat with my mom today - things are really getting tense, but I have nowhere else to go, nowhere where I can relax and just be alone. I'm just so tired of people and their evil ways - I hope it's true that the world does end in 2012 because I'm so tired of seeing happy people. I just want them to experience pain like I do. I know I can never hold down a job because I'm not only having serious anger toward myself, but others as well. I keep talking myself down, but I feel increasingly out of control. I feel I could like I'm not myself at all when I get in these rages - I get more and more out of control, and less able to ground myself. Little things set me off, when even a few weeks ago, I was more stable. I have talked to two therapists, but I didn't like either one, and did not feel comfortable in therapy. As I've said in other posts, I don't get the point of therapy, and can't see myself ever being comfortable enough in that setting for it to be beneficial. Maybe I should go back to the hospital - if I have another one of these episodes I'll have to, and hopefully I'll be sane enough at the time to make that choice.

Elmo, I don't get that, either - when someone says they can't work, and want help, then are denied and feel forced to work, it's just a recipe for disaster. I've never been a people person, but was able to work successfully for several years in very social environments. I went through tough situations with people, even got upset at work a few times, but never had any harmful thoughts. The last time I went through an incident with someone at work, I started having these thoughts and visions to the point where I felt I had to leave the building, and was actually scared to come back. I wasn't only upset, I was angry. I did have to cut my hours in half, and I've been remarkably better since then, having only good experiences with work. I had the same scary thoughts about my mom today, over and over, and was able to snap out of the daze and have been fine this afternoon. It's concerning me because I'm beginning to think there is more to it than depression. I had been doing well depression-wise - it was just the anxiety that's been worsening. I thought if I could get that under control, I'd be good, but it's the bad spells I worry about. I've never been a violent person at all, but it's like lately I just snap and become a totally different person. That is what worries me most about a job situation. I don't want to put myself or anyone else in danger. I found a couple of part-time jobs I'm interested in, and since my dad has connections with the employer, I think I have a good chance. But, with today's episode, I don't even know if I should attempt it, esp. since they're both in social environments.

 
Old 05-26-2008, 09:46 AM   #12
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by partlycloudy View Post
I've heard it is very difficult to be considered disabled because of depression. I was wondering if anyone here is on disability because of depression? I have a college education, I want to work, but I seriously doubt my ability to hold down a job at this point. I know there is no way I could work full-time. I can't understand why mental illness is rarely recognized as a disability. Has anyone here gotten disability for depression? How would you suggest I go about trying for this, or would it even be an option in my case?
Hi partlycloudy-
I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, but I totally understand. I have been struggling with depression since puberty and was finally diagnosed at age 21. Since then I have been on every AD out there (currently on 150mg Wellbutrin XL), gone through therapy and finally had a VNS therapy implanted last year. I also discovered I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), so I have to do light therapy for 2 hours a day.

I have worked a lot of jobs over the past years, usually only staying at one place for a year before I had to quit because of my depression. It's been really tough. Fortunately, I was able to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) last year. I never even knew about it (or I'd gone on it sooner). My therapist actually suggested it and I'm glad she did. I still have not been able to go back to work and even though the amount I get each month is not that much, it still helps, and allows me to get a part-time job (w/o losing the benefits) if I feel up to it. The process is quite long and you do have to fill out a lot of paperwork. I'd say the entire process from my original application to being approved took 4-5 months. If you're approved, you'll get paid any back amount you're owed. If you need more information, go to the SSDI website at [url]http://www.ssa.gov/disability/[/url].

Hang in there. Let me know if you need any help with the application.

Becky

 
Old 05-29-2008, 11:14 AM   #13
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Becky73, I'm curious as to what vns implants are? I have never heard of it.

 
Old 05-29-2008, 11:24 AM   #14
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Re: Going on Disability for Depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlgirl8 View Post
Becky73, I'm curious as to what vns implants are? I have never heard of it.
Hi whirlgirl8-

There is still a lot of controversy as to whether the device actually works. I've had mine in for over 14 months now and I'm still not sure. I think I'm better overall, but still not where I want or need to be. However, some people have benefited from it tremendously. I guess like anything, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. However, unlike AD's this involves surgery and the electrodes attached to the vagus nerve can never be removed. Plus the device requires surgery every 2-10 years when the battery runs out. Again, a lot to consider before doing it. I wish I had considered all of these things a little bit more. But when you're in a dark place and you're desperate, you'll do just about anything in the hopes of feeling better.

Becky

Last edited by moderator2; 05-29-2008 at 04:52 PM. Reason: do not direct off board searches to websites - please read the posting rules

 
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