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Category: Chronic fatigue syndrome

Depression & Personal Hygiene

Personal Hygiene Text On Typewriter Paper. Photofunia.com

Why Depression Can Make It Hard to Shower and Maintain Personal Hygiene

Depression is a complex and often misunderstood mental health condition that can have a profound impact on a person’s daily life. One of the less discussed but significant ways depression can manifest is in the struggle to maintain personal hygiene, including activities as basic as showering. While it might be easy for those unaffected to dismiss this as mere laziness or neglect, the reality is far more intricate and rooted in the psychological and physiological effects of depression.

1. Lack of Energy and Motivation

Depression commonly saps individuals of their energy and motivation. This lack of drive can make even the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. Activities like showering require both physical effort and mental initiation. When a person is depressed, the energy required to get out of bed, undress, shower, and dress again can feel overwhelming. This exhaustion is not simply feeling tired; it is a pervasive fatigue that affects both the body and the mind.

2. Anhedonia and Reduced Pleasure

Anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure from activities once found enjoyable, is a core symptom of depression. This can extend to personal care routines. Where once a warm shower might have been relaxing or rejuvenating, depression can strip away any pleasure or satisfaction from the experience. Without the intrinsic reward, the motivation to engage in these activities diminishes significantly.

3. Cognitive Impairments

Depression can cause significant cognitive impairments, including difficulties with concentration, decision-making, and memory. The process of showering involves a series of steps and decisions, which can be daunting for someone experiencing cognitive fog. This mental haze can make it hard to remember if they’ve showered recently or to initiate the task altogether.

4. Physical Symptoms of Depression

Depression often comes with physical symptoms like body aches, headaches, and general malaise. These symptoms can make the physical act of showering uncomfortable or even painful. The thought of standing under a shower, moving around, and enduring the sensation of water hitting the skin can be overwhelming for someone already in physical discomfort.

5. Feelings of Worthlessness

A person with depression might experience intense feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing. This negative self-perception can lead them to believe that they do not deserve care or cleanliness, further disincentivizing personal hygiene. The effort required to maintain hygiene can feel undeserved, feeding into a cycle of neglect and further lowering self-esteem.

6. Overwhelm and Anxiety

The prospect of showering can also cause anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed. Depression often coexists with anxiety disorders, and the thought of engaging in personal hygiene routines can trigger anxiety attacks or feelings of dread. The idea of confronting one’s own body and appearance, especially if self-esteem is low, can be distressing.

7. Social Isolation and Reduced External Pressure

Depression frequently leads to social withdrawal, reducing the external pressures to maintain personal hygiene. When individuals are isolated, they might feel less compelled to adhere to social norms of cleanliness. The absence of social interaction removes one of the motivating factors for maintaining personal appearance, allowing the neglect of hygiene to spiral.

Addressing Sensitivity in PIP Assessments: Personal Hygiene Questions

PIP assessors often ask detailed questions about personal hygiene to comprehensively understand a claimant’s daily living challenges. These questions, although necessary, can sometimes feel intrusive and uncomfortable for the claimant, leading to embarrassment or distress. It is essential for assessors to approach this topic with utmost sensitivity and empathy. They should explain the importance of these questions in evaluating the impact of health conditions on the claimant’s ability to care for themselves, thereby normalizing the discussion. To ease discomfort, assessors can use a calm, non-judgmental tone, reassure the claimant about confidentiality, and provide ample time for them to respond without feeling rushed. Additionally, allowing claimants to have a support person present can help mitigate feelings of embarrassment. By fostering a respectful and understanding environment, assessors can ensure that the necessary information is gathered while maintaining the dignity and comfort of the claimant.

What if the claimant is too embarrassed to answer

If a claimant feels too embarrassed to answer questions about personal hygiene during a PIP assessment, the assessor should be mindful and offer the claimant alternative ways to communicate, such as writing down their answers as additional evidence by sending them in, or emailing instead of speaking aloud.

If the claimant remains uncomfortable, the assessor should respect their boundaries and make a note of the difficulty in answering, using any other available information to make an informed decision. Providing a supportive and non-pressurizing environment can help the claimant feel more at ease, ensuring a fair and thorough assessment.

OCD and Household Avoidance: Beyond Hand Washing

Contrary to the common stereotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) being solely about excessive hand washing, individuals with OCD may exhibit behaviors that involve avoiding certain parts of their home or touching specific objects. This avoidance is often driven by intense fear of contamination or anxiety associated with these areas or items. As a result, they might be unable to bring themselves to clean or interact with these parts of their environment, leading to significant distress and potential neglect of household maintenance. For example, a person might avoid cleaning their bathroom or kitchen due to contamination fears, resulting in these areas becoming particularly problematic. This aspect of OCD highlights the complexity of the disorder, where compulsions and avoidances both serve to alleviate anxiety but ultimately interfere with daily functioning and the ability to maintain a clean and organized living space.

Improving PIP Assessments: Tailored Questions and Sensitive Approaches

To enhance the PIP assessment process, the application form should incorporate tailored questions sent via email, promoting cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability. This approach allows claimants to respond in their own time and space, reducing the immediate pressure of face-to-face or phone interviews. Questions should be designed with sensitivity in mind, particularly concerning mental health. Instead of direct questions about suicide or suicidal thoughts, which could inadvertently introduce harmful ideas, assessments should utilize a scale-based system. For instance, asking claimants to rate their feelings of hopelessness or anxiety on a scale of 1-10 provides valuable insights without the risk of triggering distress. This method ensures that mental health conditions are thoroughly evaluated while maintaining the claimant’s psychological safety and comfort. By adopting these strategies, the PIP assessment process can become more compassionate, accurate, and environmentally friendly.


Understanding why depression can make it hard to shower and maintain personal hygiene, is crucial for empathy and support. It’s not about laziness or a lack of willpower; it’s about a debilitating condition that affects every aspect of a person’s life. Recognizing these challenges is the first step in providing meaningful help. Encouraging professional treatment, offering gentle reminders, and creating a supportive environment can make a significant difference for those struggling with depression and its impact on daily activities.

Depression extends its impact beyond personal hygiene, often affecting an individual’s ability to maintain a clean and orderly household. Those suffering from depression may struggle with tasks such as dusting, polishing, and vacuuming due to a lack of energy, motivation, and cognitive focus. The overwhelming fatigue and pervasive sense of helplessness characteristic of depression can make even simple chores feel insurmountable. As a result, household cleanliness may decline, leading to a cluttered and dusty living environment. This neglect can further exacerbate feelings of worthlessness and despair, creating a vicious cycle that makes managing day-to-day responsibilities increasingly difficult. Recognizing the broader implications of depression on home maintenance is essential for providing comprehensive support to those affected.

Disabled Entrepreneur Business Card.

Invisible Disabilities and PIP Assessments

Invisible Disabilities Text On Typewriter Paper. Image by Photofunia.com

Unseen Struggles: Shedding Light on Invisible Disabilities and PIP Assessments

There are a lot of media discussions relating to invisible disabilities and illnesses, these conditions, while not immediately apparent to the casual observer, can significantly impact an individual’s daily life, often presenting unique challenges that are difficult to understand or quantify. In the United Kingdom, the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process plays a crucial role in determining eligibility for financial support. However, for those with invisible disabilities, navigating this system can be an uphill battle, with their conditions frequently misunderstood or underestimated.

The term “invisible disability” encompasses a broad spectrum of conditions, ranging from chronic pain, mental health disorders, and neurological conditions like autism or multiple sclerosis, to autoimmune diseases such as lupus or fibromyalgia. Despite the debilitating effects these conditions can have on individuals, their symptoms may not manifest visibly, leading to misconceptions and skepticism, particularly during PIP assessments.

One of the primary challenges faced by individuals with invisible disabilities during PIP assessments is the difficulty in providing tangible evidence of their conditions. Unlike visible disabilities, which may be readily apparent through physical indicators, such as mobility aids or visible scars, invisible disabilities often lack such overt markers. Consequently, individuals may struggle to convey the extent of their limitations and the impact on their daily functioning to assessors, leading to disparities in assessment outcomes.

Moreover, the subjective nature of many invisible disabilities poses additional hurdles in the assessment process. Mental health conditions, for instance, can fluctuate in severity, making it challenging to capture their full impact within the confines of a single assessment. Similarly, conditions like chronic pain or fatigue may vary in intensity from day to day, further complicating efforts to convey their consistent impact on one’s ability to engage in daily activities.

The proposed green paper on disability benefits and assessments offers an opportunity to address these issues and improve the support system for individuals with invisible disabilities. By recognizing the unique challenges faced by this demographic, policymakers can work towards implementing reforms that foster greater understanding and inclusivity within the PIP assessment framework.

Key recommendations for the green paper may include:

  1. Enhanced training for assessors: Equipping assessors with a deeper understanding of invisible disabilities and their diverse manifestations can help mitigate biases and ensure fairer assessments. This may involve providing education on the nuances of various conditions and strategies for evaluating their impact on individuals’ lives.
  2. Flexible assessment criteria: Recognizing the fluctuating nature of many invisible disabilities, the assessment criteria should be adaptable to accommodate variations in symptom severity over time. This could involve implementing periodic reviews or allowing individuals to provide evidence of their condition’s impact beyond a single assessment snapshot.
  3. Holistic assessment approach: Moving away from a solely medical model of assessment, there is a need to consider the broader social and environmental factors that contribute to individuals’ disability experiences. This could involve soliciting input from healthcare professionals, caregivers, and support networks to gain a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s needs and capabilities.
  4. Improved communication channels: Establishing clearer channels of communication between assessors and applicants can facilitate a more transparent and supportive assessment process. This may involve providing guidance on how individuals can effectively communicate their experiences and ensuring assessors are receptive to their input.

Unveiling the Spectrum: 30+ Invisible Disabilities and Conditions Challenging to Validate

  1. Fibromyalgia
  2. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  3. Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)
  4. Lyme Disease
  5. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  6. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
  7. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
  8. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  9. Crohn’s Disease
  10. Endometriosis
  11. Interstitial Cystitis
  12. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)
  13. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  14. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)
  15. Chronic Migraines
  16. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
  17. Autoimmune Hepatitis
  18. Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  19. Sjögren’s Syndrome
  20. Psoriatic Arthritis
  21. Ankylosing Spondylitis
  22. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  23. Meniere’s Disease
  24. Hypothyroidism
  25. Hyperthyroidism
  26. Gastroparesis
  27. Complex PTSD
  28. Bipolar Disorder
  29. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  30. Schizophrenia
  31. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  32. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  33. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  34. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  35. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  36. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

This list represents only a fraction of the diverse range of invisible disabilities and conditions individuals may face. Each condition presents its own set of challenges, from debilitating symptoms to societal misconceptions, making them inherently difficult to prove or quantify in assessments like PIP.

Enhancing Credibility: Strategies for Claimants in PIP Assessments

Navigating the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process can be a daunting task, especially for individuals with invisible disabilities or conditions. The success of a PIP claim often hinges on the claimant’s ability to effectively communicate the impact of their disability on their daily life. While the system may present challenges, there are proactive steps claimants can take to strengthen the credibility of their claims and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

  1. Gather Comprehensive Evidence: The foundation of a credible PIP claim lies in thorough documentation of one’s disability and its effects. This includes medical records history, specialist reports, prescription records, and any relevant test results. Additionally, maintaining a personal health journal can provide valuable insights into the fluctuating nature of certain conditions and help paint a more comprehensive picture for assessors.
  2. Provide Detailed Examples: When describing how your disability affects you, be specific and provide detailed examples of how it impacts various aspects of your daily life. Whether it’s difficulty with personal care tasks, mobility limitations, or challenges in engaging with social activities, concrete examples help assessors better understand the real-world impact of your disability.
  3. Seek Supportive Statements: Statements from healthcare professionals, caregivers, or support networks can offer additional credibility to your claim. These individuals can provide firsthand accounts of your condition and its effects, lending validation to your experiences.
  4. Prepare for the Assessment: Familiarize yourself with the PIP assessment process and what to expect during the evaluation. Take the time to review the criteria for eligibility and how your disability aligns with these criteria. Being prepared can help alleviate anxiety and ensure you effectively convey your needs during the assessment.
  5. Be Honest and Transparent: Integrity is key in establishing credibility. Be honest about your limitations and avoid exaggerating or downplaying the severity of your condition. Providing accurate information allows assessors to make informed decisions based on your genuine needs.
  6. Utilize Technology to Track Health: Leveraging digital tools can streamline the process of documenting your health and activities. Platforms like DisabledEntrepreneur.uk and DisabilityUK.co.uk offer spaces to track your health and daily activities, providing a convenient way to compile evidence to support your claim. These platforms allow you to record symptoms, medication usage, appointments, and other relevant information, facilitating a more comprehensive overview of your health journey.
  7. Seek Advocacy and Support: Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from advocacy organizations or support groups specializing in disability rights. These resources can provide valuable advice, assistance in understanding your rights, and support throughout the claims process.
  8. Appeal if Necessary: In the event of an unfavorable decision, consider appealing the outcome. Many successful claims are initially denied but approved upon appeal. Utilize the feedback provided, gather additional evidence if needed, and seek legal advice if necessary to navigate the appeals process effectively.

By taking proactive steps to enhance the credibility of your PIP claim, you can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome and access the support you need to manage your disability effectively. Remember, you are your own best advocate, and by effectively communicating your needs and experiences, you can ensure your voice is heard in the assessment process.


By addressing these issues and implementing reforms guided by the principles of empathy, fairness, and inclusivity, the proposed green paper has the potential to transform the PIP assessment process into a more equitable system for individuals with invisible disabilities. Through collaborative efforts between policymakers, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, and affected individuals, we can strive towards a society where all disabilities, seen and unseen, are recognized, understood, and accommodated with dignity and respect.

We have compiled some useful resources which you can access here.

Proving Invisible Disabilities for PIP Eligibility

Sick Notes & PIP Letter On a Typewriter

Navigating the Process: Proving Invisible Disabilities for PIP Eligibility

Invisible disabilities present unique challenges, particularly when it comes to proving eligibility for benefits like the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). While these conditions may not be immediately apparent to others, their impact on daily life can be significant. Securing PIP support requires thorough documentation and effective communication of how your disability affects your ability to function.

Here’s a guide on what to do if you have an invisible disability and need to prove your eligibility for PIP.

1. Understand the Eligibility Criteria

Before diving into the application process, it’s crucial to understand the eligibility criteria for PIP. This benefit is designed to provide financial support for individuals with long-term health conditions or disabilities that affect their ability to carry out daily living tasks or mobility-related activities. The assessment considers how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

2. Gather Medical Evidence

Collecting thorough medical evidence is essential in proving the existence and impact of your invisible disability. This evidence can include doctor’s reports, specialist assessments, test results, medication records, and any other relevant documentation. Ensure that your medical professionals understand the specific requirements for PIP and can provide detailed information about your condition and its effects.

3. Keep a Symptom Diary

Maintaining a symptom diary can be immensely helpful in illustrating the day-to-day challenges posed by your invisible disability. Record how your condition affects various aspects of your life, such as personal care, mobility, managing medication, and engaging with others. Be specific about the difficulties you encounter and how they impact your ability to function independently. (Disabled Entrepreneur offers a space for you to document your health online and you can then send a simple link to DWP documenting your health journal).

4. Provide Detailed Examples

When completing the PIP application form or attending assessments, provide detailed examples of how your invisible disability affects you. Use specific incidents or scenarios to illustrate the challenges you face and how they limit your ability to carry out essential tasks. Be honest and thorough in your descriptions, highlighting both the physical and psychological effects of your condition.

5. Seek Support from Advocacy Organizations

Advocacy organizations specializing in disability rights can offer valuable support and guidance throughout the PIP application process. They can help you understand your rights, navigate the complexities of the system, and provide assistance with gathering evidence and preparing for assessments. Don’t hesitate to reach out to these organizations for help and advice.

6. Prepare for Assessments

If you’re called for a face-to-face assessment, thorough preparation is essential. Familiarize yourself with the assessment criteria, review your medical evidence and symptom diary, and practice discussing how your disability affects you with a trusted friend or family member. Attend the assessment with a clear understanding of your rights and be prepared to advocate for yourself effectively.

7. Appeal if Necessary

If your initial application for PIP is denied, don’t lose hope. You have the right to appeal the decision, and many applicants are successful at this stage. Seek advice from disability rights organizations or legal professionals specializing in welfare benefits to understand the grounds for appeal and gather any additional evidence that may strengthen your case.

8. Stay Persistent

Navigating the process of proving eligibility for PIP with an invisible disability can be daunting, but perseverance is key. Stay organized, advocate for yourself effectively, and seek support from professionals and advocacy groups when needed. Remember that you’re entitled to the support you need to live independently and with dignity, and don’t hesitate to pursue all available avenues to secure the assistance you deserve.

The Destructive Impact of Removing Financial Support on Mental Health

It’s critical to recognize the profound implications of financial stability on psychological well-being. For many individuals, financial support serves as a lifeline, providing essential resources for basic needs, healthcare, and overall quality of life. However, the abrupt removal of such support can have devastating consequences, exacerbating existing mental health challenges and creating new ones.

Financial Stability and Mental Health: A Complex Relationship

Financial stability is closely intertwined with mental health. Studies consistently show that financial insecurity is associated with increased stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Financial worries can consume individuals, leading to a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and constant fear about the future. Conversely, having stable finances can alleviate stressors, promote a sense of security, and contribute to overall well-being.

The Impact of Removing Financial Support

When financial support is abruptly taken away, it can shatter the fragile equilibrium that individuals have managed to maintain. Whether it’s the loss of a job, reduction in benefits, or sudden changes in financial circumstances, the consequences can be profound:

  1. Increased Stress and Anxiety: The sudden loss of financial support plunges individuals into a state of uncertainty and instability. Worries about meeting basic needs, paying bills, and providing for themselves and their families escalate, leading to heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
  2. Feelings of Powerlessness: Losing financial support can strip individuals of their sense of control over their lives. They may feel powerless to change their circumstances, trapped in a cycle of financial hardship with limited options for improvement.
  3. Deterioration of Mental Health: The combination of increased stress, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness can take a significant toll on mental health. Existing mental health conditions may worsen, and individuals who were previously coping may find themselves overwhelmed by negative emotions and intrusive thoughts.
  4. Social Isolation: Financial hardship can lead to social withdrawal as individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed to discuss their struggles with others. Social support networks may erode, further exacerbating feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  5. Impact on Physical Health: The stress associated with financial insecurity can also manifest in physical symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues. Over time, chronic stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing long-term health problems.

The Importance of Support and Empathy

Instead of removing financial support, it’s crucial to prioritize assistance and empathy for individuals facing financial difficulties, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions. Here are some proactive steps that can help mitigate the negative impact:

  1. Provide Transitional Support: When changes in financial circumstances are necessary, ensure that individuals receive adequate notice and support to transition smoothly. Offer guidance on accessing alternative sources of support and connect them with relevant resources.
  2. Offer Mental Health Services: Recognize the interconnectedness of financial stability and mental health by providing access to mental health services and support groups. Counseling, therapy, and peer support can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges of financial insecurity.
  3. Promote Financial Literacy: Empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to manage their finances effectively. Offer workshops or resources on budgeting, debt management, and financial planning to help build resilience and confidence.
  4. Foster a Culture of Compassion: Create environments that prioritize empathy and understanding for individuals experiencing financial hardship. Encourage open communication and destigmatize discussions about financial struggles and mental health.

“Securing PIP Support: Navigating Discrimination and Advocating for Health Needs”

The methods employed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) concerning Personal Independence Payments (PIP) can sometimes result in discrimination and inflict emotional distress on individuals already struggling with health challenges. The stringent assessment process, coupled with a lack of understanding of invisible disabilities, can lead to unjust denials or reductions in support. In navigating this system, it becomes imperative for individuals to arm themselves with substantial evidence of their health conditions from General Practitioners (GPs) and Health Specialists.

By gathering comprehensive medical documentation, including reports, assessments, and medication records, individuals can provide a clear picture of the impact their disabilities have on their daily lives. This evidence serves as a crucial tool in advocating for fair treatment and ensuring that their needs are accurately assessed and addressed.

Furthermore, medication plays a pivotal role in managing health conditions and facilitating the recovery process. It is not only a testament to the severity of an individual’s condition but also a lifeline in alleviating symptoms and enhancing quality of life. Recognizing the significance of medication in the context of PIP assessments can bolster the credibility of claims and underscore the necessity of support.

In essence, while the process of securing PIP support may be fraught with challenges and potential discrimination, individuals can empower themselves by proactively gathering evidence, advocating for their rights, and emphasizing the importance of medication in their recovery journey. By doing so, they can strive for fair treatment, recognition of their needs, and access to the support they require to live with dignity and independence.

Here’s a list of various invisible disabilities:

  1. Chronic pain disorders
  2. Fibromyalgia
  3. Chronic fatigue syndrome
  4. Mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder)
  5. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  6. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  7. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  8. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  9. Epilepsy
  10. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  11. Rheumatoid arthritis
  12. Crohn’s disease
  13. Ulcerative colitis
  14. Lupus
  15. Chronic migraines
  16. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  17. Endometriosis
  18. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  19. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  20. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)
  21. Degenerative disc disease
  22. Tinnitus
  23. Asthma
  24. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  25. Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)

This is not an exhaustive list, as there are many other invisible disabilities that individuals may experience. Each disability can vary widely in its impact and severity on daily functioning.


Removing financial support from individuals in need not only exacerbates their existing challenges but also contributes to the deterioration of their mental health. Financial stability is intricately linked to psychological well-being, and disruptions in financial circumstances can have profound and lasting effects. Instead of withdrawing support, it’s essential to offer assistance, empathy, and resources to help individuals navigate financial difficulties while safeguarding their mental health. By recognizing the complex interplay between finances and mental health, we can work towards creating a more supportive and inclusive society for all. Citations: The link between money and mental health – Mind and Financial crises damage people’s mental health—Global review shows who is worst affected (medicalxpress.com)

Proving eligibility for PIP with an invisible disability requires thorough documentation, effective communication, and persistence. By understanding the criteria, gathering medical evidence, keeping a symptom diary, providing detailed examples, seeking support from advocacy organizations, preparing for assessments, and appealing if necessary, you can increase your chances of success in securing the support you need. Stay focused, stay determined, and don’t hesitate to assert your rights throughout the process.

Further Reading:

#fitnotes #sicknotes #gps #doctors #healthprofessional #medicalevidence #symptomsdiary #onlinehealthjournal #dwp #pip #tribunal #pipappeals #mandatoryappeals #ice #humanrights #disabilitydiscrimination #emotionaldistress #stress #anxiety #depression #ocd #ms #lupus

Mandy St John Davey: Champion for Working Women, Honored with MBE

Chronic Fatigue
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Mandy St John Davey: Champion for Working Women, Honored with MBE

The Entrepreneurial Journey from Bedroom to Boardroom

Success stories often emerge from humble beginnings. Mandy St John Davey, a visionary entrepreneur, exemplifies this narrative with her remarkable journey from a converted bedroom to the creation of a multi-million-pound company.

Her story is a testament to determination, innovation, and the power of turning dreams into reality. Born and raised in a small town, Mandy always harbored a passion for business. However, her journey towards building a successful business was not without its challenges.

With limited resources but boundless determination, Mandy embarked on her entrepreneurial journey. Armed with a laptop and a vision, she converted a spare bedroom into her makeshift office and set out to turn her dreams into reality. This humble beginning would serve as the foundation for what would later become a thriving enterprise.

Driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence, Mandy’s company experienced exponential growth in the years that followed. What began as a one-woman operation in a converted bedroom had evolved into a thriving enterprise with a global footprint. Today, her company boasts a multi-million-pound valuation and continues to push the boundaries. Despite her success, Mandy remains grounded and true to her roots. She attributes much of her achievements to hard work, resilience, and a willingness to embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere, proving that with passion, perseverance, and a bold vision, anything is possible.

Defying the Odds: Mandy St John Davey’s Entrepreneurial Journey Through Chronic Illness and Cancer

In the annals of entrepreneurial success, stories often illuminate the journey of triumph over adversity. Mandy St John Davey’s path from a converted bedroom to the helm of a multi-million-pound company is not just a tale of business acumen, but a testament to resilience in the face of chronic illness and cancer. Her narrative embodies the indomitable human spirit, demonstrating that hurdles can be surmounted with determination, ingenuity, and unwavering resolve, even amidst the challenges of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) and cancer.

Mandy’s entrepreneurial aspirations were not impeded by her chronic illness but rather served as fuel for her determination to forge her path in the business world. Living with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) presents a myriad of challenges, from debilitating fatigue to cognitive impairments. Yet, Mandy refused to allow her condition to define her or limit her ambitions. Instead, she harnessed her experiences to cultivate resilience, adaptability, and an unparalleled work ethic.

However, Mandy’s journey was not without its share of trials. In a cruel twist of fate, she was diagnosed with cancer, a formidable adversary that threatened to derail her entrepreneurial dreams. Facing the daunting prospect of battling a life-threatening illness while managing her business and chronic illness, Mandy found herself confronted with her greatest challenge yet. The road ahead was fraught with uncertainty and adversity, yet she refused to succumb to despair.

Challenges often seem insurmountable, individuals like Mandy St John Davey shine as beacons of resilience, determination, and advocacy. Recently honored with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her unwavering commitment to the advancement of working women, Mandy’s journey is not only remarkable but serves as an inspiration to countless others.

Hailing from the town of Aberdare Wales, Mandy’s path to success has been adorned with hurdles that would have deterred many. Born with disabilities that presented her with unique challenges from a young age, she refused to let them define her or limit her aspirations. Instead, she embraced her differences, transforming them into sources of strength and motivation.

Despite facing physical obstacles, Mandy pursued her education with fervor, driven by an innate desire to make a positive impact on the world around her. Her determination propelled her through academia, where she excelled, ultimately earning degrees in both business management and women’s studies.

Mandy’s journey truly gained momentum when she delved into the realm of advocacy for working women. Fueled by her own experiences navigating the complexities of the workforce as a woman with disabilities, she became a staunch advocate for gender equality, accessibility, and inclusivity in the workplace.

Through her tireless efforts, Mandy has spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at empowering women from all walks of life. From advocating for equal pay and opportunities for career advancement to championing workplace accommodations for individuals with disabilities, her contributions have left an indelible mark on the landscape of gender equality and social justice.

What sets Mandy apart is not just her passion for advocacy but her innovative approach to effecting change. Leveraging her background in business management, she has been instrumental in developing programs and policies that promote diversity and inclusion in corporate settings. Her initiatives have not only benefited women but have also fostered environments where individuals of all abilities can thrive and contribute meaningfully.

From Corporate Success to Property Entrepreneurship: Mandy St John Davey’s Journey Through Career Transitions and Chronic Illness

Mandy St John Davey’s entrepreneurial journey is not just a story of business success; it’s a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the unwavering pursuit of passion despite adversity. Before establishing herself in the world of real estate, Mandy navigated the corporate landscape, working for esteemed firms like Eversheds and Geldards Solicitors in Cardiff. Her career trajectory, however, took an unexpected turn when chronic illness forced her to reassess her path.

During her tenure at Eversheds and Geldards solicitors, Mandy’s expertise in IT programs and her adeptness in leading training and development initiatives propelled her career forward. Her innovative approach and dedication to excellence earned her recognition as a valuable asset within the organizations.

However, despite her professional achievements, Mandy’s career was interrupted when chronic illness, namely Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), began to take its toll. ME, characterized by profound fatigue and a myriad of debilitating symptoms, posed a formidable challenge to Mandy’s ability to maintain her demanding workload. Despite her best efforts to manage her health while continuing her career, the toll of chronic illness became increasingly burdensome.

As her health deteriorated, Mandy faced a difficult decision: to continue pushing herself in a career that no longer aligned with her health needs or to forge a new path that prioritized her well-being and fulfillment. With courage and determination, she chose the latter, embarking on a journey into property letting—a field that offered flexibility and autonomy, allowing her to navigate her health challenges while pursuing her entrepreneurial aspirations.

Transitioning into property development, letting & interior design was not without its challenges. In addition to navigating a new industry, Mandy encountered systemic barriers, such as the government’s failure to recognize ME as a legitimate illness. This lack of recognition not only exacerbated the challenges she faced in managing her health but also underscored the need for greater awareness and support for individuals living with chronic illnesses.


Today, Mandy’s journey stands as a testament to the power of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. Her transition from corporate success to property entrepreneurship serves as an inspiration to individuals facing similar challenges, demonstrating that with courage, perseverance, and a willingness to embrace change, it is possible to chart a new path and thrive in the face of adversity. As she continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship, one thing remains clear—Mandy St John Davey’s journey is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the transformative power of resilience.

The honor of receiving an MBE is a fitting tribute to Mandy’s extraordinary contributions to society. It symbolizes not only recognition of her achievements but also appreciation for her relentless dedication to advancing the rights and opportunities of working women. For Mandy, this prestigious accolade is not just a personal triumph but a validation of the importance of advocacy and activism in shaping a more equitable and inclusive world.

As we celebrate Mandy St John Davey’s accomplishments, let us also reflect on the profound impact that individuals like her can have on society. Through her courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to her principles, Mandy has not only transformed lives but has also ignited a spark of hope and possibility in the hearts of those who dare to dream of a better tomorrow.

Further Reading

#chromicfatiguesyndrom #me #cognitiveimpairment #stress #anxiety #depression #cancer #disabledentrepreneur #followyourdreams #entrepreneurship #selfemployment #MandyStJohnDavey #empowerment #motivational #backtowork


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Multiple Sclerosis FAQ

Multiple Sclerosis FAQ

  1. What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS): MS is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), including the brain and spinal cord. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers (myelin), leading to communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body.
  2. What are the Symptoms of MS: Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, problems with coordination and balance, vision problems, and cognitive impairment.
  3. How is MS Diagnosed: Diagnosis often involves a combination of medical history, neurological exams, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and sometimes lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to analyze cerebrospinal fluid.
  4. What Causes MS: The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There may be a link to viral infections and other triggers that lead to an abnormal immune response.
  5. Is MS Hereditary: While there is a genetic component, MS is not directly inherited. Having a family member with MS may increase the risk, but the majority of people with MS have no family history of the disease.
  6. Can MS be Cured: There is no cure for MS, but there are various treatments available to manage symptoms, slow disease progression, and improve quality of life. Treatment plans are individualized based on the type and severity of MS.
  7. What are the Different Types of MS: MS can be categorized into relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS). RRMS is the most common form.
  8. How does MS Progress Over Time: MS progression varies among individuals. Some people may experience periodic relapses followed by periods of remission, while others may have a gradual progression of symptoms without distinct relapses.
  9. Can MS Affect Pregnancy: Many women with MS experience a reduction in symptoms during pregnancy, but there may be an increased risk of relapse in the postpartum period. Most disease-modifying treatments are not recommended during pregnancy.
  10. What Lifestyle Changes Can Help Manage MS: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, stress management, and adequate rest can contribute to overall well-being for individuals with MS. Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is also advisable.
  11. Are There Support Groups for People with MS: Yes, there are numerous support groups and organizations that provide resources, information, and emotional support for individuals with MS and their families.
  12. Can MS Cause Mental Health Issues: MS can be associated with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Individuals with MS need to discuss any mental health concerns with their healthcare team.
  13. How Does MS Affect Vision: Optic neuritis, inflammation of the optic nerve, is a common symptom of MS that can cause blurred vision, eye pain, and even temporary vision loss. Visual disturbances often improve over time.
  14. Is MS Fatal: MS itself is usually not fatal, and most individuals with MS have a normal life expectancy. However, complications and secondary conditions can impact overall health.
  15. What Research is Being Done for MS: Ongoing research is focused on understanding the causes of MS, developing new treatments, and improving the quality of life for individuals with the disease. Advances in immunology and neurology continue to inform MS research.
  16. What is the Definition of a Relapse: A relapse, also known as an exacerbation, flare-up, or attack, in the context of multiple sclerosis (MS), refers to the sudden appearance of new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms. These episodes are typically temporary and can last for varying durations, ranging from days to weeks. A relapse is indicative of an inflammatory process occurring in the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord.
  17. What is an MS Hug: An “MS hug” is a term used in the multiple sclerosis (MS) community to describe a sensory symptom that feels like a tight band or girdle around the chest or torso. This sensation is caused by spasms or contractions of the muscles between the ribs, which can result from the impact of demyelination on nerve signals. The MS hug can vary in intensity, from a mild squeezing sensation to more severe discomfort. While the name may sound benign, the experience can be distressing for individuals with MS. Treatments for the MS hug may include muscle relaxants or other medications aimed at managing neuropathic pain. As with any symptom of MS, individuals need to discuss their experiences with healthcare professionals to determine the most appropriate management strategies for their specific situation.
  18. Can MS Sufferers Work and Maintain Employment: The ability to work with MS varies widely among individuals and depends on factors such as the type and severity of symptoms, the nature of the job, and the individual’s overall health and wellness. Some people with MS experience periods of relapse and remission, and during periods of remission, they may be fully capable of working.
  19. Can an MS Sufferer Have a Caregiver and Be Able To Go To Work: Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) can have a caregiver and still be able to work. The ability to work with MS varies greatly among individuals, and having a caregiver can provide valuable support in managing daily activities and tasks. Caregivers may assist with various aspects of daily living, such as transportation, meal preparation, and personal care, allowing the person with MS to focus on work. Individuals with MS and their caregivers need to work closely with healthcare professionals and, if applicable, human resources departments to create a supportive environment that allows for both employment and caregiving responsibilities.
  20. Is Numbness in the Toes and Thighs Classed as a Relapse? Numbness in the toes and thighs can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), and it may or may not indicate a relapse. A relapse, also known as an exacerbation or flare-up, is typically defined as the appearance of new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms lasting for at least 24 hours and occurring in the absence of fever or other identifiable causes. If the numbness in the toes and thighs is a new or worsening symptom that lasts for a significant period and meets the criteria for a relapse, it may be considered as such.
  21. Can You Suffer From Incontinence If You Have MS: Yes, urinary incontinence can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS can affect the nerves that control the bladder and the muscles involved in urinary function. As a result, individuals with MS may experience various urinary issues, including incontinence.
  22. Can You Suffer From Cognitive Impairment, If You Suffer From MS: Yes, cognitive impairment is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). While MS is often associated with physical symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and difficulty walking, it can also affect cognitive functions. Cognitive impairment in MS can manifest as difficulties with memory, attention, information processing speed, problem-solving, and other aspects of cognitive function.
  23. Is OCD Associated With MS: The relationship between MS and psychiatric conditions is complex and may involve various factors, including the impact of neurological changes, the stress of coping with a chronic illness, and the influence of immune system dysfunction. MS can affect the central nervous system, leading to both physical and psychological symptoms. Some studies suggest that individuals with MS may be at an increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, including OCD-like symptoms. However, the exact nature of this relationship is still an area of ongoing research, and not everyone with MS will experience psychiatric symptoms. Frequency of obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients with multiple sclerosis: A cross-sectional study – PMC (nih.gov)

The specific criteria for defining an MS relapse include:

  1. Duration: Symptoms must persist for at least 24 hours, and there should be a noticeable change in neurological function.
  2. Absence of Fever: The symptoms should not be associated with a fever or any other illness that could mimic an MS relapse.
  3. Exclusion of Other Causes: Other potential causes of symptoms, such as infections or medication side effects, should be ruled out.

Relapses can vary widely in terms of severity and the specific symptoms experienced. Common symptoms during a relapse may include increased fatigue, difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, vision problems, and problems with coordination.

Individuals with MS need to communicate any new or worsening symptoms to their healthcare team promptly. The management of relapses often involves treatment with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery. Additionally, disease-modifying therapies may be prescribed to help prevent future relapses and slow the progression of the disease.

Factors such as stress, fatigue, and other health conditions can contribute to temporary symptom exacerbations. Regular communication with a healthcare team is crucial for individuals with MS to monitor and manage their symptoms effectively. If you experience new or worsening symptoms, it’s recommended to discuss them with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate course of action.


Different types of urinary incontinence can occur in people with MS:

  1. Stress incontinence: This occurs when there is increased pressure on the bladder, such as during coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
  2. Urge incontinence: This involves a sudden, strong urge to urinate that is difficult to control.
  3. Overflow incontinence: In this type, the bladder doesn’t empty properly, leading to constant dribbling or leakage.
  4. Mixed incontinence: Some individuals may experience a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

It’s important for individuals with MS who are experiencing urinary symptoms, including incontinence, to discuss these issues with their healthcare provider. There are various management strategies and treatments available to help address urinary symptoms in people with MS, including medications, pelvic floor exercises, and lifestyle modifications. A healthcare professional can provide guidance and tailor interventions to the specific needs of the individual.

Cognitive Impairment

The severity and specific cognitive challenges can vary widely among individuals with MS. Some people may experience mild cognitive changes that do not significantly impact their daily lives, while others may face more pronounced difficulties that affect work, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Cognitive impairment in MS is thought to be related to the impact of demyelination and damage to nerve fibers in the central nervous system, particularly in areas of the brain responsible for cognitive functions.

Individuals with MS need to communicate any cognitive changes they experience to their healthcare team. Neuropsychological assessments may be used to evaluate cognitive function, and interventions such as cognitive rehabilitation, medications, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended to help manage cognitive symptoms. Early detection and intervention can contribute to better outcomes in managing cognitive challenges associated with MS.


In such cases, it’s important to contact a healthcare professional, such as a neurologist, who can assess the situation, conduct appropriate tests, and determine whether intervention, such as corticosteroid treatment, is necessary.

Further Reading

#ms #multiplesclerosis #autoimmunedisorder #mssupport #msfaq #neurologist #neurology #msrelapse #corticosteroids #modifyingtherapy #lemtrada #listeriadiet #immunesuppress





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Guest Writers Needed – On Health!

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We are in the process of building our own directory of A-Z illnesses and disabilities. If you happen to land on this page we encourage you to visit the NHS website about the topic in our category.

Awaiting Content On Health!

It is vital to have platforms that champion inclusivity and diversity, bringing stories and experiences from all walks of life to the forefront. The Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Online Journal is one such platform dedicated to representing the experiences, insights, and accomplishments of disabled individuals. However, like an empty canvas waiting for an artist’s brush, our pages are currently awaiting content. We’re excited to invite guest writers to share their knowledge and perspectives on all health topics, from A to Z. If you have landed on this page that means the category needs content.

A Platform for the Disabled Community

The Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Online Journal is more than just a publication; it’s a celebration of resilience, innovation, and success in the face of adversity. Disabled entrepreneurs, activists, healthcare professionals, and advocates have a valuable platform to share their insights and experiences. This journal is a space where stories and knowledge intersect to form a resource-rich hub for the entire disabled community.

Why Your Contribution Matters

Sharing your expertise and experiences on this platform can have a profound impact in several ways:

  1. Inspiration and Representation: Your stories and knowledge can inspire others in the disabled community. Representation matters, and your contribution can pave the way for others to follow in your footsteps.
  2. Education: The world of disabilities is vast and diverse. By contributing to the journal, you can educate the public and offer insights into topics such as disability rights, accessible technology, healthcare, adaptive sports, and more.
  3. Fostering Inclusivity: By sharing your perspective, you help break down barriers and stigmas surrounding disabilities. The more we understand each other, the more inclusive our society can become.
  4. Professional Growth: Becoming a guest writer for a reputable platform like this can enhance your professional profile and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Topics We’re Looking For

At the Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Online Journal, we aim to cover a wide range of health topics and disability-related subjects. Our pages are open to contributions that span the A to Z of health and disability, including but not limited to:

  • Accessible Technology: Innovations in assistive devices and technology.
  • Mental Health: Strategies for managing mental health while navigating life with a disability.
  • Policy and Advocacy: Insights into disability rights and policy changes.
  • Entrepreneurship and Business: Stories of successful disabled entrepreneurs and startup guidance.
  • Inclusive Education: Strategies for creating inclusive learning environments.
  • Wellness and Healthcare: Tips on maintaining physical and mental health.

Browse our categories to see what content we need.

If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge, experiences, or insights on disability-related topics, we invite you to become a guest writer for the Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Online Journal. To get started, simply follow these steps:

  1. Pitch Your Idea: Send us a brief pitch outlining your proposed topic to [email address]. Ensure that it aligns with our vision and mission.
  2. Write Your Article: Once your pitch is approved, start working on your article. Our editorial team will be available to provide guidance and feedback.
  3. Submit Your Article: When your article is ready, submit it for review.
  4. Engage with Our Community: We encourage our guest writers to engage with our readers through comments and discussions, offering valuable insights and answering questions.


The Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK Online Journal is not just a publication; it’s a collective voice that celebrates the achievements and experiences of the disabled community. We believe in the power of collective knowledge, and we invite you to be a part of our mission. Your contribution can be a stepping stone for others and an invaluable resource for the world. Join us in filling our pages with content that resonates, educates, and inspires.

As a guest writer, you’ll gain exposure and the chance to build a portfolio of content. We also offer backlinks to your personal or professional website, enhancing your online presence. By sharing your knowledge with our community, you’re not only enriching our journal but also empowering individuals within the disabled community and beyond.

At Disabled Entrepreneur – Disability UK, we are committed to supporting our talented writers. Our goal is to create a platform that compensates contributors once we reach a level of traffic that sustains such payments. As we grow, we are exploring the possibility of introducing a paywall system. This approach will help us continue to provide quality content while rewarding our dedicated writers for their valuable contributions. Your words and expertise are an essential part of our journey, and we look forward to a future where we can reciprocate your efforts more substantially.

#guestposts #guestwriting #articlewriting #backlinks #portfoliobuilding #illnesses #disabilities #disabledentrepreneur.


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