Breaking Down Mental Health Stigma: Understanding the Statistics
Mental health stigma continues to be a pervasive issue in society, hindering the well-being of countless individuals worldwide. While progress has been made in recent years to raise awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, there is still much work to be done. Understanding the statistics behind mental health stigma is essential in order to address this issue effectively and promote a more compassionate and inclusive society.
Prevalence of Mental Health Issues
To understand the depth of mental health stigma, it’s crucial to first acknowledge the prevalence of mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 264 million people suffer from depression globally, and around 20 million individuals are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Additionally, anxiety disorders affect an estimated 284 million people worldwide. These statistics illustrate that mental health conditions are far from rare and impact a significant portion of the global population.
Underreporting: One significant aspect of mental health stigma is underreporting. Many individuals hesitate to seek help or disclose their mental health issues due to fear of judgment or discrimination. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that approximately 60% of people with mental health disorders do not receive treatment. Stigma plays a substantial role in this underutilization of mental health services.
Workplace Stigma: Mental health stigma also affects workplaces. According to a study conducted by the Center for Workplace Mental Health, approximately 83% of employees feel that mental health issues are stigmatized in their workplace. Fear of potential repercussions or damage to their professional reputation often prevents employees from seeking the help they need.
Stereotypes and Discrimination: Stereotypes and discrimination related to mental health conditions persist in society. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that around 46% of people believe that those with mental illnesses are prone to violence. This unfounded belief contributes to the perpetuation of stereotypes and further stigmatization.
Impact on Youth: Mental health stigma has severe consequences for young people. Half of all lifetime cases of mental health conditions begin by the age of 14, according to WHO. Stigmatization can discourage young individuals from seeking help, potentially leading to worsened mental health outcomes.
Consequences of Stigma: Mental health stigma doesn’t just affect individuals; it has far-reaching consequences for society as a whole. Some of the notable consequences include:
Delayed Treatment: Stigma often leads to delays in seeking treatment, which can worsen the severity of mental health conditions.
Isolation: People who experience stigma may become socially isolated, leading to feelings of loneliness and depression.
Reduced Quality of Life: Stigma can hinder individuals from fully participating in daily activities and enjoying a high quality of life.
Economic Costs: Mental health stigma results in lost productivity in the workplace and increased healthcare costs.
Lower Self-Esteem: Stigmatized individuals may internalize negative beliefs about themselves, leading to lower self-esteem.
Efforts to Combat Stigma: While the statistics surrounding mental health stigma are concerning, there is hope. Numerous organizations, campaigns, and individuals are working tirelessly to combat stigma and create a more accepting society. Initiatives like Mental Health Awareness Month and anti-stigma campaigns encourage open conversations about mental health and reduce misconceptions.
The Damaging Effects of Stigmatizing Individuals with Mental Health Disorders
Stigmatizing individuals with mental health disorders can have profoundly detrimental effects on their mental and emotional well-being. While the consequences of such stigmatization may not be immediately apparent, they can lead to a worsening of symptoms and a reluctance to seek help, exacerbating the challenges faced by those already grappling with mental health issues.
Increased Isolation: One of the most immediate consequences of stigmatization is social isolation. When individuals with mental health disorders experience negative judgment or ridicule, they often withdraw from social interactions out of fear of further rejection. This isolation can intensify feelings of loneliness and contribute to the deterioration of their mental health.
Reduced Self-Esteem: Stigmatizing individuals with mental health disorders reinforces negative self-perceptions. The derogatory remarks and attitudes they encounter can lead to a decrease in self-esteem, causing them to believe that they are somehow “less than” or “broken.” Such beliefs can become deeply ingrained and further erode their sense of self-worth.
Reluctance to Seek Help: Stigmatization also discourages individuals from seeking the help they desperately need. The fear of judgment or discrimination can prevent people from opening up about their struggles or seeking professional treatment. This reluctance to seek help can result in delayed or inadequate care, leading to the worsening of their mental health condition over time.
Self-Stigma: In some cases, individuals with mental health disorders may internalize the negative stereotypes and prejudices they encounter, a phenomenon known as self-stigma. They may begin to believe that they are solely responsible for their condition or that they should be able to “snap out of it.” This self-blame can intensify their suffering and create additional barriers to recovery. This can also lead to imposter syndrome.
Escalation of Symptoms: Stigmatization can exacerbate the symptoms of mental health disorders. The stress and anxiety caused by social rejection and discrimination can trigger or worsen conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. This, in turn, can lead to a vicious cycle where deteriorating mental health leads to more stigmatization and vice versa.
Barriers to Employment and Education: Stigmatization can have practical consequences as well. People with mental health disorders may face discrimination in the workplace or educational institutions, limiting their opportunities for growth and financial stability. This added stressor can contribute to the deterioration of their mental health.
The statistics surrounding mental health stigma are a stark reminder that there is much work to be done in creating a more inclusive and compassionate society. As we continue to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for policy changes, we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. By doing so, we can ensure that more individuals seek the help they need and ultimately lead healthier, happier lives.
It is crucial to recognize that degrading or stigmatizing individuals with mental health disorders does not help them in any way; instead, it harms them and exacerbates their struggles. Promoting understanding, empathy, and acceptance is essential in creating a supportive environment where those with mental health issues can seek help without fear of judgment or discrimination.
Addressing mental health stigma through education, awareness campaigns, and inclusive policies is essential in ensuring that individuals feel comfortable seeking the help they need. By fostering a more compassionate and accepting society, we can reduce the damaging effects of stigmatization and support those facing mental health challenges on their path to recovery.
PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.
Disclaimer Scotland: People in Scotland will no longer be able to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from August 29 when the benefit will be replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in all 32 council areas across the country. At present, 13 local authorities are now offering ADP to adults over 16 and under State Pension age living with a disability, long-term illness or a physical or mental health condition.
Most people don’t like complaining and will not make a formal complaint about anything let alone the DWP, because they believe it would be a waste of time and could cause a knock-on effect on their other benefits. For those that do complain and, after many months of pursuing, end up giving up. The ones that are determined come away with a pathetic apology and feel they have hit a brick wall. They accept the mediocre admission by the DWP or Atos, Capita, that these organizations made a mistake and nothing else happens, their mental health is simply disregarded without a second thought.
ANN ABRAHAMS – REPORT
However, the most recently released report reveals that a tiny number of people pursue their complaints further and end up being awarded large sums in compensation. The report is called ‘Small mistakes, big consequences’ and is written by Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Ann Abraham should be a name that should stand out as well as your local MP.
“Remember nothing happens quickly after all these people are not in a hurry to find money to put food on their tables, only you are”…
Your illnesses and disabilities should be corroborated with medical evidence and letters from GPs and consultants. This payment is to help with your daily living and is not an alternative to being a benefit bum and living off benefits. This payment is for people who truly deserve the extra money because of their disabilities. The reason why the Government is clamping down is because of too many fake, lazy individuals that see this as free money.
Citizens Advice said: “PIP, which can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week, is a lifeline for millions of people, yet the government is playing with people’s lives and their health.
There are currently around 327,000 Disabled people on the waiting list, with an average waiting time of five months. Citizens Advice projects this means £300 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up, after all the government needs to look after themselves first before thinking about the other half of the population. You are not their priority, although you should be.
“Waiting for this payment is having a huge impact on people’s lives. Delays in assessment mean that support is held up, forcing people into impossible choices as they try to make ends meet.”
People are facing humiliation as 1 in 5 people have needed to go to a food bank in the last 3 months who have also had an issue with PIP. Many of those waiting for a decision will also be eligible for the £150 disability benefits cost-of-living support payment but are unlikely to get it before October’s mammoth energy price hike.
There are more people coming to Citizens Advice for help with PIP than with any other issue in fact an astonishing 41% more than any other issue.
Around 150 people are contacting advisors at Citizens Advice every hour for one-to-one help, and its webpage on “How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims” had 27,700 page views last month, up 56% year on year.
Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to take urgent action to relieve pressure in the system and help get money to people who desperately need it. It is calling for an emergency plan from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urgently tackle this backlog, including reducing the number of claimants required to have a medical assessment, which is the main reason for these delays – and extending the award period so people have to reclaim less often.
Backlogs in the disability benefit assessment system are having significant knock-on effects on disabled people’s ability to live independently, new evidence has shown.
These delays are also causing further turmoil for disabled people whose support needs have increased and believe they should now be entitled to higher PIP payments.
The evidence has come from the Benefits and Work website, which has heard from a string of existing PIP recipients who say the delays are causing tremendous emotional distress and significant problems.
In March, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the backlog of disabled people waiting for a PIP assessment had more than trebled in the last five years, from 88,500 in October 2016 to nearly 312,000 by December 2021.
DNShas also reported on similar problems with the Access to Work system, with DWP figures showing the number of disabled people waiting for decisions on their applications has more than quadrupled in a year from just 4,890 in March 2021 to 20,909 in March this year.
One of the ways the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is dealing with the lengthening PIP assessment backlog is by providing temporary (3 months), short-term extensions to PIP claimants who are waiting for their benefits to be reviewed.
Editors’ Opinion –“Do they not have enough unemployed people to do a bit of paperwork? How about outsourcing the work would be another idea and finally only appraise the people that have medical evidence to corroborate their illnesses”?
The Government is purposely dragging its heels in order to save money.
“This is Evil, a Disgrace, and a Shambles”.
Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people said:
“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting disabled people particularly hard, it is shocking this government has not got a grip of the PIP backlog, which has been going on for months now”.
“Short-term fixes aren’t enough anymore. Disabled people deserve so much better than this; Tory ministers need to get a grip on this backlog, especially given the impact it is now having on other benefits for disabled people.
“A future Labour government would invest properly in disabled people, ensuring they had the support needed.”
A DWP spokesperson said:
“We closely monitor the progress of PIP cases awaiting assessment and take all steps possible to ensure claimants receive the vital support they require”.
“We can and do make in-house decisions on award reviews without referral to assessment providers where necessary and use a blend of phone, video, and face-to-face assessments to ensure support is given as quickly as possible.”
People Who Suffer From OCD
Daily Living Descriptor 6– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The Upper Tribunal has recently made a decision (CPIP/3760/2016) about how people with OCD can claim points under PIP.
Therefore there has been some confusion about people with OCD, who usually can do an activity perfectly well, but have to do it over and over again or in particular ways or at particular times.
(Assessors who are not specialized in diagnosing OCD or any other illness should not have any input about the claim – just because they have passed e-learning does not make them any more qualified than you or me).
The PIP descriptors and the regulations didn’t deal with this sort of situation very well and so lots of people with OCD lost out on awards. Now the Upper Tribunal has looked at the issue and made a judgment that will help people with OCD to earn points for PIP.
WHAT THE UPPER TRIBUNAL DECIDED
The Upper Tribunal case was about a person who took a very long time to get dressed because their OCD meant they had to repetitively try on lots of different outfits until she found one she was happy to wear. The DWP argued that this long time didn’t count for the purposes of PIP because it was just the person’s choice to try lots of clothes on. The Upper Tribunal, however, held that because the person’s hesitations and repetitive behavior were ‘the consequence of her health condition’, she was entitled to points because it took her more than twice as long as a non-disabled person to dress. But the UT did say that if the longer time had not been a consequence of her health condition, she would not have been entitled to points.
This decision is important because the principle that delays in being able to complete a task because of the consequences of a mental health condition like OCD can be applied to all descriptors, not just dressing. So a person with OCD who can eat perfectly well but who takes an hour to eat because of obsessive rituals about arranging the table, or a person who can wash perfectly well but who does so eleven times three times a day, could claim points under those PIP descriptors.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
If you have OCD for example and have obsessive rituals or other behavior which means that you take much longer to do activities of daily living like cooking, eating, dressing, and so on, then you now can use this Upper Tribunal decision to strengthen your argument for claiming PIP.
Note that you will still have to be able to show that you have been diagnosed with OCD or a similar mental health condition and you do in fact have behavior that means you take much longer than a non-disabled person to complete daily living activities. Good strong evidence from people who know you will be needed.
You will also have to show that your behavior is a consequence of your mental health condition and not just your own preferred way of doing things. Showing that you can’t change the way you do things even if it is against your interests will be useful – eg that you miss appointments because you can’t get there in time owing to a dressing ritual.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD
OCD is a very complicated illness it is not just about washing or checking or taking too long to shower, dress or cook food. It may be the fear of germ contamination (as I have). I know logically we are surrounded by germs but the thought of contracting something or being harmed through direct contact with an unsanitized area does not bear thinking about. I am cocooned in my own surrounding where I can keep my intrusive thoughts under control as best I can. My disabilities are not just OCD, they are Depression, Social Disconnection, and Cognitive Impairment (Cerebellar Atrophy) to name a few.
As with everything, it all takes time and you are not a priority.
Upper Tribunal decisions take time for your claims, mandatory reconsideration, and appeals, and it may take some months before DWP and assessors finally make the decision.
Unfortunately for you, this causes considerable stress on your mental health and pressure on your finances. You can either suffer and do nothing other than wait or you could complain.
If your appeal is taking longer than expected you have grounds to contact the ombudsman.
If you have been treated unfairly and given the DWP and Tribunal time to respond and they have not within the timeframe then you need to start getting all your evidence together to build a case. You can take it even further and take it to an Ombudsman (Last Resort).
The PIP system is flawed, it employs people who are not qualified in the field of the illness (one needs to be a specialist in the field and should undergo years of training as well as qualifications to determine what the claimant is suffering from). The system is designed to degrade people and to make them unwell. The more people that become unwell the more money Big Pharma makes and that is how the world goes round.
Making a Complaint
Do exhaust all avenues of complaint procedures before contacting the ombudsman and do collate as much evidence as you can. If you have a blog or social media page share it with the people I have mentioned in this article. People usually take notice if you have a professional site and you know what you are talking about.
If you want our help and need a letter we can send you a template with all users, names, and addresses and you fill in the blanks. Our template letters are £5.00 and you will get a download link once the payment has been processed, if you want us to write the letter for you it will cost £25 per 1000 words. Your privacy and data will be safeguarded with a non-disclosure agreement.
PIP Mailing Address is:
Personal Independence (2), 2 Mail Handling Site (A), Wolverhampton., WV98 18B
0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)
** Just to explain when I spoke to PIP today over my daughter’s award the woman said that my daughter or I would have to submit evidence by post. Knowing they had an email I said could it not be done electronically (I bit my tongue about saving the environment) and the woman I spoke to blatantly lied and said there is no email address.
The amount of time I had to wait to be put through could easily cause someone who has multiple sclerosis or any other auto-immune disease and suffers from bad stress and anxiety to easily relapse. Furthermore, I do not know who they employ because I had to spell ‘Alemtuzumab‘ out even though I clearly told the woman the word can be found on www.lemtrada.com.
I am not looking forward to the assessment my daughter is due to have because if they make my daughter perform like a circus monkey that will mean I will have to intervene. My daughter documents her health in her online journal on this platform. I am not looking forward to having to deal with these people.
Definition of insult or insulting means: when we give a mock with a scornful countenance as in some smiling sort looking aside or by drawing the lip awry or shrinking up the nose. This may include an assumption that we are more knowledgeable than the person we are talking to, thus proclaiming that the person we are directing the comment to is not of high intellect.
I am rattled today because of an email I received from an agency that is run by my local council and they seem to separate themselves even though they are one. They are basically saying that they are not the local council and are passing the buck.
I am getting irate because this is costing me time having to argue with them and not to mention it is also affecting my daughter’s mental health and it is also affecting me. We both have disabilities and I fight my daughters’ battles even though it sometimes can also affect me too.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” – Mark Twain
“Trusting someone’s opinion over your own is admitting you believe they’re smarter than you are.” – Charles Faraone
It takes a lot to get me rattled but people (sheep reading off scripts) do push my buttons and eventually if one does it enough times “you will see me blow”.
I am normally a calm person but if people purposely wind me up and think I am an idiot to believe the BS, they have another thing coming.
Not only this, the said agency is basically insinuating that Multiple Sclerosis is Not a Disability and they are undermining the results by the Professor of Neurology.
“This post serves as the foundation of the whirlwind I will stir and will happily sing like a canary”.
So despite showing evidence that my daughter has had a relapse this said agency is still in need of more evidence. My daughter’s neurologist is on annual leave should I demand he drop his holiday and everything else he is doing to pussyfoot around these people?
I find the behavior of this agency is causing emotional distress and indirectly discriminatingwhich is against the law. If I have proven my daughter has relapsed and needs help getting around occasionally, as no two days are the same, you would think they would be more understanding but they keep putting obstacles in the way and causing distress.
I am dealing with this as I do not want my daughter to relapse again and I will not allow her to jump on one foot whilst touching her nose and act like a performing seal just to prove a point.
I reiterate medical evidence will suffice and she will not be questioned by someone who is not qualified for the role (my daughter’s friend is a PIP assessor with only GCSEs to her name).
Indirect discrimination happens when there is a policy that applies in the same way for everybody but disadvantages a group of people who share a protected characteristic, and you are disadvantaged as part of this group. If this happens, the person or organization applying the policy must show that there is a good reason for it.
A ‘policy’ can include a practice, a rule, or an arrangement.
It makes no difference whether anyone intended the policy to disadvantage you or not.
To prove that indirect discrimination is happening or has happened:
there must be a policy that an organization is applying equally to everyone (or to everyone in a group that includes you)
the policy must disadvantage people with your protected characteristic when compared with people without it
you must be able to show that it has disadvantaged you personally or that it will disadvantage you
the organization cannot show that there is a good reason for applying the policy despite the level of disadvantage to people with your protected characteristic
If the organization can show there is a good reason for its policy, it is not indirect discrimination. This is known as objective justification.
With this said if an organization treats someone with ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ or any other ‘Invisibile Disability’ the same way you would treat a normal able body person, they are in fact indirectly discriminating, which is against the law.
With Multiple Sclerosis you have good days and you have bad days.
The weather can impact your health.
No two days are the same.
The same can be said with someone with mental health issues, one day you can be somewhat fine and other days you could be not doing so well.
There is no way of measuring or predicting if a person will be ok from one day to the next.
Not only this arguing with people (sheep), causes emotional distress which in the case of ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ can cause a person to relapse.
If this continues I will be looking to seek damages for:
Treating disabled people unfairly in the workplace.
Treating disabled people unfairly in the workplace is going to land you in hot water and if you are not careful, FINED!
Employees are less likely to complain for the fear of losing their jobs especially if they rely on their salaries to live. 61% of workers in insecure employment came to work when they were unwell. GMB. Precarious Workers Poll. June 2017. Available from: www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/millions-insecure-work
Working long hours increases the likelihood of a major depressive episode Virtanen M, Stansfeld SA, Fuhrer R, Ferrie JE, Kivimäki M (2012) Overtime Work as a Predictor of Major Depressive Episode: A 5-Year Follow-Up of the Whitehall II Study. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30719. Available from: journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0030719A company that assumes a person to be well and will give overtime in an indirect way, could be seen as indirect discrimination, assuming a disabled person can work the extra hours. (If you refuse the overtime it could be deemed you are not loyal to the company, that you are slacking and not pulling your weight like the rest of your colleagues).
Time limits – A claim to an employment tribunal should usually be made within 3 months less, 1 day. This is known as the ‘limitation date’. For example, if an employee wants to claim for unfair dismissal, they have 3 months less, 1 day from the date their employment ended to make the claim. You can make the claim or you can get someone to do it on your behalf, such as a friend.
I start this post without mentioning the organization (blue chip company) but despite the employee telling the employer at the time of the interview, that they had a disability somewhat one year later the organization has done nothing to help support the person with the disability. The person wants to stay anonymous.
In fact, after sick leave, this company simply said they would ask and not assume after filling in “a return to work form”, yet not even 24 hours later the company disregarded this person’s disability and put them on a very strenuous job knowing that this person would struggle.
Since posting this article the employee in question was put on the spot today on 06/08/22 and when the employee complained about the work load the line manager(N) said “so what can you do” in a somewhat condenscending way, and continued to say because you look normal then you should be treated no different, I can see 🤑 🤑 🤑 signs when this eventually goes to a tribunal.
I am keeping track of everything so that when the 💩 hits the fan, they won’t know what hit them.
Reporting Your Manager
Reporting to someone about a manager especially if they all play happy families in the staff room will not get you anywhere other than making your life even more difficult to bear. Unless you have the names of HR and other Managers higher up, you may be playing a sticky wicket.
The Best Course Of Action
First, log the complaint with the manager. For example, if they indirectly discriminate, you can state the job role is causing you discomfort and distress.
Formally lodge the complaint in writing (that’s if you are brave enough and do not want to be on the receiving end of repercussions, which may follow, where they will find excuses why you are slacking),I have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt, that is why I now work for myself and am my own boss. Moaning about your boss to another boss is not going to earn you brownie points.
This one is by far my favourite report toACAS.They will have your back from Day 1 and anything that happens after the complaint is lodged they will be standing by you. (Obviously, the moment you report the complaint your managers will be all over you like a red hot rash and will try to defend themselves even going as far as putting right what was wrong, but do bear in mind everything is short-livedand once the dust is settled they could go back to their old ways). You need to decide if the company you work for is worth your health.If your health is affected because of a direct consequence of a company that has done little to support you, you have to decide if you wish to continue to be treated like a door mat or take action by being compensated for your ill health due to the company’s actions of treating you unfairly, never mind your legal rights and how the company has broken the law. Sometimes we have to weigh up if working for a company that does not support disabilities is worth our blood, sweat and health.
As An Employer, Of Disabled Employees You Have To Make Reasonable Adjustments
As an employer employing disabled people must make reasonable adjustments to support disabled job applicants and employees. This means ensuring disabled people can overcome any substantial disadvantages they may have to do whilst performing their jobs. (Equality Act 2010).
An individual can take you to an employment tribunal if they think you have not made reasonable adjustments.
Many reasonable adjustments involve little or no cost and could include:
making changes to a disabled person’s working pattern
providing training or mentoring
making alterations to premises
ensuring that information is provided in accessible formats
modifying or acquiring equipment
allowing extra time during selection ‘tests’
It is against the law to treat someone less favourably than someone else because of a personal characteristic, such as being disabled. There are different kinds of discrimination.
Discrimination does not have to be direct to be illegal.
You can discriminate indirectly with working conditions or rules that disadvantage a group of people more than another.
How you can be discriminated against
Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:
direct discrimination – treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
indirect discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
harassment – unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment
Employing disabled people and people with health conditions:
Psychological stress can affect a person’s cognitive abilities, in the short term (e.g., when an individual’s thoughts are pre-occupied with an argument or problem that happened earlier in the day resulting in reduced ability to concentrate) as well as over the long term, where the intrusive thoughts creep in and the problem simply does not go away and festers, which in turn can lead to anxiety, depression and other mental health disabilities.
Emotional and cognitive changes
The emotional and cognitive effects are often the greatest challenges. Some of the most common symptoms can be hidden from plain sight. These changes can affect the way people feel about themselves and alter their cognitive functions. For many, the emotional and cognitive effects represent the greatest challenges.
Uncertainty, stress, and anxiety, depression are the most common disorders a person can experience.
A person with an autoimmune neurological disease such as MS or Cerebellar Atrophy may grieve for their life before they were diagnosed with a disorder. Other emotional changes that may occur include clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and mood swings. All of these are more common among people with MS than in the general population. Depression and bipolar disorder require professional attention and the use of effective treatments.
Emotional lability appears to be more common, and possibly more severe, in people with MS and Mental Health Disorders. This may include frequent mood changes, for example from happy to sad to angry.
It is believed that the causes are the extra stress brought on by MS as well as neurological changes. Uncontrollable laughing and crying is a disorder affecting a small proportion of people with MS, and it is thought to be caused by MS-related changes in the brain.
Having MS can affect self-esteem. There may be times when it’s difficult to do everything a person is used to doing, or they may have to do things differently. Focusing too much on the negative aspects can feel overwhelming.
Cognition refers to the “higher” brain functions such as memory and reasoning. About half of all people with MS will not experience any cognitive changes, but for others, the most commonly affected aspects of cognition are:
Attention and concentration
Speed of information processing
Abstract reasoning and problem solving
Studies have shown according to author Dr. Sudha Seshadri, professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio explains that higher levels of stress translate into raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. A raised level of cortisol in the blood can predict brain size, function, and also the performance of the individual when faced with cognitive tests. She said, “We found memory loss and brain shrinkage in relatively young people long before any symptoms could be seen.” It’s never too early to be mindful of reducing stress,” she added. The lead author, Dr. Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins also said that symptoms of stress-related memory loss and brain damage may not be evident until much damage has already been done.
Cerebellar Atrophy & Stress.
The cerebellum is connected with stress-related brain areas and expresses the machinery required to process stress-related neurochemical mediators. Surprisingly, it is not regarded as a substrate of stress-related behavioral alterations, despite numerous studies that show cerebellar responsivity to stress.
“I suffer from cognitive impairment, I lose my balance, jumble my words, and have memory loss. The condition I have is cerebellar atrophy. I was diagnosed with it around 2011”.
The more stressed I am the less I want to do. I sometimes have to force myself to churn the wheel for another day.
I suffer from clinical depression and have been diagnosed with this over 30 years ago. There are days that I have to fight with my thoughts in order to get through the day.
Recently with the price hikes, my depression is getting worse. I have my voice mail turned off and my phone is on airplane mode constantly. I cannot deal with talking to people over the phone. To counteract this I much prefer email correspondence. I am not too good with letters especially forms because of my OCD, this is something else I suffer with.
Having people pity me and say things “Awh Bless” or “Poor You”, really gets my back up. It is condescending. Furthermore, people are quick to judge or assume.
The difference between someone who is self-employed and someone who is employed is that the employed person is a slave to their employer and has a guaranteed wage, whilst the self-employed do not have a guaranteed income stream. A disabled person may choose to work for themselves as they do not have the same amount of pressure or obstacles to overcome.
I spoke with a British Gas customer rep the other day and she started asking questions, such as do I have a carer, and when I said no, I could hear her brain ticking and assuming that I am making things up about my illness. I tried explaining if I get stressed my mental state shuts down and I go into a whirl of depression. I continued to say that yanking my gas bill from £65 per month to £90 and a further hike to £138 was simply unacceptable. I simply cannot get this sort of money out of my a##e. I ended by saying I won’t be able to work because I cannot cope with the stress this is causing me. Now wait for the assuming bit she replied “what do you mean you will not be able to work, what do you do”? I said “I am the editor of “Disability UK Journal”. There was silence and then her attitude changed.
“A person who is self-employed and becomes unwell cannot function or keep their business running. So if they do not work no money comes in”.
“Just because I run this disability journal does not mean I am rolling around in money. Never assume anything”!
“I am not a charity and I have no funding, I simply rely on Advertising & Marketing Revenue”.
“Never assume because someone is working, they are financially secure or they do not have disabilities, or if they have they must not be all there especially when they have mental health disorders”.
There is so much stigma attached to disabilities with small-minded peoplejudging and assuming things. Just because someone may have a disability does not make them less capable than the next person (depending on certain factors and disabilities of course), they may in fact do a better job.
“A disabled person can be more intelligent than you, so never assume that they are not”.
Emotional Distress is the intentional infliction of emotional discomfort on another person and is a common law tort that allows people to sue organizations and individuals for severe emotional distress caused by another person or entity who intentionally or recklessly inflicted emotional distress by behaving in an “extreme and outrageous” way.
What are the types of emotional distress?
There are two types of emotional distress cases, negligent and intentional.
You can claim monetary compensation for the emotional distressthe discrimination has caused you – this is called ‘injury to feelings.
You’ll need evidence of this and if you have it documented as I have through my “online journal” you can build a case against the perpetrator or entity which needs to show how the discrimination made you feel.
You will need witnesses or evidence of who you are naming and blaming and you need to start asking your family, friends, colleagues, medical professionals, or support workers if they’ll be witnesses to how the discrimination affected you.
An injury to feelings claim is a claim that can be made as part of a judgment, discrimination, humiliation, mental and physical abuse claim but not an unfair dismissal claim. It is a claim for compensation for the upset, distress, or anxiety a person might have suffered as a result of discrimination, humiliation, mental abuse, physical abuse.
Negligence Emotional Distress: As an example, my GP’s surgery has failed in their duty of care and as a consequence has caused me emotional distress.
Intentional Emotional Distress: Another example of an entity(s) that caused a domino effect caused me emotional distress.
The purpose of an injury to feelings award is to compensate the individual for the hurt and distress they have suffered rather than to punish the entity or (person held liable) for the discriminatory conduct. However, the sum awarded should not be so high that it amounts to a windfall nor should it be so low that it diminishes respect for the law.
The lower band which is appropriate for less serious cases such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one off occurrence.
The middle band for serious cases which do not merit an award in the highest band.
The top band for the most serious cases such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment. In exceptional circumstances, the top band can be exceeded.
Subsequent case law established that a 10% uplift should be applied to any award and that the Vento bands should be increased annually in line with inflation.
For claims brought on or after 6 April 2019 the current bands are:
**Please Note Stress & Anxiety Compensation:
In case of prolonged symptoms, your compensation claims could range between £48,000 to £101,000.
For mild psychiatricdamage, your compensation claims could range between £1,300 to £5,000.
Business Emotional Distress.
Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations (is a business dispute), in the common law of torts, occurs when one person intentionally damages someone else’s contractual or business relationships with a third party, causing economic harm.
As an example, someone could use blackmail to induce a contractor into breaking a contract; they could threaten a supplier to prevent them from supplying goods or services to another party, or they could obstruct someone’s ability to honor a contract with a client by deliberately refusing to deliver necessary goods.
A tort of negligent interference occurs when one party’s negligence damages the contractual or business relationship between others, causing economic harm, such as, by blocking a waterway or causing a blackout that prevents the utility company from being able to uphold its existing contracts with consumers.
Can you sue your ex for emotional distress?
Yes, you can, as a general rule, you can sue for emotional distress, if your ex has caused you mental health issues and as a consequence, you are depressed and have PTSD you can sue this person.
In fact, whether you are filing an insurance claim or pursuing a personal injury action in court, your emotional distress damages are accounted for as a significant part of your financial recovery.
To prove a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress a plaintiff must prove that:
The defendant’s conduct was outrageous and caused you distress.
The conduct was either reckless or intended to cause emotional distress
As a result of the defendant’s conduct the plaintiff suffered severe emotional distress (depression, PTSD, anxiety, stress, social disconnection, ocd).
Causes of Emotional Distress Include:
Loss of a Job
Medical Malpractice & Negligence
PTSD from witnessing a loved one’s premature death
Insecurity of knowing the unkown, when an entity playing mind games with your financial status and does not respond to you in a quick and timely manner.
Symptoms of Emotional Distress:
Loss of Apetite or Comfort Eating.
Insomnia, finding it hard to sleep.
Social Distancing, pulling away from people and things.
Feeling lethargic, having low or no energy
Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomach aches or headaches
Low Self Esteem. Feeling helpless or hopeless
Excessive smoking, drinking, or using drugs, including prescription medications
Thinking of hurting or killing yourself or someone else.
Often cases such as domestic violence can lead the victim to either criminal or civil proceedings, and he or she will need to decide which option to follow first or which to devote energy to before seeking both options. Emotional distress is usually one aspect of pain and suffering that the judge may award in compensation.
Although the above explains the legal side of things you have to be prepared to name and blame the entities and expect the repercussions of the aftermath of your litigation.
You have two choices and that is you let your negative feeling go and never mention them again (bury your emotions) or you go down the route to seek monetary compensation.
In my lifetime I would have already been a millionaire by now had I chosen to sue everyone that did me wrong.
Emotional Distress. Keeping a diary of your medical condition.
By logging down your good days and bad will give your GP or Specialist a more indepth understanding of your day to day problems.
For me most days are the same but some days are severe.
Today is one of those days.
I actually started this post a few days ago and left it as a draft but my mental health is really taking its toll. For example, I heard my ex-husband is in hospital after suffering a heart attack and has other complications such as lupus and cancer. The last time we spoke was 14 years ago and I felt I had been hit by a truck receiving the news today that he was in ICU in an induced coma and is now in a high dependency ward.
To say that this is a shock is an understatement and there are some people in the family I have reached out to.
I know that our divorce was nasty but there is an element of me that still cares.
I hope he recovers and I will get an update on the weekend but for now my mental health is on another level.
Emotional Distress By One of the Culprits (My Landlord)
Not only that my landlord is playing mind games with me. He sends me an email saying he is extending my contract for another 3 years and has drawn up an agreement (by coincidence on the same day I paid him the increased amount of money), for me to sign but he will not do a digital signature and is insisting he needs to see me. A week after his email I get a text that he will be visiting me today and so far he has not called round or text me. This is causing me no end of anxiety as I need him calling round like I need a hole in my head.
I have a problem with social disconnection and do not want to be around people.
I have explained this in my email and told him due to Covid my business has suffered plus other factors which I said etcetera but what I really meant was him increasing my rent causing me to have severe depression and stress. Yet he seems to be oblivious to the fact I am unwell.
If there are any monsters in this world its the people that show no empathy and only think about themselves.
I have recently found out you can sue people that have caused you distress. You obviously need proof of the distress, anxiety, stress, and depression this person has bestowed on you. My evidence is me publically documenting everyone that has caused me harm. You will have to show medical evidence and have witnesses to prove your case. You can claim for the emotional distress the discrimination has caused you – this is called ‘injury to feelings. You‘ll need to say how the discrimination made you feel.
The courts recognize emotional distress as a type of damage that can be recovered through a civil lawsuit. This means you can sue someone for emotional trauma or distress if you can provide evidence to support your claims.
Intimidation is intentional behavior performed by someone in which it causes another person (the victim) fear either by physical or psychological injury or harm.
A perpetrator knows what they are doing and will want to gain control of a situation by making their victim feel insecure.
Intimidationcan cause psychological damage which will make the victim question themselves, which may lead to depression or suicide.
Intimidation in the workplace can make your office environment to be a toxic place to work in.
When your boss or coworker is subjecting you to intimidation in the workplace your mental health will be affected and you may even find you have no choice but to quit your job if the constant bullying becomes unbearable.
What does Intimidation in the Workplace Look Like?
Workplace intimidation, which is also called workplace bullying, happens when someone superior to you or a coworker uses psychological threats, blackmail or verbal abuse to manipulate an employee to do things in order to feel superior over that person (the victim).
Intimidation may become apparant from the start by the superior showing they are above you. It does not have to be gradual as you may be told by your co-workers that the boss is on the prowl and that you have to jump through hoops to please him or her.
In some cases it may be made apparant over time, where the perpetrator accesses the victims weakness and plays on their insecurities. This does not have to be in the workplace it could be a friend, neighbour, partner or landlord. Basically anyone that has control over you in some way and feels they are superior to you can potentially intimidate you if you let them.
Intimidation can be:
Physical violence or threats
Ignoring you and your requests
Being Hostile physical posturing
Humiliating, ridiculing or insulting you in front of coworkers or customers
Intentionally dicing you work outside your expertise
Purposely finding faults with your work or assigning errors to you that are not your responsibility
Copying your ideas and taking credit for your work
Sabotaging your work or setting you up to fail
Raising the bar for success or setting up different standards for the targeted employee
Interfering with your ability to work
Highlighting the fact that your are dispensable, that you could loose your job if your work is not up to scratch
Showing superiority so that you feel insecure and putting the victim in their place, reminding the victim why they are where they are and how things could eaily change, playing on the victims insecurities.
Intimidation that can cause your mental health to change, such as spreading lies.
Making the employee feel unwelcome or singled out in social events.
Illegal Workplace Discrimination.
When there is intimidation in workplace it can easily cross the line into illegal workplace discrimination.
This applies to conduct based on:
Sex or gender
If an employer makes employment decisions that hinders your job role and assignments or allows its employees to create a hostile work environment, you may be able to make a discrimiantion claim against the employer. If your employer doesn’t live up to its promises or comply with its anti-harassment policies, you may be able to sue based on a breach of contract claim.
Regarless if intimidation is made in the workplace or in another environment such as a landlord intimidating a tenant for example you do have rights and you can find the relevant help in order that you are no longer intimidated and can live a life without feeling insecure. Nobody should live in fear.
**If you have problems at home with your landlord you should contact your local council office.
Your council should have a tenancy relations officer or a housing team who can help.
The council could:
help you get back into your home
find you somewhere else to live
take your landlord to court for evicting you illegally
We don’t need to be disabled to be discriminated upon.
Age Discrimination(Ageism) in the Workplace is the discrimination by an employer and HR management because of the person’s age. The person could be either to young or too old.
What is age discrimination?
The Equality Act covers the following types of discrimination:direct discrimination
This is where a decision is made because of a person’s age
a person’s perceived age
the age of someone a person is associated with (such as a partner, husband wife, friend or family member). This may not be because of age but could be because of other factors such as race, religion, gender, secual orientation.
Direct discrimination is not always, and does not need to be, intentional.
We have to explore all spectrums of the scale if the person is not hired because they are too young it could be they do not have enough experience. However a person who is too old may take more time off work more often than a young person due to having hospital appointments etc or illnesses. An older person may not have the same stamina as their younger counterpart. They may not be able to do physical work due to heavy lifting etc.
A younger person is more sellable if they have to represent a company a young person is the face of the brand.
They are various discrimination factors which I will go into in a moment.
However I want to add that there is a law protecting people being discriminated which was passed in 1967 The Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) what this means is that employers cannot discriminate based on a persons age.
But wait for this you have heard “age is just a number” in the case of small businesses it is just that, a number as, companies with less than 20 employees are exempt from the ADEA. This makes no sense at all as this law should be the same regarless if you have one employee or a thousand. (Grey Area).
Discrimation in the workplace is not just about age it is also to do with prejudices that occur when an employee is treated unfavourably because of gender, sexuality, race, religion, pregnancy and maternity or disability.
Examples of Ageism and how employers signal you are as follows:
An employer discrimates and older person as they may not be up to speed with technology or may have adapted bad habits such as checking their personal phone whilst working.
An employer refuses to hire a young person on construction as they are not experienced enough and insurance companies may not pay out if there was an accident.
An employer may not hire an older person because they may be more prone to taking time off work due to illnesses.
An employer may take on a younger person as they do not have to pay more money for an older person to do the same job.
An employer may reject a candidate for a job application because they over a certain age the employer thinks the canidate will not portray the youthful image they want for their business.
An employee maybe overlooked for promotion because they may be retiring soon.
An employee may be excluded from business social gathering because the employee’s partner is much older than her and would not ‘fit in’ with the other employees.
An employer may reject a job application because they need a minimum of 10 years experience (A bit difficult if you are a graduate who may be over qualified, but with no experience).
A company having to make job cuts may have a policy where ‘Last In, First Out’. This can be indirectly discriminatory.
An employer may reject a job application on the assumption that an older person may be too set in their ways to make changes and may be too complacent. ( I am now going to show my age I will be 58 in January and I going strong).
A younger person may want to chat more rather than get on with their work.
An employer may reject a candidtes job application if they are older, if the candidate is more qualified and has nore experience and network contacts than the employer.
” So AGE is meerly a number” it should not make a difference and by employers making excuses that a younger person may be on their personal phone too much, my answer to that is ban all personal mobile phones in the work place and put all phones in a safe under lock and key. Any emergencies can then be dealt with by the thirdparty calling the office number.
As for employment in general, candidates should be assessed on their experience and motivation, not on their age or their looks. If a candidate has more qualification and more experience than the employer, the employer should use that as an asset not as a hindrance.
Disability Discrimination is rife especailly if you do not look disabled.
People can draw conclusions without actually looking at the facts and whether it is discrimination in the workplace or an airport people with disabilities have rights and should not be humiliated.
Companies should not pass the buck and should own up to their misdoings and compensate the person they have discriminated against.
Far too often untrained staff can cast judgment and make a disabled person feel degraded and made to look like they are liars when in reality some disabilities are silent.
People with autoimmune disorders for example may not necessarily look disabled at a glance. The same applies to people with mental health conditions.
I think everyone who is disabled and diagnosed by a doctor, consultant, or professor should carry a disabled card. Not everyone wears a neon sign on their forehead saying they are disabled.
I remember from personal experience refusing to step barefoot on airport flooring whilst I was told to remove my shoes and the looks I was being given as I was holding everyone up was beyond belief. I was then given used plastic shoe covers to cover my feet.
Had I continued making a fuss I would most probably have been ushered away or refused to go through customs and consequently missing my flight. I had to just bite my tongue and reason with myself that the cross-contamination of germs providing they did not get into my bloodstream could be washed away as soon as I came home.
This was very distressing and for the two and half hour flight plus the one-hour drive home felt like it was taking forever and felt like hell as I could not wait to wash my feet.
Not that I plan to go anywhere any time soon but the next time I plan to travel by air I will be prepared and will have my own shoe protector coverings.
On another occasion, just before a court hearing where I was appearing as a witness, I was told I could not bring my hand sanitizer past the security gate. You can imagine the commotion I caused whilst solicitors, judges, and barristers were trying to get past to the courtrooms, in the end, they let me through.
Discrimination is not just for disabled people it can range from, religion, race, gender and age, and sexual orientation. Discrimination is the act of judging someone based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they are perceived to belong to.
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