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Category: Mental Health Disabilities (Page 1 of 6)

My OCD, My Story!

My OCD the Story of Renata Entrepreneur

My OCD is germ contamination that started 38 years ago but was diagnosed in1992.

This surgery has moved and DR Dolben has retired. My medical records including this letter would be on the system. My medical records are now held at Meddygfa Albany Surgery 219-221 City Road Roath Cardiff CF24 3JD and the head Doctor is Dr. Capatana.

Symptoms

In the beginning, I started to adopt unusual habits I did not understand what it was or why I was doing it other than I had to release the impulsive urge otherwise it would torment me. There was no internet back then so could not google it.

Looking back now my mother had similar traits but not as bad as me and some were a little different.

When I tried telling my mother in her later years she was in complete denial. My father was not happy because he did not know what OCD was and did not like me whipping out Dettol Surface Spray every five minutes and simply thought I had a screw loose.

What is OCD

OCD is a common debilitating condition affecting individuals from childhood through adult life. There is good evidence of genetic contribution to its etiology, but environmental risk factors also are likely to be involved. The condition probably has a complex pattern of inheritance. Molecular studies have identified several potentially relevant genes, but much additional research is needed to establish definitive causes of the condition. Genetics of OCD – PMC (nih.gov)

Hereditary OCD.

My mother had OCD, for example, when we came home from school my mother would make us stand in a small area in the kitchen to take our shoes off, we would then have to go upstairs immediately and stand on a newspaper to take our uniform off and get changed.

My mother had a habit of checking the soles of our shoes or even guest shoes as no one could come into the house without taking them off in the corridor. I reckon if anyone caught her doing what she did they would be mortified.

All grocery shopping would have to be washed with detergent before it could go in the cupboards. Obviously, some foods such as bakeries would have the outer packaging wiped with a dishcloth.

My mother had problems with newspapers and mail (just like me), she was careful how she opened them, everything had to be in a certain place and could not be touched unless it was in a certain area of the house and we would have to discard the outer envelopes and wash our hands.

My father’s jacket would always be inspected for dirt, especially on the hem and sleeves after he hung it up. I think her OCD put a strain on their marriage, although I think they had problems way before she developed the disorder which I believe was a direct consequence of how my father treated her.

Ongoing studies point to a genetic defect in the way the front area of the brain communicates with deeper areas. These deeper structures use serotonin, a chemical messenger. Images of the brain in some people with OCD show that these defective communication circuits work more normally with serotonin-based medications or cognitive behavior therapy. OCD Causes: Is OCD Genetic, Hereditary? | HealthyPlace

The start of my OCD symptoms.

I was 21 when I started to develop OCD traits, it was whilst I was in a relationship with someone who took advantage of his position in a Bank he worked in, and any attractive-looking female customers he would look for their names, addresses, and phone numbers up and phone them to ask them out for dates (obviously this would never be allowed to happen now because of GDPR but as I got more suspicious that he was playing away I phoned the numbers that he would leave lying around and the women would confirm that they went out with him. It is amazing no one reported him because he is now a regional bank manager thanks to me finding the job in a job center and applying on his behalf somewhat 38 years ago.

The straw that broke the camel’s back.

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when out of the blue with no notice at all he said it was over between us. To be honest I was madly in love with him (he looked like a young version of Tom Cruise a spitting image of Top Gun Movie 1 and now looks more like David Cameron MP (Yes I have looked him up and blocked him). I would have taken a bullet for him (my ex not the MP), regardless of what he did.

In my heart, I forgave him as long as we would stay together, but pressure from his parents especially his mother did not approve of me as the daughter of a working-class immigrant who wanted her precious son to have a more upper-class suitor. His sister was also never a fan because it was her boyfriend that arranged a blind date that got us together and at the last minute bailed only to ask her brother to take his place. I was not aware of how much grief this would cause, and I would have been pissed if the roles were reversed and it happened to me, so did not blame her for being angry. She ended up breaking up with her boyfriend after that.

I knew at heart of hearts there was something very seriously wrong in our relationship (with my ex) and that he was a player. I started to wash my hands and body in ‘Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant’ liquid, which either would be undiluted on my hands or mixed in my shower gels and shampoos because I believed I wanted to wash the other women’s scent off me when he was intimate with me.

To this day I will only use Dettol Brand, I use it when I bathe and also when I wash my clothes. It cannot be any other brand other than Dettol.

I think what escalated my OCD was when I found out he was visiting brothels and he caught an STD, by that time we were not having sex but the thought of him having crabs grossed me out. It’s a long story about how I found out and it will be in my autobiography when I publish it.

I then started to be very vigilant about my surroundings, I started to have the shower curtain outside the bath, which would cause the floor to get wet and also get him angry, which in turn caused arguments. I could not stand the shower curtain clinging to me as I was showering and to this day I have not changed this habit. I now have a glass folding door fitted in my own bathroom.

After we broke up I think I must have had a nervous breakdown. I thought my life was over and I so desperately wanted him back, I realized why he no longer wanted to be with me because he met someone that worked at the bank (I believe everything happens for a reason, had I not found him that job, things would have maybe turned out differently) but looking at it now he did me a favor. I then decided to move away so that I would never bump into him again. I have since blocked him on all social media so if he was ever to look me up he would never have a hope in hell of ever speaking to me.

Coping with OCD over the years.

Over the years and depending on what was going on in my life I have good days and bad days but I learned to cope and adapt.

I did keep my OCD hidden for many years as I was very embarrassed to admit there was something wrong with me.

It was when people in public places bumped into me (busy towns) I started to have an issue with social connection. When using public transport I hated people sitting next to me. It got to the stage I would avoid buses altogether and it really rattled me when someone would push past me or if they bumped into me (say sorry) my argument would be if I was a car and there was a collision they would be doing more than apologizing.

I would find it hard to go to restaurants and cafes and have my own set of cutlery. I became vigilant about how the server served the drinks and how close to the rim of the glass their fingers would be. I ended up drinking from straws. I have been known to clean the seat before sitting down, this would get people to give me funny looks. Imagine sitting on a seat where the previous person has sat who may have tram lines in his or her undergarments.

My OCD is germ contamination. My impulse is not to touch unsanitized objects and my compulsion is to clean and disinfect whatever I am in contact with.

I have now opted out of socializing, it’s embarrassing to wear latex gloves in public. There is a stigma attached to people that behave differently from the rest of the batteries in the matrix. The chances of being judged or ridiculed are too much for me to bear.

I prefer to live behind a computer screen than interact with the outside world.

Don’t get me wrong I would venture out if I had to, but try to avoid it as much as possible. I would take extra precautionary measures and try to overcome my anxiety.

I have all my groceries, prescriptions and shopping delivered. There is nothing I cannot do but it all has to be done online. All statements and invoices are online.

I also have a problem with flies (fruit flies in particular) but flies in general that sits on dog poo and then sit on your surfaces really turn my stomach. In the summer months, I am armed with fly spray by the dozen.

My Compulsions

My compulsions, I do try and fight as much as I can, say, for instance, if I have touched something by accident, I will go and change my clothes. However, there have been instances where I have not been able to sanitize expensive things and have had to through them away. I remember when my daughter was little and she stepped in dog poo, I ended up throwing out her shoes.

I cannot share my bath with anyone else other than my daughter. I cannot let anyone touch anything that belongs to me such as a laptop, books, or that kind of thing.

I cannot have someone sit next to me or touch me. Even my daughter’s cat knows not to jump on my seating area, although if he has brushed himself by accident against me I immediately have to take my leggings off to be washed.

I go through about 1000 pairs of gloves per month and use two bottles of 750 ml antiseptic disinfectant a week. I spent about £800 on this alone last year (I know this from doing my tax return).

The more stressed I am the worse my OCD gets. If people put pressure on me and cause me stress and anxiety the more it flares up.

My Triggers

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Reminders of the trauma and grief I endured
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • My Personal Belonging Being Touched
  • Germ Contamination
  • Being Touched (Hugs)
  • Flies (Insects)
  • Dog Poo (cat poo or bird poo is not so bad, it is dog poo that is a trigger for me)
  • Animal Hair (especially dog hair)
  • Shaking Hands (how many people actually wash their hands when they go to the toilet)
  • Kissing
  • Sharing Plates of Food
  • Public Places that are not sanitized
  • Half-finished projects or errors that need correcting (I cannot leave an error for another day I have to correct it there and then)

Different Kinds Of OCD

As the internet evolved I started learning more and more about the different kinds of OCD. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/different-types-of-ocd/

I was also surprised by how many famous people have OCD (alive and dead)

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/famous-people-with-ocd/

MPs Charles Walker and Kevan Jones tell of mental health issues – BBC News

Social Disconnection

It is not that unusual for entrepreneurs to socially disconnect: https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/social-disconnection-entrepreneurs/

Keeping grief hidden can be a survival strategy after suffering a bereavement. New research shows that the social disconnection caused by concealing feelings of loss can increase psychological distress.

Social Disconnection is not always about OCD it could relate to other psychological distress disorders.

Every person on this planet will endure grief at some point in their lives. It will depend on how they cope which will determine the final outcome.

My Therapy.

I find that scripting in a journal helps (I do it online but you can do it in a book, it’s down to personal preference at the end of the day) to get whatever off my chest. I have also tried meditation and hypnosis and you need to stick to it and do it religiously for it to work.

I have tried psychotherapy and CBT therapy and it only works in the short term. Speaking to shrink every week having to talk about the things you would rather forget is counterproductive. As for CBT, it is a therapy to change your thought process and resist the urge of the compulsion, the only way this kind of therapy works is under hypnosis which the NHS does not provide, and if you try and do it yourself you have to religiously work at it (miracles do not happen overnight).

I have self-hypnotized myself successfully although it is short-lived because I have to do it every day or a few times a week, in which I do not have the time for, considering I am working all day I am too tired and just want to go to sleep.

I also take prescribed medication, not that it helps my OCD in fact all it does is help me fall asleep. I would not mind doing clinical trials of magic mushrooms (Psilocybin) which I have heard can help sufferers with OCD. It is illegal to harvest or use them, without medical supervision. They are considered Class A drugs.

Magic-mushroom drug can treat severe depression, trial suggests – BBC News

How Magic Mushrooms Can Resolve OCD – Happy Herb Company

The campaign to use magic mushrooms in OCD treatment | Psychonaut Care

How Psilocybin Mushrooms Can Treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (sagebrains.com)

Magic mushroom compound performs as well as antidepressant in small study | Imperial News | Imperial College London

I keep myself busy and I am constantly learning about my disease so that I can not only help myself but help others like me.

I try to resist my urges as much as I can.

Germ Contamination

I am very vigilant about germ awareness and cross-contamination.

Motivating & Empowering & Advocate of OCD

I am an advocate for people with OCD. This is one of the reasons why I built this site to help people not only with mental but physical disabilities.

My daughter has Multiple Sclerosis and there are certain things she finds difficult to do so I arrange her appointments and respond to her every whim at least five hours a day. I am her personal assistant and care for her needs. I support her not only as her mother but also as her carer. Just because I have OCD does not stop me from doing things inside my home, with PPE. I can help her with getting in and out of the bath, just like any nurse wearing PPE clothing, such as disposable gloves and disposable hygiene coats. I can also cook and clean for her and help with anything she needs. Because of her immunosuppression, it is an added bonus that I keep our home sanitized and germ-free.

She is the assistant editor of this site. She suffers from excruciating pain which is one of the symptoms of (MS). and she is on the highest dosage of medication possible to be prescribed on a monthly basis.

In fact, altered functional connectivity between the cerebellum and cerebral networks involved in cognitive-affective processing in patients with OCD provides further evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of OCD & MS and is consistent with impairment in executive control and emotion.

Stress & Cognitive Function. | DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR – DISABILITY UK

My daughter has a problem with symmetry and even numbers.

Just because you have a disability you still can strive to follow your dream even though you may have limitations there is usually a solution to every problem and you can overcome obstacles. There is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it.

Final Thoughts

Many neurodevelopmental conditions can often co-exist together, although can be treated in different ways.  

https://www.lanc.org.uk/related-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

OCD rears its ugly head when you find it difficult to cope with life, OCD can be the onset of trauma and grief.

Stress, Anxiety, and everyday struggles can cause your OCD to get worse especially when people try to undermine, humiliate, and judge you. Try to not let anything get to you and if you want your own space to write your own personal story, just drop me a line below and I will create a landing page, free of charge. Whatever your disability may be mental or physical you can write to your heart’s content about yourself and your daily struggles. People love reading stories they can relate to.

Since coming out as an OCD sufferer I have been made to feel as if I am bonkers by Personal Independence Payments (PIP). They have made me feel like I have no authority to speak on disabilities even though I am the Editor of this website and have a Diploma in OCD hypnotherapy. I do not practice hypnotherapy and only took the course to help me. As I mentioned previously for hypnotherapy to work it is a process that has to be done religiously on a regular basis. You cannot just hypnotize yourself in one session and expect miracles.

Whilst practicing hypnosis I have got myself into a very relaxed state.

It has helped me to a certain degree to resist my compulsions but has not eradicated my germ contamination obsession problem.

Furthermore, another day comes with more added stress and anxiety and I feel all my hard work has been a waste of time whereby I have just gone back to square one. I really should practice hypnotherapy every day for it to make some difference, yet never seem to find the time. My business comes first, as that is what pays the bills and brings food to the table.

I am not going to let PIP get to me, as a lot of the assessors have fewer qualifications than ‘Greta Thunberg’ who also happens to suffer from OCD. Discussion of Greta Thunberg, OCD, & Polarization | Dave Armstrong (patheos.com)

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma

Use the contact form below to drop me a line:

#obsessivecompulsivedisorder #ocd #mentalhealth #intrusivethoughts #germawareness #germcontamination #ocdcymru

Mentally Disabled Are Being Forced to Work – Instead Start a Business Today!

Mentally Disabled Are Being Forced to Work – Instead Start a Business Today!

The DWP went from an assessment system that somewhat fairly assessed fitness to work using a doctor and other professional consultants, with information taken from relevant sources to support the claim, to a system that mostly uses random questionable people with minimal health qualifications assessing with the aid of a computer-based system deliberately designed to find faults thus making people fit to work. The result: people have committed suicide. Tens of thousands of people have died after being declared ‘fit for work. Hundreds of thousands are being plunged into deeper poverty. Foodbank use has increased by at least 2000% since 2009/10. Many people’s mental and physical health conditions have worsened as a direct result of the tests and the cuts. The DWP are finding any excuse however flimsy to sanction people; limiting or cutting altogether their only source of income for week, months, or even years. People have been admitted to hospitals that are already short-staffed and overrun because people are going hungry and becoming malnourished. People have died of hunger. The sick and disabled are being exploited as cheap labor, and are clearly regarded as ‘2nd class citizens’ by leading figures in the DWP including Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) and Lord David Freud. And the DWP is being investigated by the United Nations.

FURTHER READING: Ministers launch back to work drive for people signed off with mental health problems AND https://www.kentlive.news/news/cost-of-living/charities-warn-cruel-dwp-sanctions-7472341

Become Your Own Boss!

The horrifying truth is DWP is going to be forcing people with Mental Health Disabilities back to work. However, there is a solution to every problem.

In the event, this starts to unfold and where you may have to go to endless job interviews, meet with job advisors, etc, you could start your own business, thus eliminating all the stress and anxiety.

You could essentially become your own boss, a sole trader, but I recommend starting small and expanding steadily.

It is not hard to set up a business but you must have a plan and things you may not necessarily know but need to know, you can learn online. Besides we can advise you should you need our support.

What You Will Need!

  1. Decide on what your business is going to be about (everyone has an interest, something they enjoy doing, turn that into a business)
  2. Have a business plan
  3. Profit Loss forecast
  4. Have knowledge of book-keeping
  5. Secure a domain name as you will need a website
  6. Design a Logo
  7. Inform DWP if you are on benefits that your circumstances have changed, you will also have to fill in a Housing Benefit renewal form each year showing copies of all your accounts, including statements, invoices, working out spreadsheets
  8. Inform HMRC that you have started a business. You will have to submit a self-assessment form each year with online accounts to be submitted by the 31st of January of each year, however, to renew tax credits, you must submit your application by 31 July
  9. Apply for working tax credits
  10. Start keeping a record of all your money coming in and out
  11. Keep your personal expenses separate from your business
  12. Get a business bank account
  13. Learn about social media marketing and advertising, content writing, and backlinks
  14. Grow a network of connections, the best place to start is on LinkedIn
  15. Secure a Facebook Page with the same name as your domain name (try to have a keyword in the domain and FB page)
  16. Now get hustling!

Opening A Business Bank Account

Need a helping hand we can build a website/blog for you. We will do search engine optimization, write content, market, and advertise your business across our social media link wheel of websites, blogs, social media pages, and groups as well as our connections.

Everyone has some sort of interest whether it is a sport, health, cooking, or gardening there is a multitude of things you can do, from selling, teaching, or creating.

Imagine not having to answer to anyone or have anyone tell you what to do. Imagine not having to book sick days off. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot work for yourself. You will never have to leave your comfort zone again.

Obviously, self-employment is not for everyone and we all need a guaranteed wage but there are always working tax credits to fall back on:

Working Tax Credits – Average Amount Of Entitlement.

Websites, Blogs, and Domain Names.

If you feel you can build a website yourself check out these guys.

UK Website Designers

Alternatively, you can leave it all for us to do with blogs starting from £35.00 per month and websites from £55.00 We will even give you a head start:

Domain Names

When choosing your brand name domain name consider also buying a secondary domain with an exact match searchable keyword or phrase. You should also try and build an SEO link wheel. https://ukdomainbrokers.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk/setting-up-wordpress-blog-ultimate-guide/

We will give you a free previously unregistered domain that is not on our books. The domains on www.ukdomainbrokers.com are being brokered on behalf of other domain investors. However, do check out some really useful articles and resources to help you get your business off to a running start.

FINAL NOTE FROM THE EDITOR.

Reading between the lines the UK government is in debt and needs to get the economy rolling again. Where they can sanction (force people to work) they will. They will use every trick in the book to find ways to take from the poor and give to the rich. Remember the government sees disabled people as a burden on their purse strings, so we have to stand our ground and fight for our rights and not give in to intimidation, humiliation, discrimination, and bullying.

#selfemployed #selfemployment #startingabusiness #business #disabled #disabilities #mentalhealth #dwp #disabledentrepreneur

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Up to ½ million people in the UK have work-related stress often resulting in illness. Up to 5 million people in the UK are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed through work. ‘Stress, depression, and anxiety are the second most commonly reported work-related illnesses. https://www.stressuless.com/stress.html

Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.

Depression may be related to the personal stress developed at home or work. Depression may result after the onset of OCD as in the article below but Depression can also be the result of traumatic events in a person’s life such as Grief which causes a Domino Effect.

Depression | OCD-UK (ocduk.org)

The Link Between OCD and Major Depressive Disorder (verywellmind.com)

Renata’s Online Journal Health Update.

I will talk about 5 things relating to me and how they are impacting my life and what I am doing in terms of therapy.

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Depression

Stress

I am under a tremendous amount of stress for the following reasons:

  1. I have an ongoing dispute with British Gas and it is currently being investigated by the ombudsman.
  2. I have clients dropping like flies because they no longer can afford to pay for their websites due to the price rises of the cost of living.
  3. I am concerned about the stability of a brand new computer that the manufacturer refused to replace or give a refund for. (I am tired of all the arguing I am having to do).
  4. The uncertainty of what the future holds,

I wrote a letter 15 pages long to my GP (Doctor) after I received a letter to make an appointment for my annual medication review, but they could not send me a letter when I wrote to them (9 pages long) in May 2021. I sent both letters via email and both letters were acknowledged and put on the system with a response that a clinician will contact me…I am still waiting for a reply to my letter.

There is a clue in the 4 points I mentioned that can narrow down to the underlying root of how I am feeling, albeit I am also suffering from the aftermath of the domestic violence I endured on top of the daily stresses.

Anxiety

SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY 

Anxiety may present with any of the following symptoms:

  • Nervousness (I do get nervous when I have to do things I am unfamiliar with relating to work or have to start a dispute to the point I actually feel sick).
  • Being overly and constantly worried (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have to think too much about my problems).
  • Restlessness (I cannot sit and do nothing, I have to do something, I cannot do idle chitter chatter, I think sitting at a table talking nonsense whilst socializing is a waste of time, I would much rather learn something or turn the wheel to generate business than attend social gatherings -although I cannot at the moment because of my social disconnection issues).
  • Feeling a lump in your throat (If I recall experiencing fear or being in fight or flight mode I have experienced an uncomfortable feeling of finding it hard to swallow).
  • Difficulty concentrating (I have noticed that I cannot concentrate on reading books, it’s as if my mind wanders).
  • Fatigue (I am tired usually when I wake from the interrupted sleeping pattern and a combination of taking my med, so I counteract this by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine).
  • Irritability (I am only irritable if things do not go my way).
  • Impatience (I have a short fuse, I do not have patience and I can be rude at times although I usually do apologize I get irritable of people play me to be a fool. people should be careful to insult my intelligence).
  • Muscle tension (Not that I have noticed other than back pain or electricity shooting in the back of my neck but that could be related to Epidural Analgesia).
  • Insomnia (I take medication to send me to sleep otherwise my mind would be racing all night long and I would not be able to sleep).
  • Excessive sweating (Not that I have noticed personally)
  • Shortness of breath (If I have a panic attack, if I am extremely anxious, or if something has really upset me to the point I am becoming a nervous wreck I have been known to have a shortness of breath especially if I have been in a fight or flight mode due to domestic violence).
  • Stomachache (My mother suffered from stomach problems I always thought she was intolerant to certain foods but as I reflect my stomach is normally fine).
  • Diarrhea (Energy drinks do that but the way I relate to this it helps to flush all the toxins out and helps with weight gain).
  • Headache (If I get really stressed my head will thump).
  • Appetite changes (I have not noticed an increase or decrease in appetite but sometimes crave chocolate, but don’t we all).

OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that causes distress to the sufferer, it may be a recurrent pattern of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) such as germ contamination that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) such as to disinfect and quarantine. Obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable fears, ideas, sensations, or impulses that trigger extreme distress.

Because I am stressed my OCD is more visible. I may have to change my clothes multiple times in the day if I think I have brushed past something by accident. I am unstable in keeping my balance (cerebellar atrophy).

I go through about 500 pairs of disposable gloves a day and find it hard to touch things with my bare hand without disinfecting them straight after with Dettol. It has to be Dettol as the other brands I cannot get my head around that they will do the same job even though they claim they do, maybe it is my OCD that makes me think this way.

I have a quarantined area where no one can step foot apart from me, not even my daughter can touch anything that I deemed to be sanitized. I am really sad that I cannot give my daughter a hug, I really wish I could but something stops me. I know it is not her it is me and one day I will be in a better place because in the 30 years I have suffered with OCD I have managed to control it to the point it was not so prominent until I had an onset of traumatic events that caused it to come back again with a vengeance.

I am 100% convinced if I did not have stress, did not endure traumatic events, and if I did not have depression because of the stress and I was in a HAPPY PLACE my OCD would be under control. I would not say it would be 100 % cured because depending on my stress levels it would never be totally eradicated. Some people can deal with stress better than others. Some people, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational or prescribed drugs. I only take prescribed drugs for my OCD and they do not work other than sending me to sleep.

I am always on the lookout for different ways I can control my OCD but I have only found hypnosis and meditation to help with the healing process. I am studying neuroplasticity and how to rewire our brains.

In order for hypnosis to work, it has to be done consistently, you will not be cured in a day, week, or month. This has to be a daily occurrence until you start noticing a change. I have completed my diploma for hypnosis and yes I did hypnotize myself successfully but I need to do it every day and with work commitments and everything else that is going on in my life I am too tired and end up falling asleep. You should do hypnosis just before you do to sleep or when you wake up. Other times you can do it during the day without distractions and religiously around the same time of the day.

Although I can do hypnotherapy I do not practice it and have never tried to do it on anyone else.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma
Certificate of Completion.

https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/

Intrusive Thoughts

I live in rented accommodation and have lived in the same property for 24 years. Although I have had money in the past to buy a property I was never focused and did not understand the consequences of my actions in planning for the future. I lived in the moment and never planned my life ahead.

My intrusive thoughts are:

  1. Will my abuser return to the UK to pay me a visit? (That is part of the reason why I have not left my home because I am scared he may be lurking around.
  2. Will I crash and burn and lose everything? ( I got robbed a few years ago and all my valuables were stolen. I have replaced the majority of things and do not want to lose them again.
  3. Will my daughter’s health deteriorate (she suffers from multiple sclerosis)?
  4. Will my health ever improve?
  5. Will I ever be happy and in a happy place?
  6. Thoughts that cause triggers like the death of Queen II, and although the news is sad and I know a family is grieving, it has however revived memories of my parents and my brother passing which has made me have thoughts such as if our loved ones are watching over us are they disappointed in me or are they happy that I am doing everything I can to turn my life around?

Depression

Symptoms of Depression are:

  • Continuous feelings of low mood and/or sadness (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have time to dwell too much on all the things that have gone wrong in my life).
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless (Yes I do feel hopeless at times but I always try to find the energy to fight until I reach my goals -yes I have set goals, you have to, you need to have a plan).
  • Having low self-esteem (When I wake it is like one of those movies where the person dies and comes back again and nothing has changed, well it is like that for me, I eat, sleep and repeat and nothing changes).
  • Feeling tearful constantly (I cannot say I am tearful it takes a lot to push my buttons although British Gas (Energy Supplier) did drive me to tears, so I reported them).
  • Feelings of guilt (I feel guilty for squandering my money. Had I been focused and taught how to manage my money I would be in a different place now, but you learn the hard way I have many regrets and if I could turn back time with what I know I would have done things differently knowing what I know now. I feel guilty for being stupid with my finances and the people that I trusted). I also feel guilty for distancing myself and perhaps not contacting people sooner that have now passed away (old people).
  • Feeling irritable (I only get irritable if things do not go my way or if I have to deal with stupid people)
  • Having no motivation or interest in hobbies and interests (I have plenty of things to keep me occupied, the websites that I own and manage for my clients keep me busy, never mind my content writing. I am motivated because I have gotten this far so I am not going to give up even though when I wake it takes me a minute or two to tell myself that today may be the day that things change for the better, so I carry on).
  • Being indecisive (I sometimes procrastinate over things such as whether should I start a certain project or not, or if can it wait and I end up putting it off again and again).
  • No real enjoyment in life (I live on the internet my physical self is just a vessel that keeps me going. I do not think of my life in the physical sense I have socially disconnected from the outside world other than for the couriers and workmen that come to the property and I am happy this way. Would I do things differently if I did not have OCD or feared ever crossing paths with the people that caused me harm, I don’t think so. I am happy in my own company)
  • Feeling anxious and/or worried (My mother was a worrier and I must take after her, she also had undiagnosed OCD. Yes my intrusive thoughts do sometimes get in the way, hence I keep myself busy so that I do not have time to think).
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or suicidal feelings (This is furthest from my mind. I was at my lowest and for a millisecond it did cross my mind when I endured all the physical and mental abuse from my abuser but I told myself if I quit he would win so I turned my thoughts around to show him that everything he said was wrong and that I would be successful and he would live to regret treating me the way he did).
  • Loss of appetite – although sometimes can see an increase in appetite (I see food as energy when I am hungry I will eat, I do not watch my calories and try to eat healthy most of the time, I have no problem with my appetite, in fact, I should really lose a bit of weight considering I do not exercise because (a) I do not venture out (b) My knee pain would be too excruciating to walk very far).
  • A general lack of energy (Because of my medication, I feel so tired when I wake so I counteract that by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine which causes a domino effect and causes me to have an overactive bladder)
  • Low sex drive.
  • Trouble sleeping (I do have trouble sleeping but that is alleviated with the prescribed medication, however with the interruptions to my sleep because of my overactive bladder I find when I wake I am very tired so have to drink energy drinks to keep me awake).
  • Avoiding social interaction (I have social disconnection issues and I prefer my own company)
  • Difficulty maintaining family relationships (I do not have any close relatives living in the UK other than my daughter and we have a close bond, my brother and all his children live in the USA, I guess it must be very hard for their mother who lives in the UK).

Further Reading:

My Dreams, Aspirations & Goals

My dreams, aspirations, and goals are one day to be in a happy place living a happy life, be financially free and most of all not suffering from OCD, Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. I want to one day when I retire travel the world and photograph everything I see. I want to one day be able to document my journey and leave a legacy.

I want to motivate and inspire people so that they can be led on the right path.

I will continue to do what I am doing because I sense where I am supposed to be, is the right place to be. By continuing writing and researching I not only help myself I also help others. This online journal is my therapy because it gives me a platform to voice my knowledge, thought and opinions.

My dreams are to reach my goals.

#stress #anxiety #intrusivethoughts #ocd #obsessivecompulsivedisorder #depression

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

How To Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

WHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE:

  • What are Intrusive Thoughts
  • Types Of Intrusive Thoughts
  • What You Can Do
  • Related Mental Health Disorders
  • When to Get Help

Overview:

The majority of us from time to time experience worry, anxiety, stress, depression, grief, and fear. If you are reading this and do not agree that you have never experienced any of the above, you are not being true to yourself.

Sometimes we experience unwanted thoughts like did we shut the door behind us or did we turn off the stove. This annoying thought may get stuck in our heads until we put our minds at ease. Usually, you can ignore it and move on. But sometimes, it just keeps returning.

What are Intrusive Thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts or negative thoughts are thoughts that either lingers on your mind or pop in out of nowhere. They are part of our coping mechanisms. However unwanted lingering thoughts stem from stress, fear, and anxiety. People who have suffered trauma can affect their beliefs about the future via loss of hope, limited expectations about life, fear that life will end abruptly or early, or anticipation that normal life events won’t occur (e.g., access to education, ability to have a significant and committed relationship, good opportunities for work). All these events can manifest intrusive thoughts.

Understanding the Impact of Trauma – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

Nearly everyone experiences Intrusive Thoughts from time to time”.

So why do these thoughts happen and what causes them?

An intrusive thought is not always related to an underlying condition. It may be caused by:

Intrusive thoughts either linger on one’s mind or simply come in out of nowhere.

These thoughts are unpleasant and unwanted and manifest in our minds, sometimes without warning or other times if we dwell on something for long periods that is worrying us.

These thoughts can sometimes be violent, sexual, or simply harmless worries.

Intrusive thoughts usually heighten when you feel, stressed or distressed, typically having an intrusive once in a while is just part of life.

It only becomes concerning if your thoughts because dangerous and uncontrollable.

In most cases, intrusive thoughts do not have any particular meaning. As long as you recognize that these are only thoughts and are controllable and harmless and that you have no desire to act on them, intrusive thoughts are usually not harmful.

However, if they’re happening often, causing significant concern, or interfering with your daily activities, it’s a good idea to talk with a doctor.

I must admit that I do suffer from intrusive thoughts occasionally, especially when I am stressed or depressed but would never act on them other than if they were related to OCD Germ Contamination. Through my learning journey, I am trying to heal. In fact, I have completed my Diploma in Hypnotherapy, and am studying Neuroplasticity.

Intrusive thoughts can range from random images to disturbing and violent ideas like punching someone in the face or hurting yourself.

(Yes I have had thoughts of punching someone in the face, but I would not go through with such a ludicrous idea because (a) my OCD germ contamination thought would kick in of actually physically touching someone, and secondly (b) it is simply a stupid thought).

Other intrusive thoughts are: did I cross-contaminate (did I touch something by accident) and does my thought warrant me to act on my compulsion such as changing my clothes because my daughter’s cat brushed past me? Usually, I try and fight the urge (CBT). Depending on how stressed I am will depend on how successfully I can resist the thought. Most of the time my germ contamination thoughts overpower me, like I said it all depends on my anxiety and stress levels.

I am aware that with OCD sometimes it is hard to fight your thoughts and you succumb to the urge. Hypnotherapy and meditation help with the process of healing.

Survivor of Domestic Violence

Whilst I was enduring emotional and physical abuse, the thought of harming myself crossed my mind, but again I knew I had to prove to the abuser that I would not be broken, no matter how many times he tried and kept saying to myself what does not kill you make you stronger. I decided no matter how low he made me feel I would not give him the satisfaction and would not give up. I decided to focus on building this site and working really hard. He eventually left with his tail between his legs because he knew he was defeated and no matter what he did or said to me was no longer working. I felt rejoiceful that he had lost his battle to destroy me and I concentrated on moving forward by suppressing all my thoughts and all the bad memories by putting the past behind me.

(I am a survivor of domestic violence, the abuser has left the country).

For anyone else experiencing intrusive thoughts, they are usually harmless as long as they can be under control. But if you obsess about them to the extent that it interrupts your day-to-day life, this can be a sign of an underlying mental health problem.

Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of grief, stress, anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Types of Intrusive Thoughts

OCD thoughts.

OCD thoughts depending what type of OCD you have. There are Nineteen Characteristics of OCD. With OCD the sufferer that has intrusive thoughts usually actions the compulsions to ease the discomfort of the thought lingering in their head, this could be from checking the door handles and switches to counting or avoiding certain numbers, objects, or people. This is a defense mechanism to protect the sufferer from their fear that if they do not carry out the compulsion something bad might happen.

Sexual thoughts.

Sexual thoughts are usually natural regardless of gender. An Intrusive sexual thought however when it becomes uncomfortable with or shocked by the thoughts and images to the point you are fixated on something, you should talk it over with a professional.

Experts say it’s best to remind yourself that these are just passing, automatic thoughts. They don’t define you in any way.

Violent thoughts.

Violent thoughts of punching someone in the face are harmless as long as you do not act on them.

Sometimes violent thoughts may have dark meanings like harming yourself or someone else. Usually, these thoughts are harmless, even repetitive as long as you have no intention to act on them. These thoughts are very unpleasant and if you feel you cannot cope you should speak with a professional or phone the Samaritans. You can also contact us and keep yourself anonymous if you prefer. These thoughts usually pass in time. But if you find yourself planning to follow your thoughts through, you need to speak with a professional to help to manage your emotions. Talk to a doctor or a therapist.

Negative thoughts.

Negative thoughts can be multiple ideas. An example you have imposter syndrome, you feel like a failure or if you think about something negative will happen because you essentially are manifesting it in your life. The more you think negatively the chances of whatever you are thinking will come true. It is best to rewire my mind. These thoughts should fade as your situation changes. But if they become overwhelming, you could have depression or anxiety. Talk to a mental health professional about how to control your symptoms.

However, science teaches us that In 1949, psychologist Donald Hebb laid out his compelling “assembly theory” of how the brain achieves this feat. It is best summarized by the mantra “neurons that fire together wire together.” Meaning what we reap is what we sow in other words if we continually think negatively eventually what we are thinking will happen. The idea is that neurons responding to the same stimulus connect preferentially to form “neuronal ensembles.”

What You Can Do


The best way to heal is to learn about the brain and our thoughts, learning about our conscious mind and our subconscious mind helps us understand the supercomputers we have (brain), yet, we only use a total of 5% of our entire human mind Keeping ourselves busy and distracting ourselves is a strategy to heal.

At the end of the day, most intrusive thoughts are just thoughts.

The only time they become a red flag or a signal that you actually want to do the disturbing things you’re thinking about is when you feel you are no longer in control.

If they bother you, you can take steps to cut down on their frequency and intensity.

You Can:

  • Evaluate your life and what is troubling you.
  • Recognize your thoughts and label them for what they are.
  • Distract yourself from your thoughts, watch a movie, read a book or do some scripting and write your thoughts down on paper in a journal or online.
  • Release the tension and share your thoughts with others. (There are groups and forums you can join or if your thoughts are overwhelming contact a professional like your doctor or phone the Samaritans.
  • Accept that they will pass eventually.
  • Listen to empowering motivational speakers like Jake Ducey or Dr. Caroline Leaf. Check them out on YouTube.
  • Give yourself time for the intrusive thoughts to fade away.
  • Be prepared for your unwanted thoughts to come back.
  • Learn about your mind and neuroplasticity and how your thoughts can be controlled.

Do Not:

  • Do not act or engage in dangerous thoughts, for example hurting yourself or someone else.
  • Do not be too hard on yourself. Try to question yourself and why you’re having them in the first place.
  • Do not just do nothing in the hope your thoughts will go away. Often distracting yourself from a situation will get your mind occupied with other things and your thoughts become suppressed.

Related Mental Health Disorders.

Sometimes, thoughts go beyond being intrusive.

Related mental health disorders associated with repetitive unwanted intrusive thoughts, could be a sign of OCD. This type of anxiety disorder causes the sufferer to have recurring, unwanted thoughts that they may not be able to control. This may be the compulsion to repeat certain behaviors or actions over and over again.

In contrast, delusional paranoid thoughts, such as thinking someone is always watching you or wants to hurt you, can be a sign of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

If you have these thoughts, talk to a psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment options.

When to Get Help

If your intrusive thoughts become unmanageable and start to take over your life, you need to seek professional help or as I am doing am learning online, keeping myself busy all the time, and doing extensive research. I will not claim to be the next Paul Mckenna of this world and one day I would like to meet him, but I do believe hypnotherapy and meditation play an important part in the healing process. The issue with hypnotherapy and meditation is you have to keep at it, you cannot just do it once and expect miracles it does not work like that.

Although I have completed my Hypnotherapy Diploma and have hypnotized myself I have not done it enough times to actually see much of a difference hence I re-iterate that you need to be consistent with it.

The way I deal with intrusive thoughts is by scripting and using my online journal. I feel much better after I have released my energy and often anger either on paper or mostly online.

If you are finding life too difficult to bear and you are getting contact with intrusive dangerous thoughts, contact your Doctor or Emergency Services.

A doctor may refer you to a behavioral therapist, psychologist, social worker, or psychiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment.

Personally, for me, this is my own process of healing, learning, and passing my knowledge to others.

“An Investment In Knowledge Pays The Best Interest” – by Benjamin Fraklin

Remember we have a useful links page and depending on where you are in the world you have your Doctor you can contact or emergency services (112) this is the international number. In the UK we have (999) and for nonurgent (111).

Further Reading

My Daily Mental and Physical Self-Care Routine & How I Manage My Menta – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

Debunking the Serotonin-Depression Theory (with Psychiatrist & Profess – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Difference Between the Nonconscious, Subconscious & Conscious Mind – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

The Great Psychiatry Fraud – Dr. Leaf (drleaf.com)

#intrusivethoughts #ocd #negativethoughts #neuroplasticity #neuroscience #hypnosis #meditation #learning

Renata’s Online Health Journal Update 2022!

Renata’s Online Health Journal Update 2022!

People who shy away from people with mental health disorders or disabilities and label people as damaged goods usually have their own demons to contend with”.

I need to vent and let off steam before I blow a gasket.

The last few months have taken a toll on my health. As most of you know I am the Editor of ‘Disability UK – Disabled Entrepreneur Online Journal’ and have come to near enough a standstill with my business because of my health.

My Disabilities are Invisible.

I sometimes am so depressed it takes a lot of effort to do anything, these days.

Renata’s Online Journal Health Report

The following is a snippet of what I am going through.

I am disabled, I suffer from Cerebellar Atrophy, OCD, and Depression so it is no surprise that I have highs and lows. Yet most recently I have been experiencing very bad lows.

I do not have a support system and my GP is as useful as a chocolate fire guard. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/gp-doctor-negligence-evidence/ To understand my health you will have to understand how the last few months have been for me and what I have gone through and am still going through.

Events 2022.

  1. I have been through war and back with ‘British Gas’, which I have reported to ‘Ombudsman’ who in turn report to ‘OFGEM’. ‘British Gas’ caused me humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress.
  2. In another incident I had 40 emails from a credit card issuer (situation now under control), again I have experienced, humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress. (They gave me £100 as a gesture of goodwill, with the understanding that if I endure more harassment I will report them to the Ombudsman). I know what they will say but she accepted the £100, which is just a band-aid on a gaping wound.
  3. Most recently my laptop started having a blue screen and eventually died, I have not been able to do anything online for about a week. I have simply used my phone to read and reply to emails and do research. This started making me sink into a very dark place.
  4. I then had a brand new computer and not even a week old I ended up with a BSOD, you just can’t make this stuff up. https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2022/08/24/lenovo-or-windows-fault-blue-screen-of-death-bsod-2022/
  5. My internet is intermittent, and I am getting the blame game excuse (it’s not us it must be you), this is an ongoing issue in which they gave 3 months of free broadband, but the issues are starting to happen again. Virgin Media Outage in Cardiff, Wales: Current Problems and Outages • Is The Service Down? UK
  6. I have lost clients due to the rise in the cost of living and them not being able to afford their websites. (No help for small businesses I hear your cry, and yes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer).

My health.

  • I am very depressed.
  • My OCD has spiraled off the ricker scale.
  • I have intrusive thoughts.
  • I have no patience.
  • I have panic attacks.
  • I hate noise, anything from traffic to car doors opening and closing.
  • The only way I will interact is online.
  • I do not answer my phone, which no doubt has cost me a lot of business.

So there is a knock-on domino effect when people are so robotic and irritating to the point if I could shove my fist down the other end of the line or across the computer screen, I would.

I am not in a good place right now because I am struggling to stay positive and optimistic. I have been studying neuroplasticity and I should stick with it because something I thought about, the next day materialized. Therefore I need to heal and start caring about myself rather than neglecting myself.

I plan to write a book about my life, this will no doubt open a can of worms, not only for me having to recall things that I would rather not remember but for the people that have done me wrong. My book will mention all the highs and lows and perhaps it may help people to avoid the same mistakes I made, in my relationships, and in my career, not only how everything over the years has affected my health and how I am trying to heal.

“I want to make a difference in this world and help people like me or worse off than me”.

I may not physically want to interact but a virtual connection I am fine with, although I won’t be doing anything for a few weeks because I need to recover from all the trauma I have had to endure over the last few months.

This all goes towards documenting my health so that it all gets put on the NHS database. There is a reason behind my madness.

It saddens me that the people I have reached out to on a personal level, who said they were going to get back in touch never have. I assume that they have reached their own conclusions and do not want to interact with someone that has disabilities. I suppose they see me as damaged goods, but labeling someone in such a way is not only hurtful but incorrect because we all have something going on in our lives thus we can all be labeled the same way. In fact, it will be hard to find a person that has not been screwed over in some way or another and how it affected them mentally. Usually, people who shy away from people with mental health disorders have their own demons to contend with and cannot handle yours. I do not see myself as damaged I see myself as someone who can overcome obstacles and then write about them. Just because I am having a bad day today does not mean I will be having a bad day tomorrow. No two days are the same. Yes, I have disabilities but there are millions of people in the same boat as me or worse off. You need to find the strength to make your story your superpower. Everyone has a book waiting to be written. There’s No Such Thing As Being “Damaged Goods” In A Relationship—Here’s Why (bolde.com)

I am like a bear with a sore head at the moment, as a consequence, I avoid talking over the phone as much as possible. When I do have to call people, as an example the other day, I nearly bit an IT engineer’s head off when I was having trouble accessing my site. I did apologize afterward about my outburst but I have a very short fuse and my temperament is not great, I can come off at times as being rude, (I try not to be, but cannot help it if people push my buttons). However, I also get very obnoxious, patronizing, and condescending individuals and all I want to do is punch their faces. I am no good at interacting physically, which is fortunate.

I have reported ‘British Gas’ to the Ombudsman and have to wait on an outcome. I feel very lethargic and am finding it hard to be optimistic right now. I should stay positive but is hard when I have to deal with some things that cause my health to worsen. It is as if I make one step forward and two steps back.

My OCD has gone through the roof and where I was making progress the last few months have basically thrown all my hard work away. Having a mental health disorder like depression which causes an onset of intrusive thoughts causing you to have compulsions to ease the anxiety. it is a vicious circle. and that is why I do not interact physically.

#onlinediary #onlinejournal #scripting #journalling #blogging #pip #depression #stress #anxiety #ocd #mental health #obsessivecompulsivedisorder

Impact of Energy Prices On Vulnerable People

Impact of Energy Prices On Vulnerable People.

Vulnerable people are being hospitalized because their energy supplies are being cut off because of nonpayment and arrears.

Some vulnerable people need energy supplies more so than the normal healthy person, this could be oxygen tanks, to mobility equipment.

Vulnerable people are being hospitalized after having gas and electric cut off (msn.com)

I have always known that large corporations do not care about people. If you look at the bigger picture, if you or I murdered someone we would go to jail regardless if we did it ourselves or hired someone to do it for us. So why is it that world leaders can start wars and get away with murder?

The whole point of wars is to raise inflation, people tend to panic buy, by worrying about price rises. But for organizations such as utility providers that are on a gravy train getting compensated by the federal reserve, they do not care about your well-being either.

It is all about the sheer greed for money and power.

BullionVault

Hidden Secrets of Money – Mike Maloney. – CYMRU DIGITAL MARKETING BUSINESS JOURNAL (cymrumarketing.com)

Politicians kicking the can down the road: Liz Truss: No more sticking plasters to fix the energy crisis (msn.com)

Liz Truss vows to act ‘immediately’ and will help millions ‘within a week’ with their ‘energy bills’ if she is elected as PM – London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com

OFGEM the ombudsman for energy suppliers is the government. The energy suppliers and the governments work hand in hand. Ofgem is supposed to work with people and not against them: However, Samantha Allen, chief executive of the NHS in the North East and Cumbria, hit out at Ofgem for halting energy supplies for vulnerable people who haven’t paid. Risks to clinically vulnerable people (northeastnorthcumbria.nhs.uk) Do you see that OFGEM is on the side of the energy supplier and not the people?

It will be interesting to see if what I say is true, because I have reported British Gas to OFGEM and I have until October 14th, 2022 to get a response.

The MPs are getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer.

So it is no surprise there is an investigation going on how MPs have claimed taxpayer’s money to pay for the energy bills.

Ministers’ claims for gas, electricity, and water came to just over £195,000 in 2021–’22, according to an analysis of data from IPSA.

It also showed since 2019 that MPs have claimed just over £692,000 to cover these utility costs, with £538,000 alone going on heating bills.

Suella Braverman, favorite to be named home secretary if Ms. Truss wins the leadership contest, has claimed £7,160 for household utilities since the 2019-’ 20 financial period.

Education secretary James Cleverly, predicted to become foreign secretary, billed taxpayers £4,142 in energy and water bills at the same time.

Among senior Labour MPs making the claims was the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, who has been handed £2,318 to cover energy and water bills since 2019.

MPs claimed almost £200,000 from taxpayer to heat second homes (msn.com)

You have to bear in mind that these people in power have never experienced poverty for themselves, they have never had to worry about keeping a roof over their heads or putting food on the table let alone finding money to pay bills.

It is ironic that the same people go around preaching how someone should budget their money and send you to places like stepchange .org when you already have a clear picture that you do not have enough money coming in to cover your bills. So how can these charities help other than to give donations?

It really rattles me that the people at the top preach to the rest of us about money yet they are the ones causing us to get into debt.

Note From The Editor

Think of it this way the world is overpopulated, and the governments are forking a shed load for vulnerable people and people with disabilities. The governments (UK are in trillions of debt to the EU for Brexit, so where is the money going to come from to clear the UK debt?

I am now on par with managing my money after months of sheer heartache with British Gas. This cost of living, British Gas, and my creditors have caused me to dive into a deep state of depression and some days find it hard to function properly. If Covid was not bad enough and I lost a lot of business now I am having clients dropping like flies because they cannot afford to run their websites any longer. I do not see the government helping small businesses, do you?

I do try to keep myself busy and I try to learn something new every day. Talking to people does not help (not for me anyway), what advice can someone give, if they are not more qualified than me, or know my personal circumstances?

Knowledge is Power“.

I am not saying do not talk to someone, in fact, I advise you to talk to a friend, family, or colleague, especially if life is becoming unbearable. Even go as far as talking to your GP (Doctor) but if it can’t wait phone A&E or ER.

What I find is venting my thoughts on this site helps. It not only helps me but can help someone else like me.

You do not have to use your real name just set up a Gmail email and register on here to also vent. In fact, I have even got categories called “Online Journal General” and “I Need To Vent”.

My final recommendation is not to stop paying your bills altogether, but instead, pay what you can afford while at the same time reducing your energy usage. This will hurt the energy suppliers’ profits. I have elected to pay monthly by bank transfer rather than direct debit, this gives me greater control over my bank and does not give energy suppliers a license to help themselves.

How To Reduce Your Energy Usage Home & Business – CYMRU DIGITAL MARKETING BUSINESS JOURNAL (cymrumarketing.com)

#energyprices #vulnerablepeople #mentalhealth #ofgem #enerysupply #energyproviders #vulnerabledeaths

PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.

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”…

(The report can be downloaded using the following link: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Small mistakes, big consequences HC 6 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

MEDICAL EVIDENCE

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.

DELAYS

Delays are causing people to become ill through worry and stress. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/what-is-stress/ Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are having to wait for £300 million of vital support, according to a new analysis from Citizens Advice.

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.”

STATISTICS

  • 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

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.

The severe PIP assessment backlog is not just affecting new claimants but also those seeking reassessments or needing extensions to their claims. These lengthy delays are having a substantial impact on their applications for other benefits such as blue parking badges, bus passes, and Motability vehicles.” https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/bus-passes-for-the-disabled/

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.

DNS has 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.

BACKGROUND

The PIP Regulations say that people who can’t do an activity listed in one of the PIP descriptors safely, repeatedly, to an acceptable standard, and no more than twice as slowly as a non-disabled person, shouldn’t be counted as being able to do that activity for the purposes of PIP. (I keep a note of my health online and so does my daughter. I think as a sufferer of OCD the form does not actually cover all the different types of OCD). https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/renatas-online-journal/ & https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/zena-online-journal/

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.

TIMING

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).

You can read the full judgement herehttps://www.gov.uk/…/ml-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-p…

USEFUL LINKS:

PIP delays leave disabled people hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket – Citizens Advice

How do some claimants get thousands of £££ in DWP compensation (benefitsandwork.co.uk)

How to use DWP for compensation? – LegalBeagles Forum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Tribunal

http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/hmcts/tribunals

adminappeals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Suing DWP for compensation … — Scope | Disability forum

Complain to us: getting started | Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR!

If an organization or entity causes you to become unwell because of their actions, they should be held responsible and should pay for damages.

If people are becoming mentally and physically unwell because of the Government’s actions then the claimants should be awarded compensation.

If you have been affected by:

  • Emotional Distress (causing, stress, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and making your mental illness worse).
  • Indirect Discrimination (entity assuming because you have an invisible illness you are classed as normal).
  • Harassment
  • Intimidation
  • Humiliation (having to go to food banks or being pitied because you are disabled).

Consequences

If your illness gets worse because of an entity’s direct action and in the cases of auto-immune diseases you can relapse because of stress: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/living-better-with-ms-guide/triggers-that-can-cause-ms-flares. then, you have under the human rights act the right to take further action. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/what-direct-and-indirect-discrimination

Flawed System

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

Tel Number:

0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)

Email:

contactus@capita-pip.co.uk

** 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.

Contact Us For a Template Using The Form Below:

Further Reading

DWP admits wrongly rejecting disabled people for benefits at record rate | The Independent

People who claim PIP or were denied benefit payments could be owed £13,000 due to rule change | The Sun

‘I’ve recently had my PIP benefit claim turned down – how can I appeal it’ – Mirror Online

Thousands of people ‘wrongly’ denied PIP disability payments after surging in DWP appeals – Mirror Online

#dwp #pip #personalindependencepayments #invisibledisabilities #indirectdiscrimination #humanrights #equalityact #ocdandpip #emotionaldistress #humiliation

The Serotonin Theory

The Serotonin Theory.

I have been a sufferer of mental health for the best part of 30 years diagnosed to include depression and OCD. During this time I have tried CBT Therapy, seen a therapist, and have been given medication that has altered over the years from Prozac, Sertraline, and Mirtazapine. These drugs have literally done nothing for me other than make me feel zombified. I am now researching neuroplasticity and how hypnosis and meditation can help me heal through my own self-help therapy. So learning that some mental health disorders have nothing to do with a chemical imbalance does not surprise me. If anything dopamine the happy feeling we have when we are engaged in something we like may help us overcome disorders. Although I joke around, if I was happy living on cloud nine, I reckon I would not have as many issues as I have now (the reason I say this is I have hit highs and lows and when I am happy without a care in the world my symptoms start to subside).

Dopamine is a medication form of a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It works by improving the pumping strength of the heart and improving blood flow to the kidneys. Dopamine injection (Intropin) is used to treat certain conditions that occur when you are in shock, which may be caused by a heart attack, trauma, surgeryheart failurekidney failure, and other serious medical conditions. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.

Doctors are starting to rethink that ‘chemical imbalance’ does not cause depression. Psychiatry has known for some time that the “serotonin theory” of depression, the notion that too little of the brain chemical can be a cause of depression, is a decades-old hypothesis and deeply entrenched trope in society that helped promote a class of antidepressants taken by millions is wrong, says Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris.

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File “You want to know why it took so long for the truth to come out,” Paris, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University, wrote in an email. “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.” Drug companies encourage doctors to prescribe often, and heavily, he said, and have “paid many academic psychiatrists to promote their products.”

Two months after a major review found no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations, and no convincing evidence of a “chemical imbalance,” the paper is still stirring controversy. Its authors say they have been ridiculed and attacked and accused of dog whistling far-right commentators who have groundlessly linked antidepressants to mass shootings. Responses from psychiatrists have been oddly contradictory, ranging from “nothing new here, of course, we knew it was never serotonin, it was never that simple” to criticisms that it’s premature to toss out the serotonin theory outright and that the authors missed some studies and interpreted others incorrectly.

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist, and professor of critical and social psychiatry at University College London told the National Post. Specifically, drugs known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps move messages between brain cells and that’s thought to play a role in how our brains process emotions. Moncrieff’s study didn’t look at the efficacy of SSRIs, just how likely they are to do what people have been told they do, and she’s been accused of seriously over-stepping the data. “It seems the main criticism is that antidepressants work,” Moncrieff said. “It doesn’t matter how they work. It doesn’t matter that the original idea, the original theory for how they work is unproven. They work, and that’s all that matters.”

Contrary to any arguments or beliefs and being a sufferer for more than 30 years I know that anti-depressants make you feel zonked out, they do not allow you to function properly and make you tired and lethargic. So although I take Mirtazapine and although it is meant to be for depression, and OCD, all it does is send me to sleep, and when I wake I have to drink energy drinks to help me function during the day”.

To Moncrieff, it matters. “Because whether they work or not depends on how we understand what they are doing.” And if they are not correcting a serotonin imbalance, or reversing some underlying mechanism of depression, what are they doing? “We have to consider other possible ways that they may be ‘working,’ inverted commas, which include the fact they are drugs that change normal brain chemistry.”

The serotonin “bombshell” caused an international media frenzy, though was largely ignored in Canada, with many headlines along the lines of, “How were so many duped?” Some psychiatric opinion leaders dismissed the study as “old wine in new bottles,” arguing that no serious psychiatrist today believes depressions are due to a tidy, simple imbalance in brain chemicals or “serotonergic deficit.” Apparently, no one told the public. One survey of Australian adults found that 88 percent believe in the “chemical imbalance” hypothesis of depression. A British Columbia government website says the SSRI escitalopram “works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.” Forbes Health quoted a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist explaining that SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and their generic equivalents work by boosting serotonin activity in the brain.The idea is that if you have more serotonin in your synapses (regions in the brain where nerve impulses are sent and received) the better your mood will be.”

“Here is my take on this, if someone was to give me £1m and said it was mine to do what I want and never have to pay it back, my mood would change. Serotonin also found in chocolate has done nothing for my health other than make me gain weight” If you could erase all my bad memories and heal by starting a new life so would my mental health become better. I have known for years the medication I take does nothing for me other than send me to sleep or make me really drowsy and I have been on a fair few in my time. I know if I was happy, I would see an improvement in my mental well-being without a shadow of a doubt, because I have seen for myself how my moods change.

“It may well be the case that psychiatrists have a more ‘sophisticated’ understanding of the role of serotonin than the lay public,” Moncrieff and one of her co-authors, Dr. Mark Horowitz later wrote for Mad in America, “but psychiatrists have failed to correct this misunderstanding.”

I, therefore, challenge anyone and want to prove my theory. I know when I was happy my OCD was less noticeable (if anything it was 95 % eradicated, I still had the odd intrusive thought here and there, and tried to fight the uncomfortable feeling with CBT). Through traumatic events over the last two decades, I am back to feeling unhappy and have had to start healing. Only a drastic intervention can cure me now”.

I did not have depression, because I was happy”.

The serotonin theory seemed promising when first introduced 60 years ago, “but was soon discarded,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University who led the task force that created the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994.

The association was weak and often didn’t replicate. “Depressions are so remarkably heterogenous, there can’t possibly be any unitary cause,” Frances said. “Further study revealed just how ridiculously complicated in brain structure and function.”

SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft account for 44 percent of the leading prescribed drug class in Canada — psychotherapeutics.© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But the “chemical imbalance” theory was a marketing godsend for drug companies, following the benzodiazepine crisis in the 60s and 70s when the highly addictive tranquilizers were “doled out by the bucketload” to people, particularly women, who were unhappy “just to numb their unhappiness,” Moncrieff said.

In the 1980s, when the first SSRI, Prozac, was launched, “the pharmaceutical industry knew it couldn’t market them in the same way (as benzos) because numbing someone’s unhappiness had got a bad rep with the benzodiazepines, Moncrieff said. “So, it had to convince people that they had an underlying disease and needed to take the drugs for an underlying disease.”

“If you think something is wrong with your brain and a drug is going to put it right, of course, you’re going to take it.”

For their “umbrella” review published in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry, Moncrieff and her co-authors reviewed high-level studies in six major areas of research spanning 56 years that together involved tens of thousands of people. While there’s no such thing as a “normal level” of serotonin, Moncrieff said, the studies involved indirect measures of serotonin activity, looking at, for example, serotonin and its breakdown products in people’s blood or cerebral spinal fluid, and comparing those levels between people diagnosed with depression, and people not diagnosed with depression, the healthy “controls.”

The researchers found no overall difference in levels of serotonin between the two groups. Serotonin is made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that comes from the diet. When healthy people were put on diets lacking tryptophan, it didn’t make them depressed. When the researchers looked at studies of genes involved in the brain’s serotonin system, again there was no consistent difference between depressed and healthy volunteers.

“I think people need to think carefully about why they are taking (SSRIs) and what they think the drug is doing for them,” Moncrieff said. “If they are taking the drug because they think it’s correcting an imbalance in their brain, I would suggest that they could re-evaluate whether they need to take it,” she said. “They should, of course, not stop it suddenly,” she said. “They should do that slowly and gradually,” under a prescriber’s care.

What’s often lost in the loaded and polarized controversy over chemical imbalance and depression, Frances said, is that mild depressions are usually triggered by stresses in our lives and don’t require medications. “Instead, they improve with time, support, reduced stress and/or psychotherapy,” he said. Severe depressions do require meds and rarely respond to anything else, he said. “No one size fits all.”

However, “Continued attacks on the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ by anti-psychiatrists are beating a long dead horse and have the harmful unintended consequence of discouraging people with severe depression from taking the meds they desperately need and won’t get well without,” Frances said.

But if psychiatry knew the chemical imbalance theory isn’t real, they had a professional duty to tell people, said Marnie Wedlake, a psychotherapist and assistant professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University.

“If they knew this was a false narrative, as the self-proclaimed and publicly recognized primary experts, they should have been out there saying, ‘No, no, no. Correction.’ But they did not. They just let it go.’”

Still, while it would be easy to pile all blame on psychiatry and the drug industry, “that’s too tidy,” Wedlake said.

We’ve allowed a “pathologizing” of our human condition, she said. “If I’m feeling happy and peaceful, that’s great, but anything else has become a symptom.” When high school kids talk about their emotions today, “they use language that medicalizes their thoughts and feelings,” she said. “It’s just my OCD,” obsessive-compulsive disorder. “I was a shy kid. Kids in my class now in university, they’ve got social anxiety disorder.”

It’s hard to sit with despair she said, even though our human condition includes a heavy dose of it.

“As a species, we don’t know what to do with despair anymore. Ideally, we would say, ‘Okay, I’m feeling somewhat despairing, it’s just part of my life, the full colour spectrum of who I am. Sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m sad…. But it has been pathologized, and we don’t know what to do with it.’”

And SSRIs are being prescribed not just for depression, but for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, phobias, and the list ever expands.

Meanwhile, the mental health system is failing, “miserably,” Wedlake said. “We’ve got Apps and 10 sessions of group CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) you might have to wait for a year-and-a-half for. If you’ve got someone living with extraordinary internal distress, 10 sessions of group CBT are like a band-aid on someone who has been in a car wreck.

“We don’t have the psychotherapeutic resources we need to meet the needs of those who need to deal with their distress.”

If people can’t afford private psychotherapy, if they can’t function or work, “the only option that’s available to them is the Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, or Celexa that their GP is handing out,” she said. “People are stuck.”

Moncrieff, the co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network and author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure and other books, said she is “definitely not anti-drug. I see myself as being a very cautious person in relation to drugs.” She uses them in her own practice for people with severe illnesses like schizophrenia. Sedatives like benzodiazepines can be helpful in a crisis, short term, she said. “But I think that drugs that affect the brain, we should be cautious about.”

There’s no evidence they’re reversing an underlying brain abnormality, she said, but “they are doing something to the brain. And by doing that they change our normal mental states.”

SSRIs have been widely reported to cause an emotional blunting effect, a blunting of both positive and negative emotions. “Maybe there are some people who feel that is a useful effect for them. Some people will just decide they want to carry on taking antidepressants. That’s fine. I just think people need to have this information.”

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File Is she anti-psychiatry? “I question the idea that mental disorders are usefully thought of as brain disease,” Moncrieff said.  I don’t think they’re the same sort of thing as having a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis.

That doesn’t mean there’s not something going on in the brain, she said. “Of course, there is.” Serotonin is just one chemical that’s been implicated. “But that doesn’t help explain the situation. And we probably never will be able to quite pin down what it is, anyway.”

Paris, of McGill, agrees that SSRIs are overused. “The old adage is that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Clinicians want to do something for their patient, and these days that will usually be a prescription, given that psychotherapy is so poorly insured in Canada.”

The result is over-prescribing, and “polypharmacy,” giving people multiple medications, “but you can’t blame that on an incorrect theory.” Even though we don’t know how antidepressants work — some have suggested neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons, might be at play — “they do work for a lot of people,” Paris said. “Like so many treatments in psychiatry, and in medicine as a whole, to be fair, the effects are entirely empirical,” said Paris, who offers antidepressants if there are good reasons to suspect they will help.

Note From The Editor.

I am starting one course at a time and have already completed my diploma in OCD & Hoarding Hypnosis and I am starting to research and study neuroplasticity.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma

From what I have learned so far, always think in the present tense, when you are thinking about your dream job, dream, home, or dream vacation. Always be grateful for what you have and always say thank you to your God or the Universe. Believe you already have this and meditate just as you are falling asleep or when you have just woken. Visualize you already have what you desire. Never say (if (if I had it) when (when I get it), or any negative thoughts out loud). Our mind has five states beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma. They are distinguished by brain activity and predominant brain wave signals. This speed and frequency are measured in ‘Hertz’ and the figures are obtained using an Electrocardiogram (EEG) machine. Your 5 Brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma | Lucid We have the ability to rewire our minds, through hypnotherapy, meditation, and positive thinking.

Further Reading:

#serotonin #dopamine #neurotransmitter #neurons #neuroplasticity #neuroscience

www.ocd.cymru Domain For Sale.

OCD CYMRU
www.ocd.cymru

www.ocd.cymru Domain Name For Sale.

OCD Cymru would be ideal as a personal blog for someone suffering from OCD, a charity, or a business.

I bought this domain a few years ago in the hope of turning it into a site dedicated to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), however, as times move on I decided to develop a site for general disabilities, so this domain www.ocd.cymru is for sale. I do use the domain to promote my articles but I also have a sub-directory.

OCD is very personal to me because I suffer from this disability. If you follow my online journal you will be able to read how I manage my OCD and how people can affect my illness day to day.

You can read all about the articles I have written on OCD here.

#ocd #obsessivescompulsivedisorder #mentalhealth #mentalhealthdisabilities #domainforsale #ocdcymru

British Gas Customer Intimidation & Treating Customers Badly.

British Gas Intimidation and Disregard For Mental Health & Vulnerabilities.

Intimidation is intentional behavior that causes the victim emotional distress, panic, fear, anxiety, and depression. The instigator of intimidation tries to intimidate the victim by threatening a person into paying more than they can afford, not giving time to pay, and simply disregarding the person’s disabilities. Any entity that causes distress to another person should be made accountable, especially if they have no regard for the victims’ personal health and disabilities.

  • Type of harm to vulnerable adult – Emotional /Psychological
  • Meaning – Action or inaction by others that causes mental anguish.
  • Example – Action or inaction by others that causes mental anguish. Inflexible regimes and lack of choice. Mocking, coercing, denying privacy, threatening behaviour, bullying, intimidation, harassment, deliberate isolation, deprivation.

If British Gas denied or try to defend that they did not cause emotional distress then why would they have called the Police (Duty of Care) if that was not the case? British Gas could have pushed me over the edge, and they did cause me anguish, despair, and emotional distress.

Update To Ongoing Saga!

I wrote not so long about ‘British Gas’ and the problems I am having with this company and have decided to write a separate update to the continuation of my saga.

British Gas:

  • Failed to support me with mental health disabilities
  • Failed to offer an affordable payment plan even though I told them that I had contacted their charity and asked them to give me more time.
  • Tried to intimidate me to pay £190 per month even though all I owed at the time was £318.74 (according to the threatening letter date 16th July 2022) as seen below:
  • Caused me emotional distress and as a consequence, they called the Police. (A riot van rocked up on my street and I could see the twitching of net curtains from my neighbours whilst I was publically humiliated because of ‘British Gas’).
  • Sent out intimidating a threatening letter and email.
  • Finally agreed today (27/07/22) to £70 per month which I have been saying from day dot after 3 months of arguing, but then retracted on 04/08/22.
Letter – Address Redacted.
Email Received 27/07/22 With Different Amount To The letter.

Yet today 27/07/22 it has gone up to £328.38 (charging me an extra £9.64, not sure what for? they have overcharged twice) with average usage of £40 per month. I have been paying £70 per month as this is all I can afford and they are now trying to bully me by passing my debt to a debt collecting agency. I stated I would share this far and wide if they continue to use underhanded methods and I will be seeking compensation for the distress this has caused me. If you overcharge 1 million customers £10 you make a 10 million profit.

A quick recap:

  • In January I was paying £65 per month
  • In March it went up to £90 per month
  • In April it went up to £135.00 per month
  • In May it went up to £190 per month

As a consequence, I am now in arrears and have offered to pay £70 per month on the 6th of the month, including my own estimated Gas usage of £40 per month and my arrears spread over 12 months (I have reduced my usage purposely such as not cooking, washing up and am simply eating sandwiches and salads).

But British Gas are not having it, even going as far as to say “they do not support people with mental health or vulnerabilities“, (This was said on a recorded call). The customer rep I spoke with today 27/07/22 said that the previous customer rep was wrong in saying this and that British Gas does support people with mental health (but he would say).

Here are my meter readings which prove I use my own estimated usage of £40 worth of Gas on average a month.

“I Won’t Be Intimidated, I Know My Rights!”

Meter Reading 31st May 2022
Meter Reading 15th June 2022
(If I submitted a meter reading on the 15th, why would I have an estimated meter reading on the 22nd for £9.64 it makes no sense, furthermore I got charged
twice on the 22nd June 2022 & after the 16th July 2022 when the letter was sent out for the same amount, so in total, I was scammed £19.28).
Meter Reading 4th July 2022
Meter Reading 27th July – 4th August 2022
( I have used zero gas other than my charges of 33p per day).

I emailed them on 26/07/22 and have stated the above omitting the latest meter reading which I added on 27/07/22 that if they push my buttons I will contact mainstream media journalists and ask them to write about “British Gas”. This company like every other relies on business, customers, and investors for their charity. It won’t look good if I start singing like a canary. In fact, it won’t look good having the title of this article “British Gas Customer Intimidation”, or “British Gas Bullying Vulnerable People” on my other blog. I’m sure I am going to get some eyeballs.

It is not my fault that prices have gone up and if one does not have the money, to begin with, how are they supposed to find the money to pay for something that the 1% only benefit from?

I have also come across a website that an ex-police officer wrote about regarding harassment, the article is dated (old) but it only enforces how I have personally been treated by this company: https://www.peterloud.co.uk/britishgasfraud/harassment.html

Accenture System

There is obviously a fault with the billing system: “Accenture system could have performed at 101 percent efficiency. “British Gas uses bullying and is a threatening company whose call centre staff are among the most unpleasant and downright offensive, not to mention seemingly willfully ignorant and obtuse, in the market, and who wouldn’t know the meaning of customer management if you were to spell it out on their reply prompt screens“. Citation – https://www.mycustomer.com/marketing/technology/british-gas-what-difference-would-a-working-billing-system-have-made

2008

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240085992/British-Gas-sues-Accenture-over-problems-with-billing-system

2017

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/british-gas-fined-ps9-5m-for-failures-in-billing-system-a3448451.html

2022

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-10390767/Energy-bill-woes-pile-Complaints-overcharging-soar.html

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/04/british-gas-app-usage/

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/cost-of-living/warning-british-gas-glitch-leaves-23759085

Further Reading

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.britishgas.co.uk?stars=1

https://www.cityam.com/british-gas-the-worst-firm-for-customers-from-bust-suppliers/

Note From The Editor

Intimidation happens in all industries and workplaces. A person who has stated they have a disability for example at the time of their interview has their disability disregarded when they start work, especially if they look fine. Disabilities can be invisible and just because you look fine on the outside you may be in excruciating pain on the inside. I sit in front of a computer screen, you would not know I am disabled unless I told you and people like to make assumptions, so “if he/she can talk on the phone or turn up for work there must not be anything wrong with him/her“, …wrong to assume. An employee may not complain for fear of losing their job and this is where managers take advantage.

I believe my email to general enquiries will get ignored hence I am turning it up a notch and sending a second one to customer complaints, I will give them a few days to reply.

I have come across British Gas complaints contacts; https://www.britishgas.co.uk/complaints/make-a-complaint-credit.html

You can do one of the following:

  • Fill in an online form
  • Online Chat
  • Phone: 0333 202 9532
  • Email Customer Complaints at: customercomplaints@britishgas.co.uk (I sent an email to this email and never had a reply, just saying).

I will be forwarding the email I sent this morning to the above email address.

I won’t be intimidated and I will use my voice to be heard.

If I have any updates I will post them here, but as it stands they are trying to use bully tactics. I am also going to reach out to the mental health charity ‘MIND’ to tell them about this company.

The party is only just getting started…

UPDATE 27/07/22

After receiving the email today I decided to phone the complaints number. I guess people who phone the complaints number get treated differently. I did not go on my high horse ranting, I spoke calmly and I gave my latest meter reading and you will never guess the person with a South African accent said that my £190 prediction was totally wrong.

I had in fact since the 4th July 2022 only used £12 worth of gas including their standing charges, hence they would accept my £70 payment plan which was re-instated today 27/07/22.

So all this stress and distress was for nothing”.

I honestly feel really unwell because of this company and as a consequence am finding it hard to contemplate my workload. I do feel very depressed because of them and feel they should compensate me for the emotional distress I have endured, I will wait and see how they respond to me in the next few days…

I did dispute the £9.64 and the customer representative said the £9.64 was from a bill generated on 22nd June yet I disputed this because my threatening letter dated 16th July 2022 would have reflected the bill on 22/06/22 and I received the inflated. (My threatening letter and my email does not marry up with my payments in the screenshot below). They are obviously pulling numbers out of a hat because I never gave them a meter reading on the 22/06/22 as shown in the meter readings above so where did the £9.64 come from? I was charged twice once when the bill was raised and again in my balance summary. Please refer to the screenshot of all my bills and payments. (If each customer has an extra £10 for argument’s sake added to their account for no reason and there are a million customers that would be £10M in profit that the company would make.

I have now been given two reference numbers the first for the £19.28 (I know it is a small amount but why should British Gas have extra money for the hell of it)?

Complaint number 1
7022412508 – £19.28 – Discrepancy

Complaint number 2 – 8013977142 – Treated Badly

I was told I have to wait 5 days to get a response… (which never happened – updated 04/08/22).

I have since logged into my account and screenshot my payment history and none of the balances reflect the amounts on my threatening letter or email that I received today, but they do reflect the £9.64 as mentioned by the person I spoke to today (although I never submitted a meter reading on the 22/06/22). The mind boggles.

Bills and Payments Summary.

UPDATE 04/08/22

OMG is all I can say. I decided to phone British Gas today in relation to the two complaints I made on 27/07/22 and was told that one complaint had been closed (the one where I was treated badly), oh really… who closed it and why?, and the woman I spoke to said that the complaint was about the £70 payment that had been set up but did not include my outstanding debt and that a debt collection would still come after me for the outstanding amount, which was now £344. She completely disregarded the fact that British Gas phoned the Police on me and the amount of anguish and emotional distress this company put me under. She kept asking what the Police had said when they arrived. The Police told me to let the CEO know and publish far and wide as they are getting a lot of calls with distressed people finding it hard to cope with utility providers and their bullying tactics.

My previous call on the 27th was a contradiction because:

  1. When I phoned the complaints number today and after talking about my complaint I was told I had phoned the ‘Homecare Department’ and not complaints. I have the previous complaint number published in this article and programmed into my phone. (What I believe happens if they do not want to deal with you is they come up with a BS excuse that you dialed the wrong number).
  2. The person I spoke with on the 27th said I would not have a debt collection agency chasing me but wait for it, today the woman I spoke to said the contrary, that a debt collection agency will continue to chase me and include debt collecting charges on top. I said that was a kick in the teeth considering I arranged a payment plan. (I think they move the goal posts as and when they please).
  3. I received an email yesterday that I could choose to be on a variable or fixed tariff. I am currently on a variable which means if the prices go up, so will my bill. With a fixed tariff, it stays the same for 12 months. I did not understand what that meant other than if I switched to a different tariff I might be signing a contract that I could not move to another provider, (according to the woman I spoke to on 04/08/22 that is untrue, yet I have since found out this is a contract and there is a £100 transfer fee if you move to another provider. It is just as well I am not on a fixed tariff after all and do not believe the BS this company tries to feed me). The woman I spoke to today 04/08/22 said I was not eligible for a fixed tariff, so why send me an email giving me the option to switch? (Not that I want to be in any contract with this nightmare company).
  4. I reiterated I wanted to pay manually online and the person I spoke to on the 27th understood that but sent out a magnetic card which according to the woman today meant I would NOT be able to pay online. She then continued to say I needed to set up a Direct Debit (not likely). Direct Debits allows British Gas or any organisation to help themselves to your bank account. She said as long as I made a payment today (which I did) no one would come chasing me. She also said she would text me with my complaint (I am still waiting).
  5. I said I wanted British Gas to explain themselves how they have caused me ‘Emotional Distress’ and ‘how it has affected me’ and what they are going to do about it. I am now preparing to publish this article across all the social media platforms including LinkedIn where I have nearly 11K followers. Let’s see how much British Gas will lose in revenue and donations to their charity when my followers learn that British Gas has nearly pushed me to breaking point, with a header title I plan to use: ‘British Gas Phoned the Police On Me’, I wonder how many connections will take notice?. I also have Chris O’Shea’s email. To think I am advertising their charity as per the request of British Gas, yet they do not pay me for the backlinks.
  6. Because of British Gas, my OCD has got worse, I have anxiety and panic attacks, I stress over everything, and have spiraled into a deep state of depression. I cannot face my neighbours because of the humiliation I endured. I struggle with work (I am self-employed and the Editor of this site, if I do not work, bills do not get paid). I am procrastinating and simply lack energy. This is affecting my health and my business.
  7. Low and behold I phoned the second time today to double-check what the first agent had said and she basically told me (NO) payment plan has been set and the only way I can have a set price I can pay on a monthly basis is if I set up a Direct Debit (they are intimidating people to set up Direct Debits because what is wrong with setting up a standing order or paying manually, there is no difference other that they do not have access to your bank account) and that providing I pay in September I will not have anyone chasing me. I was told to phone back on 22/09/22. When I said how British Gas has been treating me because of the miscommunication she did not escalate a complaint and just said sorry and it won’t happen again (I DO NOT ACCEPT THE APOLOGY and I am going to take this further).

UPDATE 05/08/22

Trust No One. Even after speaking to two people yesterday both saying they have done a payment plan and checked up with a follow-up call no payment plans were set up. (What happened was on the 27th I had a magnetic card set up but the first agent I spoke to yesterday said I could not pay online and canceled the payment plan but then reinstated a cash plan. So the second agent I spoke to yesterday said the same, yet today I have a totally different explanation and eventually have a magnetic card re-instated with a fixed payment plan).

Lies after lies after lies. So today I phone up checking up on yesterday’s phone call and the guy says no payment plan was set up. (He went on to say with a magnetic payment card I do not have to use it and that I can also pay online which was a contradiction to what the agent said yesterday).

I am getting tired of the💩 because they keep insisting I need to set up a direct debit which would mean they could help themselves to my bank account when the prices get increased rather than stick to a set payment plan.

I then discussed both complaints I made on the 27th and basically I was offered £10.00 compensation for the two over charges of £9.64 each totaling £19.28 (they obviously cannot count), which I refused as this is all part of the one complaint and I am not accepting anything less than £xxxxx for the complaint about my ill-treatment and emotion distress and the scamming.

I told the guy I am finding it hard to work, I just about can make updates let alone anything else. If I cannot work I cannot pay my bills.

Not only am I an Editor of several publications, but I am also a website designer, content writer, and digital marketer www.irenata.com So if I cannot work because of ill health, how am I supposed to run my business (www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk)?

So regarding my complaint about the ill-treatment by this company the agent I spoke to today who had advice from his supervisor said that ‘British Gas’ do not offer compensation for emotional distress. So they can treat you like 💩 and get away with it. Absolutely disgusting company.

So after speaking to two agents today assuring me that my debt is included in my payment plan, you won’t believe what I have just received by email, only an email chasing me for the outstanding balance.

I have phoned this wretched company yet again (this is my 3rd call today) to sort this out. I am sick to the back teeth with the antics that are taking place. God forbid someone who is more vulnerable, like an elderly person or someone with worse mental health disabilities to me or anyone with cognitive impairment and cannot argue their case.

Despite two agents assuring me yesterday, that I would not be chased for my debt I get the email today chasing me for the debt, (you cannot make this up) screenshot below:

In the third and final call, I made today the woman told me to ignore the email I received today. But this is causing unnecessary stress which I could do without. I have contacted the charity for an update and they are just saying it may take another couple of weeks. If after all this my grievance goes on deaf ears I will share this on social media and make sure that investors think twice before donating to this company. This is a company that does not care about its customers and its workers. This is a company that can treat their customers badly and thinks they can get away with it, this is a company that is causing people to have mental health issues.

What about my ‘HEALTH’ and other vulnerable people’s health, who have been treated just like me?

British Gas should not be able to treat people like something they stepped in and should be held accountable for their actions. British Gas nearly pushed me to breaking point as per the Police callout and they claim they will not compensate for the emotional distress I have endured, we will see about that…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2002/jun/06/felicitylawrence

https://www.mycustomer.com/community/blogs/slauchlan/british-gas-the-101-of-bullying

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2022/06/hundreds-of-households-wrongly-sent-legal-letters-saying-they-ow/

I am sick and tired of this company. I have now reported them to OFGEM.

OFGEM

Contact:

Energy Ombudsman complaints form or call 0330 440 1624.

#britishgas #britishgasintimidation #intimidation #emotionaldistress #harrassment #chrisoshea #jessicatappin

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