The new Work Capability Assessment Does Not Care About Your Medication

The WCA is now not going to take the debilitating physical effects of your psychiatric medication into account.

Hey! Do what I did!

Keep working when you’ve just been released from hospital and spent six weeks with the home treatment team watching you take your medication every night. I mean, you’ve been totally stripped of your autonomy as a person and your life has fallen apart and you’ve been hit by a missile but you can work! Keep working when you start medication because you can’t claim benefits as you live with your partner. Keep working and then realise that your work colleagues think you’re an alcoholic because you can’t hold a phone because your hand is trembling so much because of lithium. Because your speech is slurred because of antipsychotics. Keep working or get a job because they don’t care and then stop taking that medication because you can’t work through the side effects and because people are laughing at you. Because you can’t get time off anyway to attend your appointments. When you do you’re too ashamed to tell them about the effects it’s having on you. You want to look better and healed. Don’t tell them you’ve come off your medication, just carry on looking more and more unstable. Then take it again. Your body weight has changed and you get Lithium toxicity. And you shake and vomit at work and obviously, the medication isn’t working because you hadn’t been taking it. But you’re taking it again! And then stop taking it and just get ill over and over and over again. And because you got ill again, you lost your job. But get a new one! And keep working! In your next job, get fired because you can’t wake up in the morning because your antipsychotics. And then stop taking your antipsychotics and get sick again. On top of this is the self loathing you have because you got fired. Again!  And you’re sick! Again! Up that dose of antipsychotics, then. But that’s okay!  Not all jobs mean getting up in the morning, yeah?  Shame you’re really drowsy the rest of the day, too. Move out of your partner’s flat and leave his mum to pay the rent because that’s the only way you can get benefits. Scorched earth policy, and now you’re single, too, and you’re still ill. Damn. But keep working! KEEP WORKING because you WILL NOT GET HELP FROM THIS GOVERNMENT. Like I did in the end.  Which I wouldn’t have gotten now.  If I were as exactly as ill as I were then, I would have died instead.

Oh, and by the way, if you don’t take that medication, you’ll get sanctioned.

So keep working until you die and they don’t have to worry about you anymore.


16 Responses

  1. This is literally terrifying (especially the link), there are some medications I can no longer take because they gave me a brain tumour 2 years ago (pituitary adenoma). There are no alternatives as the entire class of drugs cause these effects and, ironically, the only drugs to treat the lasting vertigo and vomiting from the tumour…are the same class that caused it in the first place.
    Even my last therapist and the C.A.B benefits rights lawyer basically told me to ‘just get on with it’ and take the long vehicle journeys to the job centre and face-to-face interviews which induce these can’t-see-laying-on-the-ground-vomiting-for-hours episodes. Despite the fact I also has Crohns disease and an eating disorder where prolonged sessions of vomiting have given me seizures from electrolytes imbalance and blood loss.
    Nope, it’s just silly old ‘anxiety’ and C.B.T (that I have to travel for) will fix my ‘irrational’ fear of vomiting myself into a seizure.
    Luckily, after 2 letters from a very sympathic doctor they’ve deferred my transition to ESA.

  2. My goodness. I thought that this article was written for me or by me. This is exactly what Im faced with and Im sick to death with worry 😥

  3. This government makes me so bloody angry, not only making the poor & vulnerable pay for the crimes of the rich & powerful, but rewarding the rich & powerful for their crimes. Words more than fail 😦

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  5. Bleugh, this sounds horribly familiar. I have BD – not on antipsychotics but on SSRIs and having CBT for my anger issues. For the most part I can’t bring myself to get out of bed and when I can I feel so drowsy I might as well have done, but if I don’t take my pills I get so dizzy I fall over. My boss’s response to me on a bad week? Telling me to get over it else I won’t be kept on and extending my hours, as if I didn’t feel shit enough already. And I can’t claim benefits for the same reason.

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  7. Excuse me for asking this here (If you wish to answer then you can email the address I left with the comment). I have a place to do MH Nursing, and I would be taking the step to come off benefits into the world of student loans and bursaries, all are in place currently.

    I am curious if I will be eligible to still claim Housing Benefit as a full time student, I know I can if I claim DLA – which I do, but I expect this to be stopped if I ask for it to be reassessed, or at least lowered.

    As someone who is on that side of the fence, I wondered just how you found your first year nursing; I am so terrified of making the step from benefit claimant to nursing student I am on the brink of changing my mind and withdrawing my place!

  8. Hello! Just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. You can find more details at my blog, bipolarbetty2. Thanks for creating a great blog! (And sorry about the informal mass notification, you can delete this comment if you’d like.) Have a great day!

  9. How do you get sanctioned for not taking medication?

  10. I mean, I read your link, but can they FORCE you into taking something you don’t want to?… Because psychiatric drugs are never 100% efffective for 100% of the people they cannot make the assumption that on something like lithium anybody will necessarily be OK

  11. Hi Seaneen—I hope life is treating you better. I wish you luck. I’ve been so impressed with your perseverance. Keep on keeping on.

  12. I am just waking up after a couple of years on mute. In trying to re-establish a hold on this world, I came across your blog (by looking for bipolar disorder blogs, so I guess not really “came across”…) In any case, reading the last couple posts, especially the most recent, had the effect of slamming some past imagery into my present. I remember the first couple of years of medication tries and fails. I am incredibly fortunate to be one of those with symptoms that are well controlled by med, life-style changes and education, but those first years were like a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from. Register for school, drop out, re-register, drop out. It seems like there is a limited number of times the world will let you try again, but that is a lie.

    You are a passionate, compassionate and very intelligent young woman. You are writing a blog that doesn’t just help you, but others as well (Points to the 38 year old American typing right now). I hope you are healing and finding what balance you can right now. My only advice is to endure the worst, because life can be so much better, and even though moments of clarity and pure joy may seem fleeting, so is sadness and hurt. I look forward to the next post. I am going to wipe these tears out of my eyes and bookmark your page in anticipation of your next post.

  13. Sad but true 😦
    I enjoy your blog and have my own Abuse story blog – please can you share it

  14. The effects of this kind of medicine can truly affect how we function. It is hard to do all the tasks and concentrate if we are trembling or experiencing serious side effects from our medications. I hope the rules will change soon. I am telling you, I am truly amazed and inspired by your strength.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot to me. I also hope the rules change too. And every medicine has side effects but maybe you should tell your doctor that these medicines are not making you feel good and if they can give you something better? I hope I helped. 🙂 Take care

  15. Have you considered nutrient therapy or orhomolecular psychiatry? I can’t guarantee it will work for everyone but it’s worthwhile looking into.

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