Sunday, 24 October 2010

Zellieh's Story

Please be warned, this story contains possible triggers for suicidal behaviour but Zelliah wants their story to be published. Thank you for your bravery.

In May, I had to renew my IB claim (I'm on Income Support via IB, and also get lower rate DLA for care and mobility, and of course HB and Council Tax Benefit). For context, 3 out of my 4 suicide attempts have related to benefits: one when I was turned down for DLA, one when I had to renew my DLa, and the last... In May, I found the renewal process so terrifying, I tried to kill myself again. I took an overdose, wrote a will, anmd it was only ewhen I was writing the will that I thought of my family finding my body, and couldn't go through with it. Ironically, the cost of checking my claim plus the cost of treating me after I tried to kill myself (ambulance, A&E, psychiatry, case-worker, drugs, GP's time, letter-writing from my MH team to the IB people) probably matches the amount of money I get from IB. It may even exceed it, considering I only get about, what, £6k a year? So much for saving money!

Every letter I get from the DWP about my IB, IS or DLA triggers a panic attack before I've even opened the envelope, so that's my whole day wrecked, usually. And then I'll have another panic attack after I've read the letter, even if it's good news -- I think it's the relief after the life-or-death adrenaline rush. Last time I got a letter about my IB claim, I had to call the 24-hour helpline my local Primary Care Mental Health Team runs, and I was crying so hard I could barely breathe, let alone speak. I don't dare read the websites, because the comments and some of the articles are so cruel and gurtful, full of the temporarily-abled bigots being vicious for no real reason. These days, I can barely turn on the telly. I don't dare watch the news, not even the BBC, because they'll have a surprise politician on, talking about benefit scroungers and cheats, and how they're going to test them and take their money (MY money! MY livellihood!) away -- and I know -- I KNOW -- that I'm going to try and kill myself again. I don't actually want to die, right now, but thanks to the ConDems, I have this lethal stressor hanging over me all the time like the Sword of Damocles, and I really can't cope with stress. It's not a question of IF I'll try to kill myself, only WHEN. Which will be the day they send me their next claim-renewal form.

No comments: