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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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JeanS

Severe Depression And Anxiety - Am I Eligible For Ssi?

10 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello, I am new to this forum and I have come asking a question:

I have tried to apply for SSI in the past, but I couldn't get my mother and grandmother to sign the witness papers. I had 60 days to send in the medical release consent forms from two witnesses, and they were the only ones who have been around me for the better part of a decade, so I gave it a shot.. They think it is giving up on my life, but at this point I have no other options. I have no idea if their signatures would have even legally counted, but even then I just don't see how this is giving up my life. I need the assistance, I need the money for treatment and I need the money for necessities. I have special dietary requirements which my mother blatantly ignores without further concern despite my rapidly declining health.

I've been a shut-in for nearly 6 years, I have become so unhealthy both physically and mentally from lack of treatment. My last mental health evaluation was in 2005 - when I was still covered under my mother's insurance from her work. Who knows when my last appointment with a GP was, your guess is as good as mine.

The depression in particular has been such a nuisance in my life, I'm too tired and in constant pain to do even the simplest of tasks and I'm so embarrassed at how bad my condition has become. The anxiety only flares up when I'm around most people, and in public. My mother constantly berates me in front of everyone for being lazy and leeching off of her, but I cannot help it. She thinks someone with depression can just "snap out of it", I think. She really doesn't understand the condition at all.

I've only had two very short-lived jobs in my life. First was at the local animal shelter, and the job was too physically taxing for me - I lasted about a week before they asked me to stop showing up. The second job was at a second-hand retail store, I was fired for having severe panic attacks after the first day. I just couldn't cope with being around so many people, I tried my absolute best and it was just a horrific experience. The really messed up part about my second job was that the boss didn't let me know I was fired until the next day after I finished another day of work, she just didn't show up for work that day so I worked an entire extra day without any compensation. In total, that's probably around 63 hours, in which I earned approximately 127 dollars. I was grossly underpaid at both jobs. I worked around 9 hours a day for each job, I was supposed to be earning 4.20 an hour untaxed during the trial period, but I estimated it was truly around 2 dollars an hour. It's pathetic, and just not worth the anguish I went through. It wasn't enough to help me in any way, but the only good that came out of it was that I could afford to open a bank account - I had high hopes for future employment opportunities.. But after two years of waiting patiently for my family to help me get out and apply to more jobs, I came to the realization that it just wasn't going to happen. I depend on them for rides into town, and they never have time.

My point is.. I'm kind of stuck in life. I have tried to better myself, but my family offers literally zero support. I really could benefit from SSI, but I have no idea how to go about this. All of my medical records have probably been destroyed by now, plus I was a minor when my medical evaluations took place. I don't remember half of the doctors who treated me, and my family never cooperates with me. I was extremely suicidal as a teenager but I've mellowed out with age, but I still get a fleeting thought every now and then. I was never hospitalized for those attempts, although the town thinks otherwise. (Small town, lots and lots of rumors about my condition.) My mother threatens to send me to a group home almost every day, but that is not what I want out of life. Plus, I am sure the suicidal thoughts would soon become prevalent once again. I don't want to get that low in life again, I just need a little help getting myself together.

I know it sounds like I'm making excuses for myself, but this is how my life has been. They expect me to know how to do everything for myself, and I don't. I don't know what to do at all. Do I stand a chance towards getting SSI, at all? I really want to get away from these people, I feel very old already and I'm only 21.

Thank you for reading, I know it is quite a hefty question, I'm very long-winded with my words sometimes.

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Posted

Hi JeanS and :welcomeani: to DF,

I personally don't know much about SSI in the US only the UK. But I guess to be eligible you would have to be medically assessed by a Doctor who belongs to the SSI department. That would be the case in the UK.

I am sorry to hear about your situation it does sound dreadful. I cannot understand why your family are reluctant to help you , as it would benefit them indirectly if you were to get SSI.

I think you need to get an advocate from a mental health charity who provide them for people like yourself. In the UK we have MIND and a few others.

The advocate could act on your behalf and get the ball rolling in the various departments. By the way are you on any medication from your Doctor, and did you have a proper assessment of your mental health condition.

Even you Doctor would know what mental health charities are in your area and could probably guide you.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow

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Posted

SSI is a longshot for you at the moment. You need to have continual care and assessment to support your claim for disability. However, you can start with applying for Medicaid in your state. It doesn't matter that you live at home. You most likely will qualify for it. Once Medicaid is in place, seek medical and mental health treatment. Your juvenile medical records are most likely stored at the doctor's office.

Since you rely on your family for transportation, I suggest you contact a non-profit agency in your town or nearby city for assistence. Check your phone book for city government and the county mental health services. Give them a call for starters. They should be able to help you.

Sheepwoman

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Posted

Thank you both for your responses.

The problem with my mother is that she is a social worker in the county, so anything that affects me reflects badly on her reputation, I think. She tells the rest of my family and her co-workers that I'm awful, so they're reluctant to help me because they believe my mom.

I don't really know what to do, we don't have any charity services like those in my town.

Oh, well. Thanks anyways.

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Posted

I agree with Sheepwoman that you need to apply for Medicaid (it may be called something else in your state; in Minnesota, it's MNCare). Get things going as far as documentation of your illness - it's a huge factor! See if you can also have psychological testing done. This is more comprehensive than just talking to a psychiatrist or psychologist and may strengthen your case. Make sure you also set up regular appointments (even once a month is good) with a therapist. It will, 1) help you feel better; 2) give you the required documentation; and 3) bringing your mother to a session will be educational for her and may result in a more supportive relationship.

In the meantime, see if there's a part time job you can do where you don't have to deal with people. I know it's difficult in this job market, but you never know what you may find. If you can't find a job, try a volunteer gig. Because of my anxiety, my therapist suggested volunteering at a local library reshelving books. I won't have to deal with people and can do just an hour a week if I want. Showing a good faith effort to try and work will go a long way with your mom and can help your case.

Don't be afraid to consult a lawyer if you are denied the first time. Most firms specializing in disability will give you a free consultation. Even if you don't hire them, they can answer some of your questions.

I wish you the best of luck. I'm about to apply for SSDI and I'm terrified.

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Posted

I recently applied for disability and know that it will be a rough road. In the initial interview at the Social Security office, I told the worker that the majority of my medical records are before 2007, and since I had seen numerous medical professionals due to money flow and insurance fluctuations, that the records are scattered around in numerous places. I am not capapble of gathering all my records together, and the SS worker assurred me that "they" would collect all the medical records "for me".

Nothing was mentioned until later when I received a letter proclaiming that I had in-sufficent medical records in the last 3 years. In calling the "Determination" person, who apparently handles the paperwork, she explained that they only go back 3 years to get an idea of your "condition". Wish they said that up-front, would have saved everyone some time and trouble.

With a lack of medical records, they sent me to an "independent" medical professional for a mental status exam. That turned out to be a joke. Independent is a loose fit, since all the PSYD I was sent does is Mental Status Examinations. There are numerous descriptions of what a Mental Status Exam includes on the net, even one posted within this site. However, in reading the descriptions, realized later that the examiner answered alot of the questions "for me", or made statements of fact that weren't exactly true. I was told that the most important thing to keep in mind, was that the CE Exam person's role really is to disprove your claim, and to treat the exam as such.

I've heard that everyone gets denied the first time, however, I also have heard of people being approved without jumping through hoops, BUT documentation is very important. They ( SSI people ) say that their decision is based primarily on what your Primary Physician has to say...which for me turned out to be a bust. He asked me long ago if I sought disability, and when I finally decided to give it a go, since I have finally accepted the fact that I am disabled, and recently asked the Doc about disability, his response was that he doesn't believe in disability and would not write a letter or fill out any forms for disability, he would only send them whatever records they requested and nothing more.

Once again, the " people who don't have it, don't get it" thing. I called I don't know how many lawyers, who told me to come on down to their offices, which would mean travelling 140 miles round trip. With agoraphobia, and excessive anxiety related to traveling, I don't see how that would work.

The thing is you have to be prepared for a long haul. The process can take months to years to complete. And in the meantime, you might have to cycle though doctors and psychatrists until you find ones that are genuinely concerned about what you are wanting to accomplish. I know from experience, that most of us don't have the financial resources TO pick and choose whom we see. However, most counties have mental health centers that will assist you with the medical aspects of this/these disorder(s), some even help with transportation.

From what I've been told, that since it takes so much time to go through the various steps, initial claim, reconsideration IF denied, going before a judge IF still denied, provides time enough to obtain legal council, and build-up adequate documentation to increase the odds to win your case.

One way to look at this, is that even though it may be a painful process, what else is there to do ? Since the anxiety/depression keeps me at home 99 percent of the time, figure that might as well go through this, as there is nothing else TO do, aside from sleeping, eating, and wandering aimlessly around the homestead. Know what I mean ?

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Posted

Yes, be prepared to be denied the first time. I was and have been denied for ssd 2 times, but approved for ssi. I couldn't take part in ssi because we have assets, such as a 401k in my name. You have to make a minimal amount to accept the gov. hand out. The ssd is based on your previous work earnings and this is what I was fighting to obtain. I had my hearing in front of a judge and am currently awaiting a written statement to tell me whether or not I am approved or not. My hearing was in May of this year and I am still waiting! I began all of this 2 yrs. ago in April of 2008. It is a very long a drawn out process. My history goes back to 1990, but could only provide records for 1996 and beyond. My dr. was generous in making statements and filling out the forms for me, so we will see. Most of it rides on your recent history and what your dr. says. I was told that I must have seen a dr. every 2 months or no more than 3 months between my visits to be considered under treatment.

I highly suggest that you obtain as many records as you can no matter how old they are. Also,make sure you are keeping your dr. visits religiously , that is extremely important. If you haven't seen a dr. in the last 4 months that is too long to go for social security to say you are disabled. It is very important to find a dr. that will support you all the way.

Good luck!

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Posted

Hello, I am new to this forum and I have come asking a question:

I have tried to apply for SSI in the past, but I couldn't get my mother and grandmother to sign the witness papers. I had 60 days to send in the medical release consent forms from two witnesses, and they were the only ones who have been around me for the better part of a decade, so I gave it a shot.. They think it is giving up on my life, but at this point I have no other options. I have no idea if their signatures would have even legally counted, but even then I just don't see how this is giving up my life. I need the assistance, I need the money for treatment and I need the money for necessities. I have special dietary requirements which my mother blatantly ignores without further concern despite my rapidly declining health.

I've been a shut-in for nearly 6 years, I have become so unhealthy both physically and mentally from lack of treatment. My last mental health evaluation was in 2005 - when I was still covered under my mother's insurance from her work. Who knows when my last appointment with a GP was, your guess is as good as mine.

The depression in particular has been such a nuisance in my life, I'm too tired and in constant pain to do even the simplest of tasks and I'm so embarrassed at how bad my condition has become. The anxiety only flares up when I'm around most people, and in public. My mother constantly berates me in front of everyone for being lazy and leeching off of her, but I cannot help it. She thinks someone with depression can just "snap out of it", I think. She really doesn't understand the condition at all.

I've only had two very short-lived jobs in my life. First was at the local animal shelter, and the job was too physically taxing for me - I lasted about a week before they asked me to stop showing up. The second job was at a second-hand retail store, I was fired for having severe panic attacks after the first day. I just couldn't cope with being around so many people, I tried my absolute best and it was just a horrific experience. The really messed up part about my second job was that the boss didn't let me know I was fired until the next day after I finished another day of work, she just didn't show up for work that day so I worked an entire extra day without any compensation. In total, that's probably around 63 hours, in which I earned approximately 127 dollars. I was grossly underpaid at both jobs. I worked around 9 hours a day for each job, I was supposed to be earning 4.20 an hour untaxed during the trial period, but I estimated it was truly around 2 dollars an hour. It's pathetic, and just not worth the anguish I went through. It wasn't enough to help me in any way, but the only good that came out of it was that I could afford to open a bank account - I had high hopes for future employment opportunities.. But after two years of waiting patiently for my family to help me get out and apply to more jobs, I came to the realization that it just wasn't going to happen. I depend on them for rides into town, and they never have time.

My point is.. I'm kind of stuck in life. I have tried to better myself, but my family offers literally zero support. I really could benefit from SSI, but I have no idea how to go about this. All of my medical records have probably been destroyed by now, plus I was a minor when my medical evaluations took place. I don't remember half of the doctors who treated me, and my family never cooperates with me. I was extremely suicidal as a teenager but I've mellowed out with age, but I still get a fleeting thought every now and then. I was never hospitalized for those attempts, although the town thinks otherwise. (Small town, lots and lots of rumors about my condition.) My mother threatens to send me to a group home almost every day, but that is not what I want out of life. Plus, I am sure the suicidal thoughts would soon become prevalent once again. I don't want to get that low in life again, I just need a little help getting myself together.

I know it sounds like I'm making excuses for myself, but this is how my life has been. They expect me to know how to do everything for myself, and I don't. I don't know what to do at all. Do I stand a chance towards getting SSI, at all? I really want to get away from these people, I feel very old already and I'm only 21.

Thank you for reading, I know it is quite a hefty question, I'm very long-winded with my words sometimes.

Wish I knew the law in your country.

I have a friend here in Israel who suffers from manic depression (he is an amazing guy, giving, with a good heart) and he gets disability from the national insurance office, plus, works at some low paid job.

In total he gets more than the average salary and can live quite well, he flies abroad twice a year to disconnect from all...loves skiing :)

I know I am also entitled to disability fees / status, something between 50%-70% disability...but the sum will be too low...since I work in IT and get paid well, I leave the disability support for extreme case only.

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Posted

I hope I don't get in trouble for bumping this old topic. I just thought I should update. I took the initiative (which is a big deal for me) and submitted an application online. A couple days later someone from social security called me and was very nice to me.

I don't know if I'll get SSI just yet, but it doesn't seem as hopeless as I was when originally posting this topic. Another thing I could qualify was "disabled adult child" since my father is deceased she said. If you were disabled prior to age 22 (I was) and your parent paid enough into social security you could qualify. I think the second option is a better chance for me. It would be nice because you can save up the money unlike with SSI.

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Posted

Thought I should give an update.

It has been almost 7 months since I sent in the application. I had two Consultative Exams back in early August.. They went okay, the psychiatrist was allergic to my cats and ..well it wasn't the most comfortable two hours (yes, it took two hours) of my life.. The physical examiner was very friendly and I didn't feel as tense around him - and that exam didn't take longer than a half hour thankfully. I was a bit worried that they would be rude to me going on my readings from others on here and elsewhere on the web, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Anyway, a lot of this time has been spent waiting - as expected. The bad news is that my hospital didn't release my medical documents in these 7 months so my "disabled adult child prior to age 22" thing was rejected - but I am sending an appeal considering I found my records by helping my mom organize her paperwork.. Anyway! The two CEs seemed to be enough for ssi and so I was approved for the SSI. I'm not sure of the amount yet, the guy missed me when he called so I'm hoping he'll call back again.

Just thought I should let everyone know that this was a positive result and I'm hoping to turn my life around with this outcome. :)

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