I always put a lot of thought into whether or not to write pieces that could be deemed controversial, I don’t like confrontation so I avoid publishing a piece if I fear it will cause it. However sometimes experiences need to be shared to stop negative consequences from occurring again. That is exactly what this post is about- how my psychiatrist has cost me just under £600. For several years now I’ve been signed off of doing any ‘stressful’ work due to my Schizophrenia, but for a period of time last year I felt better and mentally stronger than I had in a very long time; the decision was made that I would try and work a low stress minimal job. I decided to take up a job at a local independent children’s café, working maximum 12 hours a week, earning minimum wage and taking very few serious responsibilities.
Unsure about the legal requirements, I asked my psychiatrist at this point, whether I would need to let the benefits and disability people know that I would be working. This was the same psychiatrist that recommended that I started the job, and he calmly informed me that I did not need to tell anyone as I was just doing it as a trial and would only be up to 12 hours.
I went ahead with the job, and ended up really enjoying it; got on with the customers, loved my colleagues, and got to learn about all sorts of different coffee.
Circumstances changed that meant I had to hand in my notice and leave this job, and go back to being fully signed off. I was disappointed about this, but I was aware that I was getting way too stressed out and it was starting to seriously impact on my physical and mental health.
So I went back to recovery, and got on with life, when 4 months later I get a letter saying that I needed to go to the job centre; didn’t really want to go, but I went along with my Dad, and we were informed I was being investigated for over payment. Long story short, a month later I then found out I have to pay back for a months worth of pay, with an added fine for ‘no reasonable excuse’.
In other words, my psychiatrist lied to me in the first place about not having to tell them. This experience of being investigated has made me so much more stressed and has set me back once again with my mental health. Not only that but I’m now super wary about even going back to see my psychiatrist.
The advice I would give from this is to go with what your common sense tells you and don’t always fully trust the advice of your doctors, I did and its ended up costing me a lot of money. Don’t get me wrong, some Doctors are great and will give you advice to the best of their knowledge, but others would appear to just tell you what you want to hear.
I have had other issues with my psychiatrist, this is not the first, so if you would like to hear more about my troubles to get help for my mental health then please just let me know either on Twitter or on here.