Journal: Brussels, Feeling Great and My Future

On one hand we could say that the budget wasn't too bad but it was the hidden cuts to benefits that people with disabilities rely on. At this moment in time my income is almost non existent and as such I've been trying to get PIP for around four months. PIP, or Personal Independent Payment, is a state benefit which is varies depending on how debilitating your condition is.
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On paper this seems fair but in practise it is not applied this way. People without limbs have been ordered onto different schemes sometimes forced into work where no suitable work could exist. Despite legally and medically qualifying as disabled, people have had their applications denied causing further distress and exacerbating an already delicate situation; after all very few people would ask for help if they didn't need it. I say all of this as last week it was not Mr Hunt to resign but Iain Duncan Smith and whilst I am cynical for his full reasons, it is clear he felt that those who need our love and support the most were suffering unfairly more than those in the mansions. His resignation was shocking and scathing but what worries me is the future. Now he isn't there, much like the Lib Dems are not in Government, are we about to find out that they were acting as a shield and preventing the worst policies hitting our health and pockets? It looks like we may of won the #Budget2016 or at least this is a stay of execution.

"Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It's the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with".   -Adam Ant

In other news, I've been feeling pretty fantastic. I've covered before how my mood seems to go in cycles and my mood is pretty up and up! Filled with energy, I have been getting more done firstly cleaning my flat and having a girly night. Sometimes I wonder if I am gender fluid rather than a label like metrosexual or something. I am completely at home and comfortable to be the only male in a group of girls especially when the face mask makes me look that stunning! (SARCASM!) Over the weekend I also went on a lads day out to my first full rugby match. It was close match and I found myself shouting and cheering along as London Irish pushed through a good victory. Not too sure I'd have Guinness again but I certainly want to go to another match.

Last week I met with my psychologist and had a long conversation regarding my diagnoses, prognosis and also a bit of self-investigation into my condition. My view is that the incidents we've discussed before regarding my past office job (stigma, disability discrimination etc) have caused me to be in my current situation. However it was interesting to go over the events of my childhood and teenage years; not only how I survived but what programming they left me with even after counselling and past efforts at therapy.

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It is hard to be 100% certain in mental health with a diagnosis. I've been given the label of Borderline Personality Disorder, something which I've debated the meaning of here on my blog. Yet statistically it is unlikely as 75% of sufferers are female. It is possible I have Bipolar Disorder which shares a lot of the trademark symptoms but it is hard to measure and judge if my hypermania is hypermanic enough to qualify. There is also a range of symptoms covered by a generalised title of Depression Disorder. Having a title does make a difference; it imposes a sense of confidence and faith that we know what is going on. In terms of prognosis, it is hard to say. I have had weird nightmares about school, exams and offices to the point they didn't make sense. However, this week I start part of my future as a School Crossing Patroller. In the short term, this provides some pay to help keep me ticking over whilst I wait for my PIP decision and other support I get from the state as well as making the best of the opportunity.

Next week I have my first session in the Youth Health Parliament in which I hope to network - which is a fancy way of saying meeting people to work with in the future.

As a final note - before I leave you with some social media adventures and ask you to browse and share my blog posts - I'd like to reiterate something I posted not long enough ago:

The injuries are not limited to those who were shot or blown apart. "
" The mental health injury spreads to those who help the victims, whether medical professionals or locals trying to help, and even further to the victims friends and family at home. The wounds in the mental health are more complex. Learning to move on, understand and accept what you have seen or the loss of a loved one in such a needless and barbaric way can never be as easy as shutting a door. "  
-  My post on the attacks in Paris in Nov 2015.
My thoughts, as there were in Paris, are with the friends and family of the wounded and killed and the emergency services of Brussels.

Your feedback and thoughts are welcome - please tweet me or comment here. Every view and share makes a difference - Thank you.

Today's poll: Nature vs nurture?I was 13 when Mum died from alcoholism. I was her carer. It's always bugged me that...
Posted by - Mental Health Aware on Monday, 21 March 2016

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