My broken mind

originalIn January 2018 I will have been on sick leave for 3 years. In the beginning this was caused by the crisis reaction I had to the hysterectomy but lately is has been because of my mental state. But I’m lucky, in Sweden you can still live a decent life even if you are a nutcase like me. Around the two year mark my psych doctor suggested that it might be time to start looking at the possibility of putting me on disability pension instead of sick leave since after almost six years I’m still not getting better.

I have been constantly depressed from 2012 with only a handful of spikes bordering on mania. But the years between 2012 and 2015 was still manageable, I could still work at almost full capacity regardless. Come to think of it, depression have always been the default state of mind for me, but I’ve always been able to handle it and move forwards. But not any longer.. so, a few weeks ago in October, I handed in my disability pension application to Försäkringskassan (Swedish social security government). Apart from regular pension, disability pension can be given to anyone who will probably never be able to work a full time job in their lifetime.

This is usually a long and winding process that takes everywhere from 6 to 18 months and it doesn’t look like it will go any faster in my case (I mean.. it took them near 2 months to just open my file). But I’m backed by my doctor and have a solid base from her as she was the one who suggested this. She was very quick with handing in the medical documentation she had on me once Försäkringskassan had sent an inquiry to her.

As for my opinion? It feels weird. This is something I want, I made that clear once I handed in the application for it. I’ve thought about it ever since it was suggested by my doctor, so almost a year, which is rare for someone like me who wants things to be solved before they even began. I know how I react in stressful situations and when I have to socialize more then one day in a row. My recovery and startup times gets longer and longer, forcing myself to things aren’t something I can just shake off any longer.

Still, when I was contacted by my second administrator from Försäkringskassan, I felt like a raving madman. She asked me if there was something she needed to know about me and so I told her about my troubles with answering the phone and other things that she might notice. Her hesitant reaction and answers made me question her astute and bouncy approach.

But I’ll let my brain rest for now. I’m having one of those days when I can’t make heads or tails of anything. It’s like trying to run through syrup.. I better go grab something caffeinated to drink and hope that I’ll wake up from this haziness.

Thoughts about my sick leave

I’ve been on sick leave since 5th of January 2015, meeting with my doctor with about a 3 month interval for years now. It began with the severe panic attacks back in mid December 2014 when I was told that the gynecologist had found “something strange” in my ovaries (more on that story here) even if I’ve been on sick leave because of my depressions a few times before this major episode.

Now, I usually don’t write about me being on sick leave that often because there aren’t that much to say about it. I get a set amount of money each month from the government and I have my administrator at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), like most other Swede’s have in my situation. My psychiatric doctor are in touch with the agency and feeds them information on how my case is progressing roughly once every 3 months. I usually have a meeting with the agency once every six months or so as they like to stay in contact, even if nothing really changes.

I’ve tried going back to a regular job but with unsatisfactory results, my depression and anxiety levels flared up something bad. Therefore, everyone around me from agency administrator to nurses and doctors settled into the fact that it would probably be best if I was just left alone for some time. But, a lot of time have passed by and I’ve been trying to recuperate for years by now and so they are starting to reconsider my case. My doctor have recommended that I’d be considered to switch from the temporal sick leave to disability pension instead, which is a more permanent solution. It would mean I’m not under any pressure to apply for or have a every day job in the traditional meaning.

My agency administrative isn’t happy at all about this, this option is usually reserved for the ones who are never going to be able to handle a regular job ever again. But after several tours back and fourth she recognizes that the attempts to get myself back into a job always have ended badly. I’ve always been set back severely and needed a long time to recover from it. My doctor knows this and it’s the main reason she have put down such a suggestion. My doctor and agency administrator are trying to set a date for a meeting where all this’ll be discussed between the parties that are concerned.

My personal thought though? After discussing it back and forth during the summer T and I both agree that I have a need because of my diagnoses, psychological and physical. I break easily when I’m put under pressure and are exposed to stress. If going on disability pension is the key for my well being, I’ll go down that route. It would mean that I could take things in my own pace and keep all the routines and stability that I seem to need.