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What the hell do they want from me!


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I'm at my wits end! I've been off work for about  amonth on disability, but the disability people were behind so there just now getting around to my claim.  I swear I've been asigned the stupidest person ever.  Originally, I was taken off work for severe abdominal pain, eating disorder, diarrhea...stuff like that.  However, after spending lots of time with various doctors and in the hospital, they've now diagnosed me has having GAD with somatization tendencies.  The point is, I can't function at work.  I'm having panic attacks, or I'll break out crying...or worse, if the anixety gets too bad I get the terrible "D" attack and stomach cramping.

The stupid lady who's handling my case said that because nothing is physiologically wrong with me what the hell do I think I'm doing being off work.  I told her my doctor said that my problems are mental (a real psychiatric diagnosis) and that he doesn't feel I'm mentally stable enough to be at work right now.  She said she'd never heard of GAD and that I'm just making it up.

She kept demanding to know "anxiety from what?"  and I'm like what the F&*K do you want...I don't know what it's from it's just always there!  What the hell is wrong with these people.

So now, when I'm supposed to be trying to lower my anxiety and focus on trying to get better (I'm waiting for an opening with a psychiatrist) she's got me balling my eyes out and freaking out and convinced I'm going to lose my job.

Seroiusly, what does one do now...

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What type of disability benefits are you pursuing?  My guess that it is private disability benefits through an employer.

The people with whom you dealt seem to not be familiar with mental conditions.  Of course, GAD is a diagnosable condition----listed in both the ICD-9-CM and the DSM-IV, with its own numerical code (300.02).

And yes, with GAD there is often no specific object or situation that makes you anxious or nervous-----in psychiatry, such anxiety is known as "free-floating anxiety."

Hopefully, when your doctor fills out the form, s/he will record the appropriate code.  And hopefully, the doctor will explain how your GAD symptoms interfere with your ability to do your last job (problems with concentration/persistence/pace of work activities, difficulty thinking or concentrating on a consistent basis).

Hopefully, your psychiatrist will find a medication that controls your symptoms and helps you get back to work.

Good luck.

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Hi Bryan,

Thanks for your info, I'll have to quote the code for GAD to this lady the next time she calls back.  I just think she's being irresonsible in being so mean to me, because all that does is make the situation worse.  I've had many suicidal thoughts and the way she was treating me didn't help.

You're right, it is disability through a private employer.  I want to go back to work soon, the main reason I'm off right now is I'm going through Effexor withdrawal and having really bad side-effects, so my doc wants to get me totally off that and then evaluated by a pdoc. 

I noticed you have posted some info about workplace accomodations.  I have a question for you.  My job right now is for a major financial instituttion, I do telephone banking so it's a call center job where it's just call after call after call.  We have no control over the flow of our calls and don't get breaks between calls.  A lot of them are standard stuff, loan applications, financial planning, investments, but I'm only on the complaint line and the technical support line for when our ATMs break down.  So in any given day, I get many many people yelling at me and just being incredibly mean.  It's this that I continue to have trouble with, my anxiety is under control enough (or hopefully will be when the Effexor w/d is over) that I think I could work, but I don't feel mentally stable enough to be handing those types of calls.  Is that something they might accomodate?  For example, there is another position at the same level as me that invovles essentially doing the paperwork and backend processing for the people on the telephones.  It's a lot of the same work, minus being on the phone.  I think I could go back to work a lot sooner if they'd let me do that.  Do you think that's reasonable?

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You are in Canada.  I would suggest calling the Canadian "Job Accommodation Network":

JANCANA at 1-800-526-2262

Or you could have a note from your doctor and your employer could call with any questions.

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