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SSDI pysch exam--I'm freaking out already


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I filed for disability for anxiety/depression 6 weeks ago. Social Security sent the letter asking me to see this pyschologist for a psych exam. I am completely stressed out already. I mean, I knew this would probably happen, but I don't know what to expect....

 

Also, I don't know if I can find anyone to watch my daughter (age 8) so I can go to the appointment. Is it bad if I have to bring her with me? She has books/ video game player with headphones so it's not like she's in the way or listening.

Anyone been through this?

 

Thanks!

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Footprints, it may vary by office, but I saw adults taking kids into the appointments when I had my evaluation.  It would probably be best to ask if it's OK ahead of time.  

 

What I remember of my evaluation is a lot of memorization (strings of numbers, words), orienting questions like who the President is, some history questions (I still don't know what those are supposed to prove about your ability to work), subtraction problems.   I don't remember that my evaluating psychologist asked any real questions about my symptoms or how they affect my ability to work, which is what I thought he was going to be doing.

 

Most of all I remember it being frustrating and boring. 

 

Let us know how it goes.

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I just go my SSI exam a couple of weeks ago. They will want to know why YOU CAN'T WORK. Bringing a child may make you look like you are capable of watching a child, but you could risk it if you have no other alternative. Unless you are commonly in-charge of watching your child/ren on a day to day basis without help. They'll ask you questions like what you do on a normal day? Whether you socialize? Your hospitalizations? Why you feel like you can't work, Jobs you've held in the past and why you were let go or fired. As much as you want to believe this is a just system it is very difficult to get approved and wanting an evaluation means they have picked this doctor to twist and play wit h your words (this is what happened to me, you may luck out with a fair doctor but usually Social Security hands pick these doctors and they specialize in disability claims) so watch them carefully. Social Security denies people who really need it, and approve people who don't. Focus on how your depression and anxiety makes you ineffective at working. The psychiatrist will also ask you questions that tests your sense and basic knowledge, some questions I remember being asked are "Who is the vice president of the US? Attempt to count back from 100 reducing 7 a time. Attempt to recall three words while they go on with other basic questions such as what is today's date. Again I don't know if doing poorly affected this, but I didn't try my hardest. 

 

If you fit the extreme severe depression where you don't get out of bed, ignore basic hygiene, and pulled all of your energy to get to the appointment that day, you'll most likely get approved. I would never tell you to exaggerate your symptoms to get improved, but I will tell you to EMPHASIZE all your debilitations and focus on why depression has overtaken your life to the point you cannot work. Again many people do exaggerate, but again you are an adult and it is your prerogative.  

Edited by Forbidden91
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At my SSDI psych exam, the pdoc acted very sympathetic and on my side.  Boy was that an act.  He wrote that I wasn't even bipolar!  Fortunately for me, my attorney had my own pdoc fill out a form he put together asking my pdoc relevant questions.  The judge said that he put way more weight in what my pdoc said, who had been seeing me for awhile rather than the SSDI pdoc who only saw me once.

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When in some pdoc offices waiting for appointment, I have seen kids (old enough to keep themselves busy with things) being brought with their parents, and they just wait in the waiting room while the parent/s are in with the pdoc.  Sometimes that is their only option.  If you do bring your child, I'd just bring things for her to do.

 

 

ETA: I'd also ask before you come if it would be ok to bring her and let her wait in the waiting room while you are in the appt.

Edited by melissaw72
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I vaguely remembering SSDI asking me to see the 2nd psychiatrist in town as I was seeing #1. rural area.

 

My little baby and my mom came with me. They waited in the waiting room.

 

It was similar questions to what everyone else has already reported.

 

At the end he said "People with bachelor degrees typically aren't mentally ill." I just gave him an ugly look. College was hard for me. And I know I was crazee medically (not fun) in college.

 

Thankfully I was approved on my first try.

db

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I vaguely remembering SSDI asking me to see the 2nd psychiatrist in town as I was seeing #1. rural area.

 

My little baby and my mom came with me. They waited in the waiting room.

 

It was similar questions to what everyone else has already reported.

 

At the end he said "People with bachelor degrees typically aren't mentally ill." I just gave him an ugly look. College was hard for me. And I know I was crazee medically (not fun) in college.

 

Thankfully I was approved on my first try.

db

Wow...I have two bachelors degrees. Ironically (?), one is in psychology. Anyway, I went a tad "crazy" for a couple semesters in college and took a couple semesters off.

 

I think I would respond to that comment with a burst of inapporiate laughter and then I would say, "I'm not typical." (Along with a dirty look).

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 some questions I remember being asked are "Who is the vice president of the US? Attempt to count back from 100 reducing 7 a time. Attempt to recall three words while they go on with other basic questions such as what is today's date

That's part of what's called a mini-mental status exam or a Folstein min-mental status exam. It's a set of standardized assessment questions to help assess your memory, thinking, attention, etc.

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 some questions I remember being asked are "Who is the vice president of the US? Attempt to count back from 100 reducing 7 a time. Attempt to recall three words while they go on with other basic questions such as what is today's date

That's part of what's called a mini-mental status exam or a Folstein min-mental status exam. It's a set of standardized assessment questions to help assess your memory, thinking, attention, etc.

 

Thread-jack. Thanks for explaining, woo. The first 5 times MH people asked me those questions I thought the person was just being unoriginal. After 20 times the answers are now burned into my brain. Should someone ask me again, I suppose I could recite all the answers before they ask.

 

db

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I do not want to make light of the OP's concerns and anxiety about her interview for SSDI.   But I found one part of one comment so very, very funny and had to comment:

 

THANKS,  december_brigette  .... I just learned that people with bachelor's degrees typically are not mentally ill !      I wonder where that psychiatrist received his/her education??  

The School of Useless Generalizations?

 

So, let me get this straight: if a person is suffering with a mental illness they just need to get a bachelor's degree.   Easy-peasy, right?

 

Along with receiving their bachelor's degree at the graduation ceremony, they will also be given a clean bill of (mental) health 8 1/2" by 11" suitable for framing.

 

People with graduate degrees receive (in addition to the degree and a clean bill of mental health), a lifetime guarantee of no mental illness at any time in the future.

Edited by FlamelessCandle
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Flameless_Candle you are right about the OP. The psychological/psychiatric tests can be very scary. That's why when I was 30-31 yo I brought my mom with me.

 

Its also good to take a grain of salt with whoever is giving the assessment. You may never see them again and one has probably never seen them before, as was my case.

 

Seriously, after I thought about it that's why I thread-jacked. I know all the answers (except the counting backwards and I always ask for a pen and paper and they refuse me). If the assesor asks one to say the alphabet backwards and you can do it correctly and quickly a good response would be that it was an "old college trick."

 

Good wishes to everyone going through this process. May the SSA be nice and have much clarity on your particular case.

 

db

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Thanks everyone...I don't mind the "thread jack" as you called it, this is for anyone to read. :)

 

And I definitely don't mind the humor!

 

If I hear the comment from any mental health "professional" regarding higher education = superior mental health, I will say "Ok then...sign me up for the doctoral program that you have completed."

 

I read something on line that psychiatrists have one of the highest suicide rates among many professions? Hmmm. Mentally healthy people do not commit suicide. But that's just my bachelors' degree level opinion.

 

 

 

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