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Hollow

I got a letter from my doctor today. He wasn't happy that I'd decided to cancel the appointment with the Asperger people (this despite him telling me that he didn't believe I had Asperger's). To be fair, I think that it's more likely that I have ADD, not Aspergers. But it makes no difference. There's no point. Getting a diagnosis won't make a damned bit of difference, and as I said to the GP last time: if you think I need a sick note then write one now, because I won't be any difference post-diagnosis. 

All a diagnosis would do is tell me what I already know; wehter it's called Aspergers or ADD or whatever makes no difference, I know the issues I have and I know there's no support available. So why waste my time traipsing around town in pursuit of something that might not even come out in my favour? Even DLA is being canned by this government. The bottom line is that I would still have to face the WCA, which I would most certainly not pass - and, if by some miracle, that did happen, I would only end up where I am right now. The Work Related Activity Group. That means remaining on the Work Programme and getting zero support. Quite frankly given how the WP has no training or ability to deal with mental health issues, getting a diagnosis means nothing, and that is the point. It won't make a jot of difference. My GP even agrees that I should be in the WRAG, but at the same time he simply will not write a sick note. Even when I explain to him that in order to get into that position a sick note must be issued to start the process, he just will not. The system along with the media propaganda has convinced him that writing sick notes is signing someone's death warrant; that a sick note means the exact opposite of offering support - even when I explain to him the reality.

This is half the battle: people in key positions, like doctors, just do not understand the reality. They have an image conjured of what they expect from people and what people should do or how they should be, if they have particular issues. In his mind working is the cure to all these problems, yet he cannot even understand teh reality of the current labour market. Never mind how difficult it is for people with problems that have to compete in that inflated market for the few jobs that exist. Never mind that employers are not obliged to hire anyone they feel might be difficulty or a burden in some fashion. The reality of the situation just doesn't register; these people do not think for tthemselves. 

Instead you have to project yourself in an inanely positive fashion: I have to be seen as willing to undertake support or to find work (or both). If i say no, as I have done with this appointment, then, regardless of the reasons (which are of course ignored), then I am deemed undeserving. So despite having issues that might make being positive in this way difficult, and despite professional people that should understand this I am seen as lazy. It is almost a catch 22 situation: you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. So when I explain the realty of the Work Programme, the JObcentre and the general shit state of society it's received through the filter of 'lazy' and treated accordingly. 

The most galling thing of all is that it's been me that's made the effort to find out stuff. I made the effort to find out who could diagnose Aspergers, not the doctor. When I asked to go back to the Community Mental Health Team to see what they thought of it all, I was told they were rubbish - yet when that's perceived as my attitude I'm in the wrong! I was the one that engaged in a course of CBT that didn't work (CBT requires you develop awareness of your thinking in order to transcend and deconstruct it, but that's extremely difficult for precisely the reasons that require it in the first place), and consequently the GP then accuses me of not making the effort despite not knowing the first thing about it (I had a right go at him for that, as well). 

You have to play the game. You have to be seen to do the 'right thing'. Individual agents within all of this, be it Doctors or Work Psychologist or Job Life Coaches, however aren't interested in getting involved. They would rather fob you off to someone else. They each have their own notion of support that exists beyond them. They can't give you it directly so instead they assume it exists outside of them - go see your GP, speak to the JC, do whatever. The end result is you are sent back and forth, but no one can help, no one is interested. For all I know the CMHT may well be rubbish, but surely it's worth speaking to them? Nope, they are so rubbish that to question my GP on that is a waste of time; he's right, I'm not.

This would seem to be the Big Society in a microcosm; it all sounds great. Lots of people seem to want to help, but when it comes to the crunch it's just hollow. There's nothing there. That alone would be bad enough, yet it's exacerbated by the seeming need to blame that on you. It's as if it's your fault it's hollow: you are not making the effort. You are not doing what you should be. Yet no one wants to actually engage with you - instead it's your fault for not engaging with them.

So I won't be dealing with that GP anymore, though if I get sanctioned he will hear about it (and then some). After that letter previously I can't be bothered. Despite that letter saying that I need considerable support and despite it also seeming to say that I had failed to engage with the programme (I don't think my GP realises that has potentially real consequences, but that ignorance on his part is the problem), he still did nothing. I would never have seen that letter had I not asked him if they'd spoken to him. He wrote to them to ask what was being done to help me and that was his response. 

Again it affirms that, in his mind, I'm lazy. I would have gone and corrected him but he wouldn't have believed me so I decided not to bother. In the end it's down to me. Even though I have no power in this situation there is little point in pretending a diagnosis is going to mean a damn.

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