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Return of the Work Psychologist (she's been on her hols!)

I spoke to the Work Psychologist today (WP). I needed to tell her the best time to contact the aspergers doctor (AD) that has not provided me with the diagnosis I feel I need. The WP is, in her own peculiar way, helpful, but there's always a sting in the tail. It was her that suggested contacting the AD, her idea. I agreed and signed the consent form she sent me to that end. Now she is saying that, while she is happy to do as suggested, it won't make any difference. This is what she does: on one hand she will suggest things or offer help, then later on decide not to bother. She did it at our initial meeting by saying she could undertake such a diagnosis herself, then decided she couldn't, and subsequently when I started on the Work Programme she offered to write a letter to support my case from a mental health perspective and then backed out saying, again, it wouldn't make any difference.

She remains broadly supportive, but the biggest problem I have is that she just doesn't understand the reality of the experience one faces dealing with the DWP as it currently is. The DWP is weaponised to be used against the poor, against anyone that claims benefits. This is a thing, but of course such political concerns are not her remit in much the same way that having to deal with the DWP is not part of the remit of the AD and the NHS at large (ie my GP). It makes it rather difficult to deal with the WP because she doesn't see the totality of my experience. Again she mentioned claiming PIP: i find this curious because the PIP system is in absolute meltdown and people that are on their last legs are finding their claims going awry. In light of that it seems somewhat almost irresponsible to suggest I claim it. She argues I should on the basis of paying for a 'community mentor' to help me...somehow. This is a suggestion that she made in her initial assessment of me two years ago. Nothing was done then (I don't even remember reading that part) and the DWP certainly didn't follow it up - for example by suggesting I claim DLA (as it was) or tell me what a community mentor actually can do. Unfortunately I didn't think to ask.

Any such claim will fail, I'm sure, without proper evidence to back it up, so we come back to the point of a diagnosis. Interestingly she agrees that getting one is important and proceeded to explain that the system of diagnosis is very rigid, at least in the UK. I explained what I thought about the testing done, that it seemed more oriented to a younger person, and that the tests were too specific and ineffective (I've already covered this in an earlier blog suffice to say that they aren't representative of real life experience). She agreed that this was a problem saying that it was clear that, as an older person, I had the life experience/intellect to 'see through the test' - but that argument is countered by saying that same experience/intellect means I can function and compensate for any difficulty caused by an autism spectrum issue. Whether that's reasonable or not I don't know, in fact not knowing is the only thing I can be certain of because I do not have access to anything that can provide certainty. That's the problem!

So I'm left with waiting for her to speak to the AD, whatever that will achieve. She offered words of support that are all very complimentary, and taken in the spirit intended. But they don't translate into actual concrete support and that's the issue. That's why i need a concrete diagnosis because the system needs proof and certainty that my word alone won't provide. Yet every attempt to find that certainty is met with the kind of questioning ("why do you need a diagnosis?" I'm asked) that I'm accused of myself as a means of not engaging with help that's offered. It is very frustrating. The only people left to ask for help seem to be the National Autistic Society, but they really aren't going to be able to sway the AD surely?


  1. This Work Psychologist sounds like a total parasite.

    The DWP insists we have a diagnosis
    The NHS does not want us to have a diagnosis because we are told that it won't help us and we will become our condition and identify only with it.
    Without diagnosis we have to explain in laborious detail what is wrong with us, a diagnosis is a useful shorthand to tell nosy fuckers when they ask.

    Most importantly a diagnosis is helpful to understand what the problem is, and allows us to educate ourselves in the matter.

    The resistance to actually giving a diagnosis has a more sinister aspect. Once you are diagnosed, there is an expectation that you should receive support/therapy/treatment. All those things cost money and most people with MH issues never get a diagnosis and rarely get the right help - ever.

    Some people have been trying to get a diagnosis for over 20 years.

    Good luck with it.

    1. I keep her at arms length. She says she wants to help, she says things as compliments to try and boost my confidence (presumably), but it rings hollow if there's nothing to support it. Telling me I'm smart is all very nice but it does me no good if you offer nothing to help while the current climate would have me stacking shelves in £land for no pay.

      So i'm happy to keep her on side, but only at arms length. If she offers something meaningful then I'm happy to consider it.


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