Would someone like me be eligible for permanent disability?


#1

My stories a bit long, but I will be brief and stick to the key points.

I’m 49 years old and have worked for the same company for the past 20+ years. Rarely do I have a sick day.

Depression struck me at the age of 26 which forced me to drop out of a professional program at a local university. When I dropped out, I was at my lowest and saw a psychiatrist for a period of a year. I didn’t get better. While under his care, I had mounting student loan interest to pay off and I got a blue collar job and worked my way up the corporate ladder.

My life has been a living hell. I work full time but I barely interact with family and I spend most of my time isolated in a small dark room which keeps my anxiety low.

Two years ago, I saw my new family doctor and opened up about this. We tried a variety of meds, all made me feel horrible. The doctor did refer me to another psychiatrist who essentially said if meds don’t work, then shock therapy could be performed. I am not interested in this.

So, I go through life with every day being a day in hell. I see no options and struggle with depression and anxiety.

I am still at work, but I am at the end of my rope now which is why I have been Googling options for solutions because God knows I need one.

Thank you


#2

Hi Jamie, I am sorry to hear that you have been suffering for such a long time. There is hope for people suffering from treatment resistant depression. It sounds like you want to feel better, recover and have a better life.

If you live close to a major centre, a good option to talk to your psychiatrist about is Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, or rTMS. This treatment is not Electroconvulsive Therapy, ECT, or “shock” therapy as you described it. rTMS treatment is NOT experimental and does not have the same side effects as ECT. It doesn’t hurt and they don’t put you to sleep. They stimulate a part of your brain with a magnet. rTMS is covered by a few provincial health plans and a few extended health care plans. All insurance companies in the US cover the treatment! You may be able to participate in a clinical trial. Often, you need to pay for it privately in Canada, and it is quite expensive, but can be worth it if it transforms your life as it can for many difficult cases that don’t respond to medication. You need to go every weekday for 4-6 weeks, which is why you need to be located close to the treatment centre. You can continue working while you have the treatment as it takes about 30 minutes.

You have said that your life is a living hell and are not willing to consider ECT. Please don’t be dissuaded by your preconceived notions or believe everything negative you read on the internet about “shock” therapy, or ECT. Much of what you read is biased and untrue. ECT is not like it was decades ago and it IS THE GOLD standard for people with severe depression or treatment resistant depression. It saves many people’s lives and gives many people back the lives they deserve. Yes, it sounds scary, but if your psychiatrist recommended it I would carefully check into it and ask my doctor for detailed information and perhaps the opportunity to talk to other patients who have gone through the experience. You may be very surprised about what you hear.

Best wishes and please keep pursuing your treatment options. You deserve to feel better and there is hope.


#3

Not sure if you are on any meds, particularly benzos? Those can actually create/increase the symptoms you are taking them for. Many medications actually aggravate your mental health. Daily exercise was a life saver for me. I understand how u feel, it can improve. I wish you well.


#4

Please know that your situation is very common. Speak to your doctor and arrange a sick leave before you reach the point of a total breakdown. I just finished writing a guide called – Guide for Transitioning from Work to Sick Leave: Case Study & 3 Mistakes to Avoid. It is still in the draft version (as of now), but you can download a free draft version at the bottom of our website homepage: www.resolutelegal.ca.

I wrote this Guide exactly for someone in your current situation.


David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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