Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Well, read the Blogger Profile, then come back here.

Done? Okay. As you read, I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for a long time, and I’ve tried a LOT of different treatments with little success. Some success, or I probably wouldn’t be here, but not enough.

I’m not working now. I left work on Sick Leave three and a half years ago. I was in a meeting with my supervisor and another colleague to discuss some problems in the office; I started crying and couldn’t stop. So I just left. I never went back.

I was on sick leave for a year and a half, and when I was ready to return to work, my job wasn’t there. The office had been reorganized and my position had been split into three (no wonder I was crying, doing the work of three people!). 

Then my cat died. She had been with me for more than twenty years. She was my baby, my best friend and confidante. She was old and sick and it wasn’t unexpected but I felt like my world had collapsed. I had enough savings that I decided to take the summer off from looking for work to help me adjust to life without her. When I started looking, I couldn’t find anything, not even interviews. I have been a senior administrative assistant in universities, with experience in non-profits and fundraising, but all of a sudden, nobody wanted me.

Also, I had waited too long since my last day of paid employment so I didn’t qualify for unemployment insurance support, and I had too much savings to qualify for welfare. So I started burning through those savings, small as they were to start with.

I have applied for Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits (CPPD) but for a variety of reasons, have been refused. As soon as the TMS therapy is finished, I am appealing the decision with the assistance of the local legal aid clinic. The process takes on average three years.

Among the reasons I was refused was that I tried to return to work after my sick leave, and because I have taken some temp work and continued to apply for work. I guess if I’m well enough to try to work for a couple days at a time, I am not disabled. So now I don’t try to earn any money and I don’t even look at job postings. Someone who is receiving CPP Disability is allowed to earn a certain amount without penalty; I guess just not when you are trying to qualify in the first place.

I have also applied for Ontario Disability Support Benefits (ODSP) and should hear soon. I have to be refused before I can appeal the decision. The appeal process generally takes a year.

Just over a year ago, I put all my belongings in storage and moved in with one of my sisters and her husband for a few months while I looked for work. That was the idea. But I kept crying over cover letters and only got two interviews which were unsuccessful. Now I am on welfare (my savings are gone), and rent a room in a house, share a kitchen and a bathroom with a couple PhD students and a hoarder.

For more than twenty years, I used to be a self-sufficient member of society, even with depression and anxiety (I have never been hospitalized luckily) but now I no longer am. That in itself affects my depression and anxiety greatly.

I want TMS to work but it is no magic bullet. I find it hard to believe that it will allow me to improve enough to function again, even harder to believe that I can ever be not depressed.

My family doctor referred me to the local mood disorders clinic last year. I had to wait 4 months to see the psychiatrist. He referred me for TMS. It has been a 4 1/2 month wait for that. It's a long wait, but because this is Canada, there is no charge to me. (CANADA ROCKS!)

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