Can anyone help please?

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I don't even know if i qualify as a carer or not but I'm struggling to care for my 17 daughter and am heartbroken. For the past two years she has has had crippling anxiety. It began as social anxiety, progressed to severe depression and now she has a disassociation disorder and regular seizures. She often hears and sees things when her anxiety is especially bad causing her great distress. She is unable to travel alone as she disassociates and doesn't know where she is and becomes terrified of everyone around her.
My husband is working full time and i work four days a week but am currently unable to get to work because my daughter is so unwell. I am looking to either give up work or reduce my hours to care for her but i can't do that without being able to replace my wage somehow. We have two boys also.
My daughter is still trying to go to college two mornings a week where she has 1:1 support but yesterday came home so distressed I can't bear to keep sending her.
Does anyone know if she would qualify for the PIP allowance enabling me to claim Carers? Does it apply to mental health too? I've looked at the assessment form and there seems only to be the travel section that would apply to her but she requires constant supervision due to her seizures.
Is there any help out there would apply to us? We cant carry on like this, Ill lose my job if i can't get back.
Hi Sam ... many readers wiill emphasis with you , and with the problems experienced by your daughter.

Purely on the PIP angle , recommend to apply.

Even at this early stage , UC ( Universal Credit ) may be a factor ... use the post code finder ... some disability benefits payable now are disallowed or reduced under UC.

Numerous pitfalls when it comes to mental health as recent postings in that separate section suggest.

A case of doing one's homework first ... to say that it's an obstacle course on par with the Grand National at Aintree is an under statement. At least one only has to do two circuits of that course ... and can see the fences ahead !!!

Rethink site for guidance : ... ce-payment

Keep us advised on how things progress on the PIP front ... invaluable for others going down that same route.

Others will follow on the more personal aspects of your posting.

One place on the Internet when one is NEVER alone.
Thank you Chris,
I will look at the link :)
Best read with a " Fortifier " of the liquid variety before venturing in ?

If not before , one after may ease the anguish ?

Rethink ... slightly heavy going if totally new territory.

... and that's the easy bit !

Bon voyage ... it's just starting.
Whatever is causing the anxiety etc, and whatever might 'cure' it, one thing is surely certain - that her seizures are events in her brain that are physical manifestations not 'merely' mental (I say 'merely' to distinguish the 'mind' from the 'brain')(tricky though that is considering mind is expressed in brain!)

What I'm getting at though is to ask what treatment is being given to her for her seizures specifically? Is she on any anti-epileptic meds to ward off and minimise seizures. What does her neurologist think of her condition (as opposed to her psychologist/psychiatrist)

I'm not saying ' fix the seizures and everything else is sorted' - far from it, but simply to say that IF the seizures can be at the least 'mitigated' by physical meds (eg, AEDs - anti-epileptic drugs), then that is, at least, a start.

Fear of having a seizure is of itself, of course, a distinct cause ....and generator....of anxiety etc!

As for her 'mental' issues, again, is she on any meds for it (Prozac etc etc). Is she having counselling?

If she is getting support at college that is (a) good of itself and (b) indictes that she is 'in the system', which is also essential.

Overall, it's a very tricky line for you to tread.

If you read here on the mental health sections, as well as on other MH websites/forums, you will see there is always a very careful, but often indistinct, line to be drawn between 'supporting' someone with MH and 'enabling' them. It's perilously easy for a parent to fall into the 'enabling' trap as we confuse it with the 'parenting' and 'nurturing' and 'protecting' we've always done as parents as they grow up. But this may WELL not be in their actual best interests now. (This was certainly a trap my brother and SIL fell into - are still in to an extent - when their daughter developed social anxiety etc)(she dropped out of college, despite all the support - she just morbidly dreaded going into classes)

I do hope you are also on forums that cater more specifically for MH, and especially those with areas that support he parents of teens with MH, as you will then get the guidance of those parents who are 'further along the line' from you as to the 'dos and don'ts.

Has your daughter identified to you her 'top list' of 'dreads'. What is it she MOST fears? What is it that distresses her at college to the point she has to cut and run? Are there mechanisms that could help her cope with it.

For example (bit trivial, but some of these problems are 'trivial' when seen by others, its only to the victims they are so crippling - and real for that reason) of the 'tricks' I suggested to my niece when she had a lecture to attend was this.

Like her, but presumably less so as it wasn't considered an issue in my day, I was very 'morbidly shy'. I found it a real ordeal to walk into a lecture hall, find a seat and sit down. There were a million dangers! For a start 'everyone' would be staring at this great lump of a girl, with bad hair and worse clothes, glasses, unattractive, lumpy and a waste of space in the universe. Then, of course, I had to walk up to a spare seat in front of all these uber-cool people who were all beautiful and popular and knew each other (etc etc). But where to sit? Oh, terrors! Supposing I sat too near a realy uber-cool boy, and everyone would think how pathetic I was, and how I was obviously trying, dear God, to attract the attention of someone I wasn't worthy of breathing the same air as!

My trick was pretty simple - get there EARLY, get in FIRST, go up to the BACK (or the front, or wherever the coolest people weren't) and then put stuff either side of me so it didn't look like I was begging (god, how pathetic!) for someone to come and sit by me because I was obviously Jenny-No-Mates etc. And then I had to get out my work, or a magazine, or a book or anything (a phone these days I expect) and look reallky really busy until the lecturer came in. At the end, I had to 'linger' packing up, and then being the last to leave tec etc, and then I could scurry off to the ladies and hide hide hide until my heart rate came down.

I know it sounds daft, but social anxiety IS crippling. Other people are TERRIFYING.....
Hi Jenny,
Thanks for taking the time to reply.
My daughter has tried a couple of SSRIs , namely Prozac and Sertraline. The Sertraline made her more anxious so after five months she was swapped to Prozac which she found made her feel more disconnected and numb than ever. She tried that for six month then came off it gradually in order to try Citalopram. She then found she felt happier taking nothing so wanted to try that for a while which was ok for a few months but she's now taken a dive in mood and really struggling again. She is hoping to try Citalopram soon but is beginning EMDR treatment soon and apparently it is better to be on medication while you receive the treatment.
The seizures have been investigated with two EEGs. One came back with showing some unusual brain spikes, one normal. Her consultant is of the mind they are none epileptic but are disassociative seizures, therefore medication would have no effect.
She is frightened at college because of her social anxiety. She finds the noise, bustle, strangers , truly distressing which is why she has been recommended for EMDR therapy.
I totally understand what you mean re the enabling. We have struggled with this for two years and have come to breaking point so it is more about giving us breathing space than to allowing her to just back away from everything uncomfortable. We often get calls from college because shes in a seizure and then we have to leave work in a moments notice. Reducing my hours would just mean more self care for the rest of the family too.
I have looked at some other forums but wanted to ask especially about benefits and others experiences in this area.
Thanks again xx
Hi Sam ... a further link ... MIND ... their guidance on PIP ... help section detailing various points of contact : ... find-help/

Post code finder for local MINDS in your area : ... cal-minds/
I suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline team as they are the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits. They will be able to give you advice on what benefits are available based on your individual circumstances.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

Freephone: 0808 808 7777

Carers UK’s advice and information team based in London is undergoing staff changes. This means the Adviceline is closed Wednesday to Friday whilst we recruit and train new members of staff. We will be taking calls on Monday and Tuesday between 10am and 4pm. You can email or write to the Adviceline and we aim to respond to your enquiries within seven working days.

You can also get hold of useful advice, information and support online.
• Visit our Help and Advice sections of our website (, we have loads of information and downloadable factsheets on the topics people ask us about most.
• New to caring? Our Upfront guide will take you straight to the information you need to know. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
• And our volunteer-led Listening Support service will continue to take calls on Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 4pm.

We aim to return to our five-day a week service by 2nd January 2018.

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10am to 4pm.

If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days.