Apologies for the ultra long post and thanks for reading.
I'm new here and was wondering if anyone would be able to give me a bit of advice about ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).
I've been depressed and suffered anxiety for as long as I can remember and since the beginning of my working life (I started working at 16, I'm turning 24 Nov of this year), I've struggled to keep a job due to absence.
When I hit down days and they're so incredibly random when they hit, I can't bring myself to do anything at all. (Sometimes when I have down periods for more than a day, I can't even bring myself to wash!) So as you can imagine, I lose my jobs because of not being there enough.
Over the past 1.5/2 years I've been to the doctors, been to counselling, been to psychiatrists and taken countless different types of medication. I've jumped through every hoop they've held out for me (it was during the most recent bout of psychiatric assessments that I was diagnosed with BPD), but I still get my periods of ultra lowness where I can't bring myself to face work or my colleagues.
It was under control for a while, sort of. I lost my last job due to personal trauma in conjunction with the BPD, but I've been at my current one since July 15.
It was all okay for a little while, but about 2 months in is when the anxiety about them thinking I'm too stupid for the job kicked in. After the anxiety, came the depression and whilst the depression is still kicking my ass, the anxiety is back.
So, I went to the doctors to upped my medication and signed me off work for a month.
I was okay, relaxing, getting myself back to normal but as the days tick on and it gets closer to me going back to work, I can feel the panic rising and my head is working overtime about the "what if" scenarios that could happen when if I go back.
It makes me physically sick to think of going back to work.
My mum thinks (shes also a sufferer and is long-termed signed off from working) I should throw the towel in for a good while, until I feel I can face working.
But, I've tried researching it and although I don't have rent to pay (I live with my parents), I still have personal bills (like phonebills and donation subscriptions) to pay, plus my parents are missing out on my keep money which makes it tougher on them without my money (long story, work messed up me SSP!).
Anyway, I've tried researching ESA or some sort of benefit the government could help me with but there doesn't seem to be anything.
Can anyone offer any advice on what sort of financial help I could get if I don't go back to work?
I'm absolutely terrified of falling back into darkness, just when I can start to see the tiny flecks of light again...
Thanks so much for reading.