Send Your Replies to MaryK

Hi Mary K,
I was just approved for disability last month. I also struggled with the embarrassment. This is why I put it off for so long. Now I wish I had applied when I really needed it to help with therapy costs we were raising children too and therapy costs were quite a hardship. Actually now I feel free to be able to spend my time healing from trauma. Being off work has reduced my anxiety level dramatically, and I have learned to care for myself so I can be there for my family. We were taught to be ashamed...don't buy it--you are worth this time to step back from the stress of work and heal.



Hi, MaryK ,

     In Feb of '03 I took a serious fall, tearing the menisci in both knees and requiring surgery over the next several months.  Pain and the inability to work effectively were primary factors in my developing such deep depression that I was also diagnosed with "pseudo-dementia," a condition where it is difficult to distinguish between major depression and early dementia. 
     In June of '04 I took advantage of my employer's early retirement program, having already applied for Social Security Disability Benefits.  My application was accepted without any problem, and I remained on disability until I turned 65 in 2005 (SSDisability automatically converts to "regular Social Security" on one's 65th birthday, with the Benefit Amount remaining at the same dollar amount as the Disability Benefit - usually higher than the straight SSBenefit.)
     So depending upon where you live and what other income you may have, Social Security Disability can certainly ease some of the economic burdens of a disabling condition.  I would be happy to provide additional info if it is desired.  Take care! 



Hi MaryK,

I am on Social Security Disability for DID.  It has been a very positive experience for me.
At first, I was in Crisis Mode all the time, but now, after 2 years, I am calm most of the time and my alters are much happier.  I feel sane
now. I feel less guilty for not working outside of the home and I feel less worthless. I get lonely sometimes, but I schedule things into my
life that will put me around other people.  I try to make time to do something with my younger alters like doing a puzzle or we read a book,
color, or something.  I try to keep my house fairly (and sometimes that is barely), organised. With DID that will be different each day and I
allow for that.  I knit and get together with a group of people who make things and sell them for needs in our town.  I get together with a lady
who knows of my DID and my life and we talk at my house for a few hours once a week.

  I'm involved at my church, which is mostly with older people than me and my husband. That means that they are home during the day because they are retired.  Most of them know I am DID.  I decided to tell them enough about my disorder so they can understand a little bit. They are very gracious.  I didn't share much with most, but a few women know more.  I go to a support group for emotional sobriety called Alanon. There are three meetings a week that I can go to, so this is almost free and is a place I can be a little bit open at least about my feelings.   I do have Alcohol problems in some of the members of my family, but this group really helps me with every day life.

 I try to keep dreams in my life, like planning something fun to do once a week, like taking a walk with someone or going out to get a coffee
with someone.  Or planning a trip, or finding low cost ways to redecorate my rooms. I read a lot.  The Twilight Series is great!  It's
a little graphic because it is about vampires and a relationship between a vampire and a human that is very fun.  Sometimes I make jewelry and
sell it or make something creative, or write in my journal.  Sometimes life is just about the little kids in me and we cope the best that we
can.  My life has become pretty stable for a person with DID.  I have a lot of alters and it is a lot of work to keep up with them.  Anyhow,
disability does not give you much money to live on, but it is enough to survive on if I am very very careful.  At tax return time, we have a
little more to spend.

But, overall, I am very glad to be staying home.  I wasn't at first.



Hi MaryK.

I certainly understand why you would feel bad or embarressed about going on disability. I felt the same way at first. But then I saw that I was making faster progress in therapy. I think part of that reason was because then I didn't have to struggle with trying to work, while dealing with so many things. But, please don't feel bad about going on disability.

My experience with being on disability has generally been a really good one. To help also, I get food stamps and Medicaid, which pays for the therapy (an essential) , and it pays for any medications people need too. So, being on the disability has helped towards getting better. The only real problem I've run into with being on it, is I've found that some people I know don't like it that I'm on it, and they let me know that - not so nicely. But I figure they just don't really understand, so it doesn't bother me.

It can take awhile to be accepted for disability. But once it goes through, you should get a back pay check to cover from the time you applied for it, to the date you were excepted for it. If by chance, someone is turned down the first time- appeal the decision and just keep fighting to get the assistance you deserve. I was approved on the first try. For me, every three years I have to go through a Medicaid Medical Review Team, where my doctors and I have to fill out paperwork to prove I'm still disabled, to continue on it. But not everyone has to go through that process.

I didn't set any goals. I just know I'm not able to get out and work yet, so I just accept that. I know some people do set goals or they get to where they work part time, at some point. But with being on disability and Medicaid, I know earning money cuts into any assistance. I'm just not sure on what the earning possibility is before they start deducting. That could be something good to check into.

I am still on disability. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go off it. It's not in my forseeable future anyhow. I know some people do get to where they no longer need it. But I still do.

Hope that helps.

Debbie E.