End the fight for benefits for people living with Fibromyalgia
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Fibromyalgia is a long term chronic pain syndrome which is thought to affect around 1 in 20 people in the uk.
Fibromyalgia symptoms can be wide and variable from person to person.
But there are many symptomatic commonalities.
Namely wide spread pain in joints muscles and ligaments.
Chronic and crashing fatigue.
Deep muscle aches.
And a whole array of other debilitating symptoms.
People living with Fibromyalgia or (fibro ,fms)Not only live with the uncertainty of when a particularly bad flair up will hit them and how debilitated they may be on any given day.
But also with the uncertainty of not even knowing why they have this condition or what has caused it.
Currently medical science only has a few theories to the cause of Fibro. And there are many differing theories within science and the medical community. It is widely agreed however, that there are neurological changes in the brain that deal with how the body processes pain signals .It is one widely accepted thought that these changes could be a result of various forms of trauma.
However, there are break throughs in research being made all the time .
One of the most difficult things about living with Fibromyalgia is that it is a syndrome that very often cannot be seen.
Sufferers can look perfectly healthy on the outside, yet are chronically suffering on the inside.
This can make Fibromyalgia even more difficult to deal with with as sufferers can sadly and frustratingly experience disbelief from people looking on.
One area people living with Fibro can experience this kind of disbelief and lack of recognition is when they attempt to apply for Disability Benefits.
Some people with Fibromyalgia find they are still able to work .But many,many more will be forced to give up working due to the debilitating affects this awful condition can have on their limited capability to remain productive and reliable in the work place.
Often people with Fibromyalgia have other conditions which run side by side as I myself do.
This in itself can have a huge knock on affect on the Fibromyalgia sufferers self esteem.(remember depression and anxiety go hand in hand with the syndrome)
The lack of recognition and knowledge regarding Fibromyalgia Syndrome can make dealing with the process of applying for benefits an extremely difficult and sometimes harrowing experience while they are put through the process of filling in lengthy forms and interrogating questionnaires.(remember cognitive dysfunction)
To make things harder still, they are forced to make their way to medical assessments which are often miles away from their residential area ,watched on CCTV cameras while they are making their way to the medical examining room and forced to endure sometimes up to an hour of questioning by an assessor who has no knowledge at all of what fibromyalgia is.
In many cases these people will be told they are not entitled to help.
And will then need to go through another process of asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration.
This is almost always unsuccessful.
They will then be forced to wait for several months while they wait for an Independent Tribunal if they decide to go ahead with their application .Even then they may well not be successful.
This process is extremely humiliating and stressful.(yet more uncertainty)
And can cause symptoms to greatly increase and intensify.
It is well known stress can have a very negative impact on Fibromyalgia symptoms.
Many many people both women and men have worked for many years prior to diagnosis .They have paid taxes and contributed to the system And through absolutely no fault of their own ,have found themselves in the dreadful position of not only finding themselves no longer able to work ,But also of having to relentlessly fight for the benefits they need just to survive while dealing with what can be a very disabling condition.
Fibromyalgia can take years to diagnose but it is now a recognised ,long term chronic syndrome within the medical community And also the DWP.
And so we would like to ask for people with Fibromyalgia to be recognised and treated fairly and with the understanding we deserve during benefit assessments and contact with the DWP
Many thanks .
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