Passed My SSDI Review (Whew!)

Tried to Make this Beautiful Tree Look Agitated and Hypomanic
Beautiful Tree Manipulated to Look Agitated and Hypomanic

Spring triggers hypomania and agitation in me. As many of my readers already know, one spring over twenty years ago, tricyclic antidepressant misuse, seasonal affective disorder, and underlying undiagnosed bipolar disorder resulted in a week-long manic psychotic break.

Today, I am inspired by bpnurse‘s post about her SSDI physical to update you on my recent SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) eligibility review. When I went in for my recent SSDI review interview, it benefitted me that I was hypomanic and agitated since spring was approaching and I had not yet seen my psychiatrist to adjust my medications.

Just one look at the form they had me fill out was enough to know that my mind was all over the place. I had multiple arrows leading to notes in the margins of the form to give more detailed answers to the form’s supposedly simple questions. I was unable to contain myself to the form. Similarly, when answering the psychiatrist’s questions, I was all over the place with my answers. She had to stop me several times to get me to focus, to contain me. Succinct, I was NOT. Anyway… at the end of the interview, the very nice psychiatrist told me I gave her WAY MORE than she needed, but within all that I said, she got what she needed. She asked me how I would describe myself at the time, and I answered “agitated.” She nodded her head. Yep, I was agitated.

The review determined that I am still eligible for benefits. Yay! Don’t have to go out and start cycling (as in mood cycling, not bicycling) as I look for work.

The week following the SSDI interview, I saw my psychiatrist to reduce my dose of SSRI antidepressant (of which I already took a very low dose). We planned on weaning me from it completely, but in doing so, I started to become depressed, so we kept it at half my previous dose.

36 thoughts on “Passed My SSDI Review (Whew!)

  1. ryandan May 12, 2015 / 4:04 am

    Hi Kitt. You are brave to put it all out there for the world to see. You already have a job, writing your blog articles. Keep it up and you will soon be paid to write.

    Be proud of the way you manage your condition. I for one am inspired by you.

    Keep well my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley April 2, 2015 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you, Amy. But, who knows what the future has in store for me. I do feel like I am now growing into my true calling – mental health advocacy.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley March 23, 2015 / 10:21 am

      Fighting yet another virus. Hypomania is at bay, though.

      Like

    • Kitt O'Malley March 23, 2015 / 10:19 am

      Kind of weird to be congratulated on receiving disability, but it helps. It enables me to do volunteer work and take care of myself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • annepm2015 March 23, 2015 / 5:06 pm

        I got it over two years because of autoimmune disease. I hear from others it is extremely hard to get disability these days. I have a friend’s husband who has been fighting for it almost three years now for a back injury (unable to work). Some have to obtain an attorney.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley March 24, 2015 / 9:27 am

          Yes. It has become more difficult to receive benefits over the years. Since I’ve been hospitalized and receive regular psychiatric care, my case is easier to make (lots of paperwork to back it up). Also, when I’ve had my two review interviews, I was somewhat unstable, which helps, quite honestly. First time around, I was depressed. This time, hypomanic and agitated. My behavioral symptoms were quite visible. It is challenging for those of us with invisible disability (usually, my disability is invisible to all but those with specialized training and/or experience with bipolar disorder). Our struggles often cannot be seen.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Mindy Ogg March 22, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Kitt, I am so relieved for you. I know just how you feel. SSA sent me a questionnaire in February. I filled it out and mailed it last month and haven’t heard back yet. They usually say they don’t need to review me, but it always makes me nervous. I will call SSA tomorrow! Again, I am so relieved for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • Mindy Ogg March 22, 2015 / 6:31 pm

        I’ve been in the hospital a number of times throughout my life, but I haven’t been since October of 2009. During that last visit, there was no one to talk to. No one! Everyone was busy with paperwork.

        I was there for 3 days and the therapist’s door was always closed. I finally knocked on it and he acted like it was an imposition. The only time I talked to anybody was when they wanted to talk to me. And no matter how brief a conversation might be, it was followed up with a form for me to sign. I refused to sign any form. It was such a waste of time. I should have refused to pay. What can you do in 3 days if it takes weeks for meds to work? And if there isn’t anyone to talk to… No groups. Actually there was one 5-minute group at the end of the day to check-in with the tech and that was it.

        Since then it has been suggested, but I won’t do it. But there is one hospital here in my city that is really good, but they don’t take my insurance. If I could afford it, I’d go there.

        I worry about needing a review. People look at my blog and think I am so “normal”, even to my therapist. But she knows me. My psychiatrist knows me. But my doctor has cancer and is undergoing treatment (again). I think he dying.

        So do you think because I haven’t been to the hospital since 2009 that it might affect their decision as to whether or not to do a review?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley March 23, 2015 / 10:11 am

          I think that hospitals that do not offer structured groups throughout the day are not adequately treating patients. Perhaps when someone is actively psychotic, they are unable to participate in group, but for those who can participate, structured groups are highly effective and should be part of ALL psychiatric hospital programs. Clearly, hospital reform is greatly needed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley March 23, 2015 / 10:14 am

          Forgive me for answering you three times, Social Security periodically reviews benefits. Do not worry. Just continue to take care of your own mental health. As for your psychiatrist’s cancer, I would discuss your worries head on with your doctor. If he is dying (my mother has lived with lymphoma for thirty years, not everyone with cancer dies), then you may want a referral. Remember, just because he is undergoing treatment again, doesn’t mean that he is dying. Still, your fear is warranted and should be addressed honestly with him.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mindy Ogg March 23, 2015 / 10:39 am

            Nothing to forgive. I appreciate your responses. I will make the calls. Thanks so much for your replies. Have a great day now… 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Frances D March 22, 2015 / 4:14 pm

    Sending good vibes your way. May your job hunt lead you to a just right position for you.

    Like

    • Kitt O'Malley March 22, 2015 / 4:16 pm

      I’m not going on any job hunts. I’m on disability. Just going on an interview is enough to trigger hypomania and mood cycling in me. I tend to overwork until I’m very ill.

      Like

      • Frances D March 22, 2015 / 4:25 pm

        I knew about the disability – I thought being on it would allow you to look for a new job at your own. Then again you blog promotes awareness — I could see you getting paid to write articles so you do have an active career writing. Be well.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley March 22, 2015 / 6:04 pm

          Thank you, Frances. Yes, I do an active career, even if I do not yet receive money for it. I am developing my skill set.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. mihrank March 22, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    we are all inspired by your wonderful efforts and great work – Congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley March 22, 2015 / 4:15 pm

      Not something to be congratulated for, actually. But a relief, all the same.

      Like

  5. cabrogal March 22, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    There should be a ceremony where you get presented with a certificate.
    Acceptance speeches limited to two minutes.

    Liked by 2 people

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