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Friday, February 02, 2007

Incapacity Benefit – again

According to the figures, there are 1.1 MILLION people suffering from depression in this country. Over a million. To a sufficient degree that they are rendered unable to work.

Now I’m no doctor, but that sounds like utter bollocks to me. I know a number of people who genuinely suffer from mental illness, and I sympathise with them hugely as it’s a horrible condition to have to live with, but I cannot believe that 1.1 million people suffer in the same way to a sufficient degree to render them unemployable (neither, it seems, can the government).

Anyway, since when does being ‘stressed’ mean you can’t work, and being a crackhead mean you should receive welfare? Eh? (Am I sounding like a Nazi yet?)

‘The number of people out of work and on long-term sickness benefits because of stress and mental disorders has soared since 1997. The figures, revealed yesterday in answers to parliamentary questions, show almost 1.1m people were claiming incapacity benefit last year who said they were unable to take a job because of problems with mental health, up from 730,000 in 1997.
The number of claimants suffering from severe stress had trebled to 49,000 while those who had endured episodes of depression had almost doubled to 501,000. Those suffering from alcohol or drug-related problems almost doubled to 137,000.’

In any case, I’d have thought that if you’re genuinely depressed, getting out of bed in the morning and doing something constructive is a far better way to deal with the problem than sitting around in your nightie eating Smarties and watching Jeremy Kyle.

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