Apologies in advance if this post sounds a little self-pitying.
I am 26 and currently claiming ESA for clinical depression and anxiety, and I have been in the support group for around three or four years now after two assessments, the second of which was last year, and my claim is being reviewed in September.
I don't like to think about my future because it just makes my anxiety flare up and I have pretty much convinced myself that I am a failure, but I realize that I can't stay on benefits forever and I don't want to.
Unfortunately my depression and anxiety are pretty severe (I have struggled for over six years now) to the point that I hardly ever go out and I have to really psych myself up to do things, and I feel that I can only do something if I am totally, 100% ready mentally, otherwise I tend to just shut myself down and isolate myself and not really care about the consequences. I have seen many self-paced, online courses which appeal more to me than going to college, as I am terrible at meeting new people and when I do I tend to do/say weird things which only heightens my anxiety as I believe people are talking about me and consider me a freak, and I am most concerned about people seeing my arm which has dozens of self-harm scars on it, in hot weather like we have now.
My question is, if I am reassessed and put on JSA, will I still be able to do a course?
I live with my mum (I know pathetic) and she has said I may have to get a student loan, which to be perfectly honest sounds more appealing than going on JSA and having to struggle with my depression while dealing with the robots at the DWP who know nothing about my conditions.
Can you get student loans for online courses?