I want you to imagine a TV show happening with a split screen, like they did on 24 and... that other TV show, I can't remember what it was called. Both screens are showing the story of the same protagonist.
Screen A shows her going about her life. It's not perfect, but it's okay. She has some trouble with her health, but she has friends and family that support her. She lives in a country where the government is still, more or less, committed to providing a safety net for those whose health compromises their ability to work. There's still enough left of the National Health Service that she doesn't have to deal with medical bills. She's very lucky and she knows it.
Screen B shows a similar story. The bones of the plot are the same. Only on this side of the screen, her friends and family either don't believe in her health problems - oh, she's just lazy. It's just psychosomatic. She's always had an overactive imagination - or else they resent her. My health problems are worse than hers and I hold down a fulltime job. She's just playing the system. I'm a better person than she is because I wouldn't claim welfare even if my country offered it. They make sympathetic noises out of courtesy or pacifism, but they're sick of her whining. They wish she'd just disappear. Her doctor believes she's invented her symptoms out of whole cloth to swindle the government; anything she isn't outright inventing can easily be ascribed to her weight or the fact that she's a hysterical female who reads up her health problems on the Internet. He's convinced there's nothing wrong with her a strict diet and exercise regime wouldn't cure.
On Screen A, she went through some hassle with her welfare a while ago, but it was just routine. It was hard for her, but it wasn't personal. It's hard for everyone and they can't afford to be paying for anyone that could manage without it; and she succeeded in proving she couldn't, so that was all right.
On Screen B, there's a man in a local government office who's made it his personal mission to wipe this woman off the face of the earth. He supposes he could ambush her out walking and stab her, or pay someone else to do it, but he's afraid of the consequence of breaking the law, and besides, that would let her off too easily. He wants her to really suffer, and he knows just how to do it. He's going to use every legal means in his power to strip her of all support and dignity - after all, who does she think she is that his taxes should support her? She's just scrounging scum, she doesn't deserve it. So first he insists she isn't sick at all, and she has to spend half a year on one-third of her (already low) income while she waits her turn to prove to an independent tribunal that she really is. His first attempt was foiled at the tribunal stage; but that's all right. He has all the time in the world and all the resources at his disposal. He can require her to prove herself again and again and again until either he gets the result he wants or she can't face fighting another battle. When he finally succeeds in forcing her into homelessness, he'll laugh and perhaps buy all his mates drinks in the pub to celebrate.
On Screen B, the woman's neighbours hate her; she thinks she's better than they are because she has a posh accent. She reads books and she looked horrified when they bred their fifth litter of Staffie puppies and offered to sell her one. They take delight in filling her recycle bin with rotting garbage. Every time a dog barks in the neighbourhood they telephone the council and complain about her dogs, even though they're pretty sure that was some other dog they heard. They'll be delighted if she gets evicted or someone comes and takes her dogs away; who does she think she is anyway, taking up a nice flat that could have gone to someone deserving. She'll get what's coming to her.
...See, the thing is, I'm not stupid. I'm not completely delusional. I know that Screen A is telling something much closer to the truth. It's just that all my emotions, all my gut reactions, are coming straight from Screen B. And I don't know how to make it stop. I'm terrified every time I walk out of my front door, these days. I'm terrified to speak to people even though I know, really, that they don't actually hate me. This is half the reason I haven't been posting. The other half is that, after an initial first flush of feeling better, the levothyroxine is having almost no effect again; it's a rare good day when I can do as much as walk to the damn corner shop and I'm a drooling brainfogged idiot approximately four days out of seven.
I am also in the middle of switching antidepressants; this required me to wean myself completely off the Zoloft before I can start taking the Seroxat again. Which might, now I think of it, have something to do with the present state of red-alert panic paranoia. It's not usually quite this bad. I just wanted to get it down while I could. I'm now going to hit the post button before I change my mind.