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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Advice needed: should i go back to work?

I really need your advice as I do not know what should i do, what is smart and better in my position. I know that many of us here share pretty much same stories. Can you advice me?

I am a recepcionist in a small but fancy hotel. I am very good at my position. I only fail in saying no when they throw work at me that doesnt belong to my duties at all. I work in two shifts - 12h, day or night. Nights are harder for me cause im alone in hotel and the worst is of course: drunk guests.

I was working there since July and then half November I went for a sick leave due to intensive therapy. At the time I was leaving hotel, I was in good shape but during the therapy I completely broke down.

Tomorrow I am going to see my psychiatrist again. And I am wondering what would be good - to ask for another month of sick leave or to go back to hotel?

My current state is rather very low:

- have suicidal thoughts, serious ones with my mind constantly thinking of the last day of my life... I dont want to live at all and i wish my life will end soon

- i wake up after 13 hours of sleep

- have no ability to make phone calls, read messages, i didnt talk with my boss and cannot really answer her emails - i am sooooo incredible afraid

- i fear absolutely everything, deep anxiety ruins my belly

- i have zero energy

- i have no appetite and feel no hunger or thirst

- it takes hours for me to do anything, including writing this post

Work is of course stress but its also SCHEDULE - so i would have to wake up and go to work plus I would be amongst people which always makes me better...

I feel that staying one more month at home can be helpful, i am afraid of going back to work and meeting the people, telling everybody why i was missing and probably failing at many duties... but I also worry that staying home may not be good and maybe i need work to get better.

Please try to advise me.

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Just say you took some time out and don’t over elaborate,go and keep yourself busy keep your mind occupied ☎️🖨💻📻......

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Thank you Alan! I really need advice! I have no idea what should I do...

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Hello my lovely friend, this is a tough decision for you. I found going to work, having a routine and seeing my work colleagues kept my mind occupied and definitely better for me, with the help from my medication. But, if you're struggling so much and suicidal, I think you may be better off having one more month off until you feel stronger. You don't want too much pressure to cope with. Try and stay strong and message me anytime, I've just come through a bad patch and I'm here if you need to talk. Sending you hugs and lots of love. xx :)

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the first moment seems to be terrifying but maybe with time i will be good? i also cannot assume/calculate whether... i am at all responsible at this moment of time..

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Maybe you can try one day back at work and if it's too much, then get signed off again. It's such a hard decision.

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i always have my mask on... noone knows what im going through...

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Ah exactly the same! We get so good at covering up, everyone at work thinks I'm the happy smiley lady, little do they know. ....

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Unfortunately I don’t know how to take that mask off. It would be so much easier for me to just be who I am.

People see me and they constantly judge me that I’m a fraud...

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Why do they judge you a fraud? x

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i feel like im just a huge walking smile... noone ever believes me what i feel. people lways doubt me. when i see my doctor, she asks me: what is actually happening to you... they dont see, they dont have a clue. at this group therapy i was for three months everyday - i was absent few times, i couldnt wake up, but for them it was just that im not coming.. i dont know whats happening to me. i dont know from what i suffer, why, and how to heal it. im really lost.!

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It sounds like you need to wait. I also wonder if a different job would be better. You can’t put your recovery at risk.

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i cant decide at all!

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I would be completely honest with your doctor about all of your symptoms.

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I’ll do that but still, she won’t tell me if I should stay home or not...

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Have you talked to your doctor about why things got worse when you took the time off? Do you think that going back to work might actually help. Even though it is stress, sometimes having a set schedule and responsibilities can give purpose and be motivation to move forward. What do you think?

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Ive already told them both - my doctor and my psychotherapist that was running my group therapy. They both saw me being completely lost but I just go prozac for that. I said that I have severe hurtburn and insomnia - no reaction. I know that my depression started because I actually discovered that I have big black hole during my relationship with a guy that was abusing me. I started to see just few memories but still black black hole. Then I start falling and feeling extremely crazy.

And since then I got to know so many extremally stressfull newses. My closes aunt died, my grandfather is in very bad state, my debts are growing in such paste... Also the fear of therapy ending and me being in terrible state, knowing that i wont have help or tools to cope with it. And huge fear regarding starting the job again. I was supposed to start two weeks ago but my boss is not really happy to see me again and I also suppose that she wants to panish me in some sense for being gone for so long. She thinks that its my smart way to get vacation...

Tomorrow morning im gonna see my doctor again, she is supposed to give me papers for restarting work after long break. I plan on asking her to double my meds and give me something antianxiety...

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Hi.

Sorry for your dilemma and for how you feel right now generally with your health.

I think we are all quite different, and very Indicidual in what helps us and what is good to do..some would benefit from going back and the aSchedule and maybe it would be helpful to get back to work for them...I do know some who have gone back, yes struggled ,but got back into it and it’s helped..for me I couldn’t go back eventually .. I was too ill to cope and I realised it a little too late , I left it a bit too long to be more mindful of my health....I was quite ill in the end..I realised and had to give in my notice to leave..mine is a long story and I won’t go into it but I found for the sake of my health it was best not to go back or have the worry of going back...having the option for further time off is an option for you, and if you feel are not ready to go back then do make your health a big consideration..and take more time...I’m sure your dr will advise too...

If your employers aren’t very sympathetic towards mental illness, even though they should be, then this is a consideration too..your health is the most important...you mention another month off you feel would be helpful, and your symptoms still sound rather severe...chat to your dr see what he or she thinks,

I wish you all the very best whatever your decision..

Xxx

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For my bosses - owner and manager of the hotel: mental illness doesn’t exist! I hard my boss telling really awful stuff about workers that worked or even tried to get a job there having “mental breakdowns”. I wonder what she would said if she would get to know that I was in a psychiatric ward.

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😩 it’s awful but I am aware this is still the case In some workplaces...unfortunately...and when we feel the stigma they portray, it doesn’t help whatsoever in how we feel and our own healing x.....🌹

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I wish I had a courage to be spokesman for all of us :(

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You may have one day...so may I, we can heal and build up our strength, I believe it can happen ..I used to talk at conferences to a couple of hundred people, I can’t do it now...but one day maybe I will again......and so may you x

❤️

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If you enjoyed your job and were competent before you became anxious and depressed, my advice would be to return to work. Recovery from anxiety and depression lies in those places you fear the most. Anxiety and depression bluffs a person into thinking they cannot cope.

I took a few months off work when I felt I couldn’t cope but that didn’t make any difference. I still felt very anxious, afraid and depressed at home. I learned about anxiety and how it thrives on avoidance so took myself back to work and the anxiety followed. By facing my fears, I was able to see through the lies and also knew, deep down, that it wasn’t the job that made me feel so bad, it was the anxiety itself. So I carried on going to work every day, full of fear. Gradually, I saw glimpses of peacefulness and took comfort from those moments of clarity and the seeds of recovery. Those seeds grew, along with my levels of confidence. I still had the symptoms for quite some time but by then I just let them be there in the back ground and pushed on through. The mind and body only learn that there is nothing to fear by facing those fears and carrying on regardless of how you might feel. It is hard but the rewards are huge.

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I must tell you that depression took the best of me. So did my broken heart too. I loved so much as I want to end my life now. I’m great at avoiding. Hence my question - I don’t know what would be better for me! I surely can go back to work and do best but I am not sure if I am going to benefit from it!!! I’m afraid! I hide myself behind a very strict mask.. I don’t know myself anymore. I’m afraid of harming myself even more... I really wish you would help me.

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In my opinion we are all different...for some it helps, for others not so much...I tried I went back I faced the fears..I sunk so low..but that’s me...you can face fears I believe that and you can come through..but if we are depressed that’s something else in my opinion...I had also developed social anxiety so I was afraid of telephones and dealing with people ...the fear was too strong to cope with ..in a really high profile environment..with high expectations,

It’s real tricky and not so straightforward...

Sometimes I guess trying and seeing how it goes...but In the end I had no energy to try ...I felt broken..it depends on so many things. The type of job is important if you are front facing front of house in the main public eye is more difficult than if you tend to be a lone worker and don’t get involved with interacting a lot....having a supportive employer helps too.

Just my opinion

You will know deep down if you feel you can front it

In my opinion drs encourage us to try because they don’t know until we try ...and sometimes like I say it does work for people but it’s not always straight forward...

Xx

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I know it's scary going back to work after medical leave due to mental health... I had a lot of the same fears. My boss like yours doesn't understand what it's like for us. Though this time has been rough, I've learned I have to put my mental health, myself first. My boss wanted me to come back to working Thurs recently... it's the day my group therapy meets, I'm not giving that up. I am actually looking to leave my job... it brings me anxiety & don't feel supported. I deserve to be valued... we all do. I would have a serious talk with you therapist... sounds like you need help figuring this out. 💛

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To talk in person about me seems impossible to me. I have a visit in one hour but doubt that I’ll actually say anything. I don’t know if I’m avoiding work due to fear or maybe I’m not avoiding and it’s all because I’m too depressed... This forum helps me a lot. I say here things that I’m not able to say at all in real world. It doesn’t matter if it’s my mother, my therapist, boss, friends... I never talk about me. And no one would ever say that I struggle so badly that I’m barely alive.

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Hi Blossom,

Anxiety makes us so indecisive sometimes! It's very classic that we struggle to make a decision when we are in the throes of anxiety and depression. I don't know if anyone can specifically tell you what to do. It will be more empowering for you to make the decision, anyway. I can just tell you that dragging my anxious self to work despite how I felt was overall therapeutic for me. I have loved all my jobs so that helps, of course. Working reminds us that we are normal, that we have strength, that we can cope, even though it's so hard!

When you start working again, you will be able to continue therapy, right?

One last thing I want to mention: you have been through an incredibly difficult time with an abusive relationship. Please don't underestimate the toll that takes on people. It takes a long while for people to recalibrate from that kind of thing. Please be patient with your healing and recovery!

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I bet that you are very good at your job. I know you are hurting right now, but your light, your intelligence and kindness always shine through every time you post. I imagine you would be good at anything you set your mind to...

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I’m not sure if my boss will let me keep one day a week off so I could meet with therapist but I’ll try. I’m gonna see my doctor now. I hope I will be able to tell her how I feel. Thank you for encouragement and for your amazing words. You’re very special to me. Thank you

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Good luck.

I hope it helps today at your drs or therapy, you may find your decision..

Whatever you decide you will work it through , it will be ok, .for sure..

I never thought I’d cope with my decision..

Thinking of you.

🌺🌺🌺🌹🌹🌹

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Stay strong and do whatever you need to to remain in control. It’s not easy. Good luck and be strong.

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Just a follow up:

- after seeing me today my doc gave me extra medication to my Prozac, she wanted to send me to hospital

- she doesn’t see me being able to work but...

- I said that I would like to try going back to work and if things go wrong to go back to her again

- since the visit I am really really suffering with huge anxiety, couldn’t tell my boss anything, stayed away from cell phone

- I’m pretty much paralyzed in bed, dreadful state of huge stress

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Orangeblossom, thank you so much for the update.

There is nothing wrong with more intensive care for a bit, you know that right? Having intensive help, therapy and med adjustment in the hospital or other intensive setting can be such a gift. Your psychiatrist saw through your mask today, or maybe you took it off for her, and she saw that you need a little more help right now. She's a professional, and she knows you. Intensive help is temporary. I like to call it "a little tune up". We all need a little tune up sometimes. Not a big deal. If you get there and find you're feeling better quickly, you can check out and go back to outpatient care.

Inpatient care ( hospital) is wonderful but did you know that there are other options as well? Sometimes insurance will pay for residential care- very similar to hospital care but in a more homey setting, and they are typically not locked like a psychiatric unit. A PHP is a partial hospitalization program- typically all day but you go home at night. An IOP is an intensive outpatient program - 3-4 hours a day. Depending on insurance, these may be options for you. Many people work part time or go to school with the IOP option. *

*I'm assuming you are in the US :)

What do you think?

Big hugs

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Gradually I feel that my state is worsening. I woke up one hour ago. Was pretty calm then. Now I have heartbeat so string and rapid. Belly aches. Mind racing with constant thought that I wasted my life.

I was in way way worse state when I went for the hospital the first time. They wanted to sign me out after three days saying that I’m ok. After all I stayed for a month.

I begin to think that instead of acting, I’m hiding in my bed. Maybe I am not depressed at all but just avoiding and running away. I don’t know what is wrong with me.

The only one sure thing is: I don’t want to be the way I am today, I want to heal.

How can I get to know what is wrong with me? How to get right treatment and live ok live? How to make right decisions?

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Ah this is helpful information. Hospitalization made it worse last time. You are tied up in anxiety knots. And all the physical symptoms are simply a result of that. Uncomfortable, horrible, but harmless anxiety symptoms. OK so it's back to work, right? Will you make that call today? We are all here for you!!!

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I couldn’t make a call. I’ve sent an email. My boss wants to see me tomorrow at 7pm. Supposingly I will take a night shit but I’m not sure.

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Thank you for all the support! Honestly!!! Thank you so very much.

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I'm on the same boat as you. I returned to work this week on reduced schedule. You know what I realized, I'm going to have the fear, and anxiety regardless of what I am doing. At least going to work keeps me on a schedule instead of living in my head. It's not easy, I've tried and failed going back to work. But this week really helped me realize I need the distraction because being alone with my thoughts that are severe are not good.

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