Help! Should I go back to work?

Hi I've been off work for two week now, not the first time over the past 9 years with anxiety, and i'm thinking of going back next week as I don't want to fall into the stay at home trap which I know I will. My anxiety is much better but i'm still feeling depressed and a very low mood. Work have contacted me to see when I may be back as they are short staffed. I really just want some advice. The thought terrifies me but maybe I need to get back to normal. Work are not the most helpful and they do dismiss staff if they are not performing well so this is also playing on my mind. Any opinions would help :) xx

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  • hiya, is there any way you could do part time hours just to get you back in the swing, maybe you could ask. i wish you luck in whatever you decide, it will be the right decision for you xxx

  • Hi, I was in the same position though thankfully my workplace is a bit better than yours sounds. Like you i took time off sick but I felt really guilty and like you, I felt that staying at home was nice but not good for me, so I did go back to work. We have to have a Return to Work Interview with our line manager & I felt so down and miserable and sick I forgot my prepared story of a tummy bug, and told him truthfully what had happened. I said the Dr had given me tablets and I asked to be put on light duties for a while. I very carefully said i was still able to do my job and that I wasn't refusing to work, just needed a bit less pressure till i got my head together. I have to meet with him each week to discuss how i was getting on which is a bit demeaning, but it has been a help and he is gradually giving me more work to do. Is this something you could do? If they are as short staffed as you say they will probably jump at having another body around and may be prepared to be flexible.

    We are currently being restructured and have been told that they cannot rule out redundancies. I think i'll be at the head of the list because of my GAD, but I take my Sertraline before i go to work, take my Propanalol before going into a stressful situation and just sit and try to do my work. It's difficult to do because i'm worrying about so many other things and sometimes feel as if i'll burst, but once i force myself to go to work i do feel slightly better. I find that being with other people helps me.

    I don't know if this (rather long post - sorry!) is helpful at all. Very best of luck whatever you decide. Thinking of you. x

  • Tech thank you so much your comment it has really helped. My situation is that I'm a well paid Manager in the Finance industry. Whilst I have been off a position has come up working 3 days a week and I've asked if I can take this position and they said the decision is mine although they would rather me stay in my current position. I'm really torn, my salary would be half and I would no longer be a manager, but I also need to face the fact that I will always have GAD which is very draining. Maybe if I took the 3 day a week position my health and family life would improve. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. Also were you a bit embarrassed when you went back because everybody knew why you were off? xx

  • Hi Partygal, I think only you can make this decision. I am a senior IT engineer and supervise junior engineers (all men!) and although i'm not well paid, the salary isn't bad. A few weeks ago i was so down i was seriously considering handing in my notice and trust i could get another job. However if i did, it would be at about a third of what i get now, for the same hours. I can't afford such a drop in my salary so i chose to stay.

    It depends i think, on whether you can manage financially on a lower salary and also just as important can you stand being managed by someone , when previously you have been a manager ( i have to say i would find that very, very difficult)? If you did go part time, when you feel better would that part time, make it harder for you if you wanted to go for a promotion? The extra time off would certainly help you get your head together though. You would be able to relax a bit and would probably work better when you were at work. Your family would probably appreciate it too.

    You say your company want you to stay in your current position. Can you use this part time offer as a bargaining tool to maybe get them to give you some help - maybe you could work from home one or two days a week so at least you don't have to make the effort to be efficient and cheerful in the office when you feel anything but. You probably won't always have GAD. I had a break from mine for about two years until a really bad visit to a customer (who was a bully) made it come back. For those two years though it was great.

    When i returned to work recently I was so desperate and depressed i didn't care what people thought. I work with all men and they don't seem to gossip about people like women do. However GAD is a mental health problem and there is always a stigma attached to that so I do feel embarrased if people find out. I mentioned something about Counselling to one of my colleagues and discovered that he had been in therapy for many years for a similar thing. Another guy revealed that he is being treated for depression and that's 3 of us out of a staff of about 18. So i bet there are people in your office who have GAD too but who are hiding it. This has turned into another book, i'm so sorry. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.Tech xx

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