Do you have tips on telling my boss I am taking next week off due to anxiety/depression?

I really prefer not go into personal details with my employer, but I know I need to tell them something as to why I have a doctors note for a week off... I have extreme anxiety and met with my doctor who advised me to take some time to myself. I do not know how to word it, not sure what I should say as I feel guilty not going in, and worry about what others will think... I agree that I need this time off, but I fear how my boss & manager will react.

10 Replies

  • HI Moving x Welcome to the site, My name Is Donver. I do not know what the laws are in Canada, but here in the uk, it would be against the rules to ask you to go into detail about the reasons you wish to take time off work. That is what a doctors note is for, to show that you have a medical reason to refrain for a week. Often with anxiety we need some time off to just rest and gather ourselves together . Remember that anxiety is a mental health illness and you have a right to take time off for illness. Dont feel guilty about not going in, sometimes you have to put yourself first. Im sure that your boss will understand and so will your colleagues . They have a legal standing to look after their employees so they should not grumble at a week, and will maybe even surprise you by being understanding about it x Sorry I could not of been more help, but I don't really know a lot about work and the legals xx Donver x

  • Thanks Donver, I guess I feel embarrassed and hate that I need the time off. I want to get better and I want to take time to myself, but I realize that I always put myself last. I am nervous because I dont want this to reflect negatively on me somehow, and already dreading answering the questions and comments my coworkers will have regarding my absence..

    Would you recommend telling them now (our office is already closed for the weekend) or is there a need to wait until Monday?

    Thanks again,


  • There is no need to feel embarrassed, its not your fault that you are suffering in this way, its not ones fault just the way we are. I tend to find a lot of people with anxiety are people who will go out of their way to help people and always put others needs before their own. We take on to much and then realise it only when we are down and need some time off to get back on our feet. You have every right to take this time now, when you need it. There is no way that it can reflect negatively on you, its simply a case of you need time now to heal your small cracks before they shatter and break, and a lot of time is needed to repair. If your co workers ask a simple its personal will do. If they continue to ask then keep repeating, they will grow tired and give in asking, don't think of it as a negative that they ask, it could simply be that they respect and like you as a person so want to know that you are fine and have no illness they could help you with x

    If your office is closed you maybe better waiting until it reopens on Monday, and then addressing them in person with your doctors note. A lot of people get to the weekend and want to simply forget work until Monday, so maybe try to do this yourself until then x Hope it all work out well for you x

  • Thanks so much for your feedback. I realize I must have had anxiety my entire life, but never knew what to call it or how to describe the feeling to anyone. I am very glad I found this site. You have helped immensely.

  • NO problem happy to help. I think we can carry anxiety around for years and it never really bothers us to a great extent, and then one day we just find we have lost the way and we need a little help to brush it off and start again. Keep posting as we have a lot of members each with their own anxiety stories and helpful advice. We are a very helpful community and I'm sure you will find some great comforts and answers here. Happy to help x

  • Hi agree with donver, no need to go into detail, if it was a broken leg you wouldn't feel obliged to give them the full surgeon's script, I would (did) put stress on mine. my work surprised me with being v supportive. Also I only told HR the reason, and afterwards, on my 'back to work' form, nobody else. If you are sick you are sick.

    I think the fact you are so worried shows how committed you are to your job. I bet your colleagues know this too. Forget work, enjoy your break from it and focus on being well.


  • Thanks, I realize it should be an easy task, but I have a very hard time relaxing with myself. I am a busy body, but I know it needs to calm down.

  • Is it the job that is making you anxious. I had a seriously stressed job representing people in court / tribunals I wish I had spoken out as I ended up making myself ill take care of yourself

  • I work the typical 9 to 5 office routine, but I am a true artist at heart. I was taking night classes outside of work to balance myself creatively, but when work flared up again and I didn't have the time for another class... I definitely need to re-visit this idea because its a definite option. A different kind of anxiety/stress than you had experienced, but there are definitely reasons it could be true. Thanks for your reply :)

  • I think anxiety hits the strongest people hardest. It upsets your sense of who you are to feel this horrible weakness or helplessness in the face of intrusive thoughts and anxiety.It's good that you have this creative outlet. I write, and last year when things were darkest my fan fictions, and my readers' enthusiastic support for them, really helped me keep my sense of who I am and that I have control over (at least some parts of) my life.

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