Signed off with anxiety


I'm new to this forum, I've been struggling to come to terms with being signed off. I was signed off for 2 weeks last tues with anxiety. Ive had depression for many years now and have been on citalopram. I was signed off because I had been having panic attacks in work but these started becoming daily and I got to the point where I couldn't do my job without having to walk out and cry in the toilets. I would spend about 15mins at a time in the toilet. I know having been signed off I will be screwing over those at work as they'll end yp with more work to do and I'm worried what people will think of me when I return and so I really feel I need to get back in order to get work done. While I've been off I've had 3 good days where I've been able to get out of bed in the morning and get stuff done but on the rest I've woken up crying, and this morning particularly I had a panic attack for no reason at all.. Most days I feel like a zombie, like I'm not myself and that it's like I'm not all there as it were. I'm seeing my doctor tomorrow for a review to see whether I'm fit to return to work next week but I don't know what I'll tell her. I don't know whether I'm fit to return or not..

Any advice on how others have coped with this would be amazing. Thank you x

4 Replies

  • Hello Toastandtea,

    I am in the same situation been signed of for 6 weeks now and seen my doctor this morning again and been signed of for a further 3 weeks as me and my doctor don't think going back just now will be best for me.I couldn't even ring work till yesterday and even still i had a panic attack and was stuttering had the sweats and well just a mess over the phone,i want to go back and my work want me back but i also want to get better asap but work would just drag me back into the dark hole again at this moment so maybe just concentrating on getting in a better place and not even though it's hard to think about work to much is best.

    I also decided to see a talk therapist today after a year of worrying about which my doctor is sorting out for me,i had concerns over it as i find talking to people hard but i really want to get better.

    I know i'm not much help but your not alone and i hope someone can give you better advise i'll be watching too for it.I have been reading this forum for a month or so now and there are great people on here with great experience and it's been good for me even if i am just lurking in the background at the moment :)

  • Thank you Addum. It's nice to know there are people in the same situation as me even though I wouldn't wish this on anyone, it's a horrible feeling.

    I started my Cbt last night with my first appointment, it was good and hope it will make a difference. I'm just worried about seeing my doctor tomorrow and needing to know whether I feel ready to go back or not.

    Did you get signed off for 2 weeks at a time? How did you know whether u were ready to go back to work or did your doctor just say you needed longer off?


  • Yes i was signed off two weeks at a time but the first week or so it started with what i thought was a cold as i had never had panic attacks before so i wasn't too sure what it was,i have always had anxiety i have known that since i was very young but never have i had panic attacks so i just messaged into work i had a cold till i had seen the doctor.

    This is a complicated illness as i have learned and we will all suffer it slightly differently i am guessing but i guess when i phoned work yesterday and had another attack i realized i wasn't ready just yet.When i work i like to do things properly and well if my head is not right yet i don't want to space out,go missing in the loo's ,have extra cig breaks,talk gobble de gook(when my anxiety is reaching it's worse i mix words up so convo's are strange lol) ect ect.Also at the doctors i was just as bad as i was speaking to work which i guess made my mind up.Going to the doctor's is hard but deep down i know doctor's are wonderful people and understand he gave me time to get my words out and even though i really want to go back to work which he fully understood and gave his opinion he also felt i wasn't ready just yet but i should arrange a meeting with work to speak to them let them know what is going on which i am now very nervous about :(

    If you feel you can do your job and can cope with the problems you have i don't know maybe you should give it a try but if you can't tell the doctor you don't think you can it's your decision at the end of the day and my doctor said he had no problem giving me another fit note.

    I kinda now feel my health should come before work even though i don't want everyone to be working much harder and so on.I don't want to be back in this situation in 6 months so i will keep taking my Citalopram, rest for the time i have off now and start the cbt then give work a go.

    I am glad you said your cbt was good thank you that's on my list of worries but if someone else who is going through this at the same time as me says it was good makes me want to at least try it :)

    Sorry if i have waffled on a bit and don't make sense had an attack as i was emailing my boss to arrange the meeting am still a little dizzy.

  • I too am signed off work (I was working in an office with constant stress) at the time I wasn't overly fussed about what people thought off me being off as I had a legitimate reason (anxiety, stress and depression), you're signed off for the reason that you can't cope at the moment and worrying about work will just add stress onto it (even if it can't be helped) it's good to see that you've at least had some good days so focus on them instead and they'll come more frequent :), with my situation I ended up quitting the job as I thought it wasn't worth it at the time (when I was signed off) and I started looking for another job, one that I know id enjoy. I now work as a youth worker and im looking forward to starting so I can focus on other people and putting my own problems to one side, have you thought of taking up a hobby in the meantime to keep you distracted and giving you a "reason" to get up in the mornings?

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