I've posted a few times here and find the site useful.
Anyway end of July I suffered my first panic attack whilst getting ready for work. Seen my GP who initially thought it was work related stress (I'm a social worker) and signed me off for 2 weeks and prescribed sertraline. I was very worried about being off so after the 2 weeks tried to go back, lasted 2 hours and after speaking with my manager who has been understanding rang the GP who signed me off until 31/08 to give the meds time to work. Anyway, having been off I've realised that it's not just work but a whole mixture of personal things that have built up over time causing anxiety. I do feel better in myself and have spoken with employee support who have assured me that I'm not a fraud and the anxiety I'm feeling is understandable having told them about my life. Work is the most stressful thing I do, I live about an hour away from home, my mum isn't in the best health and neither are my partners parents so that's a worry. Plus my life is at home not where I currently live. I feel I would be best trying to find work at home as I have the support there. I have had an interview last week but was unsuccessful and have another in a couple of weeks time at home. I was due back to work today, seen the GP yesterday and again explained all to her and how the time off has helped. She signed me off again for the rest of this week and next and referrered me for counselling which could take a while. She advised me to use the time to fully prepare myself to return to work. I am waiting to hear back from my manager to meet and discuss this.
I really didn't feel ready to return today, but know the longer it is the harder it will be and I know I'll be anxious regardless. I just wanted to hear other people's experiences and any advice as this has hit me hard and I did not expect to have 6 weeks sick from anxiety which I have not been affected by before. I still feel like a fraud as you can't see it but as much as I want to get back to normal it's so hard.
Thanks in advance