Sick Note

Hey, I'm kinda new here, first time I'm writing. Just feelin really bad today because I've finally give in after nearly a year of working in a secure unit/hospital I've decided I can't cope with my anxiety and depression, and I've gone off sick. I really didn't want to give up working because I thought it would make me worse and I feel guilty for just staying at home doing nothing with my life but I can't keep going into work crying as the patients might see me upset and use it against me. I don't think its work thats made me anxious and depressed, I've had it on and off since I were 13 (I'm now 22) but it doesn't help as its stressful where I work with offenders with mental health problems. I've only been off sick for one day and I already feel like I've made a mistake like I'm just being soft :( feel really bad. Has anyone else had to stop working because of their anxiety/depression? I don't know what to do! I'm starting to question whether I want to work in mental health any more even though it's what I've always wanted to do but now I don't know if I should because I think it's making me worse. I started anti-depressants a week ago and I've been seeing a therapist for a few weeks, I'm hoping this starts to help soon! x


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19 Replies

  • Take some time for yourself. I also got the stage where i gave up trying to pretend and 4 weeks off work later i feel a lot better. I am due to go back on Thursday and while its scary i think it's time.

    It is going to take some time for the antidepressants to start working properly and until then just spend some time relaxing as much as you can. They may make you feel a little poorly for a while but this will pass.

    Read some helpful books such as those by Claire Weekes too which might help.

    Stop questioning yourself until you have had time to clear your mind a bit and get a bit better, you won't be thinking straight at the moment.

    Stop worrying about work, it is you that matters. Your job will still be there in a few weeks. The important thing to remember is that getting better is not going to happen overnight so accept that it will take time. But it will happen :)

  • I've started reading "self-help for your nerves"...I've found it hard to read though :S.

    Thanks for your help :) I'll try not to worry, I think too much!

    Amber x

  • Hi MrsTatum. There is an updated version of Dr.Weekes work. "Essential help for your Nerves". It may give you more of an insight into her teachings. Available from Amazon. It's two books in one. While I applaud your wanting to help people with mental health problems, frankly, the last place you need to be is with those who suffer this way. I was a service engineer for many years and the places I had to go to mostly were mental health hospitals. In those days there were many about. I had to stop going and had to give up the job as it upset me too much. I then developed GAD and, well, the rest is history. Dr. Weekes saved my bacon (what a funny expression that is!) and her work has been my "bible" ever since. I am sure the combination of therapy and medication will help. Dr. Weekes work is not easy, but, believe me, it does pay in the long run. It takes time and a lot of practise and there are times when you feel like giving up but please do try and persevere. You are not being soft, you are being sensible. Take time off to stand back and look at your situation. Look after yourself and good luck jonathan.

  • Ohh I will have a read of that as well, I finally got round to finishing her other book yesterday. Thank you, Amber x

  • I agree, take some time and please dont feel bad. It seems like you have hit a brick wall. I really feel for you at this time as it can be a very tricky time to get through. You have recognised you need some help and i hope you start to feel better soon. It may be that time off work will recify the problem.a gp once described anxiety as a heighten state of consciousness that, once sensitised is its quite tricky to contain and regain normal state. I see it as im a block of wood and my stressors and stresses have just been planing off layers which have exposed my nerves in a sense and ive got to built those layers back up so i dont feel the worry and churning. (i think i sound a little crackers comparing myself to a lump of wood... But thats my best analogy)

    My work has been that bad that i dint seen this anxiety creep up on me and ive got to stick it out as i now have another job and just started to work my notice. Im relieved to be goung but i know its left me with a way to go to build my layers back up.

    I hope you feel better soon, dont suffer in silence. I read alot about CBT and i think thats my next step. Stay strong kelly x

  • Yeah your analogy makes sense. Thanks, u too x Amber x

  • MH is such a difficult environment to work in when you have your own mental health problems I know, I've been there, best thing I ever did for my health was leaving and although I'm still closely linked to the health service and MH I don't have the kind of pressure I once had. I felt really bad about leaving my colleagues and the patients I looked after but the reality is they got on with things and coped, as one of the managers put it 'the sun will still rise in the morning'. Took me sometime to accept that I had to think about me first and not rush back, I felt like a fraud because I had days when I would feel well, I would go out, even go away but that was all part of the healing process. I had a very good GP back then who I'm sure wouldn't have signed me back to work anyway until I was ready. I encourage you to continue thinking about yourself and putting you first, you have chosen the right thing in taking the time off, it gives you time to reflect and think about whether you are working in the right environment or whether you just need more support from your employers. Feeling bad about it will happen but as you start to feel better that will pass, this is one of those occasions it is okay to be selfish.

  • Makes me feel better knowing I'm not the only one thats been through this. Thats what I'm finding hard; the feeling like a fraud because theres times when I'm ok and so I feel like I should be in work which makes me feel guilty. Thank you, Amber x

  • Hi Amber, it's difficult not feeling that way to begin with. I hope like me you get to the point when you realise it doesn't matter what people might think or say it's about getting you well. Once you get through it, and you will, you'll see how important it was that you put yourself first.

  • Yeah I hope so too, thanks :) x

  • Hi hollow. Absolutely right! We have to be selfish. Not in a nasty way but in the sense that we have to put our feelings and progress first. Not put ourselves in anxiety making situations. We are no use to anyone while we are in a state. Especially those near us, whether at home or at work. Let them think what they like. They may knock on your door for help one day. Very best wishes and blessings. jonathan.

  • Hi Amber, I today have my first sickline. I've been battling this for just under a year. Haven't taken any time off but now feel I need time for me. Work pressures are demanding and can help take my mind off these worries. But I have realised I need time to heal. I have been on Prozac for around 6 weeks but found side effects too much. On setraline as of today. They say anti-depressants can take 3-5 weeks to come into affect. So give your medication time to work for you. :D keep taking on this forum, I have found it invaluable. X

  • Yeah I've just got a sick note for 2 weeks today so hopefully by then the meds will be working. Thanks for the advice, I will do :) x

  • Hi everynone, I felt I had to leave a comment as Ive been in a similar situation: I have taken time off work (sick) - I couldn't pretend anymore. Its been mine thirs week off, which has done a lot of good - I know that when I get back to work, but panic attacks will get back, but at least the last three weeks have been more or less anxiety free and I at least my body and mind have had a bit of rest from all the horrible feelings. however, I feel ready to go back on Monday; many people have been really supportive for me and that what has helped immensely, too.

    Thank you!

  • Hope work goes ok for you on monday :) x Amber x

  • I have just discovered this website and this will be my first blog. I am actually off sick from work at the moment with stress related problems, ie; anxiety. I am 45 and have suffered with stress and anxiety for the past 10 years, however this has been my first relapse for 8 years although I do constantly battle with anxiety in varying degrees on an ongoing basis. I have been in my current job for 6 1/2 years and for the most part, enjoy working there, however it is the busiest and most demanding job I have ever had and I know this takes its toll on me. I have considered looking for a less demanding job but my husband was made redundant nearly 2 years ago and has only just found a job back in the industry he came from and this job is only temporary as far as we know (although his contract has been renewed until March). I therefore don't feel it's the right time to look for a new job and where I work have been so good to me. It has been a difficult and stressful 2 years as my beloved Nan died this year and my daughter has just done her GCSEs (and she did really well but it was a worry) and my youngest daughter went missing for 5 hours one evening in the summer holidays. All these factors I think have depleted any reserves that I had in store and consequently I broke down in work a couple of weeks ago saying I couldn't cope. I am signed off for another week yet and having been to the GP, am now on my second week of antidepressants. I am beginning to feel human again and I think the total rest has done me the world of good. Life sometimes feels so hard and what always keeps me going are my 2 daughters who I consider to be my best achievement - they are beautiful, well rounded, intelligent girls and I am so proud of them. When I first went off sick, I felt so unwell that I couldn't consider anything else, then after a few days, I felt guilty about being off work as I know it is a particularly busy time (but then it always is), and now I keep reminding myself to be kind to myself and to embrace this period and rest. The thought of going back to work in a week or two makes me feel anxious but I know it will be ok once i am there and feeling stronger again. My hope is that one day, my anxiety will cease. Writing this blog has been therapeutic. This website has made me realise that i am not the only one suffering and that i am not going mad, it makes me feel that I am not on my own - thank you x

  • Hi

    It sounds you are in a job that you really s probably the stress that u re having at the moment that makes u feel not sure about it.sometimes we have to stop.take sometimes off and go back to your job,maybe just in a different town,with different people.i had to go through the same in may...i was off the rail!!!stress,physical and mental breakdown.I had to stop to work.I had to.i ve been on benefits Esa,cbt and antidepressant.I thought I didn't want to go back to my old job,but doing something different but I didn t know what!!After 3/4 months I started to feel better and I found the same job but closer to home.U know how I m feeling now??I m glad I m in the same field that I was before,I feel myself again but in the right place,in a new me.Time off,look after yourself and little changes can be good.wish u the best.and keep us updated!

  • You should all try a thing called "Binaural Beats", these computer generated sound files are said to massage your brain and produce all sorts of effects, and are excellent for stress/ depression/ anxiety disorders. A binaural beat is created by playing a different tone in each ear through headphones, and the interference pattern between the slightly differing frequencies creates the illusion of a beat. It's completely safe and scientifically proven - google it!!

    If you search the Internet for "binaural beats" you'll quickly find there's a whole industry built on the idea that listening to binaural beats can produce all kinds of desired effects in your brain. It can alter your mood, help you follow a diet or stop smoking, get you pumped up for a competition, calm you down, put you to sleep, enhance your memory, act as an aphrodisiac, cure headaches, and even balance your chakras;-)

  • Hi there...your not 38 and i completed a degree in psychology, worked on a mental health unit and other care sectors...i recently started with the council and learning disabilities anf have had to go sick which i really didnt want to...i have thr same guilt feeling for doing this but my anxiety and depression are so intense at the minute i felt i had no other way round things....i think therapy abd meds should help you in the middle of changing my meds and thinking this is why ive had to go suck :( ...keep going with it ...things will inprove with help xxx

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