Anxiety Support
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Off work aah

Hi All.

Writing this as my heart is racing and feeling sick. After struggling for the last 18 months and having more and more work piled onto me I have finally cracked. I had been to my bosses on 3 seperate occasions and asked for help and even offered hand my notice in from my current role. During this meeting my boss said I needed to put it writing that I wished to resign so wrote theletter and sent to my union to check ok. They came back 10 days later and said last week they would also need to put in writing what I would be offered. When I went to my boss I was told that it was being reflected on. In the meantime I am still doing the same amount of work. Couldn't face meeting both bosses on Thurs so took day off work (had already been to see wonderful doctor previously) tried to do right thing on the day and sent in all work but clearly wasn't right and recieved a work email (I know shouldn't be looking) which demanded I needed to do this this and this as soon as I got back which has pushed me over the edge. Saw doc late on Fri night who has signed me off for 2 weeks on work related stress (she has been wonderful) but now sat here absolutely terrified feeling my career is over I have failed and I have let everyone down and how do I tell work. (Major event I was meant to be organising on Friday) It is so stressful if you do and so stressful if you don't!

11 Replies

Oh dear, poor you........ I had an experience like this 15 years ago, when 3 weeks into a new job I snapped and went off sick with anxiety and never returned.

However, think of it this way - if you had been told you had cancer, or broken several bones, or been in a house fire, or any other "physical" cause of illness, would you be feeling like you had "failed and let everyone down" for being unable to get into work? I think not. You would stay off work until you recovered.

Anxiety is just as valid an illness as any other, in fact it is more debilitating, because if you were sat at home with a physical illness but were mentally settled and thinking clearly, you could still use a phone and a laptop to do some work, but with this, you have exceeded the limits of your endurance and need to rest your mind til it recovers. Adding pressure about what is going to happen with your career, whilst totally understandable, is only going to stress you even more, so try to put that off for now. Tell yourself you will cross that bridge when you come to it, you can't afford to worry about it just now.

It's so typical of people like us, people who are prone to anxiety, to worry about letting others down, what will they think, etc, I have done it many times in the past. Then I realised that it's pointless, because I HAVE AN ILLNESS CALLED ANXIETY (not shouting at you, but there's no Bold-type or Italics on here!)

I think we all need to say to ourselves, would we feel half as apologetic if it were a PHYSICAL illness impairing us? Probably not. And in any case, it sounds like work, and your bosses approach to your concerns, have largely contributed to the situation anyway, so don't take all the blame on yourself.

Glad to hear you have a great doctor who understands. Utilise all the help on offer, allow yourself to rest, don't pressure yourself to do anything you can't reasonably cope with, and take it one day at a time X


Seems to me that your bosses may well be breaching their "duty of care" and anti-discrimination legislation in pushing you over the edge, after you'ld told them repeteadly that you were struggling - the fact that your GP (who sounds great) put "work related stress" on your sick note would seem to confirm this. Contrary to what some employers seem to believe, they are NOT allowed to work their staff to death or the sanatorium!

ACAS (Advice Conciliation and Arbitration Service) have a FANTASTIC helpline, you could try to talk to them - i did for a friend and they were absolutely brilliant! Go to:

Good luck!





Hi. Rose. What is it with these people. We do get a lot on this site about unsympathetic employers. I agree about ACAS. Have had dealings with them and they know their stuff. Love. jonathan.


Hi. Isobel. Please read funychicken's blog again and again. She says it all. There is not a lot to add but just this. Don't expect people who have not 'been there' to understand. They never can. Yes, they can be sympathetic but that is not real understanding. Bless you and keep moving forward, or as much as you can manage at the moment. Love. jonathan.


Thank you everyone. Your comments and thoughts really do help. I know that many people who suffer from this also have high emotional intelligence. It's ironic as I have seen on other pages is the people who support other people don't aways get the support they need. Your thoughts on here helped me have the strength to turn round and say it isn't right. The doctor kindly gave me three options to write on my sick note,So that's my strong (or stupid) thing I have done but actually if people do not say what is causing it people may never take notice

I am now going to look at the ACAS website lol


Dont put yourself down, you & your health are worth much more, All will work itself out in time.


ACAS website excellent very useful booklet similar to HSE.

Thank you for the advice


Hi funnychicken and jonathon, did read your comments again. You are absolutely right. The ironic thing about all this (and I have read other blogs) if people took notice when people first say they aren't right then we wouldn't get to these points. Before this current doctor I had already mentioned it (nearly in tears) during a health check saying how stressed I was to be told oh it's a work thing and then given a lecture on being overweight not exercising or eating the right things! Talking to my bosses and telling them I had been to the doctors several weeks ago all that was said to me was they were glad I was in work! The sad fact is I look around the rest of the staff and many including immediate work colleagues are in the same boat I've just cracked first. Whatever happens I know it was the right thing to do and things will work out one way or another and I WILL SURVIVE and big hugs to everyone who feels the same.. Many people said to me don't go off sick whatever you do as it will look bad. But do you know what it isn't right that people are allowed and also pushed to these points in the first place.


Contact Remploy they are brilliant for supporting clients in work and sustain work and support you with your employrs to review workload and working methods.

They have a specialist service for people with mental health needs.

I have been using them and yes it has been hard work to admit I have mental health but like you I highlight for 6months I was struggling and they were very aware I had mental health I had been off six month prevoiusly for mental health and I ad just started with remploy.

I am off at present and hoping to return in a weeks time so just hope.


Hi Isabel work pressures are huge reason where many of us get our anxiety problems from we always feel we're being judged by people who've delegated all the problems and stress down to you the one who actually does the job for them so they can take all the credit when you've made it a success and you get no thanks just another problem job dumped on you I'm glad you've got a decent dr take your time off and have some you time for a change nothing in the worlds important enough to ruin your health for,we are not machines rest up recharge and when you go back leave work worries at work and relax when you get home all the best. Mel


Thanks Mel, those words are exactly the words that made me make the decision (with the support of my doctor who was supporting me in whatever I decided). The release of sending in everything that needed to be done this week to work and the comment that "there is a lot to sort out "sort helped me realise that maybe it was time to stand up and say that this isn't right,

Wonderful relaxing day with the weight very slowly lifting


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