Couch to 5K
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Teacher off sick with anxiety and depression

I've been off sick for 6 months now and have decided that I can't go back to teaching in the school that I am at , every time I start to feel better and then a phased return is mentioned I make myself ill again and become anxious. I don't know what I will do for work as I was the main wage earner but I don't want to go back . 

4 Replies

Hi, I have been a floater on here for months and finally feel compelled to post as this is a familiar story. I am a teacher,  and have felt terrible at various points in my career. Before you give up, try a different school. There are some out there who will look after you and your work load. There are some truly lovely schools out there to balance the ones where workload and pressure is too much. Although at the moment, the pressure is terrible where ever you are! Lol. Alternatively, try supply for a bit as that's a nice way back in. Hope you feel better soon.


Hi..just wondering if you are posting here, because you are thinking of completing Couch  to 5K as an aid to your recovery? 


Hi. You may be on the wrong thread / section of HealthUnlocked to get the best advice. While you're here though I will say that you are really not alone. Teaching is extremely high pressure right now and j know a lot of teachers suffering with anxiety triggered by the pressure, and unable to be in work. Are you seeing your GP? Have you been offered counselling or other talk therapies or medication? Even if you have it seems that it's not helping and I'd encourage you to back. You're not alone and this kind of thing needs help to beat. Even when you're better, Lillipad had a great point that your current school may not be the place to go back to but I'd advise not to think about that now. Get to your GP and focus on your own health and recovery. There's work to be done but you are not alone and and you can do it. Good luck.


It's time to have a long hard look at what brought you into teaching. I'm sure the vocation is still there, that the youngsters in your care are the reason; that you want to make a difference to their future. If that is the case, then it sounds as though the school is not the right place. Each school has its own dynamic and its own way of working. This school might not be for you, simply a square peg in a round hole and nothing to do with your capacity as a teacher. Try going into a different school as a volunteer or just as a visitor and see how you feel about the environment and whether it rekindles anything. 

You must talk to someone or lots of people this cannot go on in your head it's extremely damaging and encroaches on other aspects is your life. Teaching is a lonely job as it's just you and your class and some other bod who comes in to assess and moderate. That's their job and on those days you never perform as you hope and the ensuing discussion is not as constructive as it should be as you are naturally apprehensive. Or you might be outstanding but the pressures felt are the same. Or it might be a particular kid who presses yor buttons or unreasonable parents. All sorts. I'm speaking as a retired head of a small village school where the atmosphere in a school can be blown apart by any one individual. A constant juggling act and the staff felt it all too and took it home with them. Not good. But we rose above it all because we talked: to each other to nearest and dearest. 

It might be a different school you need or a different aspect of teaching. If it turns out you need to leave the profession that is perfectly fine. Life is far too short to be in a job you hate, or that could make you ill. 

Look after yourself that's the most important thing

Oh, and take up running!


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