Black Dog is back!

I have found the last few weeks tough. Even before I knew I was loosing my job. That was just enough to tip me over into this dark pit. I saw the GP yesterday and she suggested I have a couple of weeks off work. Im seeing the counsellor next Wednesday so I hope to get some help so I can climb out of this pit. Being off work is better, however I cant see ever going back! It has got difficult lately. I work in a primary school as a teaching assistant and my patience has really been tested. I get quite irritable and short tempered with the children. I worry about getting physical. It is not fair to them. I have realised I may not be suited to working with children.

When I was in a different job about three years ago, I was off for about 4 months when I was diagnosed with depression. I have suffered with the dreaded Black Dog for many years but when it was diagnosed in 2011 I could learn how to live with it. I manged to cope for the last few years but I have had to give in to it at the moment. It is a horrible condition. I dont need to tell people how it makes you feel. I have pushed myself to write this post as I know that some of the members here will be a good support to me.

Im just doing all the things I was told before, like exercise, relaxing and having me time. I feel guilty about being off work and giving up other commitments but that is what the GP told me to do. I even have it in black and white on a sick note. I just cant see the way ahead yet. I suppose I dont have to worry about that yet but I like to start looking at options. I might go to the citizens advice to have a chat. My contract comes to an end in May. Im not sure how long I will get sick pay for as Ive only been in this present job about one year. I may have to look into benefits. I asked about this on here recently when I heard my job was coming to an end. I could look for other less stressful jobs. Im fortunate as I dont have any pressure as my wife works full time but I still need to add to our finances.

I will take things a day at a time.


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7 Replies

  • I know it's difficult not to feel like a fraud when you have been told to do things to help you relax and enjoy yourself and signed off work but reality is the doctor has signed you off because that is what is needed.

    Citizen's Advise sounds like a good idea so it does sound as if getting away from things is helping you to think clearer even if you don't feel your mood is changing.

    Sometimes it's not the stress but the type of stress. We all have different triggers - something that one person finds very stressful just washes over another person. Do you know what your triggers actually are. May be it isn't that you need to avoid stress but just the bad stressors.

  • Thanks Gambit, I think my triggers are children. So maybe best not to work with them. At least thats how I feel now.


  • Hi David

    I'm delighted that you have some time off work.Try not to feel guilty, you are just as

    Deserving of time off as someone who has a broken leg.

    I think you have a good insight into yourself, you realise that working with

    Children doesn't suit you. You have had the experience and maybe a job

    In a totally different area could help,working with young people or doing

    Something that doesn't demand too much from you emotionally.

    David use this time to get strong and I think if you are well and rested

    That the work will fall into place. I always think you make a great effort and

    You never blame anyone for your problems, you just get on with it.

    Let us know how things are going and shoot me a mail if you need

    Any help or encouragement.

    Hannah x

  • Thanks Hannah, think you are right about doing a job that doesnt take too much from me emotionally.

    Good night

    David x

  • Sleep well David

  • I totally understand how you feel about the children. They drain every ounce of energy you have, and they push you to limits you didn't know existed. But you wouldn't hurt any of them, I know that. A fear of getting angry and hurting a child is often a sign of how much you actually care about them. It's an irrational thought process. Ask yourself if you still feel angry once they've gone home and you have too, and I bet the answer's no. For me, the little people are my tonic. Their problems are my solutions. I work in a tough school with some challenging children and my whole day becomes about making theirs a bit better. I don't have time to be depressed. You've obviously got an excellent skills set, or you wouldn't have gotten a job in a primary school. Have you considered a side step - maybe into children's homes, or with older or younger ones?

  • Thanks Lucy, Ive often thought about helping young adults.

    David x