Mental Health Support

Will I ever be strong enough to get back to work?

I saw the doctor last week for a review of my meds. She suggested that I double them as I was feeling quite bad. It hasnt really helped much. She also told me I need to get back to work. I dont feel able to do this at the moment. I was told I need to have purpose to my day, which I understand.

I told the doctor that I do voluntary work at a local community centre. The good thing about that is if I dont feel well enough to go there then they dont mind if Im not there. I just have to let them know. They know about my health issues and understand.

I go to the gym three times a week and I attend a counselling group once a week.

I dont know why there is this pressure to work for a living. I know there is the financial aspect.

I have applied for benefit which is taking a long time to get sorted out but Im getting an emergency amount which helps. I am aged 49 and have worked for 20 years, so I feel Im only getting back what I have paid in tax over the years.

What do people think about societies attitude to people getting back to work?


10 Replies

Hi David

Good to hear from you, sorry you feel pressured about work.

I think Drs. Pressure us or you because they feel it's better for you

To try and get back to work eventually. I suppose it's good for your self

Esteem and socialising with work colleagues.

I know not everyone is able to work because of their illness, but maybe

Dr. Worries about you long term and how it might affect you. David maybe

Your Dr. Is concerned about you long term if you don't go back to work,

Because statistically someone who is unemployed is at more risk of menta

Illness, Depression etc, than someone who is working.

I hate feeling pressured and for me that would make me worse, maybe easing in

Even on a part time basis would help you.

I think it's not just about earning money, but I think most Drs think that way,

In a way take it as a compliment, they feel you would be capable of work.

I worked until I retired at 63 and I did find it hard of course, but I felt I didn't

Have a choice as I live alone , and if I had to be on benefits , I think I personally

Would have felt worse. David I had to push myself I admit.

Now please note I am not being at all critical of anyone who cannot work,

Some people are just not well enough.

David just do your best, that's all we can do.

Hugs to you and nice to read your Post.


1 like

Thanks Hannah, I think I just prefer to be in voluntary work at the moment anyway.

I spoke to someone this afternoon from Time to Change, which is a mental health charity.

Im quite interested in doing some work for them on the Isle Of Wight.


David x


I think you're a really decent bloke who puts a huge amount into society, and if what you need right now is some time to look after your health and wellbeing, then so be it. X


Hi Lucy, thanks for this reply. It is just what I need tonight as Im more confused about the future than ever. I just need to settle myself to the fact that I am having a few months off in order to sort myself out.

Im always trying to plan ahead which may not always be possible.

Hope you are alright. I have been reading what is going on with your Mum and I am thinking of you.

It must be difficult to have to help someone close when you really need time to look after yourself.

I hope work is ok. I am waiting to start some forest school training. The school I was working at have asked me to go on this training with the view to me doing some forest school work with them.

Keep in touch and thanks again for the kind words.


David x


Hi David,

It is lovely to hear from you. I understand the pressure you are feeling. I keep being told that I need to get back to work but I just don't feel ready yet. I have also started volunteering to get some self confidence back, give something back and feel valued. Like you I've worked for 20 years and just feel I need a break and that going back to work now would be too soon. Fortunately, I am still on a reduced salary from my employers who want me to return (I don't)

As Lucy says you are a decent bloke and if you need to take some time off to feel better then so be it.

The forest school training sounds interesting and this is at the school you were working at before? That is good as I know you weren't sure about them by the time you left.

I also think that other paid opportunities could present themselves to you as you volunteer.

I think the pressure is that work provides structure, purpose, self worth/value and social interaction/relationships. It also of course means you can pay your mortgage ( well for me anyway)

Hannah has also highlighted a lot of the reasons that people give to go back to work. I've been told the longer you are off the harder it is to return but I'll deal with that when it happens.

David, keep on with the volunteering and don't put pressure on yourself to get back to work. You felt yourself last time that you went back to work too early.

Sarah xx


Thanks Sarah, Im feeling more positive this morning about my future. I just have to be patient.

Shame the weather here doesnt help my mood.

David x


Keep on with the volunteering. Time for change sounds like a good oportunity.

Yes it is quite sad that society is so focused on making us all wage slaves ... no wonder there are so many depressed people out there. Whilst it is good to have a structure to your life and some discipline - which you actually seem to have achieved anyway - working for money isn't the only way to achieve that.


Thanks Gambit, you have the same thoughts as me. Why are we all wage slaves?

There is no shame in being on benefit and there is so much good voluntary work we can do.


Hi David I'm in pretty much the same position, my GP tells me I should work my body says no. The specialist that I saw last month said that I shouldn't work.i can't get ESA but have applied for PIP. Oh had been over 2pnths so far & no reply. Had a steroid epidural yesterday so feeling rubbish today. Only you know your body so keep going the way you are.

Good Luck, Wendy x


Thanks Wendy, good to know someone is in the same situation.

David x


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