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hi all , I've been fed up for a while now, recently saw my doc he signed me off work for 3 weeks with depression . I had a job for 14 yrs then made redundant , on the dole for 2 yrs (i'm 58) about 8 months ago I got a part time job in a care home as a maintenance man and I quite like it , a bit challenging as I work in the dementia unit , anyway as I said I've been depressed for years (usual symptoms) don't want to bore you with too many details . recently I had a disagreement with one of the managers , well to be honest she as given me a hard time since I started , anyway my point to all this is I can't go back ! it's on my mind all the time , i'm sure I will be advised to tell one of the other managers, which I have and they are very understanding and ask me to come back to work and they are aware of this manager and her attitude (there is a lot more to this but don't want to go on) I am so worried , if I pack the job in I won't get jsa or any money and may lose my flat etc I know the only solution is to man up and go back .. but I just can't do it . any advice welcome . thx

16 Replies

Hi there and welcome. I am sorry that your going through a rough time.

Now the thing is when we are Depressed we find it hard to deal with people

Who would normally not press our buttons. Depression can make us less

Sure of ourselves and our self esteem can plummet. Don't beat yourself

Up for feeling this way. I have had these type of experiences and I found

That e only way I made progress was facing my fears and working through it.

Usually these bullies get fed up if you just ignore them, plus you have the ManagerOn your side.

Why risk losing a job and your benefits,? If you do this you might feel even

Worse than you do now. I'm sure if the Manager told that lady who is the problem, to stop her behaviour, then things might be much better.

I think avoidance never works and before we know it we begin to avoid

All difficult situations and live a narrow restricted life. If you like the job,

Try and tough it out, and remember we are always here for support.

It's normal to be upset at this, as I hate conflict but woukd feel being unemployed

Woukd cause me more problems than this bossy woman.

Ihave a good chat with your Boss before you make a hasty decision.

Good luck with whatever choice you make, I'm sure others will come on and give

You other ideas.


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thx Hannah, I know what your saying but I'm so wound up about this , the thing is I will be working with this woman (she's only 21) and there will obviously be friction between us and it will be so awkward etc , I can't cope with it , i'm worried i'll say something I don't want to. by the way we had a big argument before I went on sick and I walked out , didn't use bad language or be offensive just asked what her problem was , think she's on a power trip she's only been manager well senior carer or something for a month she's already reduced a female carer to tears , she tried to give me a written warning about my attitude but I didn't accept it that's when I walked , thx for your reply


Hi there and thanks, would you think of going back to your Dr. And

See could you be referred for Counselling. I am

Not sure what is the best thing for you in regard to your Benefits,

Here in Ireland if you are ill you get Benefits, so maybe staying

Off on sick leave would be best

There are a few people here who will give you good advice about

Not losing Benefits. So hang in there.


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hi again , after about 5/6 years of feeling low I finally plucked up the courage to see my doctor , I wrote down all my problems and gave them to him and when he asked me about it , I broke down crying , he was understanding , he asked me about my job and I explained my probs , he signed me sick for 3 weeks .previous to this I had a weeks holiday (booked ages ago)and after I walked out of my job I got a sick note from another doctor for a chest infection I didn't tell him about my feeling low , still with me ? so I've had a 10 days (chest) a week holidays and i'm on my 2nd week of the 3 . when I saw the doc who I told about feeling low a second time about some other stuff I managed to stay in control he asked about my job again I think he thinks my problems are to do with my job situation but it's only a small part of it, anyway I asked him to refer me to get some counselling and to be honest I got the feeling he's not taking me seriously , oh, he sent me to get blood test they all came back ok my cholesterol slightly high.when he gave me the sick note he said "this is not long term illness" made me think he thinks i'm just trying to get a sick note because of the work situation. anyway still unsure what to do and getting stressed by the day , thanks for listening to me babble on , I hav'nt told anyone about this(feeling low) , well I have mentioned i'm fed up , I have known quite a few people who have had mental problems in my life and I've seen the stigma attached to it none of them got any sympathy only "he/she's lost the plot" or "gone mental" or "get a grip" etc plus don't want to worry family/ friends . thanks again. p.s I only work 16 hours a week so with petrol and council tax i'm financially worse off working , but I thought it would help me .


Hi I can't say anything that Hannah hasn't said except some practical advice. It would obviously be better if you could go back in and try and let her attitude go over your head. Very hard I know, but best for you. At 21 she is very young to be given such a job and I would bet she is over compensating coz she is unsure of herself. Can you bring yourself to show her you understand that and try and be her ally? Think of it as a challenge.

If not and you do leave that's ok, coz illess is an acceptable reason to leave a job. Don't try and sign on though, go straight to the doctors and get a sick note. You can then claim ESA. You shouldn't have to go for an assessment for at least a couple of months and by then or before you can then sign on and you will get JSA. Ok?

Be aware though of how draconian the conditions are now for signing on JSA. . I had to sign on for 4 years when I lost my job at 56 but fortunately I have private pensions so claimed them at 60. If you are 5 minutes late for an appointment with them you can get sanctioned, there is a Govt. move to get folk in their 50's back to work and they will probably try and send you on courses, and to work fare. Any slight infringement of the rules and they sanction you. The stress and hassle of signing on are horrendous and might be worse than the stress at your current employment.

Because of the rise in the pension age too you will not be able to get pension credits any more (where you are on JSA but don't have to look for work) at 60. It will be at least another 5/6 years for you I'm afraid. A good site to look on is direct.gov.uk

I hope this helps and you manage to work it out. Bev x


Hi Bev oh I'm glad you could give lots of advice about his Benefit situation, as

I'm not sure about that area at all.

I was hoping you would reply as I mentioned that to him.

Hannah xx


I noticed :) Bev x


Sorry that things have been and are so difficult.

The blood test is actually a sensible move - as there are a number of conditions - thyroid and B12 that can actually lower your ability to handle stress and have depression as a symptom. B12 isn't one of the standard tests that are done and, given your age I would recommend that you ask specifically if it was done. If you have a deficiency it won't sort out the situation you are in but correcting it might help you get to a place where you can cope with it much better.

The theory behind the sicknote is that it gives you time and space away from work to recover but this obviously isn't working.

Is there a grievance policy at the place where you work? If there is then I'd recommend looking at it and thinking about raising a grievance - I presume there isn't a union and you aren't a member but if there is and you were then they could support you. It would be a good idea to visit citizens' advice and see what they say about the job situation.

Susceptibility to depression is something that they can't discriminate against you for - and if that is part of the issue with this member of staff then your employers are under a duty of care to protect you - it sounds like the other managers there would be supportive of you. Depression is also a condition that would be covered under the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) which means that your employer can't discriminate against you because of the depression and has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to take the condition into account (though 'reasonable' is subject to interpretation.

Bullying is not an acceptable form of behaviour ... and can give rise to grounds for a claim for unfair dismissal.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there may actually be more options beyond straight go back as if nothing had happened and leave and try and find another job. Think that a) talking informally to one of the supportive managers and b) following up on your rights with Citizen's advice will help you get a lot clearer about what exactly your options are and which ones you actually want to pursue.


thanks for your reply , appreciate it.



You mentioned that you are fifty eight years old and I suppose if you are working in a situation that is far from perfect you are bound to feel down in the mouth. When we are working within a nursing home, it will be a depressing place to work when there is unpleasant undercurrents with management etc.

The problem you seem to have is finding another position, although in a way you like the work you are doing and you do not feel that there will be any other employment.

You say that you will need to man up and go back in, all I can advise is that you return to work and discuss your problems with the other manager and see how it goes.

One thing I would possibly suggest is keep the position you have now and look for another job as it is easier to get another job while you are still employed. Use the Job Centre to find another position that will be suitable.

Try first to square your situation with this job first using other managers who feel you are being jumped on.

Sad to say you still have seven years to go go before retirement so you need to live so stability is needed at your time of live, I know it is hard too say, although it is true.



thanks again for all your replies , all the advice points to me returning to my job and i agree , but the way i'm feeling logic goes out the window . anyway I handed my notice in yesterday , feeling rubbish now for being weak and not facing up to things , having said that , it's one less thing to worry about . I've been looking for a job for the past week as we all know it's not easy especially at my age , I've got one more week sick note cover so don't know if the doctor will give me any more sick notes after that . still waiting to hear about getting some counselling . sorry to disappoint you all for not going back to my job , but eh ! I kinda feel better talking about things on here , it's took me 3/4 years to open up about my depression or whatever it is , so at least this little episode in my life as set me on the road to getting help. thx again



Sad you decided too leave your position, I hope that given a period of time your depression will not return.

Personally if you are awaiting talking therapy, you take the course.

Good luck with your hunt for a new position, mind I always feel look for another position from that position of strength. Discuss your needs with not only your GP, also the Job Centre.



thx bob , what do you mean re : "therapy you take the course"



Yes What I was getting at was

If you are offered some talking therapy through your GP take the course. It is generally six sessions and they may be able to help with your depression



ok , ye I asked the dr about it and i'm waiting to hear from them.i want to try anything ,well .. not sure about drugs. cheers


If you are given medications they will take the edge off your worries

i would never advise a medication as I am not a medical professional, although sometimes over a given time they can help when a patient is on edge, or if their lives are going through a rough patch.

With my condition I suffer from chronic pain so under those circumstances I will now be on them for life. With your problems they may help in settling you down

Good Luck in your search

Good bye


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