Mental Health Support

Each day is harder

Has anyone got experience in how to approach time off at work? I know I need to go back to the doctors as I feel my symptoms are bipolar depression as I go from manic high to low bottom . During my high I am looking to buy a house or move from my rented place to then thinking I need to pack up put all my things in storage and disappear for good ....

I am thinking I need time off away or in therapy where I concentrate on that and not work or life or fantasies or manic ideas ...

Has anyone taken time off work , how long was you given by your doctor and did you go away anywhere to escape and if you did how and where ?

I am also dreading Christmas , just hate the thought of it right now and feel it will only make me worse , whilst I pretend to my parents and brother and his family that all is well when it's really far from it...

It's all confusing

11 Replies

There's a lot of uncertainties with this. In particular your job and illness arrangements, whether you have money to fund a prolonged absence, how yo would usefully spend the time. Sometimes the structure and social contact of work can be very helpful.

I tried a 10 day silent meditation Vipassana. It may help some but make others worse.

In the uk there is really no NHS facility for treatment as a day patient.

If you have a project or access to accommodation somewhere that could be a focus, but you would need to think what you would do.

If you have a hobby or sport??

Be ware of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Think carefully before deciding

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Well my options are reducing by the hour... There is a strong possibility that jumping into the fire ending it all is the only way.. I really don't have any options ... They simply do not exist.. if they did I would have found one by now ... I can take sick leave for as long as I can get my doctor to agree ,but most doctors I have seen tell me going to work is good for you .. keeps you motivated etc..

That's the problem my sick leave will be short ... And in a few weeks back to where I was before...

That's why sometines the way out is the only way out


Your doctor can give you a 4 week sick note. I've had to do this at work when my bipolar became unstable xx

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I no how you feel I've been on that cliff edge and there are other ways you need to phone the mental health crisis team in your area and they will admit you to hospital where you will receive the correct treatment and then get the correct medication. Please try that and think about your loved ones. Hope that helps xx

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I was off work for 6 months and was given a note every four weeks. I had the benefit of a husband who took on the financial burden. Do you have an official diagnosis?

I had to take that time off because I was not capable of doing my job. I was barely capable of being human. Time is an element of healing that is woefully under appreciated.

I never sought to take the time off though, I was told I was too unwell to work. Having time can also come with isolation and the opportunity to overthink yourself into a dangerous situation.

Do you think you could try to create a daily routine? Create a structure for yourself. Perhaps rate how high or low you feel on a daily basis. When you feel 7-10 (manic), you create a rule that you aren't allowed to make any big decisions or make large purchases. And when you feel 0-3 (depressed), you give yourself a tick list of actions; such as dealing with personal hygiene and spending 30 minutes outside.


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Hello GT,

I only joined the forum today, but reading your post, it could have been myself that typed it.

I have coped/struggled with depression and anxiety for what seems like my whole life, though more struggling at the minute.

GP has changed my anti-depressants three times in past couple months, and the emotional rollercoaster of side effects and withdrawals has left me mentally exhausted. I am on Mirtazipine 30mg just now.

I had a melt down at work three weeks ago, and every emotion that was bottled up inside, overflowed into rage and nastiness to a close colleague. My GP has signed me off, which has given me a little breathing space to try getting 'myself' back on track. But now I'm stressing about losing my job and income. Is it better I go back to work for the routine and stability?

Like you, I'm wondering if I am showing Bipolar tendencies. Last month I wanted to sell all my belongings, and move overseas, to do volunteering. Volunteering for what I don't know, more likely an escape route from my current life. Thankfully (?) that stage passed, and I still own the shirt on my back.

My last impulsive purchase, was £1500 of carpeting for my rented house. Putting this in writing makes it sound ludicrous that I should spend what small savings I have, on home improvements on a house I don't own. But at the time, it was a fantastic idea, which would spur me into decorating and cleaning.....still waiting on that surge of energy to come!

It takes so much of the little energy I have , to get through a day - the very thought of Christmas and fake cheer makes me want to go back to bed and hibernate until it's over.


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Gosh ECABT that's so familiar... I am going to go see the doctor next week and tell them whats happening to me... Taking time off will be scary if that happens ... I will try to stick to a routine , but like you I know I have these impulses that don't make sense but do at the time ... That's why I think i am manic ... Followed by very bad depression . I thinks it's been a major part if my life since my twenties now 46 , but to me bipolar seems to fit into who I am and explains why I am at times. I could be wrong , but I cannot see what else it could be ....

I do find it all confused in my head and whilst I am trying to do my job it's far from easy and confusing at times as to what is going on

I am on 15mg mirtazapine and have been since July this year ....

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Hey GT,

You should try and make a double apt with doc - by the time I managed to get anything that made sense out, I could see the clock being watched, as I had gone over my time! And the conversation always came back to "would I self harm etc". If I was going to take my life, no way would I be giving them any warning. There are times when I fantasise how I'd do it, and what it would be like to finally have peace and quiet, but I have a teenage son who relies on me, so it's always just a fantasy. I'd never hurt him in that way.

I do try to stick to a routine, but that generally only happens when I'm at work. Being at home, is a different story. I've been in bed most of today, and still need to shower. Little point getting dressed now, so clean PJ's it is.

I have a meeting with HR tomorrow. I'm not strong enough to go see them at work, so am going for a coffee. That is a trial in itself - depending on if I sob uncontrollably, or am elated and talking non stop. They like to pretend they know how I'm feeling! If they actually had a clue, what went on in my head, I'd be in a locked ward for my own (and their) safety!!

What kind of work do you do? Is it office related? I was moved into the open plan area at work this year, and it has affected me greatly. I am distracted by the constant noise and talking - sometimes feel like they are walking all over my brain. I'm hoping to ask for a quieter working area again, but not sure they'll get why. There's only so much I want to 'share' with them, as confidentiality is too hard for the normal working wo/man.

Have you tried this CBT that a few others have suggested? I read a bit about it today, but jury still out for me

I agree it sounds like your medication needs increased - not that I'm a GP, but if you're still so up and down since July, surely the next step is a higher dose.

Better get the dinner started :(

Speak soon I hope


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Yeah I know what you mean about work .. our hr is not a supportive one not for me anyways they dont like me so the tiniest mistake or foot wrong and I am treated to either a good grilling or threatened with misconduct . That's what pushed me over in july but I didn't tell them just went to the doctor and got my meds again..

I have been doing mood gym online but it doesn't really work for me though I am still plugging at it.

I tried CBT three years ago but again I just didn't get it . It takes a lot of mental effort and if your down its not so easy to do...


To ask how long to be off work because of your condition is to ask how long is a piece of string. Generally a GP would prefer that you remain active and remain at work, or if not stable and need your medications time to work that may dictate if Sick Leave is needed.

Most Mental Health Patients generally spend most of their time in the community and take medication to keep you calm. Your GP may arrange a course of CBT with a CPN who will give a measure of support

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Sorry messed up with the buttons.

Sometimes an area will take in Patients into a Day Clinic, It depends if any treatment in hospital has been given. In our area, they arrange accommodation and the use of a day centre a couple of days a week. in a NHS Environment.

I worked in a charity that was there for people who needed support, it was open three days a week and acted as a place where activities took place and they could talk to their peers and have nights out and go on bus tours. I helped as an information Officer. We would also befriend and do a little talking out problems



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