"It's not working out"

This is what I got told when I went into work this morning, after being there for 9 weeks. I had a meltdown on Friday and had to go home. This happened to me a year ago, exactly the same thing, meltdown and then dismissed the next day (this was also 2 months into a new job).

I don't understand why this happens, in my previous job (where I was working when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety), I was there for 7 years.

I have had counselling and CBT. I would like to know if anyone has any advice for me as to what I can do about this.


9 Replies

  • I'm so sorry this has happened to you, this is extremely unfair and i'm pretty sure this is discrimination against your mental health! It would count as an unfair dismissal.

    You shouldn't have to put up with that, i'm currently struggling at work with my mental health. I hope it sorts out for you soon i really do.

    Unfortunately i don't know a great deal about work and dismissals but i hope you are okay and you can always talk to us if you need, the community is here for you.

  • Thanks Maisy, it means a lot to know I am able to chat to you guys about it. Sometimes people removed from a situation can see things clearer than family x

  • Hi Pootle24

    Welcome to our friendly, supportive & non-judgemental forum!

    Feel free to post as and when you need to. We will do our best to support you as much as we are able!

    Take Care. Warm Wishes spykey

  • I am not sure if having a mental illness and being there for less than 2 years counts as 'unfair dismissal'. It does if it is on race grounds, pregnancy etc. so you need to check online. I will have a look to see if I can find a link.

  • Thank you, I think it might be time for me to go see CAB!

  • Hello, sorry you had this experience. I'd like to know whether your employers were aware of your health - had you told them before? Not assumed they saw things, but directly told him/her?

    I had several warnings at work for behaviour (mood and stress) and for lateness which got worse and I stressed myself so much because I was scared of getting fired but couldn't control my lateness and general stress to make myself go to work (extreme motivation issues, sleeping problems and depression). This meant I was close to being fired. I had been there for 6 years and as a result of my issues I left of my own accord without another job to go to and fell into a deep depression. I left because I was scared of being fired, but also because I couldn't cope. At no time could I speak to anyone and felt helpless. I had no one at work, family or friends.

    My point is looking back, at the end in a disaplinary meeting where I felt apart crying, I wish I had the guts or knowledge to;

    A) Make sure my boss knew there was some kind of problem (my boss didn't ask me about my health. BE BRAVE, rather than fear judgement or dismissal).

    B) If your boss came across as cold as mine did in meetings, tell him/her that if he/she wanted me to improve I would need help from him/her rather than just expect to put on a brave face and hold it every day as I couldn't do it; encourage me and help me take each moment. Asking for help, even saying the word, isn't always easy at work.

    I could of asked for things like; allowing me take breathing time if I needed to gather my thoughts (like when I thought I was about to burst into tears at another "how are you?"). Perhaps cut my hours to half days. Or the best thing for me would to be taken away from people as much as possible rather than have to be the greeting similing happy face to incoming customers that I found SO difficult to keep up. Ask if someone can do my usual tasks for me (like customer relations) while I do tasks I am more capable of doing like behind the scenes paperwork.

    I appreciate some of this isn't possible, but it's also how your boss reacts. Do they sympathise? Do they ask you for all the answers rather than trying to come up with temporary solutions to ease your experience jointly? Do they demand that none of this is possible without taking a moment to think it through?

    All of this is made extremely difficult when you feel like you have a boss who doesn't care and pre-imagine they will flatly turn down your requests and react badly - making you feel worse, rejected and even more unappreciated at work. Even more understood. BUT if you don't ask for help you haven't done all you can to aleviate your growing symptoms, and your boss may feel the only thing they can do is give you warnings in the hope you'll improve standards.

    It's also worth mentioning that when I was depressed I felt the world was against me and hated work and everyone because everyone hated me - no one cared and no one understood. So keep in mind you may think the situation is worse than it is.

    B) Ask for sick pay and take time off work (no one told me I could)

    C) Tell my doctor. Medication (when I finally went to my doctor) helped me. Give it time and don't give up on one if the side effects are to much. If you are really nauseous in the beginning, don't put up with it, you may need to start in a lower dosage as your body needs time to adjust. Even today, years later, I'm not dependant on my meds but if I don't take them I get emotional and depressed (and that's not withdrawal because its also if I'm off them for 2 months). There is nothing wrong with considering an aid. That's all it is, an aid to help your chemical imbalance. You don't need to think you're abnormal for taking anti-depressants, and lots of people take them.

    D) Even if I lost my job, I shouldn't fear as life goes on (sounds easy but this felt impossible at the time as my job was ALL I had and it was my identity). There ARE other places, people and jobs. And you won't stay this way, this bad, forever. Someone will employ you again, and it may take time:


    Your job is your life situation, not your life.

    I hope this helps, although I appreciate it makes more sense once you are through the other side. I apologise if these points have already been made as I haven't yet had chance to read the replies.

  • Hi Martinajane

    Thank you for your reply. I am on medication, have been since 2014. I think this situation hit me a lot harder as it was working with a friend, for their Dad's company. I have known them for 30 years, so they are well aware of who I am, how I am and what I have been through. It's made me crumble because, if people that know me that well can treat me like that, what chance do I have with strangers?

    Having said that, in my old job (where I was for 7 years), I was off for 4 months with depression and I could not have been treated better. It was taken seriously and dealt with, with understanding, mind you, they were a big corporate company.

    I have now picked myself up and am back to going to the job centre on a weekly basis and job hunting every day.

  • Hi Pootle24,

    If you know them so well have you thought about sitting down with them and approaching the subject, trying to remain calm. Do you understand their expectations in detail (it seems there has been a shift in what they know of your health and what they want in reality).

    Have you thought about writing a letter about how you feel. Firstly you can just write it to get your feelings out, which may help a little. Then you can re-do with less hurt and anger, the intention to give it to them - or not. Don't talk so much about the past or go into to much detail that they may think you're being over dramatic. Talk about how you feel at work with the way you feel inside. Talk about how this affects work, but always say you appreciate their undrrstanding and patience. Make them feel like you are sympathetic, and end by saying something positive, such as how you are working towards getting well to work even harder for them. This may sound like a good or not so good idea.

    They may be lacking an understanding of what your going through. It's about the feelings, not just the actions or past, which they may lack knowledge.

    Tell them how you've enjoyed the friendship you've had for so long and don't want to lose that.

    Ask them for clarity of what they'd like from you, and in return tell them what you'd like from them (this may take some thought).

    If you are more concerned with how you feel people close to you have let you down then lets work on that instead.

    All people are difficult and have their own needs at heart deep down (people may say they don't but they do). Every action is about survival. We are hard wired to see threat. In your boss' way this is because you are a threat - you probably aren't as good a worker as he/she wants (this is the reality). You may be costing him/her more money for time off or checking up on your tasks, or feeling like theres another problem at work, and its you this time.

    This means you need to accept that as life changes in time, people move in and out of your life, even those we thought had our back or were on our side or would stay with us for longer than they do.

    It's easier said than done because I cannot take my own advise as my core issue with depression is a lack of acceptance.

    Acceptance doesn't mean you don't try to change your situation, it simply means I have tried my best so it is what it is.

    Accept they are not in your life right now and move on. Once you've tried everything, don't resent or hurt, as you are only hurting yourself. There are people out there waiting to find you.

    I'm glad you've picked yourself up and are going job hunting.

    I am to, and don't worry sometimes I have the same concerns as you! Only 2 days ago was I dwelling on the idea that no one will have me due to my health.

    This may be well off, but maybe having the experience of depression where you were treated well by the corporate employer, was a good thing, in the sense that it has prepared you for this moment in your life. If you didn't have that you would have less faith in employers and your health and you'd dwell in the uncertainty.

    Now you know that isn't always the case, its about finding another employer like that. Like kissing frogs, I guess.

    But trust me, I have exactly the same concerns as you, and I'm sure lots of people will be in the same boat and agree.

    To anyone out there either recovering from depression or in depression, and looking for work - warmest good luck wishes x

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