Struggling with anxiety and work - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

27,265 members15,751 posts

Struggling with anxiety and work


Good Morning all,

It's been a while since I've last visited HealthUnlocked, but I find myself in a position where I need some advice.

I have now called in sick for the fourth day in a row due to my anxiety.

Anxiety has been something that has affected my work previously with my attendance being particularly sporadic after the news of my Mothers cancer prognosis back in August. I had a serious meeting with my company regarding my time off and a couple of weeks ago I had to have a Occupation Health Assessment. The Doctor confirmed I'm fit for work, but I hope my employers understand that anxiety is not the same as a cold for example, it is something that I'm constantly struggling with and won't get better after a couple of days.

I'm bloody terrified that I'm going to lose my job because of my time off, which ironically, is fuelling my anxiety and leading me to take more time off.

Looking back compared to a couple of years ago, I have improved vastly in terms of my depression. However, it's almost as though my anxiety is resistant, the anxiety I suffered with then is not the same as now, it's as if it constantly evolves to continue to damage various aspects of my life.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get myself into work? Each morning I'm stricken with anxiety and panic attacks and end up emailing in sick. I just want to live a normal life, I know my Partner is sick of me taking time off as he put it "...just because the doctor said you were okay to work, doesn’t mean they have to keep you employed."

If anyone has any advice that would be really appreciated.

7 Replies

Hi there, with all what his going on can you not ask your employer if you can reduce your hours till you feel better in yourself it must be very stressful with what is going on x

PhoebeBH in reply to Hidden

Hey, thanks for getting back to me. Perhaps that might be best, busiest time of year for the company typically! Thanks for the support


Hi Phoebe, always remember your health is more important than work or anything else x


How did you get on with your extra year at Uni

How has your mental health been over the last two years. Have you been ok ?.

You also mention the loss of your Grandmother, did the loss bring about a return of your condition. Or was it caused by something else, you mention your Anxiety has evolved in what way ?.

Sometimes with Mental Health Concerns, attending work through the problem can be the best way forward. If you stay of work how are you going to remain mentally active. You need diersions to keep your mind of what is causing your Anxiety and depression.

You mentioned a relationship you were in are you still together ?

If not already you need to discuss your concerns with your GP, make a list and a double appointment so you have plenty of time to explain your problems.

Are you taking any medications ?


Hello, thanks for getting back to me.

In the end I never went back to Uni, I couldn’t find the funding so I have been working (intermittently I’ll admit) ever since. My mental heath has been up and down since then, I went through a course of low-intensity CBT and I have been on Citalopram 40mg daily for quite some time now.

I think you may have misread, I haven’t lost my Grandmother, she was sick two years ago though. My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in August, she’s currently undergoing treatment to maintain the cancer. This has hit me hard and I was all over the place for a while.

I’ve discussed this idea of work ‘taking my mind off things’ with my manager, however I explained that when I’m having a bad day it isn’t something I can ignore and work through. It even showed in my performance review, it wasn’t great, I don’t want to drag myself into work when I’m struggling only to not perform to the standard I should be.

I’m still with my darling boyfriend, he means the world to me.

Having spoken with my GP I’ve been prescribed propanol at 10-30mg daily, if I need it. Still on the Citalopram too and looking into therapy options.

I just don’t want to lose my job.

Sorry must have miss-read.

I have been on Citalopram now for around thirty years or so. I find them ok for me although we are all different.

You need to work the best way for you, I personally find if I keep busy it does seem to help. Today for most of the time been looking at my picture books,


Hi 👋🏻,

I’m struggling with this too at the moment having just taken a day (and looking like a second) off despite meetings etc. I really shouldn’t be missing at work.

Having read a few other helpful posts here it’s important to remind yourself that it’s ok to give yourself some breathing room if you’re having a relapse of a particularly tough time. For me, and what I need to do, is have an open and honest conversation with my manager about why its helpful for me to take this time off. I think you need to air your concerns with your manager as just knowing that it’s ok to take the time off will help your anxiety.

Equally, under the Equal Oppirtunity Act (2010), employers have a legal duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to your working conditions if you have a disability, this includes mental illness. You can find more detailed advice about what this practically means here:

I know what you mean about ‘work taking your mind off of things’. It doesn’t always do that but I think it’s more about pushing yourself to go in and taking it one day at a time. After a while, just by getting through the day, it reinforces in your mind that you can do it, and it gets easier over time (trust me - I did this for about a month when I started a new job- the anxiety was horrible and I felt like crying all the time but I came out the other side and am still working there today).

In short: be open with your manager about how your anxiety effects you, know your rights and push yourself to do the things you don’t want to do (like go into work) but take it one day at a time. Going in for one day is a big win! The more you repeat it, the easier it will get (I absolutely promise!)

You may also like...