AIBU to think my career will be over if I am signed off for MH

(36 Posts)
PleasantPheasant Mon 21-Nov-16 16:41:48

I'm at a point where I'm really struggling mentally and work is a big part of that. My dr wants to sign me off for a few weeks at least, I'm scared if I go off that I will not be able to get a promotion in the future, or that I won't be able to get another job if it's on my record. I work in London and my manager is not understanding of MH, my colleagues would also be pissed. But I don't know how much longer I can do this.

Bluegrass Mon 21-Nov-16 16:47:00

I just wanted to say that I was once signed off work for depression. I was so worried about the impact it would have on my career, and the reaction of my colleagues.

The reality was that they were all really supportive in the end. I went back, I felt better. Not long afterwards I was promoted. Since then my career has progressed really well.

There is real hope that things will be better than you fear, and I hope they will work out for you. The most important thing now is to focus on getting better, then you can address the work stuff when you're stronger.

Good luck!

Stillunexpected Mon 21-Nov-16 16:48:06

You might find more measured responses to this question if you post in employment or health, AIBU tends to be a bit ....polarising! Really I don't think you have a choice though, do you? If you are unable to function at work, you will surely end up having to take time off anyway, and possibly not in as controlled a fashion as now? I disagree that this will end your career, there is no need for your colleagues to know exactly why you are off and, depending on how long you are off, it may not even be questioned in any future job applications.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Mon 21-Nov-16 16:50:50

Just ask your GP to put a non specific reason on the sick note.

Regarding your colleagues being pissed - how will they know whats on the sick note?

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 21-Nov-16 16:51:22

I can't answer about whether or not it will affect your future prospects.

However Dr's do not sign people off for no reason and if s/he feels that's what you need to do then that's what you should do.

People go off sick. It happens. If colleagues are pissed because of the increased work load or whatever then the fact the management don't organise cover is not your fault.its not your problem.

And as for your boss well, he doesn't have to understand does he. He just needs to act within the law. You have a sick note. He will have to cope.

I'm so sorry you are having a rough time. I hope you take the time off and rest and get the help and support you need. flowers

helpnc Mon 21-Nov-16 16:52:56

flowers I've just been signed off and this is my terror too, although I know it shouldn't be.

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Mon 21-Nov-16 17:07:37

I know several people who've been signed off for mh reasons (some work related, others not). I don't know any that have had their career suffer as a result. I do know two people who could have benefited from time away to deal with mh issues and didn't take it. Id argue their careers suffered, at least temporarily, as a result.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 21-Nov-16 17:10:09

Listen to your GP - and explain your concern . Society and employment law is becoming more aware around MH issues . Really I don't think you have a choice x use the time
To recharge flowers

Try to be kind to yourself- remember that fear and anxiety are symptoms of depression and EVERYTHING that you're currently thinking is through the 'lens' of a mentally unwell mind. Give yourself the two weeks to rest, heal, breathe, and then think about how you want to manage your career and mental health in the long-term, but in the short term - I would take the break you've been advised.

OrangeKitchen Mon 21-Nov-16 17:33:02

I think you need the time off to give your mind and body a chance to heal and think about what you really want work wise.

I had to take 6 weeks off due to depression. I was worried about returning to work and when I did, I was paranoid that everyone knew. I kept my head down and just got through it.

Then a few months later, a job came up in a different dept I'd always wanted to work in. I applied and got it, so my MH past clearly didn't affect that at all. I was then really happy at work in the new job - the new environment and fresh faces were just what I needed and it felt like a new, positive chapter.

Remember that you never know what's around the corner. What field do you work in?

OrangeKitchen Mon 21-Nov-16 17:34:24

And yes, YABU! smile

Fairylea Mon 21-Nov-16 17:36:18

I've been signed off for depression before. I don't think it's ever affected my career. I've never actually had to declare it to a new employer and as far as I know they've never had reason to ask.

CMOTDibbler Mon 21-Nov-16 17:43:16

DH had nearly a year off with depression 5 years ago. He went back to the same job, did great, and next week he starts an amazing new job, having turned down some others that weren't just what he wanted

SocksRock Mon 21-Nov-16 17:44:56

I had 15 months off with anxiety issues. Had no problems going back, on a higher salary with a better role. If you need the time, take it, hope you feel better soon

Alabastard Mon 21-Nov-16 17:55:07

Do you have access to a trade union? I was signed off after a suicide attempt. My manager was awful but my women's rep stepped in and it didn't affect my record.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 21-Nov-16 18:00:42

You need to get better, I know its scary but youll need to slow down before you fall down.

The things you're describing are possible future scenarios, they are not an actual fact - your illness is an actual fact which you are managing and being responsible with by seeking the appropriate treatment, you need time to take that treatment and get well.

MrHannahSnell Mon 21-Nov-16 18:12:53

If you are signed off, it might affect your career and promotion prospects but if you work to the point of having a breakdown, the really will do serious damage to them. Take the medical advice that's being offered to you.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 21-Nov-16 18:20:10

If you don't get signed off then your MH may start affecting your work which will also affect your chances of promotion.

I do think though, if you're signed off you need to do something about your MH, whether medication, counselling etc. I'm not being mean, I've been off with depression myself. I just think a break from work is great, but if you don't put strategies in place to improve your MH then when you go back you'll still be in the same position you are right now.

Be kind to yourself, remember your health is more important than your career. flowers

EggysMom Mon 21-Nov-16 18:21:43

Many mental health issues are considered long-term health concerns and are recognised under the Equality Act as disability You should not be declined for promotion simply because of lengthy absence that is linked to a protected characteristic such as disability.

In reality, it's kinda hard to prove that you have been turned down because of MH issues. Most employers are clued up, and wouldn't cite that as the reason.

EnormousTiger Mon 21-Nov-16 18:23:01

If you can be signed off without the reason being given (and perhaps only give it to HR not your manager) that might help. Better to jeopardise a career than your life anyway and also plenty of work places are quite tolerant and understanding.

Don't be off too long though as people off a long time find it harder and harder and harder ever to get back. Perhaps just try 2 weeks off to start with.

aprilanne Mon 21-Nov-16 18:24:46

op your mh problems should in fact have no bearing on your job or promotion .the reality is my hubby lost his job after 30 year the only job he ever had because they could not or would not support him .its unfair but a reality unfortunately i still feel angry 3 years later my hubby only 50 . if you work to point of breakdown you may never fully recover its not worth it for the sake of a job take the time off get better then if need be you can find another job ,

Babyroobs Mon 21-Nov-16 18:41:34

I am in a similar situation. I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the stress of my current joband am suffering from quite severe anxiety. Last night I was lying awake half the night with my heart pounding and crying just at the thought of going back to work tomorrow. I know I need to leave my job as I don't think the anxiety will ever get better until I am out of that environment. I have thought about getting signed off sick but then I know that will hinder my chances of getting another job soon. So I'm totally stuck. I have colleagues who have gone off for 4-6 months with stress/ depression and have comeback and carried on without it affecting their careers but it doesn't seem right for me to do that when i know I just need to leave.

PleasantPheasant Mon 21-Nov-16 19:24:33

harderandharder you're right. I'm on medication and attending counselling already.
I'm a bit reassured by all the stories of people being promoted or accepted back into their jobs after time off but still somehow don't believe this would be the case.
Surely you have to have a reason on your sick note and surely you have to give a reason when returning to work at least?
I'm really scared I'm going to lose my job either way soon. I have to get through this week at the least.

thisismeusernameything Mon 21-Nov-16 19:34:05

I'd just call in sick with the flu. You can sign yourself off for the week without a doctors note. Poor OP. You sound so stressed flowers

missymayhemsmum Mon 21-Nov-16 20:06:57

GPs often seem quite willing to sign people off as a solution. If you go off for a couple of months or more then yes, it will put pressure on your colleagues and may affect your career and reputation, but not as much as a complete breakdown or working when you're really not well enough to function.

A couple of weeks to rest, get counselling, exercise and decide whether you need a different job could be wise, though.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now