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should i go back to gp?

(953 Posts)
DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 00:37:30

back in the summer i went to the gp and blubbed all over her, i was very very down, there was an awful lot going on in my life and i was really struggling to cope, DS (who has SEN) had failed his course and uni looked in the balance, i was massively struggling with my workload and qualification, i was ill, DD was just diagnosed with dyslexia, i was having counselling for childhood abuse...too much really, and the gp prescribed sertraline. She wanted to sign me off work but i said no. i knew if she did, i would never ever go back. it took a huge amount of courage to go to the gp as it was my old place of work....i felt a failure. i had left my job as doctors receptionist for a shiny new career in the police, a career not a job, and at my age that felt like a life line, and truth was i was struggling with it all.

however.
i took a couple of doses of the sertaline and it made me feel really really ill. like drunk ill, sick, whoozy, spaced out and i knew i could not function like that.

i stopped taking it. i stopped talking. i shut down, i went into autopilot and carried on. i managed to get my qualification and passed my probation. yay. i should feel proud and happy. but i didnt. ive no real idea how i managed it. i got through my entire 2 year probation with not a single issue, and i still dont know how.

so we are 6 months later and i am flagging, and yet i have no idea if i really need ADs or if its just me....

i feel constantly tired. i cant get up on a morning - if im not at work i see DD off to school and go back to bed, i can easily sleep until 11am or later, and then, if ive no reason to get up, i can lay in bed, or just stay in pjs all day. i dont wash my face or brush my hair, i dont go out. i dont see anyone, and this is the thing, - i dont want to. im happy like that. i dont suppose shift work helps much with that though.

im probably drinking too much. at least 2 glasses of wine a day. (if im not on nights)

i dont go to bed. i stay up until the small hours, but actually, because i work shifts, thats not so bad - it means i can work myself around to nights without too much hassle....my problem really comes when im on day shifts and i need to get up at 5am. on those nights i take zopiclone to knock me out. all above board and prescribed, i was finding i was not sleeping at all on those nights and was making stupid mistakes at work, when driving etc. and on blue lights thats not a good idea, so another gp gave me zopiclone to take only on my day shifts (thats fine - i just take one every 10 days,)

i am currently having some health issues, and have been signed off work, im supposed to be off until a week on monday but i am going to have to go back earlier, the longer i wait to go back, the worse things will be and i have work piling up that i need to deal with.

im awaiting an endoscopy for some problems with my stomach. im on lots of meds for reflux at present (max dose of everything now, on 4 different meds) and am hoping to get the operation to sort it....

i know i am stressed. stressed beyond stressed. my workload is unmanageable and i am on my own with it - no consistant line manager to help me with it and i am told now that i am on my own - i should be able to manage it. its a learning curve and ive got to find a way to manage my workload....

ive got to make this job work for me. and im trying really hard to find outside interests, ive started horse riding which makes me forget the stress, and it doesnt matter what i look like - i can roll out of bed and go. DH says i can get my own horse if im sure i can afford it. that gives me something to go to work for...im working toward that.

i have few friends really in RL but those i do have have all actually said they think im depressed.
i know im not happy.
but is that depression? or am i just not happy? a bit down? is that going to be fixed with medication or should i just work my way through it? ive never had medication before and i actually hated how the sertaline made me feel.

im not sure what to do.

LastMangoInParis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:45:12

You're exhausted.
It's probably not possible to know whether or not you're depressed until you get the chance for some porpoer rest and some time out from stress.
Is there any way you can do that before trying ADs again?
I think this Gp was right to try and get you to take time off work.
You sound like you really REALLY need some time to rest, eat properly, sleep, get some gentle exercise - basic things that we all need and get ill if we don't have. It sounds like circumstances are depriving you of these things and you really need them badly.

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 00:45:32

lord above if you got through that mire of self pity good on you....

im getting worse as it gets to xmas. im working xmas day, boxing day, in fact im working from 25th through until 30th dec.....i think thats making me worse right now.
DD isnt missing an opportunity to make me feel guilty about that. maybe i will feel better after xmas.

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 00:49:10

mango thank you for the reply.
ive had a couple of weeks off now due to the physical health issues - (had 2 nasty chest infections in the space of a month- probably reflux related) but i really need to get back to work now, the longer i leave it the worse it will get, and ive got stuff piling up that i need to deal with.

SirBoobAlot Sat 01-Dec-12 00:50:10

Oh love you sound hugely overwhelmed.

I think you need some rest, you need to speak to someone, and yes, I do think you should be taking some ADs.

General rule of thumb with ADs is they make you feel like shit for the first ten days, and you won't feel any real difference with your mood for around four weeks. But it is worth pushing through that.

Think maybe assessing your sleep pattern would be helpful.

Big un-MN hugs. x

Viperidae Sat 01-Dec-12 00:53:55

It sounds to me as though you are so run down and stressed that it is hard to see what is physical and what is mental IYSWIM. I know you find it hard to take time off but sometimes you just have to.

LastMangoInParis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:56:12

the longer i leave it the worse it will get

In what way?
Financially?
Psychologically?

Because it sounds to me like you really need that time off for your mental and physical health. Cliche that it sounds, those things are the most valuable things we have. Don't fuck about with them. Take time out if you possibly can.
Working yourself into the ground doesn't make you a better person or a better worker.
I've been in a situation similar to yours: deep, deep, deep exhaustion over a long period, ignoring ill health to keep working, getting depressed, telling myself I had to keep going, keep going, keep going. Until I got really, really ill.
I'm more or less OK now, but working myself into the ground instead of taking time out when i should have done several years ago has had quite long term effects on my health. So I'd really recommend that you give yourself time to recouperate before you do long term damage to yourself. Seriously.

EdnaScoggins Sat 01-Dec-12 00:58:09

Urgently get some different ADs. There are tons of them! And loads of people are on them, so the side effects are well documented and you can have pills (I know, I know) to counter-act them. Or you can persist till you find an AD which doesn't give you side effects. See if you can get to see a CBT therapist as well. Don't suffer; there's no need to.

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 01:06:09

because i have victims of crime waiting for a result - and no one will take my work load on. just one example of the 12 crimes i am currently investigating - all of which are similar or more pressing - i have a 16 yr old boy who was beaten up, his parents are waiting for me to arrest his attacker. i first need to get 6 statements from witnesses. they are ringing my mobile constantly for updates. updates i cant give while im sat on my arse at home.

i have a crown court case coming up. i have an offender due back on bail. i need to go to CPS before that happens - and i cant do that if im off sick. If i stay off until my sick note runs out, i wont have time to go to CPS before my bailer is back. The offender could get away with it simply because im not there.

i have a woman waiting for an update about some damage to her car. I had an interview booked with the offender, he didnt turn up. no one else can sort these things for me. i need to be at work to do it. my phone is ringing while im off sick. ive tried to sort some of this stuff while off sick, tried to arrange appointments for statements to be taken etc....but bottom line is i need to be at work. people are relying on me and if im not there nothing is happening with those people.

problem is when i go back, i wont be able to sort those things because there will be 10 more crimes waiting for me when i get back. the radio will be going, control will be asking if they can put another crime on me list....

and it goes on. so while im not there it gets worse. i need to get back.

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 01:11:49

sorry that was in answer to mango....

i feel like im having a real pity party. sad i really do need to get a grip of everything. i never thought i would be this bad. im pretty good at being fairly organised.

EdnaScoggins Sat 01-Dec-12 02:01:26

Yes, honestly, if you take some ADs which don't disagree with you, you will get your grip back. Tis the way it is.

LastMangoInParis Sat 01-Dec-12 02:12:11

Tutu I see what you're saying, but if you're constantly exhausted and that's making you phyisically ill - or preventing you from recovering properly from physical illness, which in itself will be enough to make you depressed -then that's going to be the main thing that's hindering your work. The other stuff you describe will seem 10 times worse because you won't be physically resilient enough to cope with it.
You're obviously very dedicated to your work, but you're also human and have limitations.
At least have a day where you don't let yourself do anything. Force yourself to rest, eat, rest... And do another day of the same thing if you need to. You have to put yourself first for a bit.

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 02:26:24

I'm having lots of days of doing nothing - the problem is that it's quite attractive. Doing nothing is nice. Until you have to go back and do something...sad I could easily do nothing for ever more. going back is the hard part. I think physically I'm better. Just waiting for tests now. It's stress I have to find a way to cope with. I'm going to try and sleep now but thanks for answering - I'll check back tomorrow. Got to try not to be harbinger if doom tomorrow as it's Ds birthday.

BovineUddersAkimbo Sat 01-Dec-12 02:44:58

In my experience being happy doing nothing sounds like depression. I know when I'm starting to slide back down when I 'don't have time' to wash my hair, get dressed etc - these basic self-care tasks are always the first to go with me.

If I were you I would go back to the doctor, try something like escitalopram which I think can be a bit easier than sertraline with side effects (i've been on both and am currently on sertraline). Just try the meds. You have to wait it out a bit to see how they go, but in my experience I've been able to feel different within a week.

(Can I also just say I'm sat here rather in awe of you - going into the police was always my dream career, but I've never had the balls or determination to even apply. You've achieved so much, it's incredibly admirable.)

DudeInaTutu Sat 01-Dec-12 11:32:46

Thanks for the replies and sirboobalot the hugs appreciated. smile
I think I probably do need to go back but I've no idea what to say. I feel a bit of a fool. I seem ok on the outside, I'm just whinging a lot. But at home, I could truly stay in bed and never get up. But I can't take any more time off, or give any meds time to "bed in'.
I don't feel particularly weepy, just tired, numb, I cant be bothered with anything, getting dressed if I don't have to is too much effort, and I feel anxious, more so just before I go back to work, can't sleep the night before, ( hence the sleeping tabs) I seem ok when there. I think the thought of going back is worse than being back. I don't know really. I
didn't give the sertraline much chance but it made me feel so sick and odd. I couldn't work like that, I hate feeling sick. I know it would have worn off, maybe I should have talked to doctor and tried again while I was off with my chest...., but I don't want to take anything I dont need and im not sure if this is depression or just me needing to shake myself and force myself into a bit of normality.
2 friends have mentioned depression to me now. One of the counsellors I saw thought I was at risk of "burning out" what ever that means. I am a worrier. I would happily crawl under the duvet and stay there.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 00:47:44

If you're not sure what to say, why not print off what you have written? Hide your screen name and the website, but take it with you.

And as someone who burnt themselves out to the point of destroying their health, please - see someone.

If you're anywhere around Brighton and need a cup of coffee, PM me.

VicarInaTutu Mon 03-Dec-12 11:53:27

well i steeled myself and went back today. Im trying the sertraline again, while im signed off anyway, that way i might get through the worst of the side effects before i go back.

thanks sirboobbalot i wish was was in brighton! sadly couldnt be much further away.

thank you.

bassetfeet Mon 03-Dec-12 22:31:44

VICAR I feel for you really do . You are not whinging at all .
Understand totally the culture of being in the police as my son is constantly frustrated and worn out by the same issues you face daily . It is not a days work to be undertaken poorly and feeling as you do . I do think you are depressed and exhausted and you must take time off to recover and allow the side effects of the meds to wear off and the benefits to kick in . They will .
Please please let yourself have time off and allow your tired mind and body some healing time .
I was the same as you a few years back now but in the health service. I thought I would never recover or face work again .but I did and you will feel better again I promise . smile.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 22:39:10

Well done for going back , that's a really huge step.

Be kind to yourself. x

VicarInaTutu Mon 03-Dec-12 22:55:12

thank you both.

im feeling so guilty about work - really guilty and i know i will be getting talked about by now.

i started the sertraline tonight. i had been thinking about trying to go back to work mid week but the gp said stay off, get the side effects out of the way, and if i need a bit longer the gp will write me off a bit longer. the problem is i have some work that is now pressing....

and i dont know whether to confess to the diagnosis or keep stum. im on lots of new meds at the min for various other things so i could just say im struggling with side effects from medication without having to go into too much detail.

or do i fess up. i suspect i will be seen as weak, or cant hack it, if i do.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 23:01:45

How approachable is your boss? In the end it comes down to you whether you tell them or not, but I think you would probably be surprised by the reaction - one in four people suffer from a mental health condition at some point in their lives, so almost everyone knows someone who has been ill.

If right now, telling them that its the other meds is easier for you, then do that. But don't feel guilty. If you had broken both arms, and had just put the cast on, would you expect yourself to be back in work immediately? No. You would be patient and understanding with yourself, even if it was still frustrating. You are ill, love, and that is okay.

VicarInaTutu Mon 03-Dec-12 23:11:39

i just dont know really.
my boss is off with stress. his boss will probably roll his eyes and groan.
as would my colleagues.

i do have an alarming number of symptoms of depression which was a bit of a shock. gp was lovely actually. more understanding that i thought and spotted the fact that im on sleeping pills and went with no make up and greasy hair....i used to not be like this. but i cant remember. i spend my days off in a tired fug which i always told myself was recovery from shifts....

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 23:19:05

I'm glad the GP was nice, it makes such a difference.

Reread that post to yourself - you have recognized there is a problem, and you have started the journey towards recovering too.

I'm pretty useless tonight as I'm in a really bad place, but am sending you a bit hug. You took a huge step today.

VicarInaTutu Mon 03-Dec-12 23:22:18

right back at ya boob with a hug, sorry your feeling in a bad place and thank you for the replies, i find im feeling quite lonely just now and its lovely to find a safe space to talk.

SirBoobAlot Mon 03-Dec-12 23:26:36

Promise you that you're not alone.

Can you plan to do something nice for yourself? Little things count. Paint your nails, have a lovely bath, read a few pages of a book? Reminding yourself that you deserve to have little treats is really important when you are low.

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