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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.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Tue 04-Dec-12 12:33:39

i think if i could make a decision on how much to say at work i would be able to concentrate a bit more on relaxing and maybe doing something nice....at the moment im feeling anxious. i woke up this morning and wrote a text to my acting sgt, but didnt send it. confused

how you feeling today sirboob? hope you are ok. x

SirBoobAlot Tue 04-Dec-12 13:22:32

Mind are always a brilliant organization to do with all things mental health. This is a page about 'surviving working life'. Hope maybe some of it will be helpful to you, though maybe in the future, as its mainly focused about returning to work.

It is entirely up to you. I think the fact you drafted that text indicates that you want to tell someone. Right now though if you have other medications to take the 'blame' for your time off, and that is easier, then take the pressure off yourself. Is there an advocacy member or similar within your team?

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Tue 04-Dec-12 14:45:58

thank you for that link sirboobalot that is really useful.

i just dont quite no what to do - i dont think my colleagues will be understanding. i think i would get a lot of eye rolling and "cant hack it" comments, probably not to my face.
i have been struggling for a while and not said anything - i had referred myself to OT a year ago. My gp had wanted me to start ad's in May and wanted to sign me off then but things were so bad that i knew if i had gone off work then i would never, ever, have gone back. so i refused. and muddled on. i thought things would get easier once that period of stress had passed.
it hasnt.
but ive kept on saying im ok. no one at work has a clue. if i were to tell anyone, i would only want my acting supervisor to know but im not really sure how it would go down, and i could see it getting out of proportion fairly quickly....

just dont know what to do.

SirBoobAlot Wed 05-Dec-12 23:56:36

How are you feeling today?>

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 00:05:06

hi sirboobalot - im okish i guess - im posting on the ADs and sertraline support thread a fair bit....

i feel really odd with the side effects but im just going to plough on regardless, i want to feel better, no pain no gain i think. im not feeling as sick but i am very fatigued, light headed and twitchy....

im hiding a bit from work - i text my acting supervisor who is i discovered off, so then text the next in line but ive not told either whats up - most people i am speaking to in RL seem to think i should keep quiet. i just dont know. ive not had any reply.

anyway thank you for asking after me.

i hope you feel a bit better?

SirBoobAlot Thu 06-Dec-12 00:14:41

I saw. Not a stalker, I promise, was just concerned about you, and saw your name. blush

The side effects are rough for the first days. It does settle down though. Well done for sticking with it, I remember taking them the first time and being very tempted to chuck them across the room at day three.

Okay, well if right now not telling them is what you need to do, then accept that from yourself. There's no shame in being ill, but there is also no 'must' to declaring why you are ill. So you do what is best for you.

I've had a meltdown thread on here the last few days blush Have been thinking of you though. Got to try and get myself out of the house tomorrow, when really I would just quite like to stay hiding under my duvet..!

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 00:30:03

its nice that you asked actually, so thank you. Ive not seen your thread - im sorry if youre having a bad time...is it on this board?

i think im on day 3 now, so ive managed 2 more days than last time! i realise i need to stick with them and push through the yukkiness....

i didnt get dressed today. i didnt get up until lunch time. i really do know what you mean about staying under the duvet....i have also told myself i need to get up and out tomorrow but whether it happens or not is another thing altogether.

hope you feel a bit more able to do that tomorrow....and thank you for checking on me. ive posted on a policing forum asking about admitting the diagnosis....ill see what opinion on there is. i dont want to shoot myself in the foot.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 00:44:58

im going to try and sleep now but i will look for your thread tomorrow....hope you are ok. x

SirBoobAlot Thu 06-Dec-12 00:53:54

That's a good idea, some opinions from professionals in your field can't do any harm. I hope what they say allows you to make a decision you're happy with either way.

If you don't manage to get out - don't worry. Especially when adapting to taking any medication, you have to be that bit kinder to yourself. On the other hand, the longer you avoid going out for, the harder it is when you actually have to. So maybe give yourself a reasonable aim tomorrow if you wake up and think you won't manage getting out; try and move from the bed to the sofa by 11am or something.

Day three was always the worst day, IMO. And that's with every medication I've tried. So today is hump day smile

milkwagon Thu 06-Dec-12 03:28:45

I'm a detective and can whole heartedly relate to workloads and work/home life balance. Firstly shift work can be exhausting. In my experience having lie ins and staying in PJs is a way of recovering from shifts. Also, go out for a walk/fresh air or go to the gym. Exercise does amazing things for state of mind. Keep well hydrated during the day, something with electrolytes in, i find this helps when bogged down with investigations. I'm concerned that your supervisors are not ensuring your investigations are being managed whilst you're away from work - this is their job as supervisors. It's also their job to ensure your health & welfare therefore informing them of your situation will be the first step in addressing your work/home life balance. You should be able to leave work without worrying or thinking about your investigations to the extent you are. You need to try and disseminate outstanding tasks - can you get your neighbourhood team to assist with arrests & interviews? This will reflect very well at their next panel meeting and alike when they give feedback to their communities. Sell the idea to those who need investigative experience if you're able to. Are you qualified to be dealing with these sorts of investigations? Are your supervisors being unreasonable with their expectations from you? They are there to support you, that's what they get paid for and is their job role. They would be negligent if they didn't support you. Keep a diary of what's being required from you if it's too much/unreasonable. Last thing you want is threat of UPP from some acting supervisor looking to demonstrate dealings with this for their PDR/promotion application. Also, have you considered speaking to occupational health - they are there to help. I would encourage you to consider discussing what's going on with your supervisors as that then puts them under a duty to support you and ensure investigations are being conducted in a timely manner - it may well take the pressure off you as well. If you don't get any joy with your immediate supervisors go to the next rank up and so on but do keep a record in your PNB. Have you considered speaking to your force chaplain or federation?
With problems sleeping I found taking valerian root tincture was a godsend and Lactium supplements from Boots during the day. I took these when sitting promotion exams and kept me sane.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 12:22:50

cheers sirboobalot i thought it would be sensible to ask.

milkwagon thank you - im going to really try to adopt what you say and put into practice.

i have talked to my acting supervisor this morning and im a bit non plussed really - he just said i didnt have to tell him, and was i saying i wasnt going to be back for nights?

i thought i was doing the right thing but now im not so sure. He said he had read between the lines anyway. I said i was telling him because if the side effects of the meds didnt settle it would be on my sick note anyway.

He did reassure me that my crimes are being sorted and not to worry about the rest of the group.

But i feel like a flaky failure who just cant hack it and i feel a bit of an idiot now for telling him.

SirBoobAlot Thu 06-Dec-12 14:32:51

Please don't feel like either of those things. If this had been physical, if you had broken your legs, you wouldn't feel like a flaky failure, would you? This is just as real, love, you just can't see it.

He had worked it out anyway. So you telling him will be seen as a good thing, because you have been able to be honest. Certainly not an idiot.

Your cases are being dealt with - you can stop worrying about those now, and focus on getting better.

Big hugs, and a cup of tea. (possibly with some chocolate hobnobs!)

SirBoobAlot Fri 07-Dec-12 23:51:32

Hey Vicar, how are you feeling today?

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 08-Dec-12 00:15:16

hi sirboob - fatigued today. very very fatigued. 12 hours sleep and still couldnt get out of bed, but i did manage to get dressed (not until afternoon but still...) still getting some quite bizarre side effects, but they are livable. its day 5 today.

still in a quandary with work....meant to be back at work on nights on monday but seriously dont think i will survive a night feeling like this. ive had some very understanding replies on the police forum but seems those who answered may have experienced something similar themselves - not sure that the majority in good health would quite feel the same.

am going to try to get to bed now and attempt to drag myself up a bit earlier tomorrow.

i hope you're feeling a bit better now, i wish you weren't hurting, have a ((hug)) from me. (i dont care how unmumsnetty it is!)
x

SirBoobAlot Sat 08-Dec-12 00:21:28

Well done for getting up and dressed - screw the clock, you did it! You're nearly through the worst patch with the tablets.

At least you have some listening ears who understand how you're feeling with the forum. They have the work experience side of things to add to the empathy on an emotional level, which can only be a good thing.

Thanks love. Have a big hug from me too. You're doing really well. x

CuriousMama Sat 08-Dec-12 00:35:45

Hi Vicar, I've just read through your thread. It's good to hear you're back on meds. Please don't feel a failure though. You're far from it.If you read a thread by someone else posting what you have to deal with you'd realise that too.
Plus you're ill, just like any other illness. If you had high bp and had to take meds for it, time off work, you'd not feel a failure or weak. I think it's because of the stigma that's always been attached with MH issues? Plus it's somehow thought of as an illness that we can sort out ourselves, mind over matter, pulling ourselves together and so on. But we know it's much more complex than that.
I have anxiety and it used to be panic disorder. I'm not even a nervous or depressed person. Am probably a bit too brave at times. But something in me, the way I'm wired (seems to be genetic?) makes me have anxiety symptoms and these can be triggered by different things. I love meeting new people yet a new event can trigger it. Bizarre?
Depression is the pits. I had it once when dss were very small. I'd hide under the duvet at any opportunity. Luckily I got through it with help from my GP.
Take every positive step one at a time and be kind to yourself.

CuriousMama Sat 08-Dec-12 00:38:14

Sirboob just read you put something similar re: broken legs. It's true though isn't it? If it's something more easily 'seen' then it's ok.
The more openly MH illness is spoken about the better imo.

SirBoobAlot Sat 08-Dec-12 00:44:19

There's a big movement called Time To Change going on at the moment to try and increase awareness and acceptance around mental health issues.

It was an old teacher of mine who first gave me the broken legs analogy. Think a lot of people struggle with invisible health conditions, and the first battle is giving yourself permission to be ill. Its a hard one!

CuriousMama Sat 08-Dec-12 00:47:03

I'll have a look at that thanks SirBoobAlot.

Vicar you have had your thyroid checked I hope?

CuriousMama Sat 08-Dec-12 01:01:59

SirBoobAlot I joined up. Have answered someone's post already grin

topsi Sat 08-Dec-12 08:05:36

I would speak to the GP get him/her to write a letter to work explaining the insomnia and get signed off night shifts.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 08-Dec-12 12:15:12

thanks all

maggie i had a blood test in April before i tried the meds for the first time, all was fine. I was starting to worry that i had some underlying health issue,(the repeated chest infections, verrucas, fatigue) but maybe it is all connected to my state of mind.

topsi i actually dont mind nights when im not feeling like this - and im keen not to ask for any thing the others dont get tbh. I feel a bit separate from the group anyway, im trying to be careful about doing anything that would cause more resentment than my absence already is. no one at work is going to be very happy - i seem to have had a lot of time off. Its pointless telling them i was never ill before this job - im sure they dont believe me. The first year i never had any time off at all, but this year i seem to have been plagued with problems.

topsi Sat 08-Dec-12 14:51:48

what were your thyroid results? Phone up and ask them to give you the levels and ranges. Post them on the general health board and someone will look at them for you. Thyroid issues are very undiagnosed in this country. Do you have any other thyroid symptoms?

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 08-Dec-12 16:54:25

when i asked what my thyroid results were i was told they were bang in the middle of what they should be, i never asked for specifics on levels as i was reassured they were fine, i got a bit worried, thinking their must be something wrong but had a full blood screen in April, prior to attempting the sertraline for the first time, including thyroid, and then just the other week i had an immunology test. (i was really worrying about the gazillions of verruca and general poor health) All my blood results have been ok as far as ive been told.

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