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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.

TheSilverPussycat Thu 13-Dec-12 00:23:24

Can you access support through your employers. I should imagine in their line of duty they must have seen many reactions to the job/life, and may have advice (of course it may not be the advice you want to hear), but they surely must have experience of similar? If it turns out not to be for you in the long run, that is no fault of yours, btw.

Hope this isn't too harsh - but I have been depressed in the past, about my job (I knew it was my job, at least in part) and about my now ex who was a cocklodger, though it hadn't dawned on me yet at that time!

I am lucky though - I can live frugally without earning, and a couple of years ago took early retirement on grounds of ill health - I couldn't have gone on with that job. Am 60, so not as bad as that sounds. And divorced this year, which sorted the other reason!

Rambling on - to say although our experiences are different, they are similar enough that I can empathise a bit (I hope)

NanaNina Thu 13-Dec-12 12:14:48

I've been wondering how you are too Vicar - I remember so well this thing about having to be well by the next time I saw GP and I'm afraid depression isn't time sensitive in that way. By my reckoning you will only have been on the meds for 2 weeks by the time you see her - is that right or is it longer? Heshe might not think it a good idea to change meds without giving them a proper chance. OR they might change to another SSRI. I have no evidence for this at all but i just seem to recall quite a few people on MN having bad side effects with sertraline.

I can well understand your worry about work, which SPC and me don't have and that makes a huge difference. As I think I've said before you can't really do the responsible job that you do when you are still feeling so crap. It isn't fair to you or the people with whom you are dealing. You aren't indispensable Vicar - someone else will be doing your work.

What are your financial circumstances if you don't mind my asking - and do you have an H or P who is working. However you should get statutory sick pay shouldn't you, given that you work for a public service. I was working when I had my first major episode and was off work for about 9 months and I think I got full SSP for 6 months, but then it went down a bit, but with paying less tax it worked out almost as much as the full rate. Maybe you need to find out what the deal is about SSP. Obviously this worrying about work is going to make you worse, and I understand that you can't not worry but you really do have to be realistic. Planning to go back to work (or feeling you must) is like planning a big hill climb with a broken leg.

You seem to think that the police won't be sympathetic to your mental health problems but my god you can't be the first employee to be off with this illness. It affects 1 in 4 people and 6 people are suffering at any one time, and there are no exemptions for employees of the police service!!

I was a social worker for some 30 years and of course there was a lot of empathy there. I remember a new Director starting and he was around for about a month and then he went off with "stress" (often used instead of depression/anxiety) and was off for over a year, but came back ok and proved to be one of the best directors we ever had.

Take it easy Vicar - easy to say I know......oh and I'm not sure it's a good plan to be taking all this other stuff to be honest, because you are self-diagnosing and you are without energy because you are depressed, not because you are lacking iron. Sometimes too much iron can cause problems, just as much as too little.

Thinking of you................NN

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Thu 13-Dec-12 23:20:00

yes nana it will be 2 weeks on monday.

the side effects, namely the fatigue, are killing me but im hoping it will wear off. the other stuff is bearable. i am losing weight as ive no appetite at all but i can afford to lose a bit.

im just taking a bit of iron and vict c + zinc to boost my immunity.

im hoping the gp will sign me off for a bit longer but am anxious that she might not,
if she does i will be anxious about work and what my colleagues will be thinking about me being off, they will be thinking im taking the piss by now. i cant win with the anxiety.

tonight i took dd riding. the instructor picked up straight away that dd worries. its all i get on parents evenings at school - how much she worries.
ive passed my worry gene to her....or ive taught her to worry. sad

NanaNina Fri 14-Dec-12 13:52:02

Hi Vicar my headmonster woke this morning, which means that I am feeling crap. Just up and have cried on and off all morning. Ah well I've had 7 or 8 good weeks but it hits me all the more then. Friends are coming on Sat and staying the night (just to break their journey from collecting their son from Uni) so DP is just going to say I have flu, and I will hide under the duvet till they've gone.

I can understand the fear going round and round in your head about work and getting signed off etc. I think you must make it very clear to your GP that you don't feel you can cope with the job at present and tell her/him what you do, so it's a very responsible job, and I am sure you will get signed off again. Vicar you must try to bash those negative thoughts on the head, about your colleagues thinking you are taking the piss. Re- read my post and try to believe in the factual side of things about the fact that 1 in 4 people are going to suffer from a mental illness at some time in their lives. I think you will be surprised at how much your colleagues understand.

Take care - can feel another cry coming on.................NN

TheSilverPussycat Fri 14-Dec-12 15:44:06

Hi Nini my duvet sends greeting to your duvet (only needed for daytime nap recently, not for hiding away, thank goodness)

Vicar and re-read my post - by sharing what I did I was trying to make the same points as Nini eg the police must have experience in dealing with this, they can't not, and your financial situation.

You need to have a proper think about the so-called worst case - If you are unable to carry on with your job, what will that mean for how you live.

BTW all my jobs have been dream jobs that I aimed for, but sadly all of them brought about depression. At my age am not worried, I wanted most to be an academic but I know I couldn't have hacked it long term. I am a short sprint of hard work kind of person, always fall behind with paperwork, so there are few jobs out there with the flexibility I need. Am putting my brains to work on mh service user involvement with the new changes in NHS commissioning that come into force in April so feel I am able to make a useful contribution to the world.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Fri 14-Dec-12 17:08:49

im so sorry NN that you are feeling so bad.

im having a crisis - it seems my sgt is coming out to see me tomorrow. im having kittens. i have no idea what to say. Im going to look like a fraud and an idiot.

NanaNina Fri 14-Dec-12 22:52:53

Oh look Vicar he may be coming out of caring for you. YOu are ILL and you'r not a fraud or an idiot and anyone who thinks that is an idiot themselves. Just tell him how bad you are feeling and how you don't think you can hold the job down while you are feeling so depressed, and are seeing the GP on Monday.

I got a fair bit better as the day wore on but worried about how I will be tomorrow. Let me know how the sgt visit goes.

SPC am interested in what you mention about your involvement with the mh service user involvement - the psychologist I saw for some months on the NHS asked if I would be interested in the E for E panel (experts by experience) but it is related to the same hospital where I was a patient and I didn't really want any more involvement with them.

MIND have been advertising for volunteers so have been thinking abou that too, but am not reliable because of the bloody headmonster.

I think you will feel relieved after the visit - I will look in again tomorrow. NN

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Fri 14-Dec-12 23:07:12

he is being sent by inspector and i just feel i will be under pressure to come back to work asap.

i just want to run away. i cant face this.

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 14-Dec-12 23:11:00

Oh vicar you definitely need more time off. If you go back too soon, you will be off again really quickly. Your boss has a duty of care to support you while you are unwell.

Is this a formal sickness interview? If so, you should have been told that you have the right to be accompanied by your union rep or a work colleague.

Have you been referred to occupational health? If not, I would highly recommend that you request an appointment. I am pretty sure that they would be very understanding and fully support your return to work. They can actually stipulate that you should not work nights as it is proving to be detrimental to your health.

In your job you need to be 100% on the ball, as with my job. I see that you are still suffering side effects and adjusting to your medication. Honestly, it would be unreasonable of your employers to expect you to be in work feeling like this.

It takes a long time to get down to the level of depression where you need medication and a LOT longer to work your way back up again. (Voice of experience speaking - my GP has advised that I don't go back until the new year). I completely understand how you are feeling, but really, you need to step away from work and just give yourself chance to get better. Be kind to yourself and let yourself heal, enjoy your Xmas and relax a bit, let the anxiety melt away and take the pressure off, I promise it will help thanks

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 14-Dec-12 23:12:30

X posted with you Vicar

Definitely get in touch with your union rep.

I hope you feel better soon xxxx

NanaNina Fri 14-Dec-12 23:17:33

Vicar you are second guessing what the nature of the visit is - so STOP, no-one can make you go back to work when you are ill. You will be very anxious when he comes, but that's not a bad thing because he will see that you are in a bad state. You wouldn't be feeling like this if you had a physical illness. Sorry I don't mean to sound harsh but you need someone to be directive at a time like this.

If I remember rightly the GP signed you off with something physical didn't she until you can negotiate time off because of mental health problems. It has just occurred to me that your employers may not know that you have depression? If not, you must be honest and tell them how it is.

Incidentally, are you a single parent Vicar - I've never heard you mention a P or H as being part of your life.

I still think you will feel relieved after the visit. It is not in the police's interests to have someone doing a responsible job, when they are not up to it, so I think they will be more understanding that you realise.

I can't pretend I am a great fan of the police, but surely they are empathetic to their own employees who are suffering mental health problems.

Try to get to bed and get some sleep as staying up and worrying is not going to make things any better, only worse. Can you take a zopiclone tonight?

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 14-Dec-12 23:23:56

I agree with Nana

Please ask them for an appointment with occ health. Also, if they don't know that you are suffering with depression, they cannot help you or understand what you are going through. I urge you to tell them how you are feeling and that you have started treatment and how it is affecting you. The more info you give them, the more support you will get.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Fri 14-Dec-12 23:28:59

i can take a zopiclone and i think i will or i wont sleep a wink. im fretting.

i do have a DH who is actually being very patient with me, and doing the bulk of everything house related lately. he is being very good to me and is very supportive.

i cant pretend im a great fan of police either. i dont fit into the culture.

shakey police dont have a union. only a federation and they are next to useless - its not a formal interview as such - its a welfare visit. to check up on me i suspect. i am costing money and im not there. i am just a problem for the inspector.

off to take a zopiclone and try to sleep.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Fri 14-Dec-12 23:30:15

thing is ive just finished counselling with occy health - i was signed off in October.

i darent go back.

TheSilverPussycat Fri 14-Dec-12 23:41:30

Now look Vicar - no, have a [hug]

Your posts on here suggest that you are really not very well. Not well enough to work at the moment. This may or may not arise because you don't fit in with your work culture, but you are not well enough to decide that yet. Your employers have a duty of care, they will want to help you get better.

Please just accept what the day brings for the time being.

With warm wishes x

NanaNina Fri 14-Dec-12 23:43:08

Come on Vicar shut down your laptop, take that zopiclone and go to bed please........I'm closing down now as I have a tendency for late night laptopping.

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Fri 14-Dec-12 23:53:31

going now, or i will also sit here and witter. taking a zopiclone and off to bed. hope i dont sleep through a text from sgt though....that would be not good.
goodnight
and thank you.
x

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 14-Dec-12 23:55:56

Agree again with Nana

Lets all put the laptops, iPads etc away,

Time for each of us to try and have a good nights sleep, snuggle down into the duvet and tomorrow will be a whole new, shiny day.

Nana the term Headmonster describes it perfectly, the anxiety, palpitations, racing heart, lack of appetite, nausea, the Headmonster has a lot to answer for. I am actually glad to give "it" a name, thank you.

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Fri 14-Dec-12 23:57:01

Goodnight Vicar sleep well' MWAH!

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 15-Dec-12 14:40:14

well, im back for an update.

I was tying myself in knots and got a text this morning from acting sgt who said he was coming out this morning.

He was absolutely fantastic.

He allayed all of my worries about work, he told me what is happening to each and every one of my crimes, he has been updating all of my victims, and he was just so lovely and understanding. it was all i could do not to cry.

He said they want to help me and they will do whatever it takes to make my return to work successful, but for now he told me to take time off and recover, and that i should take as long as i need to do that and stop worrying.

He said i am under no circumstances to switch my works phone on and he has referred me back to occupational health.

He said this job can engulf a person and he knows so many people that its happened to, without the other personal problems that i have been dealing with.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, for now.

ShakySingsMerryXmasEveryone Sat 15-Dec-12 14:53:28

Vicar that is fantastic news.

Now you will have the time and head space to recover. Try not to think about work at all and focus on your recovery. I bet you feel about 2 stone lighter now you are not carrying that burden of anxiety will you.

<hugs>

TheSilverPussycat Sat 15-Dec-12 14:55:37

That's great Vicar told you so wink brew

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 15-Dec-12 14:57:54

i am so relieved i cant tell you.

i have reported my post to HQ - ive probably said a bit too much in it that is identifying other people so ive asked if they can either remove a paragraph or delete the post.

but its good news and i feel like i can now just concentrate on getting better.

NanaNina Sat 15-Dec-12 17:19:16

Ah Vicar hate to say I told you so........but soooo pleased for you. What do you mean about the post to HQ - was this after the visit?

I'm feeling ok now after a horrible morning and am coping with the visitors!

VicarInaTutuDrankSantasSherry Sat 15-Dec-12 18:13:02

im glad you are feeling better NN

yep i had requested HQ just remove a paragraph from my update post - i type first and think later....its fine and they have done it. (thanks HQ) i had just said something i think i shouldnt have regarding some of my supervision.

i had got myself in such a state - i woke up with a coldsore this morning. I just feel so physically and mentally drained.

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