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Depression and returning to work after 11 weeks - coping strategies

(5 Posts)
jemjelly Sat 10-May-14 18:56:02

I have been off work for the last 11 weeks with depression and anxiety caused by stress at work and at home (lack of money) and having to deal with my DH's OCD symptoms.

I am due to return to work on Monday and I'm absolutely dreading it. I'm on sleeping tablets and anti-depression meds and do feel loads better BUT I work in a large open plan office and the thought of going back and everyone staring at me and wondering if I am okay makes me feel sick. I am really worried that I will devolve into tears as soon as I walk through the door.

Does anyone have any coping strategies to keep calm and stop the tears if they start.

Lilybensmum1 Sat 10-May-14 19:24:45

Sorry to hear about how you are feeling, work is going to be tough and it's hard to give advice, you have to try it and see, don't expect to much of yourself, and, if someone asks how you are just say you are getting there, it's the truth.

Probably Monday will be the hardest part but hopefully not as bad as you are clearly imagining, just take it one step at a time.

Do people in your office know why you are off? If not I find most people after the initial how are you? often leave it there unless you give them any indication you want to talk.

Don't know what else to say I feel for you! You can do this!! sounds like you have come a long way already, just see this as another part of your journey and when you finish work on Monday leave it there and congratulate yourself.

Good luck will be thinking of you. smile

jemjelly Sat 10-May-14 20:17:44

Thanks Lily, I am thinking most people will know why I have been off work as 11weeks is a long time and gossip gets around doesn't it.

I have a meeting with HR pretty much as soon as I arrive too and I am hopeless at standing up for myself, especially at the moment. My boss tried to stop me seeing my GP on my last day at work and I had to get HR involved as I couldn't hold it together any more. I think he will now make things difficult for me as it's easier to get me to leave than go through the proper channels. I think I need to get another job but my confidence is at an all time low..... sigh...

Lilybensmum1 Sat 10-May-14 21:21:25

That sounds awful, please don't worry about people knowing about why you were off it's their issue, mental health is more acknowledged now and hopefully more people are sympathetic.

With regards to your boss he sounds unpleasant, I guess you have to work? Have you tried counselling? someone I worked with had zero confidence and suffered severe anxiety she was constantly off sick but, she had cognitive behavioural therapy and she is like a different person she feels it changed her life.

I myself had traditional counselling and I found it very useful, it's really hard as an adult to increase your confidence but it is possible, don't give up!

Maybe speak to your GP to get referred then maybe you will have the confidence to get another job. Good luck for Monday. X

Pollywallywinkles Sat 10-May-14 22:50:40

Have occupational health been involved? Are you going back on a phased return?

The anticipation of the first day back at work is always worse than the actual event.

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