Can't cope anymore - what are my options?

(20 Posts)
Empross76 Wed 22-May-13 11:49:09

Hi there,
Not sure if I've posted in the right place.
I've been teaching for just over 10 years, part time for four. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I'm finding it increasingly hard to function and am signed off work at the moment.
I feel like I'm doing a rubbish job of teaching and that for my mental health things would be a lot better for everyone if I could just STOP work.
But - we can't afford it. We need my wage.
I feel so trapped and unhappy and I fear that if I keep on trying to spread myself so thin then I'm heading for serious trouble like a breakdown.
Does anybody know anything about stopping work for mental health reasons - is there some sort of integral health cover as part of the job? Or early retirement?!
I'm at my wits end here and really need to do something rather than blundering on and waiting for an inevitable and spectacular crash.

mycatoscar Wed 22-May-13 17:05:01

I don't have any advice but am feeling the same and can't see a way out. Hoping someone will have something helpful to reply.

Empross76 Wed 22-May-13 17:21:07

Mycatoscar - thanks for replying. It's good to hear that somebody is in the same boat. But also not because it's not a great position to be in, so sorry for what you're going through!

RequiresImprovement Thu 23-May-13 15:43:40

I'm sorry you are going through this. I feel similar at the moment but have not taken time off yet. I feel like I'm sinking fast though and that is not far away now. I don't know what the answer is I'm afraid. I hope someone has some good advice for you. I have resigned from my current post but have another job for next year. I am hoping that my situation will be resolved by changing settings. Is that an option for you or do you feel that it is teaching in general? Do you think you could follow a different career? Is that an option. I'd love a different job but am not qualified to do anything else sad. Hope things improve for you soon x

float62 Thu 23-May-13 20:50:57

Well 4 teachers are fed up, and all I can say is...yep it sucks...not just for teachers but for all working mothers, so my advice is, get out, stop, do the 'parenting' thing (you'll have learnt about parents in your training and work experience so you may as well be one too). So what if you think people look down on you because you're not working as such. They're going to look down on you and be judgy,judgy no matter what you do. Grab all your sickies, extras and etc and just take a break. Really I think you'll find it's not just 'teaching' but nearly all jobs are pretty unfulfilling, hard, boring, etc,etc,etc and more so if you're juggling it with raising a family. You can always go back to it.

peelingwallpaper Thu 23-May-13 21:00:19

Hi ladies. I've been there - crying in the toilets, feeling sick at the thought of delivering another lesson and drowning in the workload. It pretty much gave me a nervousness breakdown and I realised I had to get out. 4 years and I'm in a completely different job. Whilst I know I am more prone to getting anxious and depressed in whatever job I do it is NOTHING compared to teaching. I just a little step each day away from teaching as still had mortgage etc and couldn't stop working.

soverylucky Thu 23-May-13 21:38:58

I am sorry you are feeling this way. I was very stressed in my last job - one day I was driving to work and wished I would have an accident so that I didn't have to go in! I knew I had to leave. I applied for another job at a different school and got it. I decided to give it 12 months in another school and then if I still felt the same then I would quit. I found the different school to be a breath of fresh air and leaving my old place was the best thing I ever did. Good luck op whatever you decide to do.

Empross76 Thu 23-May-13 23:17:17

Thanks everyone. It is good to know that others feel the same, even though it's not a great way to be feeling so wouldn't wish it on anyone.
My confidence is absolutely rock bottom so I don't think I could get a job anywhere else - nobody would have me. It's all such a mess. I just wish I could take some time out and just focus on me for a change rather than dashing about with a million things to do, trying to balance work and the kids. Other colleagues balance it just fine and they're full time! How I will never know. I wish we didn't need me to work and that I never had to go back to a job where I feel so inadequate.
Sorry, feeling a bit down about it all this evening. I was hoping for some magic answer that I'd not thought of that would allow me to stay home, not lose my wage, and get a quality of life back again.
Lottery ticket?!

CatherineofMumbles Fri 24-May-13 10:25:31

I think your position will resonate with people in all types of job, not just teaching - many of us would like to give up work but not income! In my case, in a different profession, I felt the same. Luckily I was made redundant, but could not afford not to work, so I signed up with a job agency, just for ad-hoc menial temp jobs - and it was fantastic! I enjoyed meeting new people, different environments, the jobs weren't demanding, and they were paid (albeit a lot less than my previous job). Just the change gave me more confidence, and after a few months I had thought of a new profession, and am now retraining.

Empross76 Fri 24-May-13 12:13:40

It's the anxiety and depression that's got too much at the moment. Been up and down for four years now and just can't see it ever improving. On ADs but they give me side effects of tiredness, lack of focus, poor memory. Just make it harder to do my job and feel like I'm on a knife edge.

puffinnuffin Fri 07-Jun-13 18:59:43

What about tutoring in your own home? Would that work?

joanofarchitrave Fri 07-Jun-13 19:03:01

There's lots of issues in this and you are getting lots of ideas from others.

I would just say, have a chat with your GP about whether you're on the right AD? They really can be very different in how they feel.

CarpeVinum Fri 07-Jun-13 19:13:05

Empross

This is my son's school. There are others, I'll go find links for you. I'm not sure the transition from RL classroom to online is for me, but from what I can gather DS's teachers are very enthusiastic about the degree to which the online enviroment lets them teach...with a nice shiney mute button taking the place of all the RL behavoiral issues stratagies.

Would it be worth looking into ? It's a growing educational market and being online you wouldn't be limited to teaching only students in the Uk if you wanted to extend your horizons in terms of tutoring individuals and small groups.

Empross76 Fri 07-Jun-13 23:05:21

Carpe, Joan and Puffin - thanks for your posts! I thought this thread had died a death days ago.

I'm signed off for all of June now, probably all term. So don't think I'll be back until September. That should help, but I still can't relax with the uncertainty of it all.

I have a relatively easy post currently - part time PPA. Definitely easier than when I was a full-time class teacher before I had kids. I don't think the problem is the job - it's me. I'm just not coping with having such a busy life. It's increasingly making me feel spread too thin and inadequate at everything. I don't think a different job would change that, although I will definitely look into your suggestions and thank you for those. The problem is me and I don't know how to fix that because I've always been like this.

I feel totally trapped and hopeless at the moment because I am in a depression and at the moment I can't see any way out of this or imagine a future where I won't feel this way.

I tried a different AD recently - that's how this current mess started - GP changed me from Citalopram to Fluoxetine and it REALLY didn't suit me. Signed off work pronto and it took us a while to make the decision to stop Fluoxetine. So back on to Citalopram with a tentative agreement that in the near future we will try to find an AD that doesn't leave me so wiped out.

Am on the waiting list for counselling and have appt with Occupational Health on Tuesday. Nervous about OH but hopeful that they may be able to help.

I just feel like such a failure.

Thanks again for your posts.

CarpeVinum Sat 08-Jun-13 07:53:42

Oh love you haven't failed. I felt the same way after I had DS. I felt torn in two and like I was was crap as a teacher and as a mother becuase I was running on fumes. The reality was...what I was feeling was entirely reasonable, I was spread too thin and I was knackered, truely knackered, mind, body and spirit. So I sort of "broke" for a bit, cos I think my sub concisous took matters into its own hands and decided to force the issue since my logical side didn't seem able to come up with a solution of its own.

Teaching is killer in that respect. There isn't a lot of downtime. It's so "on stage" and intensive. I burned out. And I'm just a TEFLer, god only knows what would have happened if I had been in the pressure cooker enviroment of a maonstream school.

You are doing everything right, you need some extra help and you are getting it.

Do you think what you need is a break, or new options that will take you into another field entirely ?

TwasBrillig Sat 08-Jun-13 08:02:27

I have had 4 years out of teaching and need to go back to work soon but its threads like these that remind me just the sheer struggle of being on top of all the lessons and marking, every week. I was wondering if part time would at least mean it was less intense but I don't know. I'm tired already.

Would quite like to transfer career. I'd love to be an ot but couldn't take the time to retrain and lower income. I'd planned to retrain as an ed psych but the travelling to the uni is over an hour away so won't fit even if I did get through!

Empross76 Sat 08-Jun-13 10:07:43

Carpe - so much of what you said applies to me. I need a break. A break without returning to work looming. A proper break to sort myself out and not be so afraid all the time. But we can't ruddy afford it! I'm stuck.

Empross76 Sat 08-Jun-13 10:44:38

It's also probably significant that my DD is at the school I work at, so having time off from work doesn't mean I get a break from it. I take her to and from school (although I hid and sent her in to breakfast club to start with). I see the school building and the staff and the parents and the kids and it makes me feel paranoid and a failure. I see the kids from school if I take her to the park or walk to the local shops. I can't relax at all.

mrspaddy Sat 08-Jun-13 10:50:48

Hi, I had to get out of teaching in the UK.. It was making me ill and unhappy.
I moved to a special school and much happier. I feel I am in a smaller environment, flexibility and good atmosphere.

flowers.. no advice for you except maybe to get out and do something else. Put yourself first.

Empross76 Thu 13-Jun-13 09:50:51

I had a meeting with Occupational Health yesterday and have been referred for CBT. She didn't put a timescale on it all so am feeling happy that there was no return date mentioned so don't feel rushed.

Am still feeling stuck and like things won't ever get better. But really hoping CBT can make a difference and that I won't be like this forever!

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