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Depression, anxiety and work - balancing

(16 Posts)
VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sun 10-Dec-17 19:25:15

I've recently been diagnosed with depression, with lots of anxiety linked to it. The GP signed me off for a fortnight, and I'm back to work tomorrow.

These 2 weeks have been cathartic, as I was a total mental burnout stage. I ha e slept a lot and generally been very selfish and done as little as possible. I feel much better and am ready to get back to work.

However, I have never been much cop at balance in my life, and don't want to end up burned out again.

How do I manage this? How do you manage it?

Slowtrain2dawn Sun 10-Dec-17 19:34:55

I lowered all my expectations of myself ( in all areas). I stopped feeling I needed to fix everything for everyone and started trying to prioritise me. I have changed jobs twice since my “burnout” but actually it is being kinder to myself that is working.

Caulk Sun 10-Dec-17 19:39:13

Private psychotherapy.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sun 10-Dec-17 19:56:11

With regards to lowering of expectations and standards, this is perhaps the area I struggle the most. I simply can't judge what I should or should not be worrying about, in terms of completing a task to a certain level.

I'm meeting my boss in the morning to discuss the way forward, but I don't want to talk about personal issues. It's hard to explain what I'm experiencing, but it's affecting my memory, recollection of conversations, I get overwhelmed by lists, and anxious about making decisions.

My entire job is decision making, and I rely on my memory a lot!!

I'm awaiting counselling, but have just had a quick look online into psychotherapy. Psychodynamic therapy looks good.

sausagerollsrock Sun 10-Dec-17 21:43:29

I started saying 'no' much more.

hystericaluterus Mon 11-Dec-17 07:43:25

I am in the same boat. Asking for more help and admitting to myself and others that I was not coping has improved the situation. Though I think I might need to make a more drastic change to future proof myself.

DollyLlama Mon 11-Dec-17 07:51:11

When I went through similar, I had a big talk with myself and worked out where I was stretching myself unnecessarily at work. Would the world end if I didn’t do a b and c? Was anyone else doing it? Why did I feel the need to do more?

Once I did what I needed to do, and consciously managed my time better, things clicked into place and my anxiety reduced dramatically.

With regards to your memory, that’s one of the biggest things I struggled with. Trying to explain brain fog to my manager made me look incompetent.

Try and keep email chains rather than face to face conversations if you can. Jot down important details from conversations you’ve had and the biggest one (therapist recommended) was to say no. Not no the thing is... Just no. I know it’s a Mumsnet favourite but no is a full sentence and you will feel empowered by standing up and not taking on extra.

KathArtic Mon 11-Dec-17 08:25:06

Sorry about my username smile

Does your employer have an occupational health dept? and would they fund any treatment for you?

Is it just work that you feel you need to reset, or is it coping with family life and children too?

CrabappleCake Mon 11-Dec-17 09:15:23

If your employe4 has a welfare service, use it. Do tell your boss what is going on, there’s very few people who don’t have some experience of this whether it’s friends or relatives.

My dh has been through this and he said the best thing was telling people, that he trusted.

thetemptationofchocolate Mon 11-Dec-17 10:05:48

Is there anyone at your work who you are friends with? Who you trust? Or even who also suffer from depression and anxiety?
It might be worth 'recruiting' a couple of people from any of those categories, and ask them to tell you if they think you are not coping, and need a break from any task. This was suggested to me by our Occupational Health office, and I did do it, as I was beginning to realise that I could not trust my own judgment/decision making process. It helped to know that I had someone watching my back, as it were.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 11-Dec-17 20:44:20

Am waiting to hear from occupational health but we're between contracts at the moment, so it may not be until the New Year.

No real friends at work, mostly because I'm a bit standoffish when I'm like this, so haven't made big friends with people here (3 years).

There's a support phone line, maybe I should see if they can get me into any therapy.

I'm very tired today, which I didn't expect. A normal day has worn me out.

Dozer Mon 11-Dec-17 20:48:12

Was the MH issue work related? If so you could try to identify the factors.

Private therapy from a good counsellor, if you can afford it. Some employee assistance services will pay for this.

For me working long hours has always been bad for my MH, even if I’m enjoying the actual work.

Self care things include meditation, regular exercise, getting enough sleep. But it’s not always enough without professional help.

Slowtrain2dawn Mon 11-Dec-17 21:01:27

I used the support line, I really didn’t think telephone counselling but the counsellor was very good. I also had some clinical supervision ( I was in social worker type role). Both enabled me to prioritise better, slow down a little and pace myself so I did not get overwhelmed. I know exactly what you mean about being standoffish, I closed down at work. I did find that once I was able to offload to counsellor and clinical supervisor I could verbalise how I felt to colleagues and management without fear of “opening the flood gates”.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 11-Dec-17 21:07:28

Work didn't help, but isn't the primary cause. Infertility issues (DH) is really the cause, and there's backstory which aggravates it. I'm not in love with my job, and I have a tendency to take the world on my shoulders to help other people out.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 11-Dec-17 21:09:48

TBH, clinical supervision is still something I think my previous role (police) would benefit from - it certainly has left scars on me. My current job creates different scars, which might also benefit from similar intervention. Perhaps something I should look for in a counsellor?

Slowtrain2dawn Wed 13-Dec-17 08:23:59

Definitely OP. Someone with a qualification in supervision would be able to help with the life work balance and impact of vicarious trauma. I also had another issue at the time I felt burnt out, the combination of the two led me to have a month off.

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