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Taking time off sick during the semester

(2 Posts)
iveburntthetoast Mon 06-Nov-17 13:04:11

I will try to keep this brief. I suffer from bipolar disorder (which started 7 years ago following the birth of DD2). It is a blight on my life--I have 3-4 major epsiodes per year. These involve either the Acute Response Team coming into my house, or being admitted. Not suprisingly, it's had a big impact on my work. I've had 2-3 months off sick every year since 2013. My episodes are quite seasonal--at their worst between April -October. The seasonal aspect means that I've always managed to keep going with my teaching, although it's been a struggle at times ( it's screwed my research).

Anyway, I'm in the midst of a long and dark episode, which is out of the normal seasonal pattern. I've battled away for 6 weeks now, but I'm losing my grip. I've kept on top of teaching, but other work (esp admin) is in a mess. I'm starting to think I may have to go on sick leave as I'm just getting more poorly.

I dont know how they will handle my teaching if I do go on sick leave. It's a 4th year class so there is no way that anybody can take over. There are assessed presentations in the module (6 students are yet to present). I don't know how this could be covered.

Does anyone have advice on how to approach this? My dean is very much aware of my illness and is very, very supportive. They have no issues with my level of sickness, but I don't want to add any more time off if I can help it.

Summerswallow Mon 06-Nov-17 15:58:06

I'm so sorry you are going through this, sounds incredibly stressful. I can relate. My thought is that if for some other reason you couldn't teach (injury/dropped down) then they would have to make alternative arrangements, and this is true now- so perhaps you just need to bite the bullet and let them know that it is unlikely you will be able to continue til the end of term and see what they propose. I know this isn't the way in academia and people seem to plough on, but people do and can go off sick, and as I predicted on the other thread, the pressure/increased numbers is going to end up meaning this happens to more and more so this inability to cope with lecturers being less than able at all times (and pressuring them so they can't cope) can't continue.

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