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to want to be signed off for a further 2 weeks?

(20 Posts)
kaylasmum Tue 09-Aug-11 11:20:38

hi,

I've been signed off my work for the past 6 weeks due to severe anxiety and depression. I am currently receiving cbt and have had 3 sessions. I'm starting to feel a little better but nowhere like my usual self, feel nervous when i go out, don't really want o talk to anyone and i'm also very tired a lot of the time. 6 weeks ago my citalopram was increased from 40mg to 60mg.

I really thought i'd be ready to go back tomorrow but the thought really scares me. I work on a checkout in a very busy supermarket so have to make conversation and deal with a lot of people. Normally i love my job but the thought of it terrifies me just now.

If i go back too soon i'm worried i won't cope and will be signed off again. This will go down as another abscense and will lead to me being disciplined.

Anyone have any advice?

squeakytoy Tue 09-Aug-11 11:22:09

If you arent ready, you arent ready. Go back to the doctors and get a continuation of your sick note. As you say, going back in, then going back off is probably more annoying to your employers, and also more stressful for you.

kittensliveupstairs Tue 09-Aug-11 11:22:53

I've never been in your situation. Can you go to your GP and explain all that. Surely it's better to be fit to return to work than go back too soon and have to have longer off? Simple economics, but as I say, I've never been in that situation.
Good luck.

AKMD Tue 09-Aug-11 11:26:27

I would ask for another week's sign-off and use it to liaise a phased return with your manager. For example - you come in for 2 hours a day to start off with, with a 30 min break between each hour, then increase each side steadily until you're back to your full hours and breaks. I'm sure your manager would prefer to see you coming back slowly to build up your capacity than to be hurled straight back in the deep end and have to keep taking time off.

Mishy1234 Tue 09-Aug-11 11:27:04

You don't sound as if you are ready and going back too early may result in you setting yourself back. I would go and see you GP today (or speak to them on the phone if you can't get an appointment) and ask for another 2 weeks.

joric Tue 09-Aug-11 11:28:22

Do they do a staged return to work? They should. Occupational health should help with this.

DoMeDon Tue 09-Aug-11 11:35:41

See your GP again and say what you have said here. True that OH can arrange a staggered retrun - seems a bit much to go full on after long time and such serious illness.

kaylasmum Tue 09-Aug-11 11:38:00

thank you all for your replies, i expected to be told to get a grip and get on with it.

I received a letter from my work last week saying that they wanted a meeting to discuss my ill health and to see if they can help me with it. as i was intending going back this week i've not spoke to them about it.

I feel really guilty about the time i've had off but i have to put my health first. I struggled on at work for 4 weeks before i was signed off and it was hell, i broke down on 3 separate occassions, the last time my manager advised me to get signed off.

I know i'm not ready to go back but really thought i could cope with it.

AKMD Tue 09-Aug-11 11:40:53

It sounds like your employers are willing to be very supportive, which is great. Definitely call them now to set up a meeting as they suggested and make sure that you reply to any other correspondence you get as soon as you get it so that they know that you're a willing partner too.

joric Tue 09-Aug-11 13:54:36

If you work for one of the major shops, your meeting will probably be about staged return to work- when you are ready.
Keep in contact with your employer.

littlemisssarcastic Tue 09-Aug-11 14:46:22

I wonder if you work for Tesco's. If you have already had 6 weeks off work, and don't feel well enough for work again yet, do you honestly think you are going to be well enough to cope with the demands of working again in just another 2 weeks?
I would second arranging some sort of gradual return to work, otherwise I would worry that the longer you are away, the harder it will be to get back in the driving seat IYSWIM. Do you feel able to manage a gradual return to work?

littlemisssarcastic Tue 09-Aug-11 14:48:09

Also, what are you planning to do about the meeting? Have they arranged a meeting, or have they asked you to contact them wrt arranging a meeting?

JaceyBee Tue 09-Aug-11 16:37:40

First of all, sorry you're going through this horrible experience. I work in psychology and I see this all the time. You need to know your rights, do some research on employment law and don't let your employers bully you. I hate to say this but if you do work for tesco, they actually have an appalling reputation for the way they treat staff with mh issues, and sainsburys aren't much better.

Have a look on The Richmond Fellowship's website. www.richmondfellowship.org.uk/index.htm

They are a mh charity who among other things receive govt funding under the IAPT initiative to try to support people with mh problems to stay in work, this involves liasing with your employer on your behalf and negotiating a staged return/whatever terms will be most helpful for you on your return to work. They know their shit when it comes to your rights and the law, please give them a call/email and see what they can advise.

Also, I know it's scary and you don't want to get any worse but in my experience of working with people with anxiety and depression, if you can stay in paid employment in some capacity it will more than likely be the best thing for you long term. Going off on long term sick is usually counterproductive, and if you leave work altogether it can be almost impossible to get back into work again, especially in todays climate. So many people with mh issues end up completely unemployable, it's very sad.

If you think your job is adding to your problems then look at getting something different but if you're just going to be stuck at home all day every day then it's unlikely that your mental health will benefit in the long run. And that is coming from someone who only cares about patients best interests, not companies profit margins!

Good luck with the CBT, it will ask quite a lot of you but it generally does get results. PM me if you want to chat or ask anything else.x

OpinionatedPlusSprogs Tue 09-Aug-11 16:42:53

Your health is the most important thing. Take the time you need and get help to negotiate with your employer. You do have rights but make sure you get the right advice. Hope you get well soon. MH problems are a valid reason to take time off.

megapixie Tue 09-Aug-11 17:05:16

Go to your GP. It will make it so so much worse if you go back and have to leave again. Please don't do yourself damage by forcing yourself to go in. Good luck with everything.

marriedinwhite Tue 09-Aug-11 17:24:05

Is it work thoughts that make you feel anxious and depressed or are there other factors too. You need to keep in touch with your employers. If you can't fact the thought of work then you need to be honest with them. If you are on sick pay you cannot expect to continue to receive full pay indefinitely for doing no work. You need to ensure you are receiving maximum treatment to allow you to return to work and undertake your full duties. If you still cannot return to your full duties, then adjustments will have to be made but you cannot expect to receive indefinitely payment for your full duties if you can only perform some of them or a proportion of them. I am sorry you are ill and hope you get better soon.

kaylasmum Tue 09-Aug-11 22:00:16

my anxiety is to do with my health which in turn leads to depression. I had cbt 2 years ago and really thought i was "cured", and for a long time i was fine.

I work for asda, have been there for almost 20 years. They have been understanding with me but this is the longest period of abscense i've had. I fully intended to go back tomorrow but i honestly feel it would be detrimental to my health if i do. I've only just started to go out of my house over the last week or so, and even then i can't wait to get home. I've never felt like this before, i normally spend lots of time out and about.

I had my cbt today and my phsycologist suggested a gradual return to work. I'll speak to my work tomorrow and attend the meeting they have arranged for friday.
I'm thinking of asking my gp to sign me off for one week instead of two and after that hopefully arrange some gradual return.

I don't expect to be paid for doing nothing and i have every intention of returning to work i just want to be ready and able to cope. I do enjoy my job when i'm well. I don't want to be like this, i just want to get the old me back again.

Thank you all for the good advice and support.

kaylasmum Tue 09-Aug-11 22:20:12

my anxiety is to do with my health which in turn leads to depression. I had cbt 2 years ago and really thought i was "cured", and for a long time i was fine.

I work for asda, have been there for almost 20 years. They have been understanding with me but this is the longest period of abscense i've had. I fully intended to go back tomorrow but i honestly feel it would be detrimental to my health if i do. I've only just started to go out of my house over the last week or so, and even then i can't wait to get home. I've never felt like this before, i normally spend lots of time out and about.

I had my cbt today and my phsycologist suggested a gradual return to work. I'll speak to my work tomorrow and attend the meeting they have arranged for friday.
I'm thinking of asking my gp to sign me off for one week instead of two and after that hopefully arrange some gradual return.

I don't expect to be paid for doing nothing and i have every intention of returning to work i just want to be ready and able to cope. I do enjoy my job when i'm well. I don't want to be like this, i just want to get the old me back again.

Thank you all for the good advice and support.

Mare11bp Tue 09-Aug-11 22:43:43

Please don't go back yet.

Several years ago I had the same. Went back too early which was swiftly followed by a meltdown couple of weeks later and over a month off work.

I went back far too early. I also worked with the public and had to be smiley all the time.

So please get yourself signed off again. It should be a rubber stamping exercise.

mouthwash7 Tue 09-Aug-11 23:00:38

Go and see your GP tomorrow and explain everything you've said in your post. You don't sound well. You need some time to recover.

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