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to go to the GP about how bullying at work is affecting my health?

(33 Posts)
worklifeishell Fri 07-Oct-11 07:24:16

Bullying my manager is making me feel very low. I dread going into work. I want to quit (even though I have been there 10yrs). I have trouble sleeping It's causing my eczema to flare up. I am ratty with my children because I am tired and I can't take my mind off work.

AIBU to see the GP?
Would it achieve anything (what is my gp likely to do)?
Will they think I am wasting their time?

And if I go what do I say? How do I start? I have been to the doctors for anything other than physical problems and wouldn't know where to start regarding issues about how I feel.

louby86 Fri 07-Oct-11 07:28:42

Hi, first of all so sorry you feel this way, unfortunately doctors see this all of the time.

I've recently been signed off for 4 weeks with work related stress and the doctors that dealt with me were great. I too was worried as I'd never had a problem like this before but they are very understanding. Do you have a complaints procedure at work that you can go through? Under the health and safety at work act the company you work for are responsible for protecting you from this. Hope that helps a bit. PM me if you want any detailed information

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Oct-11 07:32:07

YANBU to talk to your GP about treatment for the symptoms but, if the bullying isn't fixed, any medication will only be a short term solution. Who is your manager's manager and can you talk to them about the problem? Unless your manager owns the company, everyone has to answer to someone further up the chain. Alternate strategies would be to tackle the manager directly... stand up to them square rather than tolerate the bullying.. or you could find a new job and then sue for constructive dismissal. Good luck

ZonkedOut Fri 07-Oct-11 07:33:55

You should go, yes. Apart from anything else, it will make a record of the problem which might be helpful in the future. You can talk to the GP which might help in itself, and he/she wouldn't think you are wasting their time at all.

As to what it will achieve, it can't possibly hurt and may well help, your GP should be able to make some suggestions. Or could sign you off sick to give you a break.

Also, could you go to HR to talk about it? It's what they're there for.

Good luck.

worklifeishell Fri 07-Oct-11 07:38:08

I have spoken to my union rep about the greivence procedure which I meant to be starting today. I have the form to fill in.

It makes me feel sick to my stomach to do it though. I used to be so motivated at work, now I don't even want to go in.

Animation Fri 07-Oct-11 07:39:02

Bullying in the workplace can cause Post Traumatic Stress reactios if your're exposed to it for too long - and you probably need some time out so you can think clearly what to do. The two healthy ways are to either fight it or flee, Just putting up with it will increase your anxieties.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Oct-11 07:42:14

Try to turn this around in your head. You've been doing a job, presumably pretty well, for 10 years. Your manager (of how long, you don't say) is a bully and is therefore doing their job incredibly badly. If anyone should be feeling sick, it's them because their actions should get them written warnings and/or dismissal. So next time you see your manager, think to yourself 'you are for the high jump', 'dead man walking'... and try to react to their words/actions accordingly. You've done exactly the right thing complaining to the union rep but don't leave it there... escalate your complaint to your manager's line manager yourself. If you see yourself as powerless you will feel worse than if you keep taking control.

worklifeishell Fri 07-Oct-11 07:43:21

The only problem with my GP is tha when you phone the receptionist want to know if it something that can be dealt with over the phone as they are always so busy.

If I explain it isn't phyiscal I may end up with a phone appointement which isn't what I want

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Oct-11 07:46:57

Don't explain anything to the receptionist beyond that it is a very urgent & very serious matter and you need to see a GP in person. I know your confidence is low but you have to find a voice and start demanding that your needs are given top priority. Everywhere in life, not just your job or with your GP.

altinkum Fri 07-Oct-11 07:58:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worklifeishell Fri 07-Oct-11 08:14:26

I've got an appointment today.

I have no idea how I am going to start the conversation. I feel afraud for taking up a doctors time

troisgarcons Fri 07-Oct-11 08:16:38

See your union too. If you aren't in one (and everyone should be for peace of mind) then ACAS will ahve advice on their website.

QuietNinjaFotherMucker Fri 07-Oct-11 08:17:31

You're not a fraud. Just explain how the bullying is making you feel. Stressed, anxious, low. They will want to help. Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Oct-11 08:24:40

The 'feel a fraud' thing is all part of your lack of confidence. You described very well originally how the problem is affecting you... lack of sleep, irritability, eczema flare up etc. That's what you tell the doctor - and if they say you need to take time out for stress, take the time out. Between now and your appointment keep reminding yourself that your problems are important, that you are an important person and that you deserve to be treated with courtesy and taken seriously as standard.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 07-Oct-11 08:26:13

Wanted to add... it's good to have it on record, should matters escalate, that the bullying has impacted on your health and has resulted in you seeking medical treatment.

KnockKnockWhosThereIDidAp Fri 07-Oct-11 08:47:59

Good luck with this. My suggestion is writing down a few quick lines of the main things you want to say to the GP, and then keep yourself busy today so you don't think and think about it until your appointment.

themightyskim Fri 07-Oct-11 08:53:23

Ive been to my doctors about the same problem it made me ill, be honest with your doctor and it will be fine, if your not sleeping then you need some time to get yourself sorted, and your doing something about the situation at work so hopefully a bit of rest and you will be back and fighting fit

You just need to talk about what is happening to your body because of it - your exma and your sleep and feeling at low ebb - the doctor will do the rest

smile good luck

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Fri 07-Oct-11 09:19:57

Just tell the dr how you feel. You will be fine. They are not there to challenge you, they are not on the side of the boss.

I walked into drs and burst into tears. Drs response was "Oh dear my love, that's not right". Handed me a tissue, waited for me to compose myself, listened and signed me off for 4 weeks. No questions asked.

When you're suffering from stress, whatever caused it, it is easy to have a very distorted view of yourself, and the world around you, and to be hard on yourself. Just go.

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Oct-11 10:22:12

Just wanted to say well done to you for taking some action on this - by speaking to your Union Rep and by going to the GP.
You are not a fraud - you are stressed and anxious. You are going to the GP to seek help and that's what they are there for.
Good luck and good wishes.

I hate workplace bullying with a passion angry

Salmotrutta Fri 07-Oct-11 10:24:07

Sorry - I hate any bullying.
Didn't mean to make it sound like other types of bullying were OK blush

porcamiseria Fri 07-Oct-11 10:29:07

see GP but I think you MUST try and stand up to this bully

I know its a cliche but bullys do respond to people defending themself

you do NOT deserve to be treated this way and the more it happen the lower your self esteem will get

go onto amazon NOW and get a book to read this weekend and take some action on this, please, you are worth so much more

I only advise a book as its a easy way to start, then you can do more

fight back OP

porcamiseria Fri 07-Oct-11 10:32:41

here you go

www.amazon.co.uk/Fighting-Back-Fight-Bullying-Workplace/dp/0077099516/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317979837&sr=1-4

www.amazon.co.uk/Bully-Sight-Challenge-Workplace-Overcoming/dp/0952912104/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1317979837&sr=1-6

Your GP will most likely be much more sympathetic than the receptionist. Just tell her it is a private matter you need to see the doctor about in person. They like to know in advance, but they don't have to know.

Don't worry about wasting the doctors time. This has made you ill with physical symptoms and s/he cannot treat them if they don't know the real cause.

If it helps, write down the symptoms it has caused on a list, all for them, from the visible ones like the eczema to the ones the GP can't see, like the crying, feeling sick, the lack of sleep, the rattiness with your family and the desire to quit your job and lack of concentration on anything other than worrying about work and your manager and the damage it has done to your confidence.

If you feel like crying in the doctors surgery then cry.

I hope the union are being more helpful to you right now than just filling in a form.

I don't know if they have advised you to keep a diary, but keep one.

Not just of the things your manager had done to bully you but off everything, the effects it has had on you and your family, everything.

Even something as simple as "felt weepy today, shouted at X and made him cry too. Feel too sick to eat lunch, went to bed with a headache. Can't face work tomorrow." Put down everything you think might be linked to the bullying, including bad dreams or reacting strongly to things that never used to upset you.

If you have to go through a grievance procedure or tribunal of any sort then that sort of think can help just as much as the actually things the manager has said and done directly.

And writing things down is a form of release, so it might help you feel better to get all that down on paper.

And also, if it helps, write a list of things you know you are good at and do well at work or at home etc, just to remind yourself. Bullying can make you feel worthless and you are not.

Your manager sounds like a total git. I hope that this is all resolved quickly for you.

scaryteacher Fri 07-Oct-11 12:55:51

When I was off sick (before teaching) with workplace bullying, my GP wrote stress due to work place bullying on my sick note, and kept renewing it for me. Work didn't like it, but had to address the problem.

Fiendishlie Fri 07-Oct-11 13:12:12

''When I was off sick (before teaching) with workplace bullying, my GP wrote stress due to work place bullying on my sick note, and kept renewing it for me.''
Exactly the same for me, Scaryteacher, though whilst I was a teacher. I was being bullied by my head of department due to my disability (amongst other things). Unfortunately I ended up not being able to go back to work due to panic and anxiety attacks as a result of the bullying. Part of me wishes I had taken it further, rather than just getting a new job elsewhere, but as a happy ending, I love my new job and have never been happier.
Worklifeishell; good luck, I know exactly how you feel, my GP was very good and I'm sure yours will be too.

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