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To take a day off work because im struggling?

(54 Posts)
Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 18:01:39

Going through an awful lot at the minute and i already battle daily with GAD and chronic depression.
My panic attacks have increased and im just not feeling my best, or anywhere near my best at all!
Aibu to take a day off work, just to try and relax my mind along with trying to get some things i need to get done, done when i cant when at work (related to the awful time im having at the minute). Even when i know it leaves my colleague struggling a little.

Or is my colleague BU to be clearly pissed off with me because of this?
Im really trying to think selfishly, but i feel incredibly guilty. So wondered if i was in fact BU

redhat Fri 29-Jan-16 18:03:07


If you have chronic depression you are probably disabled under the Equality Act. Does your employer know about your condition?

Greyponcho Fri 29-Jan-16 18:05:23

Since when is work ever more important than your health?
Do what's right for you - a day off now may save you having a week off because you've not given yourself chance to catch up with yourself.
Do you mean use annual leave or to have a sick day though?

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 18:06:34

My employer knows about my GAD.
What would it mean being disabled under the equality act? Curious, as when i have taken time off - i have always gone for unpaid

Emeralli Fri 29-Jan-16 18:07:19

Take some time off! Depression and GAD are illnesses. No need to feel guilty. See your GP and get signed off for a couple of weeks if you're not coping.

I had GAD (successfully treated with medication and NLP). It's so draining. Get proper treatment and a recovery plan in place. Are you on meds now?

I work for NHS and colleagues are often going off sick with stress and anxiety-related issues. My line manager had 3months off with stress last year then a graded return to work, as she nearly had a breakdown.

Mental health is important, don't struggle on trying to cope if you need time off to rest.

SevenOfNineTrue Fri 29-Jan-16 18:10:26

I've been where you are. Taking time off was not the answer for me, just a slippery slope. Go and see your GP if you have not already done so. I found a short course of sleeping tablets helped me but they may be able to advise a course that is suited to you.

Good luck flowers

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 18:16:10

I do feel if i take time off it will make it more difficult to go back.
I am on propranolol and trying to help myself.
I have had a lot of meds that dont really help. I have had CBT and found that helpful. Id like to try it again, possibly with some meds alongside propranolol but getting an appointment is impossible!

I just worry that i let people down in work, then when i see theyre really not happy about it - it makes me worse.
I am seriously considering ending my contract when it is due for renewal

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 18:17:11

Thank you all for understanding flowers
I was really expecting people would tell me i was BU!

DragonMamma Fri 29-Jan-16 18:30:56

Yanbu to take the day off if you need it for your mental health but yabu to expect your colleagues to happy about it - by your own admission you are leaving them in the lurch a bit.

And re the equality act, it doesn't mean it has to be paid if your illness is classed as a disability. Well, nothing beyond SSP anyway.

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 19:16:46

Yep thats it. Thank you! Colleague is reasonably a tad pissed off. Im taking it all too personally.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Fri 29-Jan-16 19:34:09

YANBU. You aren't well. But ime it does make going back harder sometimes. If you have a clear plan for how a day off is going to make you feel better then it may be a good idea. For example, I have worked in a job with crazy long hours, eating 3 meals a day at my desk etc. A day off once in a while to sleep and eat healthily was effective for me when exhaustion and junk food were exacerbating my depression and anxiety.

GreenRug Fri 29-Jan-16 19:39:38

Been there. Colleagues in the lurch? Couldn't. Care. Less.

Your mental health is paramount to every part of your life. It's actually a symptom of the illness to worry about that though, one more thing to beat yourself up over eh?

I've done both the soldiering through and the final breakdown and from where I'm sitting, it's the breakdown I could have done without.

Be kind to yourself OP, value your health above all. flowers

TitClash Fri 29-Jan-16 19:57:33

No YANBU - If it works for you then do it.
I found that being occupied was better. My thoughts went round in circles and escalated when I was at home.

My GP is a star and gave me a repeat prescription for a small amount of Diazepam and that has really helped. Just knowing its there if I need it has been amazing. I get 2mg tablets and just take a half or even a quarter. (I havent taken any for months now, before anyone lectures about dependency.)

Do whatever works for you flowers

StealthPolarBear Fri 29-Jan-16 20:05:19

I have no problems with people having time off when they're ill but I do take issue with the couldn't care less comments. When you have a small team having someone off for a while piles the stress on those left to cover.

OhPudding Fri 29-Jan-16 20:14:04

Take the day off if it will help.

Workload 'piling up' is really your employer's problem. I don't mean in that in a heartless way, but people get ill or need time off occasionally. It happens. I certainly wouldn't EVER feel guilty because I had to take time off for being unwell!

The only caution I would add, though, is whether taking time off will make your anxiety worse? If you're a worrier and will spend the day feeling guilty, worrying what colleagues will think, fretting about going back etc - it may be best to go in and keep busy and plan some relaxing, enjoyable time for after work instead.

Agree with pp that you need a long term plan for dealing with your anxiety and depression, too. Not just meds/therapy, but having a real think about your lifestyle in general. When I was depressed, I took on a part time job instead of full-time. I did it for 6 months and it really helped having more 'me time'. I dont know if you're in a position to be able to reduce your hours, but the last thing you need when you are stressed out and anxious is too much pressure.

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 20:22:45

Thank you all!
That is the problem with me, mostly, my thoughts go round and escalate all of the time. A lot is based around work. My thoughts send me into a whirlwind before work, when im there and when i leave.

Me being off definately does place extra stress, as they are short staffed. I feel incredibly guilty for this and i feel im pushing myself to go. I really dont think its doing my anxiety and depression any good right now, but i dont think staying off would either. I really want to shut off and lock myself away, but i know thats not healthy so i need to try and stick it out.

I think im just going through a stronger depression than i usually am and its escalating everything in my mind

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 20:24:03

I am only part time. I dint work many hours a week, at all! Which is depressing and shameful in itself thst i cannot cope with it

secretgirl Fri 29-Jan-16 20:25:44

I don't have a whole lot of advice. All I can give is advice from my experience. However I suffer very badly with GAD. It's always there but I get really bad bouts of it where I can't face the world.
In my job we are very short staffed. In movement last I could feel it all building up. I know the signs By now. I struggled into work for a couple of days. One night, yet again., I couldn't sleep and I cried and cried. My partner told me not to go to work and I was like 'I can't do that to everyone I there'. At some stage in the middle of the night I decided to take the next day off!!! The best thing j ever did. I'm not saying it cured me but my god that 1 day off in the middle of the week, lounging in bed, doing nothing helped out more than I can say. I was able the face the world the following day. Yes the anxiety was still there but not as intense. And I'm convinced even still that 1 day prevented me going inn the hole I generally do. Take the day. Look after YOU. No one else will and you won't get any thanks for turning up.
This whole thing of 'mental illness' drives me bananas. If anything physical was wrong with you, there wouldn't be a question. Just do it and don't few guilty. Look after you.

Strangeoccurence Fri 29-Jan-16 20:32:57

Thank you. Sorry for those who deal with it, too, and any other MH illness. Its truly awful flowers

Fedup83 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:04:25

I wouldn't take a day. I'd take off as long as you need until you feel okay again and not going through such s shit time.

I tried the day off here and there approach and then ended up having a full on breakdown, being signed off for months and have now left work completely (through choice - I've gone freelance and it's going rather well).

Take a look at WHY you're struggling. Your stress cup must be too full and you need to tackle it before it spills over.

Fedup83 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:10:32

Oh and any guilt about my colleagues (who I moved heaven and earth for) quickly evaporated when I left and they were very obviously narked I was doing very well on my own.

It's not show friends it's show business. Colleagues are NOT your friends and you mustn't risk your wellbeing making their life easier. It won't be remembered - trust me.

StealthPolarBear Fri 29-Jan-16 21:12:13

No but the attitude of take off as much time as uou fancy just increases the stress for everyone else

Wombat87 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:14:22

One of my bosses says all the time... There's nothing more important than your health. Don't worry about them. If the shoe was on the other foot I doubt they'd be worrying about work.

Take a day. If it means you'd be in a better frame of mind and be able to work better, it's worth it.

Fedup83 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:16:55

Stealth it's not 'as much as you fancy'. It's as much as you need to feel better. Big difference.

Fedup83 Fri 29-Jan-16 21:17:34

Believe me I'd rather be at work feeling happy and capable than feeling unable to leave the house.

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