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Would you be comfortable keeping nanny on who is on antidepressants?

(35 Posts)
watchthisspace Fri 23-Oct-09 12:56:00

current nanny has had an unusual amount of things happening in her life recently and have taken many days off as a result.. breaking up with her boyfriend, sick relatives, death of a close friend etc. The GP offered it to her before and she turned her down but now she says she will ask her prescription.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?

FABIsInTraining Fri 23-Oct-09 12:57:29

Why have you got concerns?

PumpkinsCantDanceTheTango Fri 23-Oct-09 12:59:39

Surely if she is feeling low its better for her to be on antidepressants than suffering from depression and not getting help.

What matters is her performance with the children. As long as she is still doing her job well there is no problem - if she isn't then maybe she needs to take some time off to recover - same as if it was a physical illness.

UndeadLentil Fri 23-Oct-09 12:59:48

Wouldn't it be illegal to consider letting her go on grounds of her mental health?

Perhaps you could sit down with her and chat about how things are going and how she feels she is coping at work so that you can plan a way forward together.

watchthisspace Fri 23-Oct-09 13:00:50

I don't want to intrude into her personal discussions with doctors or ask how severe her depression is etc. but my concern is of course for my DCs. Will she be distracted, can she do her job. She is hard pressed for money so I know she wants to stay but if she is not capable I wouldn't know as I'm not home to observe. At the end of the day although I feel for her my responsiblity is firstly to my kids.

Tambajam Fri 23-Oct-09 13:00:50

I would rather have a nanny who has recognised she has had some trouble coping, has looked for support and has perhaps ended up takings antidepressants than one who has had some trouble coping, has not looked for support and has not ended up on antidepressants.

watchthisspace Fri 23-Oct-09 13:02:01

I don't know about the legalities but wanted to see if other mums have had this experience or what they would do..

PumpkinsCantDanceTheTango Fri 23-Oct-09 13:02:14

Any nanny could be on antidepressants and not tell their employer anyway. She sounds responsible that shes recognised she needs some help and seeing her GP and not burrying her head in the sand, thats a great step.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 23-Oct-09 13:02:29

would you be happy if your boss got rid of you because you were on anti-depressants?

frakula Fri 23-Oct-09 13:03:48

I think you need to try and talk to her, but without intruding. It's one of those awkward employer-but-something-more moments. Is it the idea of ADs you're opposed to or do you have existing concerns about her performance?

theDeadPirateRoberts Fri 23-Oct-09 13:05:31

How many mothers cope on anti-ds with depression? Really, it sounds like your nanny is having a perfectly sane response to so much trauma, and taking the anti-ds is the equivalent of taking painkillers for sprain - please doen't write her off because it's a mental rather than a physical health problem - they're both recoverable from.

watchthisspace Fri 23-Oct-09 13:06:20

frakula- my concerns are two fold, does the AD effect her physically like drowsy or less focused, and is she really able to look after small children which is difficult at times. Is she pushing herself perhaps more than she would because she is strapped for cash.. I think you are right its a fine line between asking enought questions but not seem to intrude

Summerfruit Fri 23-Oct-09 13:07:24

Sorry but that makes my blood boiling..I'm a cm on ads. I have a problem and I'm sorting it out. The parents dont know it as it never really affected my professionnal life and its none of their business anyway. I wouldn't expect to be discriminated because I'm ads.

bigstripeytiger Fri 23-Oct-09 13:08:58

If she needs antidepressents then she is probably going to be in a better frame of mind to do her job on them and getting better rather than not taking them.

I dont think that a nanny taking antidepressants is in itself a cause for concern.

FABIsInTraining Fri 23-Oct-09 13:11:23

You are clearly not comfortable with a nanny who has gone on to ADs so you will need to deal with it.

You seem to have no idea about mental illness at all.

I left MN but lurked and this has made me so angrysad[shock that I had to post.

PumpkinsCantDanceTheTango Fri 23-Oct-09 13:12:02

Am really glad to see the resounding message on here. I am on antidepressants and I am left alone with children over night and very very long hours, I am absolutely fine. I have glowing references and am very very good at my job. However if I was not on them then I wouldn't be able to function as well. Just like a diabetic needs insulin. I did a degree (primary teaching) while on antidepressants and taught classes of up to 30, I look after children with additional needs, newborn babies, tantruming toddlers and I cope very very well.

I just hope your nannys honesty doesnt bite her on the bum.

bamboostalks Fri 23-Oct-09 13:14:47

I would be concerned too. However most people keep their use of ads to themselves so there are far more people on them and functioning normally than one would imagine. If she is not doing her job to your satisfaction then that is a cause for concern but it doesn't really matter whether she is on ads or not. Focus on her performance and try to keep your communication professional. Do not be a confidante for your nanny. You may regret it.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 23-Oct-09 13:16:53

your focus should be whether she's doing her job or not - it's got sod all to do with being on AD's.

watchthisspace Fri 23-Oct-09 13:18:47

Thanks for all your replies.

IMoveTheStarsForNoOne Fri 23-Oct-09 13:19:36

Plenty of people take AD's and are fully capable of doing their jobs! She may need some time off while starting to take them as the side-effects can be pretty nasty.

Sounds like you should have a little more sympathy tbh, sorry to be harsh - I know you're only worried for your DC's, but if she's doing a good job now while she's not taking them, surely once she's happier on AD's, she'll do an even better one?

IMoveTheStarsForNoOne Fri 23-Oct-09 13:22:52

Also, can I suggest you do some research into anti-depressants? You seem to know very little about them.

lobsters Fri 23-Oct-09 13:54:48

I'm a mum who has been on AD's and now has a nanny, firstly I wouldn't expect to know whether she was on AD's or not. It's personal, if you see now change in performance and your DC's aren't picking anyting up, then she is coping at work, even if she needs some help in other areas of her life. Everyone has a different reaction to ADs, but I was never drowsy with them, and actually far more together and able to function once they had kicked it. I would be far more worried by a nanny who clearly had serious issues, wasn't coping and wasn't willing to seek help.

susie100 Fri 23-Oct-09 14:01:11

watchthisspace i think you are getting a very harsh reception here. I read your OP as wanting to be supportive but not intrusive but also (and understandably in my view) wanting to know if it would have any effect on her ability to look after children.

Everyone seems to think you are considering firing her!

Nannying is an incredibly intense and demanding job and not unlike many other jobs in my view. I would also want to understand if there were any side effects to ANY medication being taken by my nanny (not jsut anti Ds).

FourArms Fri 23-Oct-09 17:52:07

As a mum taking ADs, I worried about telling my friends for exactly these reasons. I was worried they wouldn't trust me to look after their children (on playdates) any more.

As it was, when I started taking them I didn't have any side effects, and immediately felt much more focussed and proactive about doing things. Recently when things got a bit harder, I upped the dose, and although I had more enthusiasm and patience than ever, the downside was some drowsiness, so I dropped down again.

It's hard. Knowing she is on ADs means she has depression. But taking them should mean she's a more effective nanny than a nanny with untreated depression. I'd talk to her about what the GP advises in terms of time off when she starts taking them, and take things from there.

AtheneNoctua Fri 23-Oct-09 18:25:18

I'[m no expert but I thought ADs were for someone who has depression. And I thought depression was an illness. It seems to me that someon who is down because a lott of bad things have been happening is haveing a normal human reaction to her circumstances and not someone who is suffering from depression.

If I had a nanny who I believed was truly depressed and I thought leaving my children with her put them at even a very small risk, you betchya I would make other childcare arrangements. I don't know what the legalities are, but I would find away to protect my children before I worried about the morality or legality of my decision.

Obviously, I'm sure it's possibly for someone on AD's to not be a risk. But IF I thought she was a risk... my children's wefare would be second to nothing.

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