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I feel cr*p again but this time am already on the tablets...

(9 Posts)
OccultGnu Wed 07-Nov-12 18:18:08

O.oh dear this feels weird, am finally delurking after some years of reading mumsnet to see if anyone has been where I am now. And if they have what did they do.

As some background, I have a stressful job with regular incidents of burnout in the team. I can deal with the stress as long as my head is behaving itself, however if i am having a decline the exact same level of stress is too much to handle. So it's not the job it is my ability to handle it that is variable. Have been doing this job since 2003.

Mental health history goes as follows:

2007 - first official episode of depression, although looking back I have had similar symptoms before that i have ignored/worked though. Hits me hard as i have a family member with MH probs and have secretly had a bit of a "pull yourself together" attitude - serves me right. Have six months off work (v supportive employer) and prescribed Citalopram. Also attend counselling which feels like a lengthy moaning session on my part but otherwise didn't seem to have a long term effect. The combination seems to work, graduated return to the job, stay on the tablets for just over a year and eventually decide i am coping ok, take myself off them and with a bit of ignoring the odd wobble i seem to be back in the saddle.

2010 - start to recognise that i am having the same "stressy" symptoms as previously.
There is a big reorganisation at work which is increasing the level of stress for all concerned, that plus a decline on my part takes me back to the GP, back to Citalopram and back off sick for seven months. The lengthier time off is due to family illness. my mother is in her nineties and had a serious illness at that time. Citalopram isn't working as well for me this time so am switched to Sertraline. This seems to take effect after a while, the feeling of stress/depression is still in the background but doesn't swamp me like it was before.

Mum recovers from the illness, i make a phased return to work again and drop to four days a week at the recomendation of the occupational health team. Work are again very understanding and supportive and the workload ls increased gradually and appropriately to the level (they tell me) of a four days a week worker.

Me and DH move in with mum as her carers with a package of support for when we are at work. We have no other family members who are reliable and can share the load (will spare the details of the family we DO have, that is a whole other posting).

2012 - i am still on Sertraline but start to realise that the stress/depression feelings are starting to come to the fore again. Not all the time, some days are fine but some are awful. Have a couple of really bad days at work - don't want to sound secretive but can't give details, suffice to say that i have some really upset/angry/threatening people who blame me for their situations. And because i am feeling wobbly I feel more responsibility for this than normal.

This leads to the extra glass of wine or two to relax which I know doesn't help depression. But only on the evenings when I have the day off the following day, I don't want to add hangovers at work to the problems.

In retrospect the last couple of weeks have been awful, I have been forcing myself into work, not doing as good a job as i should be, getting behind on paperwork and generally being pathetic. But not wanting to acknowledge how bad i was getting and have worked like mad to try and keep the same level of work up. I've had bad patches before and have come through them so was hoping this was just another one. And I hate saying that I am not coping, not being up to the job is to me a sign of weakness.

Yesterday i was dry heaving in the loo. don't know why but seemed to be linked to not wanting to be there. And then went straight into a meeting with two people that increased my stress levels no end. Have been semi-wishing to get flu or have a crisis at home that requires me to take some time off - a pretty horrible thing to wish for when i think about it.

I have spoken to the boss about how i am feeling. Promises were made that extra support would be made available to me but in practical terms it either didn't arrive or wasn't what was needed. Or it wasn't enough to make me feel better.

I spoke to the boss again yesterday and had a melt down, have booked a GP appointment for Friday. I haven't a clue what will happen, I am already taking tablets that should be relieving the feelings so where will i go from here? I feel spaced out on the meds I'm on, an increase would stuff me altogether on the work front.

Other people can cope, why can't I?

Shaky Thu 08-Nov-12 00:30:08

Because you are human darling.

I have suffered a similar but not quite the same sort of situation. Fooled myself into thinking I was completely better and went back too work too soon (8 weeks after starting back on meds) only to be told by my manager that she didn't think I was we'll enough to be back at work. Apparently 80% better is not good enough, she wants me 100% better before I go back. My gp signed me off for a month and doubled my mediation. I feel shit again, partly through loss of confidence and sense of failure but also side effects from medication. I could sleep all day but stay awake all night, it's a viscous circle.

I would have a chat with your doctor and to be honest, if you feel that bad about going into work it is time to have some time off, what do you do?

I am a midwife and sometimes the responsibility and heartbreak just kills me. Only last week in the team I work with a mum committed suicide and a baby died of cot death. Sometimes my head and my heart do not have room for it all to be able to cope with it.

Would you judge someone else's ability to cope when they are feeling unwell. It's time to cut yourself a bit of slack, acknowledge how you are feeling and allow yourself time to recover.

I really hope you feel better soon.

Please be as open and honest as you can with you colleueges and your doctor so that they can help you feel better thanks

OccultGnu Thu 08-Nov-12 11:19:41

thank you for the flowers and for reading the post.

Responsibility and heartbreak - that chimed with me straight away. Lots of child protection and court work involved with my job, lots of unhappy people who want me to change something that i can't or who want me to leave them alone when legally we have to step in. That combined with all the statutory deadlines that are constantly being checked on leaves me feeling that I am not meeting targets and doing anything like a good job.

And all that follows me home and sits in my head when i should be enjoying the bit of time with my mum that we have left or relaxing with my lovely patient husband who is a great support and does understand the work.

I can cut everyone some slack apart from myself I guess, a lot of the time that is how I things get done on time - "keep calm and carry on" is the mantra.

Honesty with the Gp is the key, I never like saying I am not coping but will have to grit my teeth...

Thank you for the advice, hope I can return the favour some time.

Shaky Thu 08-Nov-12 22:03:29

You are very welcome. I didn't want to read and run.

It's awful when you start a thread and don't get any replies.

I just wanted to give my support and let you know you are not alone.

CharlieBoo Fri 09-Nov-12 18:23:02

You are not alone, I've been on citalopram for almost 18 months and have felt loads better but in the last coule of months am slowly feeling so stressed again, over the tiniest thing!!! Had a rubbish trip to toy shop after school to get xmas ideas, which resulted in kids running round being lunatics and my stress levels are ridiculous... Over nothing! No advice but lots of understanding xxx

OccultGnu Fri 09-Nov-12 20:15:20

Wish i'd known that the damn things would either wear off or stop working.

or maybe my brain plans carefully to let the stress get through despite the tablets. I am my own saboteur.

I sympathise with Christmas shopping in a toy shop with children at this time of year...I think the only way I could deal with that would be to pretend they weren't with me or hire a scary nanny to police them whilst I drifted languidly through pointing to items of interest.

I went to the GP who said i could increase my dosage of Sertraline if i wanted, however I could "expect more side effects" if I did. Whoopee. Gotta be better than feeling like this, will give it a try.

Shaky Fri 09-Nov-12 20:19:50

I'm glad you have spoken to your gp and are adjusting your medication. I found that I have been having some side effects but nowhere near as bad as when I first started them.

Are you taking any time off work to allow yourself to recover?

OccultGnu Sat 10-Nov-12 19:50:07

yes, although feel as if i've left everyone else to pick up the slack.

In my current state of mind i can make everything a negative, it's not "thank god I have some time off" it is "oh gawd they'll all hate me for leaving them to it".

i feel a major crawling under the duvet session coming on.

Shaky Sat 10-Nov-12 22:56:37

Oh, I did that too.

I saw it as a massive failure and letting everyone down, BUT if it had been anyone else I would be worried and really hoping that they got better soon. I totally identify with turning everything inroads negative.

It is really easy to get into a big, tired rut when off sick. I make sure I set my alarm in the morning and get out of bed and straight into the shower. If I don't do it first thing I find I put it off all day. I also write a list of jobs to do the next day and they MUST be done in the morning before I put the tv on. If I have to go out to the shops I make sure I do it in the morning. Somehow my motivation and energy levels are much lower in the afternoon.

I also find that if I don't eat something in the morning I won't eat all day so I make sure I eat breakfast.

When I doubled up my medication all I wanted to do was sleep but found that the more time I spent in bed the worse I felt. I would want to sleep in the day but be awake until the early hours.

My advice is, now you are off work put it out of your mind completely. Worrying about what is happening when you are not there will not help anyone and will only make you feel worse.

Take your time, allow yourself to get better. You are having medical treatment after all, you need to recover.

Good luck and best wishes x

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