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Can anyone discuss pro and cons of staying at work v going off sick?

(9 Posts)
Smartleatherbag Mon 14-Sep-15 09:40:00

I've had severe depression for 18mths, up and down but v bad this last month. I mainly work from home so apart from six months at the start, I've been able to work and it has largely been helpful as I like my job. However I am now really struggling and work is depleting me. I can go off sick. The cons are that it puts pressure on others and it makes it more likely I'll lose my job altogether when contracts renew and have to be cut. Long term this would be bad and I'd never get a job like this.
Dh want me to stay at work. I am finding it an ordeal.
I am lost.

Lottapianos Mon 14-Sep-15 09:48:35

I've been in your position. It's a tough one, trying to figure out what's actually the best thing to do. The pros of staying at work when I was unwell - daily routine, having a reason to get up in the morning, contact with people every day (even when this was tough), some sense of achievement.

The pros of taking time off work when you're unwell - a chance to rest and recover, time for exercise and other things that you may find beneficial, a chance to set your own agenda, not having to deal with other people's demands and expectations in the work place, a sense of satisfaction that you're prioritising your own health and wellbeing.

Please don't worry about putting pressure on others. It can't be helped. I'm sure you would pick up the slack for a colleague who needed time off. If you had broken your leg, or had a serious operation, and were physically unable to get to work, would you be feeling this guilty? Depression can be every bit as debilitating as a physical illness or injury.

Do you have a supportive manager?

FishWithABicycle Mon 14-Sep-15 09:51:26

If you like your job then it would be good to try and hang on to it. Neither unemployment nor being in a different job you hate would be good for your mental health. Do your employers know you are ill? Could you reduce your hours temporarily to give you the energy you need to fight off the black dog?

Smartleatherbag Mon 14-Sep-15 10:06:03

Thanks for the replies, very much appreciated. Yes my boss and colleagues are super. They don't know I'm struggling just now, but know that I have recently supposedly recovered! Which I had to an extent. This is a set back.
Yes, having the chance to use the tiny energy I've got to go walking etc would be great. And yes at the same time, being part of the world is helpful too I guess. Plus my income means we are comfortable financially rather than scraping by, which would be the situation if I were unemployed.
God, I'm just really suffering it's so painful being like this. I hate it!
I think if I were physically ill I'd take the time off, but I would feel guilty still.

Smartleatherbag Mon 14-Sep-15 10:09:31

Oh, re hourshours, I can't have a reduction just now unfortunately, not without reduction in hours for duration of contract.

Lottapianos Mon 14-Sep-15 10:12:22

The guilt can be part and parcel of depression as well. Please remember that's what sick leave is for - for when you're not fit to be at work, for whatever reason! You're as entitled to it as anyone else. Women (quite rightly) take up to a year at a time off for maternity leave - they're entitled to it, and the workplace just has to manage without them.

Excellent news that your boss and colleages are supportive. How would you feel about taking a fixed time off, maybe a week?

Smartleatherbag Mon 14-Sep-15 10:37:03

Thanks lotta. Yes I think a week or two off would be very helpful. The thought of it is a gigantic relief.
I'll talk to my boss later about it, see if I can arrange it.

Lottapianos Mon 14-Sep-15 10:43:37

A week or two seems like a long time but in the grand scheme, its actually nothing. Some people go on sick leave for months at a time. Yet it sounds like it would make a huge difference to you so I say go for it. Any sensible manager would be glad that you're taking responsibility for your own mental health, and would rather have you off for a couple of weeks now, than signed off for 6 months if things really get too much. Good luck x

Smartleatherbag Mon 14-Sep-15 10:46:30

Thanks flowers

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