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Depression and anxiety, Employer pressure.....

(6 Posts)
IDontWantToLookLikeYou Tue 01-Mar-16 00:28:13

Hi I'm a long time member and lurker, have posted a couple of times on other threads, nc twice for no other reason than to change. Apologies in advance for my ramblings, my head feels like it's going to explode.

I'm currently in week 5 of being off work with depression and anxiety, depression has been a part of my life for over the last 20 years. I've managed via different methods, medicated, non medicated, lifestyle changes, therapy etc. For the last 9 years I've been AD free up until recently when I had a total meltdown and was prescribed Setraline 100g by my GP which has totally knocked me about. I can just about function in the afternoon and then I'm an emotional wreck, crying, lethargic, fuzzy head, I hate it.

I'm feeling so pressurised by my Employer I'm continuously asked when am I returning to work. This is despite the recommendations from OHS and my GP that I'm not fit to work due to the severity of symptoms and the effects of the AD's.

I attended a formal review of my attendance management with my Employer yesterday, the questions asked were generic, no different if I'd fractured my arm, a lot of the questions weren't suitable for mental health issues. They showed no empathy nor attempted to relate to what I was saying, just continuously asked when will I be returning to work. I replied by saying "I do want to return to work at some point, but at present I'm physically not able to. I haven't chosen to have depression, I have no say in the matter, I just try and manage it, but I am really struggling at the moment." Their reply was, "do you think you could give us date on when you're thinking of returning back to work???" I was going around in circles, got very frustrated and emotional, sat there bawling whilst the other three stared at me in silence. It was awful...

The information gathered will be discussed with HR, I'm worried sick of what their pending intentions may be, I can't sleep, and simply a total mess.

I don't know what I'm asking tbh just venting I guess, thanks for reading....

thebiscuitindustry Tue 01-Mar-16 01:24:15


That sounds very unhelpful of your employers.

Can you contact HR yourself and ask for some advice?

Or the MIND legal line?

IDontWantToLookLikeYou Tue 01-Mar-16 03:00:02

Thanks for replying and the flowers...

Sorry I missed the fact that I attended the review with my union rep, (I work in the Civil Service) he was totally useless. I hadn't thought about contacting HR directly that's a definite option.

I really appreciate the link , I'll see if they're able to help...


NanaNina Tue 01-Mar-16 13:36:45

I'd be careful about contacting HR as they are always on the side of the employer. Mental illness is now part of the Disability Discrimination Act so that might be your best bet. Google it and you'll probably find something helpful you can use against your employer.

Viviennemary Tue 01-Mar-16 13:43:50

It's a shame your Union rep was not more helpful. I'm not sure if I'd contact HR directly either. Depends on how sympathetic you think they would be. I don't think it's unusual these days to keep being asked when you can return to work whatever the illness is that has caused you to have time off. Could you go back on less hours and then build back up over a period of time. They might agree to that. Five weeks off doesn't seem that very long in the grand scheme of things that they should be harrassing you already.

Snog Wed 02-Mar-16 08:23:45

I would ask for a copy of the sickness management policy at work so you know what to expect. Probably your employer is just mindlessly following policy.
I repeatedly told my employer that I wanted to come back to work as soon as possible but the nature of my illness made it impossible to know when that would be and that whilst I still felt unwell setting any return date would be counterproductive.
I also said that a phased return would be very helpful once I was ready.

Employers also like to hear what positive steps you are taking to manage your condition eg taking meds, seeing GP regularly, resting, exercise, mindfulness, counselling etc

I eventually lost my job after ten months as I had not recovered in this time and was still unable to provide a return date.

Dealing with an employer can be very stressful when you are unwell.thanks

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