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Go back to work?

(15 Posts)
CleverQuacks Thu 20-Oct-16 18:15:50

Hi all,
I have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. For the past year I have been doing really well and felt "normal". However over the last month things have got progressively worse: struggling to sleep, crippling tiredness, depression and mania etc etc. This culminated in me breaking down in hysterical sobs at work and being signed off for 2 weeks.

I am now due back in work on Monday and I am beginning to get anxious about it. I work in child protection social services so it is a high stress job and i can't be breaking down around the families I support. However I also know that the longer I have off the harder it will to go back and in reality what is going to be different in two weeks time if I stay off??

This is made more complicated by the fact I have only just started this job (3 months ago) and now feel everyone must think I am pathetic and unreliable. This is making it harder to go back but I know the longer I am off the worse it will get.

Any advice on what I should do?! I just want to curl up in bed and never face the world again.

AnxiousCarer Thu 20-Oct-16 20:02:14

My advice would be to speak to your occupational health department and your manager to see what support is available to help you to be sucessful in your job. They would rather have you at work than off sick so should be supportive and under the disability descrimination act have to make reasonable adjustments to your role.

CleverQuacks Thu 20-Oct-16 20:23:04

I have been to occupational health in a previous role (same council) but they just deemed me fit for work, can they offer support? I have no experience of that.

I just don't no what to do about Monday. I feel so overwhelmed by all of this. It makes me want to do something impulsive such as take an overdose just to make it go away.

henriettaonanaeroplane Thu 20-Oct-16 20:43:02

First of all, breathe, remember that you don't need to react impulsively, just sit with your feelings, they won't last for ever.

Yes you can get support at work. They need to make reasonable adjustments. This could be a slow return to work, shorter days at first. You could have set breaks and somewhere to go to take time out from the stress. What else would help? Employers can be very flexible if you ask and are specific about what you need to be able to work.

dangermouseisace Thu 20-Oct-16 21:01:58

I used to work for social services (for years)

No-one will think you are pathetic and unreliable. Many, many people have time off for stress etc in social services. I think most people I knew had a cry in the office/in the bogs at some point or another. You're working with people, in underfunded services. It is hard emotionally.

If you take an overdose work will not go away, it would just be delaying the inevitable and creating more problems for yourself. Keep hanging in with the rationality, and take each day as it comes.

When you go back to work it would be a good idea not to go out on visits for the first couple of days…if you take smaller steps you can gauge how you are dealing with things more accurately. E.g. if you can't cope at all then you need to re-evaluate whether you should be at work, if you're ok then carry on.

Are you sleeping any better yet?

CleverQuacks Thu 20-Oct-16 21:02:48

I really don't no what I need, I am so rubbish at asking for help and knowing my own feelings / needs I wouldn't know what to ask for. I hate being a problem to anyone.

CleverQuacks Thu 20-Oct-16 21:04:40

Not sleeping any better. Night time is the worst cos all the crazy thoughts come out and I end up pacing the room up and down until I am eventually so exhausted I fall to sleep then I have horrible horrible dreams.

AnxiousCarer Thu 20-Oct-16 21:52:43

Firstly if the idea of going back to work is making you feel suicidal, I would say you are probably not ready to go back yet and should go back to your GP.

From an occupational health point of view I also work in the public sector and our OH dept offers councelling and my collegue saw a clinical psychologist through OH too. I thought their role was to help you stay in work and to advise your manager regarding reasonable adjustments. I think you can self refer to OH or your manager can refer you. I would phone your occupational health department and ask for an appointment with one of the nurses before you go back to work so they can help to smooth the way back in. Be honest with them about how you are feeling, they should ba able to help you work out what would be useful for you.

dangermouseisace Fri 21-Oct-16 07:36:15

OP maybe doesn't sound like you are quite ready to go back to work yet?

BecauseIamabear Fri 21-Oct-16 09:56:51

When I broke many years ago, my GP signed me off for a month. I saw OH before the end of tat and they signed me off for another two months.

I would echo what AnxiousCareer says.

CleverQuacks Sat 22-Oct-16 15:08:58

So it's the weekend before I am due back and I am still no closer to deciding what to do. I am deffinately going to pursue support from occupational health but can't decide whether to wait for that to happen or go back in the meantime.

I didn't sleep again last night but did manage to get a lie in this morning so I am feeling a little less exhausted.

One minute I feel ok with the idea of going back the next I am thinking of taking an overdose. I wish someone would take this all away and make the decision for me.

BecauseIamabear Sat 22-Oct-16 17:18:51

Do you have anything planned for the evening?

A night in or out on the tiles?

CleverQuacks Sat 22-Oct-16 18:01:41

Nothing planned, probably just watching nonsense on tv.

rumred Sat 22-Oct-16 19:17:32

the best person to make the decision iis your doctor. please go see them monday and tell them completely honestly how you are feeling. they will or should be clear about what is best for you. its hard for you to be objective

what do your friends think? have you confided in them?

as someone off sick from a child protection job, take your time as it is an outrageously hard job if you're feeling less than 100% emotionally

AnxiousCarer Sat 22-Oct-16 21:57:58

From reading what you say you don't sound quite ready to go back. My advice would be to book in with your GP monday to give yourself more breathing space and get OH and/or meetingvwith your manager before you go back to discuss a phased return either in terms of reduced hours, altered workload or both to ease you back in so you can see how you cope gradually. Big hugs to you, remember if you feel unsafe take yourself to a&e or call crisis team or samaritans x

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