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Does it get better eventually?

(7 Posts)
TerrorTwilight Mon 27-Feb-17 12:11:26

Hi everyone. I'm a man. Sorry about that. I hope you don't mind me posting here.

I've just returned from a 4 week absence from work. I'm a teacher (a deputy head, actually). Been back a week.

Half my issue is I seem to other people to be coping most of the time, but what's under the surface is this boiling terror. I nearly wigged out completely at work this morning and a kind colleague very kindly managed to talk me down again. But nobody else really sees that, and I feel like it makes me seem like a fake.

Background: I had a really serious anxiety attack in my previous job back in July. I took a week off work but went back before I was really ready, and feel like I've never properly healed. I have a history of depression; the anxiety is new (or at least newly acknowledged: I think it's always been there).

Anyway. My brain tells me I'm not good enough, that I'll be found out, that everyone thinks I'm shit, that I'm letting everyone down. (It doesn't help that my marriage is seriously on the ropes.)

When I feel like this I often think everyone would be better off without me around. I wouldn't class this as suicidal, as I don't seriously consider doing anything about it: much too scared to actually hurt myself. But if I were to, like, evaporate painlessly I feel like most of the people in my life would be better off. The only thing that gives me pause is my wonderful daughters, and that stops me from taking that thought anywhere past the initial impulse reaction to my uselessness. I'm a good daddy. I actually do know that. It's the only thing I know.

I'm medicated (20mg Citalopram) and having weekly therapy. I do feel better than 4 weeks ago: the flat featureless depression I had (which wasn't the depth of black despair I've experienced in the past) has mostly lifted. But I am very anxious about work, because I loathe it. With a passion.

And half of what's scaring me is that I seem to be stuck with one or the other: marriage or work. If my marriage fails, I have to stay in my job to be able to financially support my babies. If I end up having to quit my job, I won't be able to support myself, much less them.

It feels like Catch 22. Does it get better? I can't feel like this any more. It's killing me.

TwitterQueen1 Mon 27-Feb-17 12:20:19

Yes it does get better.
But I do think you need to leave your job. I know you said you can't. But actually, you can. It's destroying you.

I get that you need to support your family, but it is your wife's responsibility to do so too. And you need to find a job that you enjoy and that gives you satisfaction. Your DDs need a dad who is content and happy. Not an anxious and miserable one.

So you have to sell your house, downsize, get a smaller / cheaper house... so what? You will be happier, therefore your children will be happier.

TerrorTwilight Mon 27-Feb-17 12:24:16

My wife actually earns more than I do, and that's about to increase still further. But I don't want to be financially dependent on her given the current state of our relationship.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Mon 27-Feb-17 18:08:06


Yes it does get better, it takes time and you need to cut yourself some slack whilst you recover. You are on medication but if you only started it when you went off sick 4 weeks ago it may not have reached full effect yet. You are having therapy which is helping so that is positive too.

Its very common to feel like we are not good enough and will be found out. It even has a name -impostor syndrome. I know I go through phases of feeling that way despite being very experienced in my field.

Do you think its your job that is leading to the depression and anxiety or is it the depression and anxiety that make the job feel too much? I love my job but there are time when stress from my homelife means that I can no longer function at work. I am also very good at appearing calm and in control on the surface whilst falling appart on the inside. I am lucky to have a supportive team and manager. Is your headteacher supportive. Can you discuss ways of reducing your stress for a while. I am on altered duties at the moment after 12 weeks off sick and am gradually increasing what I am doing.

Another thing I've learnt over the years is to speak up when I'm not ok. Something that is not really social acceptable in our society. But learning to ask for help or just tell people I'm not coping has been a big step forward. Being able to communicate this with DH effectively has been important too. Knowing its ok to not be ok.

In answer to your question though yes it does get better. These dark times will pass. And each time I get better at spotting the signs earlier so that I don't sink as low as the time before.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Mon 27-Feb-17 21:53:31

No Longer is called No Longer because she is No Longer...

Or to put it another way, over the past few months she has come through a very rough time and is still here. And supporting people who are going through what she experienced... I am blowing her trumpet because it sometimes needs blowing . People do recover.

PS, I am also male. The good thing about this place is that everyone who needs help is welcome. (Though thar be dragons in other parts of MN)

colouringinagain Mon 27-Feb-17 22:18:43

It does get better but it takes time. I do understand the rush to be better as how you're feeling is so horrible. But four weeks is no time at all, and a 20mg dose of citalopram is a very low dose. Do you have to back right now, do you have a good relationship with your gp? In my husband's experience a phased return was recommended and far better - I would really recommend this. Best wishes.

Blossomdeary Mon 27-Feb-17 22:22:38

It does get better, but it does not happen overnight; and TBH I think that society is more understanding of women with these problems than men.

When I was at my worst a friend sat in front of me and held my hands and kept repeating "You will get better" over and over again. She was right.

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