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Coping methods/ need a day off?(6 Posts)
Don't really know how to say this, but it's driving me absoloutly mad not doing anything.
Diagnosed with depression 2/3 months ago, after finally being persuaded to go to the GP by my partner.
When I was 15 I attempted suicide, on the eve of the last day of school. Thankfully I passed out before OD'ing too much and as a result spent the night vomiting.
I did the same at 17. Then went off the rails a bit for a few years and dabbled in the "free party" scene, which involved a lot of dabbling with various dr-gs.
Left that scene through my own choice, went on to find full time employment and accidently fell pregnant a few years after. Sadly miscarried early on, which nearly destroyed me all over again.
Ended up falling pregnant again and had my amazing LO, she is the light of my life and my silver lining in what I thought was a pernament rain cloud.
Fast forward 3 years and I feel like I'm 15 again, struggling to see the point. I feel like a failure, I have no fantastic skills or qualifications, no idea of what I'd like to do for a career. I think stupidly dark thoughts every day. I've planned many ways.
I know this shouldn't be normal but I'm worried I've never managed to get away from these dark thoughts so what if they are actually a part of me?
Haven't self harmed badly in years, but on those bad days I do the most minor cuts possible.
I can't escape the thoughts that this is just "how it is" and I won't ever change. I've built up and torn down my life so many times, I'm finally in a fairly stable situation but still can't cope?
I'm fully capable of functioning, I read posts all the time about how people can't get out of bed ect-
I'm fully able to get up every day and go to work- I may spend all day thinking dark thoughts but I have never followed through with any plans.
But I don't want to. I want to curl up in my duvet and cry without having to explain myself to anyone. I want to sit in a field and stare at the sky until my eyes go fuzzy and my mind clears. I feel so pressured to maintain this whole persona.
Thinking of taking a sick day because that's the only chance I'd get to be alone.
Does anyone have any coping methods?
I feel like I'm blindly stumbling through life with no direction.
You deserve a sick day. Or two or three. It's not at all unreasonable to need a duvet day when you feel as ill as you do. Mental illness needs recovery time as much as any other illness. After all, it is physical too, in that your body's major organ, the brain, is malfunctioning.
Call in sick for a couple of days. Get under that duvet or out in a blowy field for a day and just do nothing at all. I do this sometimes to fend off depression. I pretend I'm in a sanitorium from the Victorian era, where you're wheeled out in a basket chair to just have fresh air and rest until you feel better with absolutely no calls on your time or your mind.
Don't put any pressure on yourself to do anything at all. Not to think Not to 'get better'. Not to self harm. Do nothing at all. Just breathe, and try to stay aware in a kindly manner of any physical needs you experience: stay warm, dry, in comfortable clothes, drink fluids and eat some nutritious food. Go to the loo when you need to, but do nothing else at all. Sleep if you want or just lie still if you can't.
A couple of days of totally letting yourself off the hook can begin to help you back on the road to getting better. (it's the only time I lie to DH. I tell him I have a fluey cold, so he doesn't intervene with things I know won't help)
After 2-3 days of convalescence, you might feel able to make a few small decisions, such as whether you want to be signed off longer term by your GP, or to take/change meds or have counselling etc. Or you might feel up to starting a self- help programme of nutrition and exercise, affirmations, mini-projects that feel fun etc. Whatever works best for you.
I really recommend the book 'Superbetter' It sounds weird, as it's based on computer gaming theories to help you get better but don't let that put you off. I promise you, it's really easy to follow and really fun to do if you want to stop stumbling through but have no energy right now to make changes.
Imho you have a really good and healthy instinct to call in sick. Don't ignore it. Hope you're OK.
millifiori - Thank you so so so much for your reply. I don't think I can get away with taking more than 1 day off sadly, but I'm going to ring in sick tomorrow and have the day to myself to do nothing.
How would I go about getting officially signed off? My GP is quite useless and our appointments never take more than 2/3 minutes, which leaves me thinking I shouldn't have bothered going in the first place. I think a few days to sort my head out would really help, but I can't just go off willy-nilly if you get my drift.
Thank you so much for your reply- brought me to tears just to know that I'm not being silly for needing a day or so off.
The main thing that's stopping me is work- I don't have a lot of holiday left and don't think I'd be able to call in sick for more than 1 day.
Really glad you are taking the day off. Don't feel bad about it or guilty. feel good that you are listening to yoru body and mind and taking steps to get better. And really do nothing at all. Unless you want to walk or sit in fresh air. But allow yourself a lot of breathing space. Be very nice to yourself. I really hope it gives you the breather you need.
To be officially signed off, you do need a notefrom your GP. Try and get an appointment and tell them you are feeling seriously, clinically depressed. Don't let them fob you off with a 2 min appointment. Easier said than done when you are low. But f they are useless, can you rebook with a different doctor at the same surgery or helath centre? Or use a walk in health centre or clinic? Or try IESO online referral just to get the ball rolling, as they send details to your GP.
Typically they'll sign you off for 2 weeks to a month. I was signed off for a month when I was very unwell. Really needed it. The GP writes a letter which you then hand to your boss/HR. Again, a very hard thing to do, but anyone with a decent bone in their body should be kind about it.
Just to add to the excellent advice you have already been given. If you were unwell with flu or norovirus or a broken leg then you would need to take more than one day off. Mental illness is no different. You can self certify for a week and tnen for longer you need a sick note from a GP. If yours is useless then ask to see a different one. They do vary at how good they are with mental health. Have you been offered ADs or talking therapy in the past as both of these can be really helpful. Also I have found my occupational health department very helpful through work. They have provided free unlimmited councelling andd also some sessions with a psychologist. They also run courses on mindfulness and stress management. They tend to be able to see me much quicker than NHS services and its all completely confidential.
Your story sounds just like mine, except with the pregnancy.
Thinking long-term, without therapy these low periods will continue to affect you. I've been in therapy for 5 years (it took me a while to find the type of therapy that worked for me - psychoanalysis) and I can tell you that even though I will always be more sensitive and go through lower periods than most, I feel much more stable and don't regret for a minute spending so much time and money on it.
Regarding facing work when depressed, that has always been such a struggle for me and I definitely feel that you must take care of yourself if you really can't go in. You don't need to be honest - just say you've got the flu. If you get signed off they'll have to know why and that might make it harder when you go back (not sure how understanding they are...)
In my case, I'd always feel guilty taking time off and that would make me feel even worse - it was like a lose-lose situation! The one thing my therapist said that really helped was "not going in to work isn't going to solve your problems or make you suddenly not feel depressed. You'll still be feeling depressed at home. So if you feel depressed in both situations, at least if you go into work you won't feel guilty, lose money, etc. Your problems won't be solved either way so that's the lesser of two evils". I don't know, it helped me anyway when it was a toss up between going in and staying in bed.
I'm self-employed and there are still times I take the morning off (which means cancelling my clients last minute and not getting paid) but it happens much less than before. Just remember that some of us struggle more with facing "life" and we need to take care of ourselves more and if that means a day off, so be it.
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