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Signed off work for a year - where now ?

(18 Posts)
Shortcircuit Fri 08-Aug-08 09:02:14

I was signed off from work last August with anxiety & depression (got issues with work & have taken a grievance out). I've seen the same dr, been prescribed anti-depressants (citalopram) which I didn't get on with. Made me feel like a zombie, so came off them after a struggle in April. My GP signed me off for 2 mths & I started to feel better. Went running a couple of times & could feel the fog lifting & the sun on my face.

In the last week, I'm finding myself losing the plot again. I've registered with a new dr as have moved out of the area. New GP stated they don't like to sign people off for stress. She asked if I could work some where else & when I replied I expect so, told me if that was the case, she wouldn't signed me off.
Basically I burst in to tears ( I had already told her I am struggling to do simple things (e.g. like choose which shirt my husband should wear & pack items in party bags - my mind just goes blank).
I said I had seen a pyschiatrist (private) & a couple of sessions of CBT (not for me) seen a positive change counsellour (private) & then a NHS counsellor (not great) a couple of times. She read my notes & then said she's sign me off for a month. She also want to prescribe me anti-depressants.
In the last week (several days before I had the appointment) I've found myself getting lower & lower & can't see a way up/out.

Any advice would be great...

morningpaper Fri 08-Aug-08 09:09:13

Counselling etc. is a long-term thing; one or two sessions will not be enough to help

What is preventing you from resigning at your workplace? Are you receiving any benefits from not working?

It's a great shame that you don't have a better support system - it sounds like you need a plan, and things to work towards.

Have you got a local branch of Mind that you could contact? Some have peer support networks, or support workers who could perhaps sit with you and put a plan together?

CouldYouWouldYouWithaGoat Fri 08-Aug-08 09:09:27

i think you should give ads another go. it will just give you a wee boost and help you cope.

not sure about the signing off thing. are you realistically ever going back to that job?

good luck!

morningpaper Fri 08-Aug-08 09:10:48

Have you also taken legal advice about work? I'm assuming if you have taken a grievance out then you could possibly claim constructive dismissal? Do you have union representation?

lilymolly Fri 08-Aug-08 09:11:38

I think you need to have a higher dose of anti depressants or change the type you are on.

As regards to work- i find that if i am stuck at home i feel much more depressed, i find if I go to work even if I feel really down, I get cheered up and it really helps.

I really do think sometimes you have to help yourself iyswim?
Do something different to make you feel better, get another job, hobby, exercise.

Once the anti depressants kick in you hopefully will have more energy to do something extra.

morningpaper Fri 08-Aug-08 09:14:02

Why did you stop running btw?

notasheep Fri 08-Aug-08 09:18:15

Shortcircuit-really feel for you,I struggled with deep depression for a long time but there is a way out.

You need to do what is best for you.

I blankly refused any anti depressants prescribed to me.Instead i saw a Psychotherapist for over 2 years, this saved my life.

Shortcircuit Fri 08-Aug-08 11:20:06

Hi thanks for replies.

I've worked for the company for 11 years now & feel that, whilst I probably won't ever be a great success there, if I resign I never will + I also feel a bit like, why should I be pushed out. The other side of it is, why can't I cope. If I resign, then I'll just be running away, rather than dealing with the problems, which I feel like I need to cope. Also if I don't deal with it & a situation like this happens again, I won't have learnt anything.

With regards to running, I hurt my knee. I have to say the endorphin rush I got from it was great.

Agree that I have to help myself, but I just don't know what to do. I think of something that I need to fix & a trillion things just swamp me. My DH isn't much help - he's not into 'feeling despressed'. As my old dr says, he appears not to offer any solutions, just highlights problems to me.

Will look at the MIND website - thanks

How do I get to see a psychotherapist ?

Staying employed means I have private health care - so can & should utilise this. The referels I've had so far haven't been much help.

flowerybeanbag Fri 08-Aug-08 11:37:44

Shortcircuit have your employer been doing everything possible to try and get you back to work, investigations, medical reports, discussions about adjustments, any of that?

A year is an awful long time to be signed off . Obviously I don't know anything about your grievance or what that is about, but leaving that aside, your employer is unlikely to let your employment just carry on indefinitely if there's no prospect of you going back, and if they've tried everything possible it would potentially be perfectly reasonable of them to dismiss you at some point.

As I said, I obviously don't know anything about your situation but felt I ought to mention that.

Shortcircuit Fri 08-Aug-08 12:37:21

Hi, everything has been quite half hearted as I appear to have slipped through their net.

I was assigned someone from occupational health who rang me twice & told me I could come back to work. I think she then left the company.

I have met with my new manager who is (appears) to be keen for me to go back.

The grievance team have made things as difficult as possible for me. Now I am supposed to be going through appeal, but am not feeling very strong at the moment.

notasheep Fri 08-Aug-08 13:16:33

You need to see your GP to be referred to Psychotherapist,unless you go private.

I ended up running 6 days a week grin

Earlybird Fri 08-Aug-08 13:27:20

It does sound as if you need help to cope and get out of the negative spiral. But, you need to think whether psychotherapy is the sort of help you need. IME, it is intensive and longterm - a big emotional and financial commitment - definitely not a 'quick fix'.

From a brief read of your thread, might you be better off with some CBT to teach you some practical and emotional coping skills when stressful/upsetting situations arise?

Shortcircuit Fri 08-Aug-08 14:08:39

As I have private health care with work, most treatments should be covered. It seems that finding the correct therapy is difficult.

CBT was not for me - I need to unpeel all the layers to get to the root of the problem.

Shortcircuit Fri 08-Aug-08 14:08:40

As I have private health care with work, most treatments should be covered. It seems that finding the correct therapy is difficult.

CBT was not for me - I need to unpeel all the layers to get to the root of the problem.

kafka Fri 08-Aug-08 14:38:11

Can you get a referral to a good psychiatrist who is recommended. It is worth asking around to find out who is good, as GP do not necessarily know and if you know who you want to be referred GP will refer you.

I had dreadful problems from harassment at work and it almost broke me. What helped was a recommendation from a friend to a particular psychiatrist and a personal trainer twice a week for six weeks.

After the training in particular, I felt strong enough to return to work and deal with the issues

Earlybird Fri 08-Aug-08 14:52:51

Shortcircuit - yes, re-reading your original post, I see you said CBT was not for you.

It sounds as if your work situation has been the catalyst for other big issues in your life coming to the surface.

Your health cover may be different/more generous, but iirc, mine would provide somewhere in the region of a dozen visits to a psychiatrist/psychotherapist (not sure if that was per year, or in total). Definitely look into it, as insurance cover may not be enough of a reason to stay in a situation that is unhealthy for you.

giggly Fri 08-Aug-08 23:27:22

All primary health areas have Community Mental Health Teams who have CPNS, Psychologists and sometimes specialist counselling services which can all be accessed by your GP. Might also be worth considering changing GP's again.

Having come through a similar situation it is my opinion that most workplaces will drag their heels with a view of wearing you down during a grievance process.

JSEA Thu 04-Sep-08 19:26:31

Shortcircuit. Firstly, I am sorry that you are in this awful position. You must feel really trapped. Don't dwell on how long you have been off work, if you are not well enough to work you can't go. Simple as that. What matters is getting better. I was off work for a long time when I was diagnosed with M.E. I ended up moving away from the town and hence the job and still feel a bit haunted by it when i get down. I understand totally what you say about wanting to go back and not feel pushed out. Is there any way you could go back part time or for a trial limited period and see if easing yourself back in helps? i know what you mean about formulating a plan. maybe when you are having a lucid day and have some clarity of mind, you could discuss that with a friend? I think as the whole issue seems overwhelming and insurmountable to you now, plan baby steps. You don't need to see the path ahead set out. I think you can freeze and then the immobility stresses you more. Doing something is better than doing nothing. As you have a new manager who seems keen for you to go back, she may be able to support your return. Can you contact her directly? Your nasty experience and then the time it has taken to be resolved will have knocked your confidence i expect and if you can convince yourself even that you can half a day a week to start with, it is a step in the right direction. Sorry this is becoming an epic so i'll stop now!

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