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Stress at work

(19 Posts)
Siennasun Thu 04-Jun-15 21:26:15

I have worked in the NHS for over 5 years but started a new job in a new trust at the start of this year.
It's been horrible from the very start. I'm getting increasingly stressed. I've already had 2 episodes of sick leave (2 days each time) because of stress.
Managers are aware that I am stressed and have directed me to wellbeing/counselling services and have agreed for me to change roles in 2 months but have refused to pull me out of current role in the mean time.
I've applied for new jobs and have a couple of interviews coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Last week, things got worse at work. I've had a couple of panick attacks, nauseous and increasingly feeling low and just want to sleep all the time and now I've started getting really bad headaches.
I don't think I can go into work next week but I'm really worried about being put on a disciplinary for having too much time off.
I went to see a GP last time I was off sick and he offered to sign me off but I declined that. I'm thinking about going back to GP next week.

If you get signed off by a Dr for stress, typically how long would it be for?
Will this affect my chances of getting a new job now and in the long term?

I'd be grateful for any experience or advice anyone has.

kitkat1989 Thu 04-Jun-15 21:29:18

i think doctors generally do a week or two at a time then go back to see them. it affecting other work and stuff would depend on what your sickness record is like i think

Siennasun Thu 04-Jun-15 21:51:14

So in the sickness policy you get put on a disciplinary if you have more than 4 episodes of sickness and/or more than 18 days pro rata days of sickness.
But I'm not sure if a week off would count as 7 days or 4 days (I work 4 day weeks).
I really can't go to work and I'm going to have to call in sick anyway, so I suppose it's pointless worrying about it sad

kitkat1989 Thu 04-Jun-15 22:33:04

it counts as 7 i think or it does at my work (home care) dont worry bout it if u need the time off u need it off. i was off with depression for 7 weeks last year then 3 months later was off with illness for another 6 weeks. yes i was put on absence monitoring when i went back but my employer was more relieved i took th time off i needed to get right so that when i went back i wasnt taking odd days off

Clarella Fri 05-Jun-15 10:19:48

The thing is stress can be a precursor to depression if not tackled - and if work conditions are contributing then your employer needs to be addressing this. I wonder if oc health could advise?

Clarella Fri 05-Jun-15 10:22:37

Stress and depression are real illnesses - a disciplinary process is also about checking health is good and how it can be improved as work have a duty of care for you. So oc health could be supportive as well as suggesting a decent amount of time to take off to get better.

Has gp offered anything like beta blockers?

Clarella Fri 05-Jun-15 10:25:10

I would go back to gp and list all the symptoms you've been having as listed below. Gp might want to run some other tests to rule anything else out, but stress can be very physically draining and your mood and health are suffering.

Siennasun Fri 05-Jun-15 14:38:55

The GP offered some anti-depressants, CBT and to sign me off work though I didn't want any of those at the time - I was more worried about the physical symptoms and whether it was stress or something else but he wasn't very interested - just wanted to get me out. I was the last appointment of the morning, he was running over an hour late and I think he wanted his lunch
I can see now that I've pushed it too far and I need to stop before I get really ill.
They say the disciplinary action is supposed to be "supportive" but I know from colleagues who have gone through them that in reality it's not really like that.
My main worry is that it will stop me from getting new jobs.

rabbitstew Fri 05-Jun-15 15:56:27

Why is your current job so stressful?

Siennasun Fri 05-Jun-15 20:21:45

That's a long story but to cut it very short: I don't feel safe at work, I think it's unsafe for patients and I'm being bullied. sad

rabbitstew Fri 05-Jun-15 21:27:27

Oh dear sad. I can see why you're worried about the supportiveness of a disciplinary if that's the case. If the situation is unsafe to patients and staff, is there no-one this can be reported to?

Siennasun Fri 05-Jun-15 22:02:52

I have reported it. That's why I'm being bullied and why they are pulling me out. I just want to get out of there altogether now.

Clarella Fri 05-Jun-15 22:31:23

I wonder if you could get signed off. I was signed off for anxiety and stress in pregnancy due to a variety of reasons. (Mainly health issues but were resolved by then) felt guilty at the time but in the end my son was low birth weight and I do think it was wise. Jobs / employers are not allowed to discriminate. Gp could be vague in sick note.

Clarella Fri 05-Jun-15 22:31:48

Do you have a union?

Siennasun Fri 05-Jun-15 22:55:31

The GP offered to sign me off last time I went. If I go and see a different GP is it possible/likely that they may refuse to sign me off?
I will need a Dr note if I'm off for more than a week, which I will need to be.

Clarella Sat 06-Jun-15 06:32:23

No - notes should have been written and your symptoms are worsening.

I wonder if you could try beta blockers? Not addictive and can take as and when or a slow release daily.

I found them very helpful for work stress. I did also find sertaline put some distance between me and stressful issues - I was much more able to keep calm.

Siennasun Sat 06-Jun-15 09:22:28

Thanks clarella
I'll have a read about beta blockers before I go back to gp. flowers

rabbitstew Sat 06-Jun-15 09:30:08

That's awful. So their response to your report was to do nothing to make the situation more safe, let you be bullied and ultimately assume they just need to find someone to replace you who will be put in exactly the same, dangerous situation... I agree with Clarella, if you go back to the GP, they will see that the situation is worsening. I really don't think they would refuse to sign you off because you declined the offer last time. Is there nowhere else you can complain? It seems very wrong that they should, effectively, have done absolutely nothing about your concerns.

Siennasun Mon 08-Jun-15 21:20:59

Honestly, I'm not brave enough to complain anymore sad

I've been to work today but I've made a decision to call in sick again tomorrow and make a GP appointment.

I'm feeling massively worried and guilty now, both about calling in sick again and about going back to the GP.

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