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Not waving but drowning

(26 Posts)
Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 08:17:52

I am really struggling and have been for months and months. I don’t even think that it is just the job - possibly life in general.
I only work part time hours but spread over 4 days. I don’t think this helps because it means that the job is on my mind all day even if I am only in for a morning or an afternoon.
I am suffering what feels like constant anxiety and regular panic attacks. I am on anti depressants and medication for the anxiety. I was ‘ill’ all over the summer holiday which is what makes me think that it is more than just the work.
At the moment I am literally just trying to get through each day and I know that I am doing a rubbish job and everyone deserves so much better.
I am starting to have suicidal thoughts and feelings of just getting in my car and disappearing. I know that they are just thoughts and that it is my mind just wanting/needing a break.
I can’t admit to anyone how I feel because I did not disclose depression on my pre employment check. It is a small independent school and I was convinced it would lead to the offer of employment being withdrawn. I have been well for over 6 years now and had hoped I had put all this behind me.
I don’t know what to do. I feel as if I am between a rock and a hard place. If I carry on the way I am I will lose my job. If I admit I am unwell I will lose my job. I have already had a week off with a physical illness which I am sure was caused by the stress and anxiety.
Sorry this is probably just an emotional rant but I feel better for getting out there - even if it is on an anonymous forum. My home is a hovel. I can’t remember the last time I did any cleaning- people would not believe how I live.
Don’t know what I am saying or asking - help.

Changerofname987654321 Wed 08-Nov-17 08:22:53

Your health and life is more important to your job. You need to discuss this with your GP.

Why do you think you would lose your job if you are ill? What contract are you on?

Changerofname987654321 Wed 08-Nov-17 08:23:28

Sorry I just saw that you have answered those questions.

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 08:27:38

My GP had tried to sign me off - I wouldn’t/couldn’t agree.
I know I am asking the impossible. I can’t take time off yet I can’t carry on.

christinarossetti Wed 08-Nov-17 08:34:36

Go back to your GP and accept being signed off. Tell them what you've said here about anxiety, suicidal thoughts erc.Youou can't think straight in the state that you're in.

You're unwell and shouldn't be at work. You need to get away from the situation to think, because you're seeing things in such unrealistic and polarised terms because of the state that you're in.

Take care

Etymology23 Wed 08-Nov-17 08:38:14

You don't have to disclose any long term health problems or disabilities to your school. Until you do they can't be expected to make adjustments but having time off because you're ill is reasonable anyway. If you do choose to disclose it they are then obliged to make the relevant adjustments. The school don't have to know whether or not you already had depression or whether it's a new thing - and in this case, given you'd been well for over 6 years you would have been reasonable in saying you felt like it wasn't affecting you any more anyway.

Depression is often at a point where it would be classed as a disability and that gives you a lot more protection in terms of your job.

Your health has to come before everything else, please take some time off, if you in any way feel you can.

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 09:43:09

I lied on a questionnaire which asked amongst other things if I had suffered from depression and if so to give details. Worrying about them finding out has been a source of stress ever since. I suppose I thought if I could stay well then it would probably be okay.
I am a middle aged waste of space. It is why the suicide and running away thoughts sometimes seem like the only option. I don’t know how to escape this mess. I can’t speak to anyone in real life. I have been avoiding ‘friends’ because I don’t want anyone to know that I am ill again. I have no extended family and my husband can’t or won’t understand.

Etymology23 Wed 08-Nov-17 10:23:55

www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

116 123

If you think talking to someone might help.

I understand why you'd worry because I know I did, but I'm fairly sure they can't force you to disclose. It's clearly worrying you - is there anyone at the school you trust who you could ask, or could you ask at the CAB so they can put your mind at ease over that so that you could take the time off you need?

Etymology23 Wed 08-Nov-17 10:24:20

Trust to ask about the form*

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 11:22:45

There isn’t anyone at work I could trust to ask about the form unfortunately. I confided in a colleague about how unwell I was feeling the other day and said I have been ill since before the summer. I am really regretting it and wish I had just kept my mouth shut. Can’t stop crying today.

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 11:27:32

If it was just work I might be able to carry on but my whole life is and has been just a pointless waste of time.

senua Wed 08-Nov-17 11:31:13

It's not just you, lots of teachers are struggling with the workload atm.
Is it feasible to jack in the job and do supply instead?

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 13:10:13

I couldn’t do supply I don’t think - my perception is that it would be even more stressful.
I don’t even know if if is only the job - I have been reasonably happy at the school in the past. I don’t honestly think that I should still be teaching at all - I should have got out years ago. I just don’t have the necessary mental health. I have tried but with financial constraints and an unsupportive husband it just hasn’t happened.
I feel as if I and my life are imploding. I am meditating in an effort to calm my mind but I am not being very successful.

FitBitFanClub Wed 08-Nov-17 19:25:03

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this.

Can you say why you "couldn't" agree to the GP signing you off?

Whodunksakitkat Wed 08-Nov-17 20:05:06

I couldn’t agree to being signed off because of what the GP wanted to write on the fit note. It would have set off alarm bells and might have led to people digging into the past. If my lies on the health questionnaire come to light I assume I will be sacked on the spot.

christinarossetti Thu 09-Nov-17 07:17:44

The health questionnaire is an opportunity for you to tell your employer about any adjustments that you might need due to a disability. You're under no obligation to disclose anything.
You sound anxious and depressed, meaning that you can't see clearly or think straight.
Please take some time off, see your GP and speak with your husband - you do sound really on the edge

Uokbing Thu 09-Nov-17 09:35:17

Please go to the doctors and get signed off. I don't think you would be sacked if they found out you had previously had depression? But that's not the most pressing issue at the moment anyway, you are ill.

Trust me, no job is worth it.

custardy Thu 09-Nov-17 09:46:52

Have you taken anti depressants before? Mine work. I always used to feel that way whenever i got anxious but I haven't for ages now. You're not a failure, you're just not well right now. Your friends would probably want to help if they knew. Can you change your work schedule? I prefer long shifts fewer days myself, I couldn't do half days spread over the week. If you're struggling with cleaning, can you afford a cleaner, even just as a one off?

Mistressiggi Thu 09-Nov-17 21:04:36

I am pretty sure any advice your union could give you will be confidential, they must have come across this before as so many teachers suffer from depression! You don’t have to ask school rep you could phone the Union directly. And join with if you aren’t in one, if you have a rough time ahead they could prove invaluable.
Would a different GP be willing to write something else - stress perhaps?

Iris65 Thu 09-Nov-17 21:11:59

I have been in a similar position - including the worry about the health questionnaire. I also behaved the same way, believed I couldn't afford to take time off because I didn't want people knowing my history.
I made three attempts on my own life over 18 months. One of those was almost successful. The second one led to a hospital admission that meant I was off work for almost one year.
I look back and can't believe how ill I was and yet I carried on working. A year later I was offered redundancy and it was one of the best decisions that I ever made. The job was killing me.

Whodunksakitkat Fri 10-Nov-17 17:39:30

Iris65 your post has moved me to tears. I am so sorry that you went through this am I am glad that you are out of the situation. Thank you for sharing your story.
I can completely relate to struggling on when you are not actually well enough to even be in work. I have made ridiculous mistakes this week - seriously I worry about the state of my brain. I don’t know if it is the illness or the medication??? It is quite scary e.g. emails that I have checked a number of time being sent full of typos! There are times when I think perhaps I can get through this and then suddenly I realise that I don’t have a clue what I am doing.

Whodunksakitkat Fri 10-Nov-17 17:50:23

Speaking to my Union is a good idea. I will do that next week. My personal experience is that colleagues can be unsympathetic to absences that are the result of mental health problems. I can’t see that the colleagues at my present school would be any different. It is all about keeping parents happy and they are not going to be happy with a teacher who has anxiety and depression.

MiaowTheCat Fri 10-Nov-17 18:21:40

OP (I shouldn't really be in here since I've not taught in years) - please for everyone around you - take the help that's there. I tried to do what you're doing now and push through when I was absolutely crumbling, and it all came to a head one Thursday evening when I was spotted by a colleague sobbing at my desk and thankfully another "take no shit but bollocks to the fluffy stuff" colleague frogmarched me to the Head who gave me a huge hug, threw me out of the building and told me she'd bloody well kill me if she saw me back in school before I was better. Sounds awful - but if they hadn't have done that when they did I was pretty much on track to suicide sooner rather than later.

What then terrified me when I came back was that pretty much every colleague had a tale of the day they'd finally lost it completely and broken down - it is so absolutely bloody endemic among the entire profession but because of how mental health is it just doesn't get talked about. Even the "take no shit" colleague told me the tale of when she fell ill with it all as well.

Point is - they're all back, working, functioning so well you'd never know they'd been ill in the past unless they told you... and you will be too IF you take the time you need to recover now.

I never really did recover fully - I probably would have done, and I was back at a level of functioning well in a classroom on supply and schools trying to get me to stay on a longer term basis but then the kids came along, and post-natal depression/anxiety... and DD1 on a difficult day isn't good for anyone's stress levels either!

Whodunksakitkat Sun 12-Nov-17 15:24:19

Thank you for all your responses. Feeling very bad today. Realising that it is much more than work. Managed to get out this morning to the cinema and it was a bit of an escape. As soon as I returned home the cloud descended again and the tears returned.
The house is in such a state it would be enough to depress anyone. I have also realised that my marriage is over. I can no longer spend time with someone who is unable to support me when I am most in need. He has been horrible this week and has twice woken me up coming to bed in the early hours of the morning. He knows I can’t get back to sleep once I am woken up and I have asked him not to hang onto and bump the bedstead because it disturbs me. Low and behold before 3 this morning he is doing exactly that.
I just want to get into the car and drive anywhere but my son has a mock tomorrow so have to try and keep a lid on my insanity.
Just posting because it helps a bit just to get it off my chest because I have no one to talk to.

Mistressiggi Sun 12-Nov-17 16:40:56

I think you need a plan. Small steps.
My suggestion would be:
1. Decide on a time you can call Union to seek advice about the form thing.
2. Call GP to get a new appoinyment. Ask to see a woman that way will be different one.
3. Tell line manager you have an apointment as you’re struggling at the moment.
4. Get signed off. Ask new doctor if form can say nothing about earlier issues (not sure why it needs to).
5. Have time off and recharge, get outside, ignore house till you’re strong again.
6. Plan to deal with dh issue when you’re feeling better not now.
(This is just my thoughts - but I find things easier broken down!)

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