October 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm #122
Talk to me about anxiety/stress.
I have been aware that I’ve been struggling a little since things came to a bit of a head since my son’s ADHD/ODD diagnosis, add in a stressful housebuild which means instead of living in our house we are facing another winter in a mobile home, then an issue at work occurred…there were a lot of Chinese whispers & people I trusted backstabbing me saying I’d done things I hadn’t. This lead to a disciplinary meeting in which the run up left me unable to sleep or eat. As it was at the meeting it became very apparent that I had nothing to answer to, hadn’t done anything wrong & the situation had been grossly mishandled.
However I don’t feel I’m being allowed to move on, I’ve been ostracised by a group of previous work friends & I have had a very lonely/miserable time.
I have been feeling anxious the whole time. I describe it as being like that feeling you get when you’re going somewhere & you can’t shake the feeling you’ve forgotten something. It’s like there is a constant unease on the periphery of my feelings, I can’t put my finger on what it is to deal with it, yet it’s constantly there niggling at me. A couple of times I’ve got myself into a real state convinced that what this feeling is actually something really serious & if I don’t work out what it is something bad is going to happen to someone I love.
I struggle to sleep, my eating is erratic & I’ve become incredibly tearful.
Some days I feel like I’m moving through treacle, even the smallest effort feels monumental, but mostly I’m able to put on a front & act reasonably ‘normally’
Last Thursday I arrived at work & sat in my car feeling physically sick about going in. I finally did, walked straight to a manager, burst into tears, told them some of what was going on & promptly went home again.
I’ve rung in sick since then.
Tomorrow I have a GP appointment, I think I need a bit more time off from work, in all honesty I just need to be a bit bloody kinder to myself to get my head together. This will be my first time off sick in over 4 years, & previously it’s only been a couple of days for a sickness bug.
This is 100% uncharted territory for me, if I describe the above will the GP agree to give me a sick note or will I need to be on some sort of medication for that to happen?
October 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm #123
My GP has certainly offered to sign me off before, but I went down the ‘low dose medication’ route which fortunately worked well.
My issues weren’t work related though, and I’m sure a GP would be even more likely to sign you off in a case of work related stress..
October 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm #124
I am sure GP will sign you off without meds.
I would also advise that in a lot of areas you can self refer to your local IAPT service, they usually provide 6 ish CBT sessions initially that you may find helpful. It is quite good at explaining the whys (and I like knowing why )
Also if you need to be kinder to yourself may I suggest that you might find this an interesting read. It is a wicked cycle the feel rubbish/I shouldn’t feel rubbish/why aren’t I coping/I should be coping one.
October 6, 2017 at 12:57 pm #125
I got signed off, not for stress per se but for “grief response” after I lost a friend and my last surviving grandparent within a week of each other. I carried on until after about 4-5 months I just broke down. I would get up because I had to go to work but when I got home I would go to get changed then end up sitting on the bed staring at the floor for ages. At the weekend if my flatmate went home to see her folks I would literally lie in bed staring at the ceiling then think “suppose I better get up” then just migrate from bed to sofa where I would stare at the TV all day then by night time migrate back to the bed. If my flatmate wasn’t there to feed me I would survive on coffee and biscuits. Add in I was randomly teary a lot of the time and m friend suggested I go to the doctor. Our practice if you wanted a same day appointment you had to be vetted by the doctor over the phone first. I’m pretty sure all the doctor heard was “blurghyhjskjakfiuejdlkjluiuj” as I burst into tears as soon as she asked what was wrong!
Anyway…I got signed off for 2 weeks and they offered me counselling (which took forever to sort). I’m not going to lie, it still wasn’t easy returning after 2 weeks – I seem to recall crying as my computer wouldn’t work properly, I then cried again reliving the moment when I told my flatmate about it – however, it was a lot better having had time to clear my head.
I hope you get everything sorted. It’s horrible having to deal with it while still trying to ‘adult’. I would hope that the doctor would try signing you off for a bit first and maybe offering soe meds at the same time (which I guess you wouldn’t have to accept).
October 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm #126
My advice would be that you ask your GP to be referred for talking therapy. it worked well for me. also get yourself some legal advice on your employment situation! If you own your own home and have home insurance it may include legal expenses – some insurers have a helpline you can ring or try ACAS who are free. Good luck
October 6, 2017 at 12:58 pm #127
Please tell your doctor all that you have put on here. I’m not surprised that you have had the reaction you have, it is a normal reaction to an abnormal load of stressors! Some work places have access to counselling services, which can be quicker than the NHS, access it if they do! Otherwise accept whatever the GP offers, including meds, they can help in the short term. If your area does self referral to IAPT then please try that, CBT can work very well for problems like this. Be kind to yourself and take the time you need to feel fit to return to work, your GP will sign you off. I would also think longer term about looking for other employment, it can be very difficult to feel comfortable somewhere others have been unkind.
October 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm #128
Any GP worth their salt will recognise and understand that you aren’t well enough to be at work at the moment, particularly if you are able to express how you are feeling as succinctly as you have on this post. Try to be really kind to yourself and get those around you to give you lots of tlc too. Maybe try to find a guided ‘relaxation’ app to take time to practice regulating your breathing and relaxing your whole body (which I assume is feeling quite tense at the moment).
I hope you start to feel better soon and once you are improving, it may be time to look for another job because where you are working currently seems awful and is clearly bad for your health. All the best.
October 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm #129
Thank you everyone for your kindness. It took me a long time to pluck up the courage to write the post.
I think what I was worried about was if I went to the GP that I would be told that I didn’t need to be signed off/that I’m not really ill.
Thank you for your reassurance xx
October 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm #131
Your GP will make a judgement about your health as you describe how you are feeling. S/he will not insist that you take medication, although that might be suggested. There are numerous ways of dealing with anxiety, either in conjunction with, or rather than, medication, which the dr should be able to help you access, although sometimes the waiting list is quite long. If your employer pays into an occupational health scheme, it would be worth your asking for a referral to them. They can often get access to therapies which don’t have such long waiting lists. If you do get a OH referral, please take someone else with you to the appointment, If you are a union member, ask a rep to accompany you.
I’m another who thinks that you could profitably look for a different job. Your employer doesn’t sound very supportive.
October 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm #132
I’ve just been signed off for 2 weeks. Partly as I had to increase a pain medication which will might make me drowsy and a bit out of it, but mainly because the GP is worried about my mental health. Different set of more tangible stressors in my case, but nonetheless it would seem its all just gotten too much for me to cope with and I need a bit of time out. There wont be an issue getting a sick note.
I’ll be going back on reduced hours to start with on a fit note, which will give me a bit of time to adjust to the real world again. So thats another option to think about.
October 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm #133
Just tell your GP what has been going on and I’m sure they will sign you off without medication. Mine were very good and I was also offered CBT. There are times in life when it all just piles up and it becomes a challenge to do the simplest of things. Wishing you all the best.
October 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm #134
That is a classic work related stress scenario. You do not need to be on medication to be signed off for as long as it takes to recover your Mo Jo. Write it all down for the GP as you will always forget bits then answer the questions truthfully. You will do yourself no favours by trying to be brave, if you cry that is OK they see it rather a lot. The most important person in this is YOU!!!!
Been there, got the T-shirt Sadly twice and it was 3 months off both times, work got majorly bo**ocked and told to improve many many things Occupational health were involved by me demanding it. Hope you feel better soon but make you your number 1 priority.
PM me if you want any info
October 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm #135
I am returning to work next week after several months absence. Quite similar to your own experience, I have a lot of stress going on at home, and was just keeping a lid on it. Got suspended at work ( and later cleared of any wrong doing) then another couple of events that in themselves weren’t too bad, but on top of everything else, it was too much. Woke up, decided I couldn’t go on the way things were, and phoned my gp. I was given meds, to help me sleep, as after 4 wakeful nights I was barely functioning.
Go to your gp, tell him/her what you’ve told us, and take all the time you need. Tor health is more important than any job, and you need to concentrate on dealing with what you have to, and leaving the rest of it to manage without you.
I hate the expression ‘me times, but that is what is needed right now.
Look after yourself.
October 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm #136
OP, I am sure your GP will sign you off but don’t dismiss the offer of medication if there is one. There is no shame in taking a low dose of ‘happy pills’. Indeed they may help you cope with the mundane things in life, like washing up, cooking etc, if you can get a handle on the small things the bigger ones are easier to cope with.
October 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm #137
Thought I’d check in & update. GP was superb, could not have asked for someone to be more empathetic without feeling in the slightest bit patronising.
I think one of my biggest fears was that I would be made to feel like I was wasting their time. I didn’t at all,
It was very much ‘this is a horrible thing for you to go through, this doesn’t make you a bad or a weak person, it just means your usual coping strategies have been pushed too far, we can try & fix this’ the relief was immense. I don’t think I’d been aware of how bloody frightened I was by it all.
I Obviously I cried, felt a burk for crying, apologised constantly. He told me it was fine & something he was used to,
I described everything as I did with you guys.
I was given details of how to access counselling & a short course of low dose sleeping tablets.
We discussed medication but as in the early days side effects can increase feelings of anxiety, I’m not ready to try that.
He talked to me very frankly about what to do should the feelings escalate to those of suicide.
I’ve been signed off work for another week & I’m back to see him next week.
Yesterday I felt better. I think the main thing is that the fear that everything I was feeling was out of control has subsided slightly. Asking for help & being told ‘we can try & help you’ felt like I was taking back a bit of control.
I’m still incredibly anxious, but I’be been given some hope that this will pass & I will be ok.
Thank you again to everybody who took the time to reply to my post. I was dithering about whether it worth going to the GP, I’m glad I did & I’m very grateful for your kind words xxx
October 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm #138
So glad the GP was good!
Glad you are going back in a week too. This means the GP wants to keep a close eye on you (and it doesn’t mean that he’ll be signing you fit for work next week). Sounds like he will support you to return to work when you are doing a lot better, and not before. Good!
October 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm #139
I’m so glad that you are beginning to feel a bit better. Sometimes when we are used to coping with everything that life throws at us, we can hardly believe that we have reached breaking point and don’t understand how ill we really are. It can take outsiders, such as the GP to give us ‘permission’ to be ill before we can stop for long enough to get well.
All the best!
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