Depression and Work

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I'm just looking for a little advice because I feel completely lost. I suffer from severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder. I took some time off work and started seeing a therapist, which is really helping. Basically, I hadn't been in my job long, so because of my long absence they have just written to me saying they are terminating my contract as I didn't pass the probationary period. I was expecting this to happen anyway but it has made me feel so bad. I don't know what to put on my CV and I think as soon as any employer learns what happened they won't consider hiring me at all. When I told my doctor about it, he wasn't going to bother giving me a sick line, he told me to register for job seekers allowance. I'm worried if I do this I will be pushed into another call centre role, which contributed to my problems in the first place. And if I work full time then I wont be able to continue getting help by seeing a therapist etc. I have no idea what to do and it is making me feel a thousand times worse. I feel ashamed and worthless not working, but I also feel I need help in order to get better. I feel like I'm in a catch 22 situation because if I don't work then I'll have no money and then rent and bills and debt will just consume my life, but if I take on a full time job I cant handle, I will end up even more unwell. I'm only 24 and I feel like my life is heading no where. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you.

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  • Posted

    If your depression is severe and you cannot work because of and the anxiety, shouldn't your doctor have signed you off? If he/she does this then you can claim ESA? Employment and support allowance, which is basically like an allowance in place of statutory sick pay. If you go to the citizen advice website you can look up ESA or perhaps phone them to talk through what you can do. If you are too sick to work, you're doctor shouldn't have told you to sign up for job seekers allowance, as this implies you are actively looking for work. Perhaps they misunderstood you and thought your depression may have been because you arent working?

    If you do want to work and just don't want to work for a call centre, have you tried searching for some agencies near you? You can look for office work for example and there are specific agencies that cater to that type of employer.

    Also I think if you are on a low wage, you can claim a top-up from the government, I'm not sure how this would work for part-time work (just thinking perhaps if you can't do full-time, perhaps part-time might be better) but I know that part-time work probably won't help towards all your bills. 

    Do you live alone? Renting or have your own place? As a last resort you could move back in with your parents if this is an option, it may give you some time to get better and not worry about bills etc.

    It's definately important to get a job that doesn't drive you insane or make you depressed because of the workload and environment. Call centre work sounds incredibly stressful to me!!! But I've mostly worked in offices and even that is stressful. I'm currently retraining to get out of that line of work because it made me ill. I moved back in with my mum and she has been great at helping me. 

    What kind of what are you interested in?

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, really appreciated! My job was a huge part of the problem and making my symptoms ten times worse, but the depression itself has been there for years. I'm desperate to be able to work and earn money but I hardly feel capable of doing anything most days. I was crying driving to work in the morning, knotted stomach, feeling so anxious i couldn't eat. I broke down in tears twice and had to leave the office. The atmosphere was horrible, I'm quite shy but i would try and have a chat with the people on my team(while doing everything I needed to do), only to be told we couldn't talk and had to get back to work. I felt very isolated and unhappy and i think this made everything worse, not to mention the work itself was mind-numbing. But this makes me think i would be ok getting another job, the problem is finding one that doesn't make my symptoms worse. Even though I always struggled, i managed to go to other jobs without feeling sick in the morning. I've been applying for other things, i have an interview to be a postperson which would be great as it is outdoors and exercise. Like you, i think office work makes me ill! I have my own flat rented from a housing association, so i understand i get some housing benefit if I really cant work or if i go onto job seekersanyway? I'll need to look into the top up from the government youre talking about, like you say part time doesnt pay the bills, but it still might be the best option! I honestly would never recommend anyone to work in a call centre! Even if you're the cheeriest person in the world it ends up bringing you down. If you already feel bad about yourself, as I do, listening to customers shout and scream and tell you you're useless and stupid all day can just about push you over the edge! I hope you're retraining is going well and you find a job you enjoy!
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  • Posted


    Sorry to hear you are finding it hard. You could just not put your last job on your C.V and explain the time period by saying that you went for example travelling. Try and find a job that you enjoy and that won't be too stressful although that's easier said than done. I know how you feel though. I've been through a similar experience. Just keep on keeping on. Try and be positive and productive. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying! I was thinking about somehow leaving it out of my CV but I'm worried employers would question it and I would get really nervous. You're right, its much easier said than done. Its great earning money but I feel like if you need to spend 40 hours a week doing something which makes you ill, how is life ever going to be happy? Its nice to hear people have been in similar situations! Thank you so much!
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