I have bad depression and have been given medication but no sick note?

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Depression is something I’ve suffered with for many years because I was always unsure and was scared about reaching out about, it’s something that has crushed my life and confidence over recent years and has become unbearable lately with suicidal thoughts, tiredness and just constantly feeling stressed and numb.

I decided I’d go to the doctors regarding this because it’s something that’s getting worse by the day and I feel I don’t know what else to do, I told my doctor about everything and he didn’t really say much, I told him I struggle to leave the house, have suicidal thoughts and just constantly feel stressed and tired with the demands of working.

He pretty much said almost nothing other than I have anxiety and depression, he prescribed me some medication however did not sign me off although I feel like work is currently really hindering my thoughts and mind, it feels like no one is taking it seriously at work and they just want me to work stupid hours regardless, I had to ask for a self sick note however I’m worried that I’ll get the sack if I hand that in because I’ve had quite a few sick days regarding illness etc the past year. 

It almost feels like he didn’t take it seriously enough and although I’m happy about finally having medication I just feel hopeless overall. 

How can a doctor be told that I’m suicidal and at the lowest point in my life, constantly tired, constantly battling with myself, struggling to leave the house and give me medication and a form for counselling yet not deem me mentally ill enough for a signed note?

Very concerned basically.

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  • Posted

    Hi ryan12257

    We note from a recent post which you have made to our forum that you may be experiencing thoughts around self-harm. If we have misinterpreted your comments then we apologies for contacting you directly. But if you are having such thoughts then please note that you are not alone in this, and there are people out there that can help.

    If you are having these suicidal thoughts then we strongly recommend you speak to someone who may be able to help. The Samaritans offer a safe space where you can talk openly about what you are going through. They can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just be there to listen.

    Their contact details are on our patient information leaflet here: https://patient.info/health/dealing-with-suicidal-thoughts, which also offers lots of other advice on how you can access the help you may need.

    If you are having such thoughts then please do reach out to the team at the Samaritans (or the other people detailed in our leaflet) who will understand what you're going through and will be able to help.

    Kindest regards


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  • Posted


    It may be your GP feels to keep you working is the best ploy. They can worry if they issue sicknotes the condition will become worse as you sit at home, letting your mind run rampent making yourself worse.

    Doctors prefer to keep Mental Health Patients working in familiar places, they look for a quicker recovery. Also some Patients become stuck in their fears and Anxiety and because of that the return to work becomes more problematic

    You have or will be introduced for a course of Counselling, you will hopefully benefit from that as you learn coping techniques for your Depression

    However if you feel really bad you can gain assistance from NHS Helpline Tel 111, they will listen and decide on a course of action. A Crisis Team may be able to help and they will contact you GP as the need arises.

    If you are on edge Mindfulness Relaxation Technique may help, you will find a page on the web that will help you pick up on this technique


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  • Posted

    Ryan, sometimes unless you specifically ask for a sick note, a GP won't offer to write you one. If you are really struggling right now I would suggest you go back and ask for a note to cover the next couple of weeks, to help give the anti-depressants time to start taking effect. Bob is right though, once you have started taking long periods of time out of work, it can be very hard and anxiety inducing to think about going back. However, if work is just adding to your stresses just now, it might be a good idea to have a break. Go back to your GP and ask for the note, and even try seeing a different GP if you think your one is not very helpful.

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    • Posted

      It’s just how little the doctor said and he only gave me 5 minutes to try and explain something that I’ve been unsure of for the past 10 years, I couldn’t stress enough to him at the time how work was adding to my stress and how difficult times have been lately.

      I fully agree that maybe it’ll be difficult returning to work if I had too long off but right now I feel very little hope, motivation or anything for that matter. My head is all over the place when I’m at work and I feel very mistake prone and it just seems like I’m really not far away from either having a bad accident due to lack of concentration or something like.

      Work are constantly trying to get me to work more hours too despite the fact they are fully aware of my mental battle, I’m genuinely just another number to them and just feel I need to have a break. 

      I’m not too sure what the GP was thinking however it seemed clear that he definitely didn’t get the full picture even if he has put me on 20mg anti depressants. 

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    • Posted

      Hi I would go back and see a different doctor.  Not all of them get it or are sympathetic to mental health issues.  When I needed to see someone about my depression I asked the surgery who was the nicest doctor to see and she was brilliant.  It might be a good idea to ask for a double appointment too.  

      Meanwhile self certificate until you get a sick/fit note.  Your employers as they are aware of your issues should be helping you to stay in work by making reasonable adjustments.  These could be extra breaks,  more sick leave,  lightening your work load or even changing you to a different job. Be aware though these are always subject to business needs.

      It's also a myth that employers can't dismiss you if you have a sick note.  They can and they do but call it 'Not fulfulling your work contract by being at work'.  Good luck and let us know how you get on.  x

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    • Posted


      What would you do if a Sick Note was issued ?

      How are you going to fill your Day ?

      If you are on the sick the feeling and negative thoughts will play on your fears and this would be counterproductive in curing your Mental Health.

      I would imagine He knows what your situation is and He has made the best decision for the condition you have. The only time in my case where the GP kept me off in the distant past was when I was going on holiday two weeks time, He kept me of until then the put me back to work a couple of days before holiday. In this case I was extending a rest period, and reducing the Sick Period where I had something to concentrate on. In this cas I suffered A Viral Meningitis and was in recovery as I had lost my memory in various ways.

      Keep working you will be in a more positive place



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    • Posted

      Hi Ryan, my experience with GPs and mental health issues hasn't been good either. I've been fobbed off, made to feel like I'm taking up their time, felt like a nuisance, etc. Been told everything is 'just your anxiety and depression' - 'get out for walks' - 'increase your anti-depressant'. It's only recently that I have finally been seeing a psychologist and it turns out I have something called complex trauma, which is a sort of PTSD. 

      GPs are not mental health professionals and they are pushed for time. I'm sure I read somewhere that they only get a couple of weeks mental health training! Seems ridiculous when so many people have mental health issues.

      As crappy as it is, I think you are just going to have to keep pushing your GP for the help you need. It shouldn't be that way, but apparently it is!

      As for your work - is there an HR department? You should speak to them if there is. I don't know much about employment laws but I'm sure they have to make concessions for you if you have told them you are ill. Get that sick note. 

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  • Posted

    So sorry you feel this way Ryan. sad I know how hard it is. Honestly in my experience GPS kind of... suck with mental disorders. Psychiatrists and psychologists are much more caring and willing to listen. Basically GP’s jobs are just to figure out the issue and write you some sort of prescription. Then they move on. Not all GPs are like this but in my experience most are! I also feel like my GP doesn’t listen to me. I have extreme health anxiety and every time I come in to complain about a symptom it feels like she isn’t even listening to me. sad 

    Psychologists jobs are literally to listen, so don’t be so worried about your mediocre physician... he’s just doing what he knows. :P My therapist is wonderful and so caring and easy to talk to. I think the counseling will really help you a lot. You will find there are professionals who can and will listen and help you to whatever extent they can. Hang in there. And if you need a note, don’t be afraid to ask for it. I’ve been ill with the flu and such and still had to remind or ask for a note.. sigh. 

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  • Posted

    Ok, Ryan,

    Is this your first visit for help?

    The dr may want to see if the meds will work for you first before making any kind of decision.

    Sometimes it will take a few weeks for the meds to kick in. If they don’t work out for you, you will need an adjustment or change in meds. Unfortunately it may take time to find the right meds.

    If you don’t feel better call the dr back and let them know what is happening.

    If this dr will not give you a note and you are still feeling bad you could either find another dr or go to the hospital especially if you are experiencing thoughts of suicide.

    Please come back and let us know how you are doing. You are always welcome here.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ryan, I think you should see another doctor to be totally honest. When I went to see mine for the first time about my depression he was really good. Got me on medication, refered me for counselling and asked if I wanted to be signed off work for a while. Sounds like you haven't got a particularly sympathetic doctor.


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