I'm off work with stress.

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I have been off work since May 2014 with stress. Working for the NHS.  Having to do the work of 4 people in our office, all of which have left and now the load has been shifted onto me. I was getting aches and pains in my chest and went along to the doctor who signed me off for 2 weeks. I had an ECG and that showed up an ectopic heart beat, nothing serious but i could have been brought on with the stress. I worked so hard yet no "get well" card or flowers have been send. It is now 3 months since i have first went off work. I thought i had loads of friends at the place but it turned out that i didnt and it hurts like hell. I have suffered with depression in the past and i feel like i am battling it right now. I have a meeting with occupational health tomorrow. I have my first counselling appointment on tuesday. Alongside that i have a lot of stress at home as well. I just feel like i can no longer cope. I keep telling my husband how i feel but it doesnt seem to do anything. I know he must feel powerless but i need some propping up right now. I want to sit and cry my eyes out all of the time. Thanks for listening.sad

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  • Posted

    My mum worked as a District Nurse for close to 40 years but she'd been a Nurse in some capacity since she was 18 years old. She's retired now - she's at the age to do but she said she wouldn't go back anyway, and fears greatly for the remainder of workers within the NHS.

    In 2012, she went off work for around 4 months due to stress. It was mainly caused by problems within the family but the work load (and fact she was having to do an administrator's job despite the fact she was a nurse) made her suffer. Despite having what she considered friends, it turned out that only 2 of them got in contact with her over that period of time she was ill - prescribed sertraline, actually. Have yet to discover whether or not they made her happier but did, bizarrely, create an entirely different problem in the form of a irregular heartbeat that she'd never previously had.

    I urged her to keep busy after she retired, and she will no doubt. Whether her friends stay in contact with her, I don't know, but things like that happen. I said to her that it's a bit like leaving school and the network you once had spreading apart through natural course. It does leave you feeling bitter in the immediate sense that 1. you're struggling, 2. you would like some support, and 3. there's no support there, but it's important to remember that things like this do happen and often it's nothing personal. It's just people drift apart; have other commitments and so on. I said that to my mum whenever she felt alone and it more or less confirmed what she already thought - well, it would do, wouldn't it? After it's the sort of logic she always taught me.

    I could give you some tips helping you with dealing with depression if you like, purely from a holistic perspective rather than a clinical one involving medication. Therapies help as well if you have access to them, as well as lifestyle changes.

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    • Posted

      That you for your swift reply. Sorry to hear that you mam went through this as well. I am a medical secretary and also a clerical officer within the NHS.  Also my youngest son came home after being away at uni for 4 years. He and my husband (his step father) have never really got on, nothing in common etc and life has been tough. My son has a job and works all day but i feel like i am in the middle of a war at times. My daughter, who would fall out with her shadow hasnt spoken to me in weeks over something petty. I have tried to put it right, but she is a bully and i am sick of it all, but she wont let me see the grand kids. My eldest tell her things yet denies it. I know because other people come and tell me what has been said, and i do trust them. I wished i could walk back into work just to get away from the stresses of home and yet the stresses of work are just as bad, if not worse. So you see i feel in a catch 22 situation and dont know where to turn. I know mentally and physically i just cannot walk back into that job. I have a meeting tomorrow which i am dreading with occupational health with the hospital. I feel like screaming the place down and crying my eyes out. I have loads of hobbies and plenty to keep me busy yet my mind is troubled.

      Thank you for listening sad

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    • Posted

      That's alright, no worries.

      I do see the predicament you're in - it sounds like you want to escape into something but obviously as you point out, regardless of what you feel might offer some form of occupational therapy, you can't turn to your family because of the stress and you can't turn to work because of the stress and yet there you are in the middle.

      The thing is, with work, they'll be obligated to respect whatever it is your doctor has signed you off with so irrespective of what situation you face with the occupational therapist, work is either going to be non-existent in the near future depending on the severity of your condition or you'll be given a wholly different job (or similar job) on a lower band within the same trust and it's area, as what happened to my mum in her last couple of years employed. So if you accept that as the worse case scenario, that'll be the concern over one problem sorted.

      When it comes to your family, I think what you'll need to do is get everybody to bang their heads together and say to them, "look, this is what you're all doing to me and I can't take it any more -- sorry, I just can't." For them to see how it affects you on an emotional level will provide them with warning signals, and if they don't pay attention to those then you should mention some of the physical aspects too. Those will be more noticeable - ie. with particular regards to the ectopic heart beat.

      Everything you describe can be sorted. CBT might be helpful in your case because what you experience seems to be more 'reactive depression' as opposed to clinical depression - so you'll find yourself in a situation or environment that typically causes stress, and then how to address that environment in a different way. That's the sort of thing CBT does.

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    • Posted

      Thank you once again.

      What is CBT?  

      I have always been the strong one in the family and sorted everything out. But a lot has happened in the past in my life and i think it is all falling down around my ears now.

      My two eldest kids can be quite like their dad and i have had some good and bad times with them both in the past. I was a battered wife while with their dad. Something i just cannot quite get out of my head even though it ended back in 1990. I have 3 kids and 4 grand kids. My youngest one is with my 2nd husband. That husband was nuts, on drugs and i got away from him quickly with my son. I didnt notice the signs when i met them both. So you see i am not a straightforeward person. 3rd husband is great but him and my youngest dont see eye to eye and life at the moment is stressful. 

      Work was manic and i worked from 8-5pm on most days just to try and catch up which i failed miserably. Sorry to pour all of this out but it may give a path for which i can get help.

      Thank you for listening.

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    • Posted

      Never apologise for talking about how you feel, Sandra. Nobody here will think badly of you - none of us are obliged to help and we do so as part of on online community because some of us are committed to helping others when they feel they can offer some advice that may be helpful. This website has actually taken up the majority of my own work time over the last 2 weeks, and I'm starting to feel terrible now because of it. I can't keep up with the amount of new people who sign up every day with the same problems - and I absolutely hate the lack of commitment one shows when I ended up copying and pasting text; making he mistake doctors do which is in assuming one size fits all.

      But the key is, I want to be here to read people's stories because I'm interested. As I say, my mum was a district nurse for close to 40 years so the threads of 'care' are sewn quite heavily into my loins. There is no money in it for me; I do it because I care.

      In any event though, a lot of what you say could be dealt with in two ways. Obviously you say there are some past issues - traumatic events could be dealt with through EMDR.

      Being able to release your thoughts and feelings, and have somebody here to listen would be a job for a counsellor.

      CBT... well, as I stated, it's a means of helping you analyse a situation to try and work out how you could approach it differently. So for instance, if you feel an environment is stressful, CBT would teach you how to approach the environment differently so it isn't as stressful.

      Other therapies are available of course, as a means of de-stressing. Mindfulness & Awarness courses are great and can often come hand in hand with the more holistic approach to depression and anxiety; as can Guided Meditation. Often however both will require you to pay for it because it isn't offered on the NHS.

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    • Posted

      Once again Thank you for your kind and helpful words.  I have had my meeting this morning with the occupational health lady from NHS and it went ok. She wants me to have a meeting with my boss, but this is something that i am not ready to do just yet. I have counselling which starts on tuesday and i then i have another meeting with her in 4 weeks time. Thanks for your helpful advice. I dont feel so alone right now.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sandra,

    Sorry to hear of your distress over your work situation,but I know how you feel had the same problem in year 2000,cross-training on various IT platforms,running around like a blue arsed fly,I took my redundancy,had enough,but nowadays it's worse because companies know it's an employers market and can do what they want with staff,but don't want to get political about it.

    I have suffered with anxiety/depression for over 50yrs now,have managed somehow to get to 64 not out,retire next month,but never have I got rid of this underlying anxiety completely,and have tried everything from barbitones to valium ,now Pregabilin.

    Well now you know who your friends are,what a shower! 

    I have a wife whose not very supportive/understanding of my situation,hurt at first but used to it now,deal with it all myself.

    All I can say is hold your head up,you owe nobody anything,I bet you're easily put on as well,taking all that work on,I too am like that.

    Let it all roll,time will make it easier,don't be hard on yourself and take it from me there is a silver lining in all this.

    Good luck with Occupational Health,they never did much for me,but you never know what they may come up with.

    So be kind to yourself and just accept for now that things have got on top of you,you have  my support,and please let me know how you get on.

    Regards Malc

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you malc.

      I dont feel so quite alone now.

      I still felt that these people at work were my friends but as i have been told they were "work colleagues" and not friends. Just hard to get my head round it. 

      I will let you know how the meeting with occupational health goes tomorrow - not looking forward to it but hubby is coming along with me. This is the second meeting. Then counselling starts on tuesday.

      Once again for all of your helpful words.

       

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  • Posted

    Hello Sandra,

    I'm 34 and have had similar experiences. Twice even. I have been of sick for many months 5 years ago for back problems. I thought they were all my friends and baring in mind I had surgery twice at the time not once did I have a phone call, card or flowers nothing! I had really bad anxiety after that and I felt so upset about that situation for months afterwards. I changed job since but have been of for a few months again for my back and apart from a couple of people nobody else kept in touch either. I have recently returned to work and it's like nothing ever happened. But as you said they are work colleagues not friends and I have become very much aware of it. I just know how much worse it make our anxiety on top of everything else. I'm having a really bad time ATM and I'm wondering when everything will be back to normal again. It's exhausting to feel this way, no energy, on edge, shaking, loss of appetite... Pffff. Hate waking up in the morning realising I still feel like this. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. X

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    • Posted

      Thank you babette for your reply. I know exactly how you feel. I just cannot face going back there.  I have that meeting tomorrow with the occupational health woman from work, but at least my husband will be there.

      I do hope you feel better soon.  We seem to be on a long road, no turns just dont know when or where it will end up at.

      Take care x

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  • Posted

    Hi Sandra , I know it is a while since you wrote this but I am now going through the same thing and wondered how you got on.
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  • Posted

    I suffer from anxiety, had 2 periods of 6 months off over the last 2 years due to this. Went back to work in Feb 2016 and lasted a month back but woke one morning and couldn't face going back to work.  I work in IT and am 63 coming 64 and I just can't get my head round the number of changes happening within the department.  Things that happened to me when younger are now affecting me in later life I used to be able to switch off but now when working can't sleep, or relax at weekends. My wife has been very supportive as she can see what I am going through, not sure I can say that about my work, feel I am being pressured to return to work which I did in February just 3 weeks after burying my sister, I didn't know where I was.  To be honest looking for redundancy or whatever.
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