Signed off work for a week

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Hi all,

I am suffering from anxiety at work. I have been signed off a couple of times in the last 7 months and now this is the third. I just can't seem to get my balance back since my first episode of stress at work. I am afraid of work now, i loath going in each day and i feel physical sick when i walk through the door. I start the day so depressed and talk to no-one. I go into my own little world. I constantly focus on how i can't handle the job anymore and i feel as though i am not good enough anymore. It has put me completely off my job, i am constantly looking for away out. I just want to run away. After being at work for 2-3 hours i am deeply depressed and have managed to work myself up into an extremely anxitious state. This is what happened again today, i could not calm down. I called my doc and he has signed me off for 1 week with 'agitation' and given me 2 weeks of Flupentixol. I am already on Mirtazapine which he increased from 30mg to 45 mg last Thursday. I think the Flupentixol is to help my immediate nerves, and give the increased dose of Mirtazapine time to cut in.

I am so worried, i don't see how things will change. The lower dose of Mirt has not helped me, so i can't see how increasing it will be some miracle cure. I realise a weeks sick will help my immediate stress by taking me away from what is causing it. But it is not as if i can avoid work for ever, i am the bread winner a must earn a living. So i am scared that next Monday will be no different to today.

Anyway advice would be appreciate

Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul, you don’t say what kind of work you do, I used to be in a fairly stressful job but managed fine (the stress drove me on), until we got a bully of a sales manager in the office he would just scream abuse at you I think this was the start of the breakdown I had later, can you identify what it is about work that causes your stress?, the increased dose may help, when I first started taking Mirt I was screaming inside and could not sleep, it certainly helped me to find a more level existence.

    All the best I hope it works for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Colin,

    I am a Civil Engineer. I work in a Consulting Engineers doing Bridge Designs and Assessments. My job can be difficult and there can be time constraints, but at present my employer is aware of my situation and putting no pressure on me. The problem is i seem to have lost my nerve, i can't help but feel negative about things and i have already convinced myself i can't do it and began to panic before i even get started. It has completely put me off work and at the moment i feel like i can't go on in Engineering anymore.

    Many thanks

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    I can understand where your coming from, i work with people who have learning disabilities, and have now been off work since the 2nd Dec 2008 nearly 2 1/2 months with depression. I dread the thought of having to go back to work.

    I started on prozac 20mg and then 4 weeks later it was increased to 40mg for two weeks and this just didn't work for me i've now been on Mirtazapine 15mg for a week but at the same time coming off prozac. I had 3 really good days last week where i was my \"normal\" self but i have now seemed to have plumeted downwards again.

    I feel the world is closing in around me and i'm trying to fight my out, when I think i'm getting some where in my fight, I have a set back of some kind it could be something so minute or miniscule to anyone else or when I was well i could cope with but at the moment I can't i have had thought that everyone else would be better oof if i wasn't around but then i think about my wife and kids and that seems to bring back to some kind normality and fight these thoughts.

    Have thought about my depression since being of from work i think i could have been suffering longer than the time i've been signed off from i'm guessing some 7-8 months before getting help I haven't ascertained the main cause yet other than i's some thing to do with work.

    I've found reading through peoples postings a help and a comfort too, sorry for my rambling.

    best wishes

    Mike

    I'm hoping the Mirtazapine will work for me too

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    It is good to hear from someone who can really relate to me. Like you, the main thing that keeps me going is my wife and children. Everyone tells me it is only a job, but work occupies so much of our time. I feel trapped, too afraid to cope in the job i am doing. I just want to run away from it. I can't see how i will ever cope or be happy again in my job. But i'm stuck, i must work to support my family. I have been signed off 3 times now, the maximum duration 3 weeks. I have been told by others that i need to take long term sick, but how, who will pay the bills. Besides, the longer i am off, i fear i would never want to return to work. It all started for me, when i couldn't cope with a technical job i was doing at work. It has gradually got worse and now i fear even being in my office. I panic no matter what the work is, whether i have the ability to do the job or not. I spend most evenings worrying about the next day in the office, it is no quality of life.

    Anyway, it is really good to know i am not the only one out there. It is easy to feel isolated (especially at work), even with my families support.

    Thanks again

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi again Paul,

    I to worried about being off long term, bills etc, but in the end my health came first, i've been in contact with my mortgage company and aranged to take a payment holiday, i do get full pay for the first 2 months but now i'm going to half pay so yes things are going to be tight but my health comes first and if you talk to your creditors if you have any they are more than likely to help out by giving you payment holidays. You could use the time off from work to look for different type of work if you can't face your work or is the cause of your stress, my ideas my not be fesiable for but there are just ideas to think about.

    keep your chin up I know it's hard but we can get through it with help. I always check in here most days so if you need to chat or need a sounding board i'll try to help, and your right we're not the only ones here someone will normally reply at some point.

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks again for your reply. Did your doctor sign you off on long term sick, or do re-evaluate on weekly visits? I have been signed off 3 times, varying from 1 week to 3 weeks. The problem is a week of work takes me away from the stressful situation, but a week later i am right back there again. I feel like i am making very little progress, i may cope at work for a couple of month because i control my stress, but i am deeply depressed. Then all of a sudden i get worked up for no apparent reason. The build up of negativity combined with the stress i put on myself is enough to push me over the edge. I then get a week of work to calm me and then straight back in there, i never really recover or feel better about myself.

    The doctor assures me that tablets are the answer. But i am not convinced. I am afraid of my job now and feel so bad about it i just want to get out of the profession all together. I don't see how a couple of tablets will ever make me feel better about it. My parents ask me what it is i would rather do with my life then, but i just don't know. At the moment, the way i feel i don't think i could work anywhere. I could not even get through the interview with my nerves.

    I guess i must be making some progress, but the first and second time i was off work, i was like a zombie and would not talk or do anything but sit on my bum. This time i am a little better and am trying to get out and do things. But keep thinking about my return to work next Monday. I wish there was a miracle cure for this condition. I know that on my return to work all my worries will become flooding back. I will start of depressed to be there, but after an hour my mind will have worked itself up so much i will begin to feel the world is better off without me.

    I wish i new what the answer was.

    Do you feel your depression was triggered by work and that it is the controlling factor for you feeling this way?

    My family are so supportive and really want to help, but when i get stressed and down i am in my own little world, where no-one can really help.

    Its funny how things can trigger in your mind. 1 years ago i would have said i have worked in the same job for 10 years and that i never even really considered whether i liked it or not. Wish i could return to then.

    This may sound lazy, but the way i feel i don't want to return to the stress of working life. But who can not work, we all have bills to pay. I suppose if i really think being of permanently wouldn't work, i would just sit around the home all day. Whenever i am off now, i am usually under my wifes feet all the time.

    Bye for now

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul,

    I've been signed off work for a month at a time so far, but have been seeing the dr every 2 weeks, working in the medical field so tp speak medication does work but its a case of finding the right one for you if you see what I mean?

    My problem is all depression related I love my job and find it rewarding but something at work has triggered it off and i don't now what it is if i knew what it was i could sort it out or at least try to sort it out?

    I to have a supportive family and network of friends too, and they pop in and try and get me out and about. I do understand where you are coming from about sounding lazy though, im have waves of guilt when i've been sitting around doing nothing thinking why can't seem to do anything? then when i have a good day which there aren't many i go mad and do lots of stuff and seem to burn myself out.

    I'm lucky in the respect of my wifeworks shifts so i'm not always under her feet.

    bye for now.

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    Why did you come off Prozac for the Mirts. Was Prozac not working for you? I was put on Mirt because my doc tells me it is particularly good at treating Anxiety. Not sure it is working great for me. I wanted the doc to try me on something different but he wanted to keep me on Mirt. I am feeling a little better at the moment, but i am not sure whether its the combination of drugs, or that i am away from the stressful situation. I guess i will find out next Monday.

    I feel bad being at home. I feel worried that my employer will sack me and i will lose my home. I know i am under my wifes feet, she has her routine during the day and me being depressed around the home messes that up. Not that she has ever said that to me.

    Are you seeing a specialist to help you out of this dark place, or relying on the combination of drugs and talking to your doc?

    Bye for now

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    I stopped taking prozac as they didn't seem to be helping me and i had side effect with them to namely lack of sleep 3-4 hours at the most and being off my food only eating one meal a day, I'm in the process of coming off the prozac at the minute which i have noticed is having an affect on me i do seem to be in a dark place indeed at the moment.

    I go back to the doctors on friday for a 2 weekly check up I am considering asking to see a Psychiatrist not sure if this will be avalable to me but i can ask. So at the present time i'm just on medication and the listerning ear of my GP, but I want to get out off this dark place and start living again.

    I had a phone call earlier from work asking me to attened a meeting in two weeks time as they have had my occupational health report back I'm now dreading the thought of having to attend.

    Your work can't sack you for being ill from work especially if you have been signed off by the doctor. I hope for you its the medication taking effect along with the rest but if you still feel that you can't face work on Monday then make an appointment with your GP.

    I will keep you updated if I can see a Psychiatrist (although i'm not hopeful).

    bye for now

    MIke

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    Feeling a little better today. I wonder if the meds are kicking in. I do hope so, perhaps by Monday i maybe able to tackle my job with a positive attitude.

    I hope you are having a good day yourself.

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    Glad you had a good day yesterday and i do hope the mirt has kicked in for you.

    I'm still feeling low and now worrying about the meeting with work i'm sure it will be fine but can't help feeling paranoid about it.

    take care for now

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    Did they say why they need a meeting with you. To check progress i guess. I had to see the Occupational Health Specialist after my first stink off work. I think my company where really just covering there back, showing that they had done everything they could for me. The specialist just asked questions about my state of mind and made an evaluation from that. I was sent a letter, copied to my employer saying that i would benefit from a back room position away from pressure.

    I am sure your meeting with work will go fine. They are just looking after your best interests.

    Take care

    Paul

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  • Posted

    Hi Paul

    I'm sure your right, i had a occupational appointment with the a specialist GP,they have sent a report back to my employers i'm yet to still get a copy of the report, this is worrying me as i can't remember much about the meeting it's all very vaugue, i'm sure i'll get a copy, but work want to discuss the content of what i've said.

    how have you been today?

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Mike, try not to worry about the contents of the Occupational health assessment. I have been involved with these from both sides of the desk. The first concern must always be the health and welfare of the employee. It should [b:2be85374f5]absolutely not [/b:2be85374f5]be a \"right, when are you coming back then?\" approach

    Your employers have a legal requirement to consider the circumstances of your illness and discuss with you whether [b:2be85374f5]at this time [/b:2be85374f5]any reasonable adjustments could be made to your job role, or routine that would help you return to work. It may be that there are none until drugs and or therapy start to work for you. If your GP has signed you off as unfit for work, then you are unfit for work. I imagine you also have rights of representation at such a discussion so if you are really dreading it, would it help to have a trusted colleague with you, or a union representative, or a family member?

    If there are things that you think would help you return, mention them and if it is the thought of going back to a full time working week from the word go that is concerning you, could you ask them to consider a rehabilitation plan where you gradually build up your hours and (hopefully) get your confidence back? They should be receptive if so.

    I would be very surprised if they were able to dismiss you after 2/3 months. Depression is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act so such action could potentially leave them open to a claim of unfair dismissal.

    Good luck and best regards.

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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    It is night before i start work again. I am really nervous. I hope i don't go to pieces all over again.

    Mornings are my worst. so i am not looking forward to a 7.45 start. It is hard to stay positive when i know that i am already going to start on a gloomy outlook.

    Anyway i hope you have had a good couple of days

    Take care

    Paul

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