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Depression / anxiety and returning to work to

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by sophie85, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    im not sure if I'm posting this on the right forum but here goes...,

    I've suffered from depression for a few years which has been kept controlled by citalopram to help me live a "normal" life. As I've learnt about myself recently, I'm a bit of a perfectionist and have spent the last few years constantly striving for more in my life,never happy with "good enough" paricularly career wise. I'm now a deputy head (I sometimes think if I'm actually meant for this job and whether it's the school for me and whether I need to leave the job but that's another discussion).

    Earlier in the year I started having panic attacks and having to leave the classroom to cry/shake/hyperventilate in the toilets (am an in class deputy). I didn't want to tell colleagues/my boss about these as I felt it would look badly on my ability to do my job. Anyway to cut a long story short, these panic attacks got worse and more frequent and I ended up being signed off work for anxiety. I was off work for a few weeks before this got worse and spiralled into severe depression leading to an admission to hospital as an inpatient. I was discharged a few weeks ago having spent a month there. I continue to attend some group sessions there as a day patient. I have very low energy levels, everything exhausts me and I do still get quite anxious but this is improving.

    I'm due to return to work in sept on a phased return (although the logistics of this have not been discussed with work yet) as recommended by my consultant. I'm unbelievably anxious about returning and really don't know what to do about it.

    Does anyone have any tips/guidance of things that might help make the return to work easier? I'm so terrified of relapsing and want to avoid a relapse as much s possible. I know work will want to know what they can do to help but I honestly don't know myself! I'm desperate to show I can still do my job but want to avoid throwing myself full into it and exhausting myself. How do I get back into it at a good enough level to keep going? Is it just best to start again at this role at a different school for January?

    Hope this has made some sense. Thank you.
  2. Toomuchtooyoung

    Toomuchtooyoung Occasional commenter

    It's really difficult to respond as it's such a personal thing, but I would think if your not going to back to work confident that you are strong enough and have strategies in place, then it's too soon. You need to get your generalised anxiety under control before you can even think about coping with the anxieties the job might throw at you. Can you get 1 -1 counselling rather than group sessions ? You may be able to get some personalised support then.

    Sorry your feeling like this, anxiety is a dreadful thing. Good luck.
  3. Hi Sophie, I am really sorry to hear about what you have been going through, it sounds like a lot to cope with.

    Have you ever tried doing some Mindfulness? It helps specifically with depression and anxiety and gives you tools to deal with your thoughts and emotions and not to be so overwhelmed by them. The NHS offers free mindfulness courses, it might be worth checking out. www.nhs.uk/.../mindfulness.aspx

    Or the Mental Health Foundation list all the mindfulness courses in the UK and you can even do a course online. bemindful.co.uk/

    Wishing you well

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