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How do you know ...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hammie, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    I was signed off for stress before half term.
    How do I know when I am fit to return?
    At home I feel fine, but that's not what got me stressed enough for the Head to tell me to go and seem my doctor.
    Seeing my own doctor rather than a locum, tomorrow.
    Not sure what happens next so anyone who's been there, advice would be appreciated.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    For me it was when I could think about returning without panicking and throwing up.
    I wanted to go back.

    For you it may be different, chat to your GP?
  3. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Thanks for replying, its a strange position to be in.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    When talking about going back makes you think, "Ugh, early mornings. Long days. Ugh. When am I going to win the lottery? When???"

    Rather than, "I can't. I just can't. No. I can't."
  5. BehaviourQueen

    BehaviourQueen New commenter

    I’ve been there and am just coming out the other end.

    See your GP, take time to explain everything. Just because you’re ok at home, does not mean you are fit enough to return to the place that made you unwell.

    There are so many of us that are being too harsh on ourselves when it’s a place or situation that is causing our illnesses. Talk to your GP.

    I hope you get the support you need.
    Jamvic, hammie, bevdex and 5 others like this.
  6. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    For me, it was when I was able to stop shaking and feeling sick at the prospect. I also felt utterly exhausted much of the time. And the migraines... Mind you, the improvement only happened after the SA, so I'm not a lot of help. Sorry.
    I'm sorry, too, that you feel like this, and I just wanted to send some support. It is a surprisingly slow process, too, but you sound as if you have a supportive Head, which is good. Take care of yourself. Enjoy the sunshine when you can, but keep warm!
    Jamvic, hammie, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  7. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    What are you going back to? The same stuff that made you unwell in the first place? In which case, how long will you last before you're off with stress again?

    If you're going back then something must change or else the same issues will re-emerge. Is there something you can do like working smarter, relinquishing some responsibilities or setting yourself some limits on how much you expect yourself to do? Is there something your school can do to relieve the pressure on you?

    You have had time off for stress after the first half term of the new academic year. Does this bode well for the rest of the year if you're going back to the same old same old? Look after yourself.
    Jamvic, henrypm0, hammie and 7 others like this.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    In my experience the answer usually is - much longer than you think.

    Many teachers I have known who went off with stress did not return and neither should you unless you are absolutely sure it will not just happen all over again.

    Good luck
    Jamvic, hammie, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  9. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    My GP wanted to sign me off for a half term.
    'No' said I.
    A week later I had to go back and eat humble pie and accept that she'd been right.
    I now only do supply as the word 'contract' brings me out in a cold sweat.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As you see from the answers above, much depends on your own particular situation and how much support you will get when you return and how appropriate a phased return if offered.

    If the thought of actually returning starts to make you panicky and stressed at all, then not yet is the answer.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    @gruoch ,sorry to hear you also have joined the 'statistics' of teachers who 'disappear' as so many of us have. I seem to remember how happy you were a few years back. as was I - until the inevitable happened. :(
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Stress finally got to my Dad after many years of teaching and after he reached DHT level.

    For about two years to him finally realizing something was wrong he was a nightmare to live with.

    Finally on the first day of a new academic year he gave up the ghost and went to seek some medical help.

    It was the best thing he ever did. He never went back into the classroom but has lived a much longer and happier life than he would have done if he'd stayed in the job.

    Going off with a stress related condition is teaching's way of saying "enough" - it's time to do something else. The number of teachers I've personally known who went off and successfully came back I think I could count on the fingers of one hand.
    oldsomeman, Jamvic, henrypm0 and 7 others like this.
  13. lizzyshep

    lizzyshep New commenter

    I’m returning to work tomorrow after being signed off for 2 weeks with stress. My GP wanted to sign me off for longer but I had a job interview today so asked for just 2 weeks.

    I’ve hardly been there this term, I just keep getting ill. It’s definitely time for me to go, and fortunately I got the other job so am leaving at Christmas. It’s not teaching, by the way!

    Look after yourself - the number of teachers off with stress or leaving for good is very saddening.
  14. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Come on! You can't tell us you've got a new job outside of teaching and n ot tell us what it is - you might inspire some of the others on here to try something similar!
  15. lizzyshep

    lizzyshep New commenter

    Ha ha, sorry! It’s a science technician at the local secondary school. I’ve been thinking about making the move for the last couple of years, and an opportunity came up. I feel less stressed already!
    Jamvic, Shedman, mothorchid and 4 others like this.
  16. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    As others have said, it all depends on your personal situation and only you will know when you are ready. Just before half term doesn't sound very long to me - if you stress was such that you needed to be signed off, I can't imagine you are ready to return quite yet. Also, when I was in this position, my Head Teacher insisted on a phased return and said she would always do that for anyone off with stress. I was surprised when I heard this - it hadn't occurred to me that it would be offered - but it was a godsend. I did just three mornings for the first week; every morning the second; until 2pm the third week and then back to full time. I think it really helped.
    Hope you feel better and stronger soon - don't rush it x
    Jamvic, agathamorse, hammie and 2 others like this.
  17. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    For me I have come to the realisation that I will never be fit to return to teaching. I can't bear anymore of it, I am not going back to my current school or any other. That's me done. I want a life and there is a real life outside of teaching where you have your evenings and weekends and your sanity. I want a job where I can get a lunch break, a chat with other adults, go to the toilet when I want, have fun and where I don't have someone watching me, criticising me and making me feel like a failure. i deserve so much more than that!
  18. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Thanks very much everyone for taking the time to reply. Just reading these comments has made me surprisingly emotional, so I think the advice about it taking longer than expected is pretty good. I guess the garden is going to get put to bed for the Winter this week.
  19. patternandsurface

    patternandsurface Occasional commenter

    What ever happens Hammie, hope your ok and I'm sure you'll get better (or destress and become the confident self that you are) again when your ready.
    Jamvic, hammie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  20. Summerhols6

    Summerhols6 Occasional commenter

    I am off sick with WRS.I won't go into details but I wish you well. I'll tell my story when the times right, you must get better, like me. I suggest that you come on here some more, read some posts, articles. There are lots of interesting articles and posts and people of course. Just get better, that's the main goal.

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