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Signed off Again

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by splittinghairs, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. splittinghairs

    splittinghairs New commenter

    I left my last workplace at Christmas and was signed off for the whole of that half term prior to leaving due to work related stress.

    Fast forward to now; new school, lovely colleagues. No workplace stress beyond the usual teacher to do list but I’m starting to feeel as if I can’t cope. The anxiety hadn’t gone away completely and I’ve had a few wobbly
    moments since beginning at this new place. This all came to a head yesterday when I had a series of panic attacks and went home early from work. Today I am off once more. I’ve visited my GP and she has signed me off with anxiety. I’m now feeling dreadful and very concerned with what my new employer will think of me. :(
  2. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I recall you commenting on someone else’s post regarding their anxiety and telling them to look after themselves if they’re not ready to return. It sounds as though you’re experiencing something similar and I urge you to take your own advice.

    No, it isn’t ideal to be a couple of months into a new job and off with anxiety but anxiety is never an ideal illness to have at any time.

    At worst, it might trigger a stage one absence meeting upon your return which will be a discussion of what school can do to help and a potential referral to occupational health. This could actually be a good thing as it might give you an opportunity to have some tweaks made to those ‘teacher to do list’ stresses you mention.

    Wishing you better.
    splittinghairs likes this.
  3. splittinghairs

    splittinghairs New commenter

    I’m just so confused. My family are all effectively telling me to ‘man up’ and just go back into work tomorrow rather than staying signed off with anxiety.
  4. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I don’t think this is very fair on you. Only you know what you’re going through and if you’re not well enough to be at work, so much so that a professional has signed you off, your family have no right to tell you to just go back to work. This could exacerbate things. Please take the time you need to get well again.
  5. splittinghairs

    splittinghairs New commenter

    It’s taking so long for anything I post to come through as I’m still being moderated. I feel as if my replies are getting lost.

    What happens if you end up suffering with anxiety again following a return and stage one absence meetings? I’m worried about possible outcomes but don’t think I can stomach standing up in front of a class.
  6. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    If it's reassurance you're looking for whilst your posts are being moderated, search some of the forums for other threads on anxiety. Particularly those where @grumpydogwoman @caterpillartobutterfly and @skellig1182 have given some wonderful advice. You really aren't alone in this, and fearing what will happen upon return is a very common worry. If the school is as lovely as you seem to imply, they will be supportive.
  7. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Apart from signing you off, what else has your GP suggested? Anxiety can be crippling but there are lots of different ways of managing it.

    Have you tried the Education Support Network, who can provide one to one telephone support with lots of advice tailored to your specific situation?

    My GP recommended 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life' by Richard Carlson. I just checked and the kindle version is £1.99 on Amazon. I was very sceptical as I didn't see how a self-help book could make much of a difference but it was really helpful.

    The ESN counsellor also recommended a mindfulness website which I didn't get on as well with but here it is anyway: palousemindfulness.com

    Try to find something that suits you - we all react differently, so what suits one person might not be somebody else's cup of tea.
  8. splittinghairs

    splittinghairs New commenter

    There was an offer to put me on antidepressants, which I declined. I don’t feel depressed and constantly low, it’s panicked and anxious that is the issue.

    I did also get an NHS referral for counselling and CBT but the wait list is fairly long in my area.

    I hadn’t thought of contacting the education support partnership so I will give that a try. I’m also going to have a look at the book recommendation, thank you!
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Maybe try and organise a meeting with your new head and go and have a chat. You say they are lovely and there is no stress as such, so almost certainly they will want to help. They appointed you and so know you are fab...they will understand and support.

    You'll be ok in the end, but anxiety can take ages and ages to sort out. For me, it flares up every now and then and I left the horrible, stressful place about 4 years ago. But my lovely new school are superbly understanding and help out when I need it.
    Lalad likes this.
  10. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Sorry, yes, it's the Education Support Partnership (not network). You can call the support line free on 08000 562561 any time, day or night.

    Like you, I was also offered anti-depressants but declined, because I knew I wasn't depressed - it was the anxiety and lack of confidence in my ability to cope that was at the forefront. I've learnt to recognise the triggers and feel I now have more control over my response to them. It all helps.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
  11. splittinghairs

    splittinghairs New commenter

    This is exactly how I feel. To be frank I’m surprised and shocked at how willing and quickly they suggest anti-depressants. I’m not depressed, I’m anxious. My GP didn’t even run through any depression symptoms with me before offering anti-depressants. Like you’ve said in your post above I’m lacking in self-confidence and my ability to deal with stressful situations. I just want to be able to manage that rather than take anti-depressants that I don’t need.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have anxiety, but currently take what are called anti-depressants.
    They aren't just for depression, despite the layman's term.

    The anxiety is still there, but it isn't so totally overwhelming. And I feel like it will be ok in the end and that it's ok to ask for help at work. All of which also helps.
  13. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    I was also offered anti depressants and like you I said I wasn't depressed but my GP explained that some types of ADs are helpful for anxiety. I have been taking them for a few months now and they have really helped with the anxiety. I am no longer having panic attacks or feelings of being overwhelmed. It would be worth reconsidering the ADs.
  14. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    My parents and siblings would also have told me to man up and get back to work so I haven't told them. My husband and children know but no other family members. It's better that way as I don't want them adding to my pressures and they wouldnt understand.

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