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Stress related illness

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by jjcool, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. Hi, I suggest you re-post this in the M/H recovery spa-quite a few posters there who have been through similar who can give you plenty of advice and support. What AD's have you been prescribed?
    I was diagnosed with depression in October (not sad/suicidal-just catatonic tiredness and unable to motivate myself to clear the house etc) and started off on Fluoxetine; and am now on Citalopram. I only work part time in a SEN job so can't really help workwise but can offer my support. [​IMG]
    However, nomatter what the job or hours, your situation is a bit like a bucket of water that has suddenly overflowed. You will need to give yourself plenty of time to get better and not go back until you are ready and able to cope with the demands of the job-(basically when the bucket is empty again and a tap is not dripping in to it, if you get my analogy ) .
    If you stay off for at least a couple of weeks many employers will refer you to Occ Health (or you can ask to be referred-worth searching postings re OccHto understand what that is all about). They will assess you and make recommendations for the support/reasonable adjustments you will need to be able to return to work.
    But for now don't even worry about that! My doc say that Ad's can take up to 6 weeks to kick in properly so take the time to get yourself really better-and comfort yourself by thinking that some poor supply teacher will really be grateful for a bit of regular supply [​IMG].
    Now that the weather is improving, getting out in the garden/fresh air will help speed your recovery and lift your mood too. Take care
  2. From your school, phased return and time off for medical/counselling appointments, perhaps someone to talk to in school.
    From occupational health, things like counselling eg, CBT referrals, stress assessment in school, a friendly ear and someone to fight your corner with SLT.
  3. Thank you for replying...feel quite alone with this and had been trying to keep going as normal for months before things just got too much. I have been prescribed venlafaxine which am hoping will start to work soon. I have felt suicidal but keep telling myself to hang on and wait for pills to work. Feel guilty about not being strong enough to cope. Have been referred to OH so hopefully they will be able to offer some kind of support.
  4. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    May I suggest you Google up: Depend Dr Tim Cantopher document (sorry, don't know how to do links).
    It is an article explaining how stress and depressive illness only affects strong people. Don't feel guilty about "not being strong enough to cope". You are very strong, and you kept on trying and coping way past where a weak or lazy person would have wimped off and refused to do any more.
    Take care of yourself. There isn't an instant remedy, Im afraid.
  5. Thanks Rosievoice, I have just looked it up online and found it helpful...I might also buy his book for when I can concentrate a little more. x
  6. Hi, I am still off sick. Worried it is taking longer than I thought it would to recover from this. I am better than I was, but still quite low and shaky. How will I know when I am well enough to return to work? Really want to go back, but don't want to do so and then find I'm not well enough. Does anyone know how to tell when you are well enough to go back to work?
    Thanks x
  7. Thanks Torey. Think I'm getting there, albeit slowly. Has been a big wake up call really. X
  8. Could I suggest that you don't risk return too soon. The way in which some schools evaluate absences seems to include the number of absences, not just the total days.
  9. Thanks Irw22
    OH haven't really suggested anything other than asking me if I feel ready to return, which I want to do. However I am apprehensive about some things, for example SEN support which is not great in our school. Management are good at twisting things, so it looks as if it is you that is at fault, and not the lack of support, if that makes sense. I have lost a lot of confidence since teaching there as well as becoming ill, doubting my ability etc. I could really do with finding some strategies that work when things get tough.
  10. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    When did you see OH? If the thought of returning to work is affecting you this much, I would suggest you go back to your GP and talk it through. They might feel that with some anxiety meds or strategies you'll be able to get through it, or they might feel that you should still be signed off.
    I would suggest that you make a list of the things you are concerned about, or which you feel contributed to your stress at work. In some cases it might be that your symptoms were causing problems (e.g. exhaustion making marking take twice as long) and some areas will no longer be an issue. Look at the rest. Do you now have strategies in place to deal with them differently? Have you made changes, or agreed changes, with the school to address other issues? If you have, then although you'll be feeling anxious, if you are generally feeling well it's probably time to return.
    However, if you are still experiencing exhaustion, panic and other symptoms of depression, you are not ready to return to work. If you have not made the changes described above, it's a good bet you will be back at square one sooner or later.
    One of the things I'm finding hardest about being signed off (for stress & depression) is that I'm the one who has to say whether I'm ready to return. If I had a broken leg, the doctor could tell me when I could walk on it again. That just doesn't apply to mental health issues. I'm always torn between my obligation to the school (the children, the other staff who are also friends, and my professional obligation to my employer) and the need to value my own health rather than their needs.
    The best thing I can say to you (other than wishing you well) is that if you don't value your health, no one else will.
    Good luck.
  11. Hi Screenprint, I know what you're feeling is a hell of a thing and it's very difficult to express exactly how it feels for you. Keep posting though. There are a lot of us out here reading and supporting you so just focus on dealing with one day at a time. There are a few things you can do to help self-nurture yourself as well. Summer is coming and there will be sunny days up ahead. See if you can get out as much as possible into the fresh air and find some form of exercise you really enjoy. Nothing exhausting but something that makes you breathe reasonably deeply. Also, try to spend as much time as possible with people who make you laugh. Do you like painting or drawing? you could give something artistic a whirl, sculpture? A not too intense martial-art might be fun and a meditation might help. (Try to avoid anything with a guru, cult attachment, a large donation, weird clothes or funny hats). Someone told me about this next one and the effect it had on my mental state was amazing. I was walking with a friend and she put one hand on my lower back and the other on my chest and pressing lightly said, "Stand up straight and hold your head up." I did and I suddenly felt less weighed-down-by-the-world. Sorry, I can't explain it much better than that but by improving my posture and breathing I felt better. I would love it if some of this helps. Just look after yourself the way you would if a friend was feeling the way you are. What would you do for them? Well, just do it for you. The better you are, the better the world is. All the best.

    P.S. A personal journal is good for discussing things with yourself. By expressing those circular thoughts on paper it seems to help them stop going 'round and 'round inside your head.
  12. Thank you for your kind responses and support.
    I will be returning to work tomorrow and will just have to see how it goes. I haven't requesed a phased return, so suspect I will be in at the deep end.
    I am really nervous, but am going to take deep breaths and try to get on with it.
    I love the children and am really looking forward to seeming them again.
    There are other aspects I am very apprehensive about (management mainly),
    but will have to take it 'one day at a time' I suppose.
    Wish me luck.....and good luck to all of you who have been so lovely.
  13. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Is part time an option? Also look at other schools. Some have different attitudes/support systems and you might find a change of school works out for you. Also look at the workload and decide what you actually need to do and prioritise. Learning to say no also helps!
  14. You sound like you need somewhere to vent and talk to people who understand. If you need to talk you could join a peer support group like
    You'll find a lot of support and advice from people who understand....some of us are teachers too.
  15. Hi,
    Thank you to all who have listened to me recently. I am curretly in touch with union re bullying at work...I don't want to post details as they are quite specific. I really don't want to go back to work after the half term, knowing this is going to start all over again. I have tried to be assertive, but am finding it difficult, probably because although I thought I was better, I have realised I am not really. Sorry if this sounds muddled.
  16. Sorry to keep posting...feel quite useless and can feel myself going down yet again. Management say they are concerned about me but the workload is still horrendous. I've got to catch up with loads of things that didn't happen while I was off sick. I've got about four weeks until my next doctor's appointment (couldn't get an apt sooner than that) and just keep crying all the time. Sorry am not sure what else to say.....just keep thinking why am I such a failure at this? I absolutely love teaching children but the rest of the ridiculously detailed planning, in depth marking of every single piece of work, assessment, performance related stuff and endless management requirements on top of caring for a very ill close relative is so hard. I thought I had recovered, but obviously haven't.
  17. You dont sound well enough to be working. You need to take some time and recover more.
  18. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    You are not a failure Screenprint, just worked to death. I've said this before on a similar thread:
    <u>Your reward for digging the perfect ditch was to be handed a bigger shovel.</u>
    You're not well. I once got an appointment at my GP by standing at reception and refusing to leave until I saw a doctor. Try it, you need to see one as soon as possible, 4 weeks is too long. x

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