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Stressed and confused. What to do for the best?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by StressedOutMiss, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    I was signed off work last week for two weeks with work related stress. After a Sunday afternoon meltdown and absolute panic, I emailed my union rep blurting everything I was feeling out. Following a phone call to him and discussions with my partner I knew I had to get to the doctor.

    This resulted in being signed off for two weeks. I've spoken to my union rep and other teacher friends as well as non-teacher friends who have been off work with stress but I'm still not sure what to do next - my sick note runs out Friday and my union rep has suggested it would be wise to try and go back Monday for the last four days of term, which would help avoid maybe creating further stresses re work capability (I was already on a support plan - the stress has built up over a longer period of time than I maybe initially thought). A few other people have mentioned that this would be wise too.

    I started feeling like maybe I could go back but if I start thinking too much about what I need to do I start to feel panic set in again. I feel impending dread walking into my office at home for anything and even looking at my computer (though have kept an eye on school email). In the last three or four days, I've woken up in blind panic at the thought of going back and not knowing what to do for the best, sitting on the sofa in tears. I have y6 and upcoming SATs which is making me feel even worse and more worried.

    I genuinely don't know what to do next. Whether to go back to the doctor and see if he'll extend my sick leave or to go back to work. I don't know if I can cope going back full time - I don't think I can keep up with the pace to be fair. I'm worried that if I go back the cycle will just repeat itself. I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Do I try and go back on Monday or do I call the doctors?
  2. Mrskeletor

    Mrskeletor New commenter

    No one can really answer these questions but you. However, considering next week is a 4 dayer, I personally would bite the bullet and go in on Monday. Thursday would be a relatively stress free, getting prepared for Easter holidays day anyway, so look at it as only 3 days! All you have to think about is the 2 weeks off that are approaching quickly. Focus on that, review your situation after a week off, then decide what to do mid-Easter holiday. If you feel like you can't go in after that, take a trip to the doctor. If you feel you can, but need to go part time, then you will need to talk to your HT. Whatever you decide, I think looking at the positives of an impending holiday should be your focus right now!!

    Good Luck!
  3. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    This has been the general advice of a lot of people I've spoken too - bite the bullet and see what next week brings - easier to go back just before Easter and see how things pan out from there so to speak.

    I know I can't carry on feeling like this. I've already made a decision about deadline day for resignations after Easter. Just annoyed I missed the last deadline. :(
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I sympathise with you. Your under a great deal of pressure and showing classic stress symptoms.

    I think that the time off for stress is only the immediate issue. Your support plan is the key one. Most people do not survive these. Have you shared with your Union that you want to leave? Perhaps it's time to get them to negotiate an exit?

    Please take care of yourself. You are not alone. The situation you have described has been forced on a lot of people, who have gone on and found better situations for themselves.
    ValentinoRossi and phlogiston like this.
  5. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    I didn't know whether to mention it to my Union or not but i think I might,simply because I've heard many horror stories. I suspect I need to speak to my doctor again before the end of the week as well.
    My friend ended up on a support plan and ended up leaving too.

    If I was to leave and negotiate an exit, I'm fortunate enough not to be in such dire straits that leaving would have a major financial impact at the moment.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Go now. Do not delay. Do not get dragged down. Leave while you're (relatively) ahead.

    This is a warning to you. What's going to change where you are? Will the workplace change? Can you change and learn to handle stress better?

    The workplace won't accommodate you. I think I can be pretty sure of that. So it's up to you. You learn to manage it or you take advantage of the fact you have options and you go now.

    Best wishes.
    xandrahuk likes this.
  7. mantilla

    mantilla New commenter

    I think you have to do what is best for you - if you feel so stressed about the thought of going back even for the last few days then maybe you are not ready yet? Only you can answer that. Could you get a doctor's appointment on Friday which might help?
    The last few days would hopefully be a good time to go back though, even with Year 6 - just off the top of my head I can think of at least 3 things in our school where we are off normal timetable next week...
    I would agree that it sounds like a change of school is the way forward...
    Take care.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry to hear you're in such a state.
    Only you can decide the best course of action.
    There is merit to going in, but only if you're in a fit state to work with the children (and the management) and you're not going to get worse.
    On the other hand, if you're still highly stressed, your pupils may be better off with a supply teacher and you may be better working on recovery. This is something for you and your doctor to decide.

    Hope you can find a way out of the hole.
    Best wishes
    ValentinoRossi likes this.
  9. Cookie-

    Cookie- New commenter

    You need to go back and see your GP, they will probably sign you off for much longer. This will give you time to recover and then return to school when you are ready and strong enough to cope with the pressures of the support plan. Your workplace has done this to you, try not to feel guilty and just rest. Stop checking work emails etc. as this won't allow you to clear your mind. Hope you feel better.
  10. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    It sounds like your not ready to go back but ultimately it is your decision. I understand you have school fresh in your mind but you need to take time to recover. Put yourself first, your health is more important than the job. Take carexx
  11. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Talk things out with your doctor before you do anything else. They'll be able to say if you should go back or not.
  12. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    What about a phased return? Dr's can recommend this on sick notes and that might be best, could you suggest to your head that you will come in but part time to ease back in? You could just do mornings, get maths & English sorted then they could cover the afternoons with the other lessons. That way you can have afternoons free and won't feel as daunted about doing a whole day? Xx
  13. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    My cousin mentioned part time when I spoke to her. First things first - trip to doctors. 5 mornings out of the last 6 I've woken up in a state of panic :-/ in the early hours too.
    Thank you for the words of advice x
  14. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    Hope you get support you need @StressedOutMiss

    Don't go on if you really can't, it'll be such a blow to your health that you'll use your easter break to recover xx
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling so awful, @StressedOutMiss . I just hope that soon things will be better for you.

    You say

    Are you really sure about this? Really , really sure?

    Because if the decision has been made to leave, and you want to go asap, then read this to see if it is helpful.

    Asking to leave earlier than your contractual leaving date

    Best wishes

  16. StressedOutMiss

    StressedOutMiss New commenter

    Thanks Theo. I've spoken to my doctor, need to speak to my rep. Off back to my old Uni's career office next week as well. The pros don't outweigh the cons, even if I changed school. I feel leaving is the right thing, even though somethings I know I will miss!
  17. missied

    missied New commenter

    I have recently made the same decision to leave my current teaching job and whilst I haven't completely given up on teaching yet I need to leave current school before I end up completely stressed out and ill. Once the decision was made I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I actually began to feel better about everything.......I hope this is the same for you.
    Please make sure you get support for how you are feeling now......ask your doctor if they offer any talking therapies they really help you to focus

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