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Work related stress/anxiety advice

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by CC_Resources, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. CC_Resources

    CC_Resources New commenter

    Hi Tes people,
    First time I have posted on here but I am looking for advice.
    I have suffered with work related anxiety for most of my career especially in large meetings, staff briefings, INSED days and training. This is my fear of being in the spotlight, social colleague phobias etc. I have played a number of roles in the school but have avoided these situations for over 10 years. My school is aware although most colleagues aren't and they have accepted it to an extent. Of course my career has suffered but I have managed to be a lead practitioner in my subject. Recently my school has been through a number of changes resulting in me teaching 5 subjects. My colleague who was also teaching 5 subjects was off with stress for 8 weeks which i covered. I also suffer from a chronic health condition which doesn't help. So this year it all got too much for me after the death of a relative and the workload was unsustainable. I basically burned out with severe anxiety. This wasn't helped by my colleague being made redundant and the school pushing me to head the department even without asking me. My GP signed me off for 8 weeks and gave me citalopram for my anxiety. I returned to work for the last three days of term as I felt i needed to as I may never return after the summer break. I have a new head starting in September and my issues are documented. I have become very disillusioned by teaching as it is not what it used to be and I am thinking that i will give it one last go. I am an OFSTED grade 1 teacher and a very good practitioner. My union has been great and tells me to take off as much time as needed and don't rush back. I have a few questions please:

    Can my school dismiss me for having anxiety issues bearing in mind I have never let the school down?
    Has anyone been on citalopram for anxiety?
    Does anyone else avoid meetings or have had similar experiences? How have you coped with this or turned it around?
    Do I have to declare to my school I am on medication?

  2. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    Having read through your detailed post, I haven't got much to offer but didn't want to read and run. I have experience of members of my family and colleagues with similar issues to those you describe and admire how you manage to cope. It seems from what you say that you manage on a day to day basis when routines are 'normal' but the extra expectations were the trigger.
    I really hope that you are able to relax over the summer and switch off in order to recharge those batteries - whatever you decide in September
  3. menhir

    menhir New commenter

    Have a good rest over the summer and see what September brings. As you say teaching has changed dramatically over the last few years and the workload is unbearable at times. I was feeling like this 2 years ago and it didn't really improve until I was forced to go by an informal capability. This was the push I needed to get out. I found a HLTA post in a special school and I love it - I can teach kids without all the other paperwork and politics of the post of CT. This worked for me - take the time you need to work out your priorities for YOU. Your school are lucky to have you - be honest with your new head your track record should speak for you and if all else fails take the time you need to plan the next step. I wish you all the best - look after you because no-one else will once you make a decision you are happy with the rest will fall into place.
    fastball1718 likes this.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No, you cannot be dismissed for that reason unless it stops you carrying out your role. You are clearly 'fit to teach' so there is no problem.
    Yes, worked for me and I no longer take it. But if you need to take it forever and it works then do so. You wouldn't tell someone taking insulin to get better because they can't take it for life, don't let anyone tell you that about your medication.
    No, not avoid meetings, but arrive late for courses that say they have 'ice breaker' activities and the like. HATE talking about me, don't mind talking about work.
    No, your school do not need to know.

    Don't panic. You have the summer holiday to enjoy and a new head who could be a fabulous and lovely person who will make all the changes necessary to rebuild a lovely workplace. Think positively, it could all be wonderful by Christmas.
    fastball1718 likes this.
  5. Moremarking

    Moremarking New commenter


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