Calling In Sick: Dealing With Mental Illness At Work, Part 2 - page 3

If you are a nurse who suffers from a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, you probably have had difficulties in obtaining, and then keeping a job. Many of us have spotty... Read More

  1. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from KnitWitch
    I disclosed that I had a history of depression which I treated with therapy and meds, but stated that at this point I was not in therapy and had weaned myself off all meds -- which is true as far as it goes. I feel that this covers me for disclosing past conditions as well as covering me should I have a relapse in the future that renders me unable to work. Right now I am doing really well and I love working. But if that all falls down I DO want something on my record that says, "Yes, I said I had this in my past, you can't accuse me of deceiving you." Just trying to CYA as best I can...

    That has helped me still be in good standing with my recent employer; I don't list it because I didn't make it past probation, because I was having an exacerbation and thought I could "get through it", what was I thinking?

    My new job I have has NO idea... and I am retuning to a p-doc, where I may be back on some form of meds; guess it will be a bridge I have to cross when I need time off...
  2. by   Marisette
    I'm looking forward to reading the next two articles about mental illness. I too lost my job after about 24 years of employment. I submitted my resignation letter after much criticism and bullying from top management. I was terribly understaffed, basically doing it all. I cried three days at home, and at work. Every time someone looked at me quiet tears would come rolling down my face. My employer noticed and informed me that I could return to my job within 3 months if things did not work out with my new employer. I informed my physician about the anxiety but did not get any help, or medications. My new job did not work out, so I returned to my old employer. Only this time, my position was no longer available and I was forced to start over at the bottom of the food chain in a different department. The rumor is that "I burnt myself out" at work. Starting over at the bottom is not easy. I went back to my physician and asked for help and this time, I was started on anti-depressants. I ask myself is my job that stressful or is this just me? I consider myself lucky to have a job at this time, although, I drag myself in and I'm barely able to make it through the day. So far, I have been on medication for one week and have not noticed a difference. I do not tell anyone at work or family or friends about my "condition". In the past mention of anxiety has resulted in comments such as "toughen up", "ignore it", so it's just between me and the doc now. I have never suffered from mental illness before.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas

    FWIW, antidepressants don't usually kick in right away---they take anywhere from 1-6 weeks to start improving symptoms, and 6-12 weeks to produce a complete response. Please give your treatment a trial of at least a couple more weeks, and then call your doctor if there's no light at the end of the tunnel yet. I know it's frustrating to have to wait for meds to work, but sooner or later it WILL get better, even if you don't have a full response to your current medication. It's the nature of mood disorders.....nothing lasts forever, even though it sure FEELS that way sometimes.

    Your depression and anxiety are real. Don't let ignorant statements that people have made in the past make you feel as if your condition isn't a legitimate illness. People can be such idiots sometimes......just because they can't SEE an illness doesn't make it any less the truth for the person who has it.

    And, do try not to get too hung up on the term 'mental illness'. This is from someone who needed a whole year to get over what I felt to be the shame of being diagnosed with one. There are a gazillion nurses out there who are just like you, suffering from depression and anxiety in no small part due to the stresses of the job, and every one of them can be considered 'mentally ill' at the time they're experiencing symptoms. You've got a LOT of company, hon. Hang in there!
  4. by   twinmommy+2
    I am new to this, tomorrow morning I go for a PTSD evaluation. This is the first time seeking MH care ever, and have been having increased symptoms since opening up at home and with my PCP. Since I'm a vet and I work with the VA I'll be having this done at my place of employment.
    I do have some reservations with this but then again I don't. My reservations I think come from my symptoms and my tendancy to keep quiet about everything. I have come open to a few coworkers I know I can trust with similar diagnoses. I feel that in this environment I can be more open about things because they have shown me the same trust when they have had issues. Plus the fact this is a union facility I feel a little more protected (I hope to not be shown otherwise).