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bummerman8870

In Need Of Help Getting Time Off Work To Battle Depression

16 posts in this topic

Posted

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Hello,

I am new to the boards but a vet when it comes to depression. I have been dealing with it since childhood and I am currently 29. The last 10 years in particular have been difficult. I have never been out of the depression. I have had times that are better and some that were much, much worse. So I made it through 3 years of college. Depression ofcourse made it almost impossible and I finally dropped out. I totally withdrew for a couple years. I never held down a job in that time and barely left the house.

Finally I managed to get a job and keep it. Then from there through a connection mangaged to get a much better job. (50,000.00 a year with great benefits.) Problem is the stress in this field is horrible. The hours are long and difficult. Also we are treated poorly by management. It is a really tough enviorment. The good thing is I would have never imagined a couple of years ago I could hold down such a position. But I have managed for the last 2 years.

Now I am falling back into a deep depression again and my work performance is suffering. I have been on medication for over a year now. I have never taken time off from work for this. But I fear I am going to lose my job if this is not taken care of. How do I get time off? Which Dr. do I need to get time off? Can I go to my psychologist(counselor) or my psychariast (prescription doctor).........please forgive me if I got those backwards. Are these people willing to give time off or are they hesitant. They have never offered it up by any means. Thansk for any advice in advance.

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Posted

I can relate, depression really affect my school life, I have to leave school. And I have hard time keeping a job too.

Hang in there :hearts: I know it's hard.

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Posted

When you were hired, was there any explination of your disability benefits? You did say that the benefits were great, no? I want to say that most companies (especially if under contract) have some sort of provision to allow for a medical leave. Look into that.... maybe brush the dust off of an old employee handbook.

Good Luck!

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Posted (edited)

I know that my company covers it. The queston is how hard is it to get the permission from the doctor? And can I get it from my therapist Dr. or the medication Dr. or either? I have never done this before. Thanks for replying!!

Edited by bummerman8870

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Posted

Check into the Family Medical Leave Act. I work for fed gov't., and i'm not sure if its everywhere, but there they have to give you time off for your own or your family's health.

I think that's the right wording. Yo ushould talk to both of your docs. One of them will know about it, I bet.

Good luck. I missed 2 and 1/2 months last year due to hospitalization, shock therapy, ect. I know how the stress can be overwhelming. Hope things improve. We're here for you.

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Posted

If your company covers it, then I'm pretty sure you can take advantage of it. I would probably ask both of your docs, but I would think that your counselor would know more about your current situation, and that might help. Either way, I would think that at least one of them would know how to go about the process. I would think it would be fairly easy to get permission from your doc for time off -- if you really need it. Which it seems like you do. That's why I was thinking that asking your counselor might be easier, since s/he probably already knows you are having trouble. Plus, s/he would probably be helping you through it while you are off, right?

Definitely re read the info on your benefits, find out what fits the situation the best, and how to go about getting the time off. You need it, so don't put it off for too long, it will only get worse. Better to take some time off now than to lose your job later when you are feeling down.

Let us know what happens, I wish the best for you!

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Posted

Thanks to everyone. I am going to the therapist today. I am nervous and feel really uncomfortable about asking for time off. I do not value myself enough I guess due to the depression....but I keep feeling like a baby or wussy or lazy asking for time off. I would and have run the risk of losing my job and straight up quit jobs due to my deprssion. I cannot afford to do it this time. Thanks again for the support.

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Posted

(((bummerman)))

If you are in the US, you are entitled to 12 weeks of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. This Act does not provide you with wages but protects your job for that the 12 week period. There are a few qualifiers though; you must have worked a certain number of hours for the prior 12 months and been with the company for 12 months. Talk to your benefits department about this.

I needed to take a leave last year to get my depression under control; I was falling apart in every part of my life. My pdoc filled out the paperwork, but my tdoc could have as well. Your company will decide if your condition meets the criteria for a sever medical condition, using FMLA guidelines. While my boss was not that supportive of the fact I wasn't there to do my work, he had no choice. To this day he does not know why I was off.

After I returned to work I did so on a part time basis for 6 weeks, working only 3 then 4 days per week. That time also counted against FMLA.

If you have vacation, personal or sick time available you can use that to cover your lost wages. Some companies require you take this time during your FMLA.

I fought the time off for a while, too long, and ended up much worse. Your doctors will support your decision.

I wish you luck. :hearts:

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Posted

generally, you need a medical doctor to send you on short-term disability.

PhDs do not have that clout.

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Posted (edited)

Well went to the t-doc today. He issued me the time off. I had to the form filled out. I had that faxed to him and he is filling it out as we speak. He said he would put me off work indefinately. I have to call off so I have to tell my manager.. I dont know how to tell them.....My form will be faxed to HR headquarters...

One nice thing is I am alsost 100 percent sure that we get paid leave for 3 months and 3 months paid at %80 of your wages....after that I think you have to go on disability or something.

Edited by bummerman8870

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Posted

I am so glad it worked out for you. Fighting depression and worrying about your job at the same time is hard. I just got an off work notice too. I faxed it to my work and didn't say much else. Like you, I am stil not sure what to say or how to much to say.

Good Luck,

BookEater

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Posted

I am glad you were able to go through with this, I think you are really making a good decision. Don't feel lazy or wimpy or anything like that. I think it is just as hard to ask for the time off that you need as it would be to stick it out and make yourself continue going -- and like you said, you don't want to risk your job this time. It seems like you have plenty of time to use if you need it. I'm glad it is working out for you!

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Posted

At least you know you need the time off to "regroup" and work on your depression. Some people just do not see that there is a problem and keep slogging away. It's possible that your meds are no longer working as well or you need an adjustment to them.

If you are faxing the time off request to your HR dept. they can or will tell your manager that you will be off work for a period of time. They may question the "indefinite" part of the note from your tdoc. You do not have to tell them why you will be off work as it is a need-to-know basis. If you will be off longer than what your company will pay, you will need to go onto disability. Are you in a state that has employee funded benefits (any portion of your paycheck have a deduction for SDI?)

Let us know how you are doing.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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Posted

:hearts: hi there

i just wanted to post because i find the difficulty you have in the us getting time of work very hard to understand it must make things really difficult for you when you feel bad anyway. i live in the UK and i go to see my GP and he issues me a sick note for the length of time he feels fit, i take that to my manager and he sorts out my sickness with HR and wages they have no need to know the reasons for my leave. currently i have been of for 3 months at 2 weeks at a time i visit my GP each 2 weeks for another note and my manager is fine.

if im off long term i claim sickness benefit from the welfare state as is.

i never realised how lucky i was to be English.

good luck bummer man and hope it works out for you, don't go back till you are ready and take things easy.

CJ

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Posted (edited)

hey bummerman...

I suppose you are at the point with this that you know if you don't leave this depression is going to put your job on the line? That's how I felt, that is why I made the decision to take a medical leave a little over half a year ago.

My doc knew I'd been depressed, he'd had me on medications that I was getting tired of taking and I was slowly tapering off them when I started this new job. About 7 months into the job I was stressed out beyond all belief and had been having regular appointments with my doctor so he had been able to keep tabs on how I was doing. He knew I was still depressed and at the breaking point. So all it took was asking him for his word that I needed the time. We talked about how much time I'd need to get back on my feet and he simply wrote it down. My employer did not cover short term disability so I had to get employment assistance through the government. All these little details were a lot for me to handle at the time, but I'm glad I did it. It turns out that I did not go back to the job though, due to the nature of the stress I was experiencing, and it being instigated almost completely by the work atmosphere. I don't know if my story will help you, but I thought I'd share.

I guess the question was 'how hard is it to get doctor's permission' - I think that depends on your doctor. Mine just gave it up, just like that. :)

addendum: sorry my post is a bit rambling, I realize now that you have already got the note from your doc. good luck with your time off! some advice: make sure you get some counseling while you are off to speed you in your recovery! :) I didn't, and I think I should have.

Edited by libra

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Posted (edited)

Hello all,

Your support is really, really, apreciated! I decided to go ahead and tell management about my condition. I work for a large company that covers 10 states. I want to be covered by the ADA act and if I do not make them aware my condition I have no rights. I shold not say no rights but I feel better doing it this way. I hope I made the right descion. I guess only time will tell. I think I need all the help I can get. Thank you all again.

Edited by bummerman8870

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