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wanderer82

Take A Leave Of Absence Or Mental Health Days?

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I slipped into a major depressive episode this weekend and called in sick today in an effort to take time to myself and try to recover a little. I called in with the notorious stomach virus that's apparently sweeping the world; I figured it was a good excuse and would give me an extra day or two if I needed them. I don't feel any better; I can't focus and my mind is comsumed with suicidal thoughts. I even "abused" Xanax this morning. I use quotes because I took the prescribed dosage but knew it was too much for me, I just wanted to sleep. I'm in grad school and I'm also really behind on my school work. I now feel like I need another day to try and relax and catch up on homework. I know being home alone with nothing but my depression to keep me company is a bad idea but at the same time I feel like I need to be under as little stress as possible. This is a constant problem for me, I can't handle all my responsibilities but can't quit working and dropping out of school is also not an option. What else is there?

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wanderer82, I'd suggest you to see a doctor and talk to him/her about the possibility of sick leave. Depression itself is hard enough to deal with and stress can make it even worse. You sound quite burn out and anxious at the moment, so please don't push seeking help any further! Also you might want to see a counselor or psychologist, in case you're not seeing one. You deserve to get help and recover without any extra pressures. Lots of strength to you and please feel free to share your thoughts more if you wish. That's what we are for :)

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I slipped into a major depressive episode this weekend and called in sick today in an effort to take time to myself and try to recover a little. I called in with the notorious stomach virus that's apparently sweeping the world; I figured it was a good excuse and would give me an extra day or two if I needed them. I don't feel any better; I can't focus and my mind is comsumed with suicidal thoughts. I even "abused" Xanax this morning. I use quotes because I took the prescribed dosage but knew it was too much for me, I just wanted to sleep. I'm in grad school and I'm also really behind on my school work. I now feel like I need another day to try and relax and catch up on homework. I know being home alone with nothing but my depression to keep me company is a bad idea but at the same time I feel like I need to be under as little stress as possible. This is a constant problem for me, I can't handle all my responsibilities but can't quit working and dropping out of school is also not an option. What else is there?

wanderer82 I can fully relate. The dilemma caused by the 'will I or won't I go back to work' is something which consumes me as well. I have been off work for the last 4 months. This is as a result of the recommendation of a doctor from work. I can honestly say that I am no better now than I was four months ago (I am no better now that I was 15 months ago when this damn depression started - think you can call it treatment resistant depression at this stage). Nor would I necessarily say that I am any worse. I know when I was in work I was constantly ringing in sick not able to handle the stress but when I am at home I feel that I am wasting me life away and need something to do. I am going for interviews at the moment to see if I can get something without much stress. I think that's the best option.

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Northernstar, thank you so much for your kindness and input. I'm seeing a couselor once a week and still trying medications. I'm so afraid to make this decision. I'm the biggest advocate of mental health awareness for others but when it comes to myself I'm worried of what people will think.

"I can honestly say that I am no better now than I was four months ago (I am no better now that I was 15 months ago when this D*** depression started - think you can call it treatment resistant depression at this stage)" Bubba, this is exactly what I'm afraid of, that I'll take time off and won't get any better. Work at least gives me a little motivation. I'm thinking the only way it could be beneficial is to attend intensive outpatient therapy while I'm away, if my insurance covers it that is. Have you considered that? Best to you.

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I did consider it wanderer but a few things have thrown me off:

- I was in hospital 15 months ago with intensive treatment. It didn't do me any good and it cost me a lot of money.

- I have no option of intensive outpatient. I would have to be admitted to hospital which has the resulting financial implications and probably won't do any good.

Depression is different for everyone. I have a stubborn obsessive type thought that just won't shift so all the CBT in the world isn't going to help that. You on the other hand may have a depression which is ideal for intensive treatment.

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I would definitely talk to your counselor about this. Once I was having a breakdown in my psychiatrist's office and he wrote me a note for a week off of work. I used the time to work in a therapy workbook and catch up on other things I had been putting off and even though I was still depressed when I went back to work, I was better able to handle it.

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Sorry to hear that bubba, I have OCD on top of major depression so I understand the obsessiveness. I find CBT helpful only when I'm in a semi-good place; when I'm depressed as I am now it's like trying to tell myself that the sky is green. I called the outpatient facility that was recommended by my previous psychologist and they don't accept my insurance. It's $1500 the first week and $1600 there after, so that's out.

Thanks, darkdexter. I hope you can too.

Beth, that's good advice, thank you. The only problem is I feel like I would need guidance and the support of a professional during that time off. I'm so low on motivation that I can barely get anything done on my own. Maybe I can convince my therapist to see me more often; but then my new, crappy insurance only covers 15 visits.

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