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01/24/2012 10:09 PM

taking a medical leave due to mental illness. help

Posts: 98

Hey Everyone,

I've recently been through a lot of symptoms with my Panic Disorder and Depressive Disorder. My doctor increased my Xanax and Cymbalta. I can't deal with the stress of work at this point in my condition. I feel weak and like a failure. Many at work just don't understand and I have irrational thoughts of my co-workers' opinions. I can see them talk about me in my mind. I know its crazy, I'm worrying about things not under my control, nor should they matter. My psychiatrist and I decided I needed to take a medical sabbatical.

Then I worry about the financial strain this will put on my family. My husband is quite worried. I pay for short term disability and filed a claim but I'm worried they won't pay for it. I sent in all of my paperwork filled out by my shrink today. They will send it off for claims and I should know within a month. But living on 50% of my salary will not cut it. I don't know what to do.

I am currently seeking counseling outside of being treated by my psychiatrist. The problem is finding one in my network. I don't know what to do. I can't stop the OCD thoughts that just fly from one to another. My medication is keeping me pretty calm, I just can't get anything out my head.

Any suggestions? Has anyone had to take extended time off to deal with this?


01/25/2012 05:21 AM
damselndistressPosts: 17358
Group Leader

Take care of yourself and don't feel guilty about it.

I really think the short term disability should come through for you.

And here is another idea,

Brainstorm on maybe what the possibilities would be for changing your working conditions if they are stressful.

Is there anyway you can work from home or in a less stressful work environment?

01/25/2012 06:21 AM
Posts: 1779
Group Leader

I second damsel; and if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to be there for anyone else.

01/25/2012 09:58 AM
Posts: 85

Hi there.

My depression and several related disorders has led me to being on Social Security Disability. I got to the point where I couldn't function; couldn't relate to others without sabotaging myself; and, on top of it all, years and years of stuffing things inside has resulted in a chronic pain diagnosis that requires pain medication to the level that I can no longer work in my chosen career.

It was really hard to adjust to not working. It was difficult adjusting to a one-income budget and disability instead of two full time incomes. It's hard not contributing like I used to. I fight with feeling worthless, useless, feeling like a drain on my husband's strength and resources in spite of the fact that he tells me all the time that he loves me regardless of what happens - that he meant our wedding vows when he said them...

I had to adjust to being home all the time. I had to find things to do around the house to keep my sanity - at least at a minimal level. I sew; I write poetry and prose; I garden when I can tolerate it; I have hens for the eggs and for their insect-eating abilities; I feed and watch birds and deer; and, as I can, I spend time with family. We've had to cancel several holiday celebrations due to my pain - I get massive headaches in addition to having continual facial pain, ringing in the ears, and other symptoms. I have an Etsy store that would be doing better if I had the energy and could spend the time on advertising, networking and such. The sales are okay, but they could be better if I worked on marketing and finding places to promote the business; however, sometimes it's a week or so between times I can sew, so it's not always a bad thing to have a store that's not too busy.

In the beginning, as now, we took it one way -- a day at a time. That's all we can handle. That's what I suggest for you. Take a day at a time, and once that day is done, then sleep and rest up for the next one. Don't beat yourself up because you have to take time off. It's not your fault. You cannot control your disorder. That's probably the toughest thing about this whole mess - we want to think we have an option or the ability to exercise some control over our depression, and we don't. It's a chemical thing. It's not about attitude or thoughts or anything like that.

Remember above all you are human and you can only do what you can do. We adjusted to a lower income -- you can too if you have to. Your self-esteem and well-being are more important than belongings and money. Family is precious. Do the best you can, and then let every day go at the end -- let it go into the past where it belongs. There's nothing you can do about it anyhow.

Relax; take a deep breath; ride the wave. In the end it will all work out.

Post edited by: walkingthru, at: 01/25/2012 10:00 AM

01/25/2012 10:13 AM
Posts: 2934
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

walkingthru...damsel and cat give super advise... i concur.... Smile


01/25/2012 11:52 AM
Posts: 2370
Senior Member

I too had to go on temp disability due to my panic attacks becoming extreme, i could not function anymore. I am still on it at the moment and have gone through a lot of feelings that walkingthru talks about. We have also adjusted income wise and it has been hard but can be done. If u do not take care of yourself it will only get worse. Think of this as a time to heal...i have been trying to do the same. I don't doubt they will approve you. Mine was through my got a psychiatrist saying this, they will approve it, don't worry. It won't lie, it is hard to adjust to the cut in pay but as a family, you will figure it out. Good luck to you and take care of yourself.

01/25/2012 12:31 PM
Posts: 98

Thanks to all of you for the advice. Part of my constant worry is about finances and now I think I'll be making it worse by taking time off. I hope we are making the right decision and I pray that the disability will come through. Just very panicked and worried at this point. I find I have issues with waiting for things. Like when I was waiting to find out my physical results after evaluation because I thought for sure I had some disease they didn't know about and I was dying. After numerous tests the conclusion was "nothing wrong with you. You have a mental disorder". Then waiting for medicines to work and kick in was another issue of waiting. Each time I have to wait I worry. I need to come up with a plan to control the anxiety of waiting, which leads to worry, panic attacks, and depression.

I am definitely going to take this time off for healing. I did get some good news... I found a councilor in my plan. Thank God!!! With my insurance it will only cost me $18 a visit.

01/28/2012 03:54 AM
Posts: 607

I had to take medical leave for depression at a job I held 6 years ago. I was approved for short term disability no problem. As long as your doc fills out the appropriate paperwork, the should be no issue at all. For me, I had to find a new job, because my condition exacerbated as a a direct result of that job. I now work at home, and I'm much happier. It was not easy financially to go through, but your health is so important! I hope you feel better soon! Smile

01/28/2013 05:08 AM
Posts: 3
New Member


I too am faced with the same problems. I have had anxiety, OCD, phobias, and within the past year, depression. I have been missing a lot of work lately because of it and I don't know what to do. I can't take meds because they make symptoms worse and talking to a therapist is a waste of time because I have these problems for so long that just talking to someone is not effective. I have come to the realization that my problem

are medical and not just in my head! I have been told that I have a

chemical imbalance which I believe may be related to a neurotransmitter or thyroid condition.

I have been referred to a medical doctor that specializes in mental health conditions but I can't get in to see him until March! My primary doctor referred me to him and I have to see him by feb. 8 for

my fmla/work condition and accommodation request through my company and our HR dept.

I am leaning toward taking leave but only if I can't get paid. Taking unpaid leave would not help me and my family financially. But I don't know what else to do. I can't function at home let alone at work. My co-workers probably hate

me and have made that very clear over the past year. I feel like I have been discriminated against and if it wasn't for FMLA protecting my job they would have fired me a long time ago. My manager has no sympathy and does not seem to care and my co-workers treat me like crap and bully me. I need a new job but I am hopeful that I could work from home as I believe that would help so much! I have a horrible time with agoraphobia and most days leaving the house is a challenge and I have horrible gagging/dry heaving, headaches, dizziness, shaking, chest pains..etc.

I don't know what to do...this is making my life completely miserable! I just want to feel good again. Something I haven't felt in a year.

01/28/2013 05:20 AM
damselndistressPosts: 17358
Group Leader

I'm sorry about the spot you're in. It's a nightmare isn't it?

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