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Old 12-09-2006, 07:15 AM   #1
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Depression and work??

I have been very depressed for a few months (maybe longer). I asked my manager what is involved in me taking a leave of absence from work for a month or longer. I assumed it would be without pay and benefits but I got forms from our HR department that would put me on short term disability (at 100% pay for 8 weeks, 75% for 4 more weeks ) if my doctor agreed that I could not work.

Since I never knew I could be on paid leave for depression, my question is -- Is it really possible to go on paid leave with a depression diagnosis? I am very early into this problem, I haven't seen anyone yet except for a Social Worker that our EAP started with. She gave me a name of a psychiatrist, I haven't called yet. I have a pretty demanding travel job, and the only time I can go to appointments is on some Fridays if I get home Thursday evening (which is not always possible) and lately my Fridays have been filled up with dentist appointments.

I am getting to the point that I can't even think of going on my trips each week and am thinking of quitting my good paying job because I feel I can't face each work week/client anymore. I know I need help before I make such a life altering decision, that's why I asked for a couple of months of leave... never dreaming that it could be paid leave. Could paid leave really happen in my case?

Thanks everyone!

 
Old 12-10-2006, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: Depression and work??

Thanks Happy Days. I was in the hospital for a week in the spring, quit smoking then and I feel I have gone downhill since. I know quitting is one of the best things I could do, but it just seems that everything is going wrong since then!

I did start with calling my EAP a few weeks ago and they referred me to a counselor who is a social worker. I talked to her for about 45 minutes and have another appt with her this coming Friday. That's as far as I've gotten. I travel with my job, I leave early every Monday morning and come home late Thursday evenings, sometimes Friday mid-afternoons... so some Fridays are my only day of the week to go to doctor appts, do banking, anything that has to be done from home, etc.

Back to my depression, I'm not sure I'm depressed... I went to our EAP website and read about depression, and I have 9 of the 11 symptoms, so maybe I am. The biggest things for me right now are:

1. I mention I travel almost every week for work. The thought of me going on my work trips lately makes me sick to my stomach, I feel this anxious pit in the bottom of my gut, I just don't see how I'm going to get through each week. I feel like that's all I'm doing, getting through a week.... I go to the client site on Mondays, work there, stay in a hotel 3 or 4 nights a week doing nothing at all but watching tv and being on the internet.... I come home on Friday, go to appts, do nothing on Saturdays, on Sundays do client follow-up work, laundry, etc, to get ready for my flight/trip on Monday. The process starts all over again the next week. Even thought I don't think I am suicidal, I wonder what the point to my life is.

If you hate reading long posts, skip to the paragraph below.

2. All I want to do is sleep but I can't sleep that well anymore. My GP gave me ambian, that helps, but I still wake up at 4am and can't go back to sleep. I don't want to get dependent on sleeping aids, so I try not to use it every night, last night I tossed for a few hours and still got up early today. I used to have a problem where I slept too much, napped during the day... I can't do that anymore and I wish I could.

3. I am irritable all the time, especially with clients.

4. I am again gaining weight; all I like to do is eat.

5. I have withdrawn from all my family/friends. My friend's b-day was a few days ago, and I will try to get to the mall today to get her a gift and go visit her, but I'll probably just stay home and do nothing, or just do the minimum work required for my trip tomorrow.

6. I am no longer confident doing my job and I've been doing it for years. I don't know where this is coming from. I think worthlessness and loss of self-esteem are depression symptoms.

7. I don't enjoy any hobbies/activities that I once did. I just do NOTHING but work (and I feel I do a poor job at it these days), sleep and eat.

8. I can't concentrate anymore, with clients, friends, work, tv, reading.


SO..... what I am seriously considering is quitting this job that I've had for 15 years and getting a stay at home job that probably pays 1/4 of what I am making now. I have no other job lined up and I know I can't quit since I have a mortgage and other monthly bills, but lately it seems as if I just don't care. I don't know how I will make it much longer before I have to quit my job since I feel like I can't function in it anymore.

I told alot of this to my manager (who is very good and I feel comfortable talking about all of this with her) and I asked her to find out about me taking a leave starting in January, that's when I was surprised to find out that I might be able to go on paid leave, I was expecting an unpaid leave. I really don't know the process to do either, it's like I'm mentally paralyzed with my life these days, everything is an effort, going to a dr to get put on leave (whether it's paid/unpaid) is an effort....

So my first step was the EAP call and a visit to a social worker. My next appt is with the same social worker. What am I supposed to do after that? Do I have to go to a psychiatrist to have a Doctor diagnose me as unfit for work (if I indeed am)? How long does this whole process take? I don't feel like I can hang on to this job much longer.

Sorry for the long rambling post but it does help me document my problems. Thanks for any advice! Does it sound like I'm depressed? What can help me?

 
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Old 12-10-2006, 01:17 PM   #3
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Re: Depression and work??

You are showing a lot of symptoms that go along with depression. You need the doctor to confirm that. More than likely you will be looking at some form of antidepressant that is going to take up to six weeks to find out if it works or not. There are alternative products out there but if your depression is on the severe side they are more than likely not going to help a huge amount but they do work for some people. Therapy is important to find out what the root problems are and to begin to fix them unless your depression is more on the chemical side then the situational kind.

hope this helps
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:53 AM   #4
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Re: Depression and work??

Thank you all! I'm headed to the airport, I have 2 more weeks to "get through" before Christmas.... and then there is Christmas.

Should I call the EAP and have them recommend a psychiatrist or should I let the social worker that I see this Friday recommend someone? I'm not sure what's best for me or how the EAP works. Thanks!

 
Old 12-11-2006, 11:45 AM   #5
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Re: Depression and work??

Call EAP yourself (ASAP) and tell them that you feel this is an emergency and it is impairing your ability to perform your job. Ask them to refer a psychiatrist so you can get an appointment as soon as possible. Not sure how it is where you live but it takes a while where I live, to initially see a mental health professional and I live in a major city. You can follow-up with your social worker on Friday. Take the matter into your own hands for quicker results. EAP is offered by your company to assist, especially when it affects your job.

Last edited by Happy Days; 12-11-2006 at 11:46 AM.

 
Old 12-13-2006, 02:14 PM   #6
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Re: Depression and work??

Okay, so I called the EAP back to see if I needed to see someone other than a Social Worker and they gave me 2 names of Psychologists/Psychiatrists, not sure what they are... the first one only sees patients Monday thru Thurdays and I'm out of town those days, the second number never answered, no answering machine.

This is too impossible to do... how am I supposed to get well if I can't even make an appointment to see someone?

 
Old 12-14-2006, 06:05 AM   #7
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Re: Depression and work??

Traveller, when I read your post the first thing that came to my mind was that you are feeling depressed because your job is giving you a lifestyle that is making you miserable. Feeling happy with your lifestyle is a major issue. Living in hotel rooms and watching TV is maybe not the life that you want?

 
Old 12-14-2006, 06:51 PM   #8
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Re: Depression and work??

Sannah, this is possibly true, but I feel I need to take a leave first to figure things out. Unpaid leave is find with me, I'm not just looking for a doctor to get me put on paid leave. If I indeed don't want the travel job anymore and that is making me depressed, stressed, anxious and panicky, then I need to evaluate the job and my life and options before I just up and quit. I'd like to talk to a preofessional before I make such a change.

 
Old 12-14-2006, 07:12 PM   #9
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Re: Depression and work??

I'm glad you realize to NOT make such a radical move, quitting/changing jobs while you're feeling like you are. You are already making progress by taking the steps you have. Have you always stayed IN the hotel room or have you gone out and done things before? Do you see the same clients every week/month?

We've all been there in one shape, form or fashion. Keep posting!

kj

 
Old 12-14-2006, 07:13 PM   #10
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Re: Depression and work??

On your next appointment with your social worker, let them know that you need to see a psychiatrist ASAP. The only problem may be with your work schedule since you are out of town a lot. You will probably need to work out the logistics with the social worker. Hang in there and don't give up. I know how hard it is to try and take care of business and depressed at the same time. I am still having to complete paperwork and did not get all of my first check in time.

Do you have any vacation time available? Perhaps you can take some time off to see a psychiatrist and get all the info needed for short-term disability.

 
Old 12-14-2006, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: Depression and work??

Quote:
Originally Posted by kj_johnson
Have you always stayed IN the hotel room or have you gone out and done things before? Do you see the same clients every week/month?
Hi kj, I used to go out and do things, but I've been travelling for 15 years and now I just pick up dinner and go back to the hotel. Bad thing to do, I know. I see a client about once a month for about a year. I work on 3-4 clients a month. I'm glad I found these boards, I will keep posting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Days
Do you have any vacation time available? Perhaps you can take some time off to see a psychiatrist and get all the info needed for short-term disability.
I have an appt. with the social worker tomorrow, I'll tell her that. I do have vacation left for this year but can't take it all because my client trips have been scheduled for awhile now and we can't cancel if it's within 3 months. My manager is very understanding and said if I can get a doctor's appointment the first week of the new year to go to the doctor, and forgo a company meeting (out of town ) that I have. I am taking a week of vacation during Christmas week but I don't know how easy/feasible it will be to schedule an appt. with a psychiatrist during that week.

Last edited by SanyBelle; 12-14-2006 at 07:34 PM.

 
Old 12-15-2006, 05:17 AM   #12
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Re: Depression and work??

Traveller, sounds like you have an excellent plan in place to figure all of this out! Good luck to you!

 
Old 12-17-2006, 04:32 AM   #13
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Re: Depression and work??

Traveller, i'm reading your post for the first time, and it seems that you are suffering lots of stress from the job. I have a friend who's in a similar situation as you. she flies very frequently and worldwide crossing time zones. she suffers major stress and her health has deteriorated as a result. on her last trip, she flew from the Philippines to Israel then to Bangkok, where she finally collapsed and was taken to a hospital.... the last time i talked to her, she told me she had had enough and decided to quit her job.

what you are doing - seeking advice before deciding on your next step - is wise. good luck and hope your situation gets better !

 
Old 12-22-2006, 11:57 PM   #14
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Re: Depression and work??

Traveller...
I just joined here and read your first post. It could be me...! Major Depressive Disorder. I have all the same symptoms you do, and I don't even travel. I'm seeing a therapist, but not taking an AD med yet (long story involving getting off Ativan). Now that I'm off it I'm nervous about starting ANY AD, but I know I must... I'm also nervous about the side-fx because I'm still working and don't want to make it worse...!

I would hope you can take your paid leave and try and start finding help to get better..

Hugs

 
Old 12-23-2006, 08:31 AM   #15
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Re: Depression and work??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightprof
I would hope you can take your paid leave and try and start finding help to get better..

Hugs
Lightprof, it does sound as if we suffer from similar things, I read your other post. I have an appointment with my GP a few days after Christmas, I'll see if he can fill out the leave paperwork or if he recommends a pdoc. It is taking a long time for this process, BUT I did 'get through" the year, and I will get through my 2007 trips... one week at a time, but I find no joy in my work/life anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joebloggs2
Definitely don't take time off work unless you HAVE TO. Staying at home and giving yourself lots of time to think will most likely make the depression worse, FAST.
joebloggs2, this is a quote from you from another thread. I travel and can't deal with fixing myself and my problems since I'm on the road every week. I only have a Friday once in awhile and I can't make appointments during the wekends. I fear if I take time off I'll just sit around and think and get worse, but I know I have to work on my problems and not sit around if I'm going to make things better. Even if Christmas sux this year, at least I have taken the week off to start seeing some doctors. Thanks for the reminder to not just sit at home if I'm on leave, that will be so tempting to do.

 
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