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.
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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 I have withdrawn from all my family/friends.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?