December 11, 2012

Illustration of woman holding glass of Guinness surrounded by green eyesI am 28 years old and have been living with Bipolar Disorder II with Psychosis since I was 14 years old. However I was only diagnosed August 2011 after a suicide attempt.

When I was working as an art teacher, everything had got way too much. I was having severe migraines, pains in my chest, pins and needles in the back of my head and feeling faint. I wasn’t diagnosed at this point but my doctor was aware that something was wrong. I was signed off with work related stress and anxiety.

During my time off I was mainly sitting and starring, not washing, not bothering to eat and sleeping a lot. I felt like it was all pointless...I would often think to myself... “I am not really needed at work, if I wasn't there someone else would teach the kids and they would probably be better than me anyway!”

I remember one situation that really upset me. I hadn’t been out in weeks and it was St Patrick’s Day. My family is Irish and I normally always have a little half pint of Guinness in memory of my granddad who died when I was 9 years old. My husband said to me, “You are gonna get dressed and we are going to go to the pub and have a drink for your granddad - it will do you good to get out.” I did as I was told hoping it might make me better to get out of the flat but when we got there the pub was full of my teacher friends. I said “hello”. I looked a state! My hair was tied back because it was greasy and unwashed - I’d thrown on some clothes that looked like PJ's. One of the teachers who was covering my classes at the time gave me an evil stare and barged me - hurting me as she walked past me.

It was at this moment it dawned on me how everyone felt about my absence. I was a problem in their eyes, someone who didn’t want to work and was having the time of her life.

Once the depression passed I seemed to go through a spell of not really sleeping at all. I sat up and read a book until 5am. I would clean the flat at odd hours in the morning and sometimes go walking down the street after midnight just because it seemed like a good idea. I and most of my teacher friends are on Facebook, I had updated my status to say I was very excited about the book I was reading (I did not know at the time I was actually hyper manic). A friend had told me that this status had created quite a stir because, as I was off sick, I was not allowed to be happy!

After this I became very depressed, reality hit and I was now reviewing the impulsive decisions I had made. People often referred to me as a wild child, scatty, who had a lot of fads... if they could see me at my lowest they probably wouldn’t recognise me. Socially I wear a mask, I wear a smile but it's lies.

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Signed off work

I had the same reaction when I was signed off from teaching for the same reasons. Old colleagues are no longer in touch but I have found schools now, as a supply teacher, who accept me for who I am and don't let my diagnosis get in the way of friendship....they are the true friends


Hi Thanks for Commenting! Yes I am considering doing supply teaching..its good to hear thats going well for you... hopefully it will for me too! :) But yes I was only in contact with one teacher when I left and now none! Terrible how they all seem to stick together and have a mutually formed opinion! But we are better off without them if thats how they treat those that are unwell! ;) Much Love to you xxx


I can totaly understand what you went through I worked with the same people for 25yrs+ and dont have any contact now and all preffesed to be my friends mmm So now im isolated and like you dont go out just sit and over think im getting there slow but sure Stay Strong big hugs xxxx


Hi There!- thanks for commenting...yes that was one of the worst parts for me- realsing that the people I thought were my friends infact were not :( Its so true that when you get ill you truly know who your friends are!! I hope things get better for you soon! Im slowly getting there too. Hugs to you too xxxx

Different experience

I recently got signed off work with depression. My employers were fantastic. I couldn't even ring in to tell them I was so low, so I sent an e-mail to the boss and explained how I felt, my doctors note was handed in by a friend and I never got any sense that they begrudged me being unwell. They even told me that they believed I was brave which I did not agree with but it was such a nice gesture, not all colleagues and employers will misunderstand this illness there is hope for others in the same boat. I never told the rest of my colleagues why I was off work because it was none of their business, my managers know and they always ask me how I am and engage me in conversations. I really appreciate how they treat me to be honest because if I am having a particularly bad day they recognize it and they don't go over the top, they will approach me put a hand on my shoulder and sincerely ask me how I am and it makes me feel so much better knowing that they do care about my mental welfare. I can be more open with them than some of my family. On another note, I did work for a company years ago who treated me terribly when I obviously had a bit of a breakdown. I told them in a meeting I wanted to commit suicide (I was suffering with PTSD after an accident) and they looked at me like I was a monster, it was awful. I remember running out of the office in tears and never going back


Hi Thanks for commenting... Wow your workplace sounds lovely! Never Leave!!! ;) So nice to hear that there are employers that look out for you and care! Would love to know what school/company you work for! And yes I think we get so used to being open and we get used to our own thoughts and sometimes we forget that for 'the sane folk' what we are saying is completely off the scale to them! But you would think one of them would have been sympathetic towards you! Probably an action they will regret if they ever suffer themselves! Thanks again for commenting xx :)

Stigma Mental Health

I have had mental health issues since 1997. I have had different diagnosis depending on the Psychiatrist at the time. Many many medications and combos of medications depending on the new ones being pushed by the pharmaceutical companies of the month, year. The best one I remember was Wellbutrin the happy pill for depression with the smile face - right on the pill. How original! It seems that there is a huge stigma starting right at the psychiatrists. If your labelled by your psychiatrist and they only focus on the label and not you the person how can that be useful. We wonder why we are stigmatized by places of employment, co-workers and friends well why not when the people in the health professions are the one that stigmatize the worse. Where is the hope. What is the answer? Education. The media does a horrible job of focusing on the worst case senerio of mental illness as does the media. Lady just gave birth to baby girl and in psychosis kills the child. Do you ever see the statistics on people with mental illness who live lively and productive lives - I say not.


HI Thanks for commenting... I completely agree with what you are saying- I actually had an awful experience with a mental health home team that will remain with me forever! So unprofessional it was embarrassing for them!! My husband filed a complaint against them but of course it was just disregarded as my not being right at the time.. "We are sorry you felt this way..." that sort of language. I hope you are doing well. And thanks again for taking te time to comment :) xx

i too was signed off from

i too was signed off from school with anxiety/depression.......7 months later my contract was terminated! im devastated. stigma of mental health is alive and well in our education system.......sadly.


Thanks for commenting... thats terrible! I really dont understand how they are getting away with this- if it was a physical illness this wouldnt be happening! Goes to show employers still have a lot to learn! I hope that you find a better school or workplace. All the Best, Mary x

Signed-off work; signed-on criticism

I had a very similar experience. Which continued after I returned to work. My employer had made certain changes, such as my start time, which was great and I welcomed, but because of this, and because I was back, everyone expected that I would now be 'cured'. I would hear that colleagues were criticising me and my absence behind my back, and my manager even told me to prevent any further absences because the team would 'roll their eyes' if I called in sick. I felt constantly stressed and judged at work. Consequently my recovery was even slower, culminating in being given a warning. You do quickly find who real friends are, but I was also able to view the experience as a chance to see what really was important. When my employer later conducted a broad-scale restructure and redundancy I was able to afford to take some time out and step back to see what I really wanted to do rather than just blindly follow the path I'd ended up on. It's taken a year to get over what happened, but I finally feel 'myself' again. I also know what kind of organisation I do NOT want to work for again!


Hi Thanks for commenting! I can completely relate t what your saying and I am so sorry you had to go through what I went through because I know how hard it is to find closure on a situation like this! I am still dreaming about this workplace now and it was 2 years ago that I left!!! My headteacher made me get a sick note for every single day I had off!! My doctor outwardly refused and wrote a letter telling her that! But the rolling the eyes thing is appaulling! Its amazing what people get away with- if you had had a physical illness i bet they wouldnt be doing that would they!? Its very frustrating for us but I am so glad you are feeling more like your old self! Thanks again for your comment- its so nice to hear from others (Makes me feel less alone!) xx

Thanks for blogging Mary. I

Thanks for blogging Mary. I didn't realise how physical bipolar was until I met my ex-boyfriend (still friends) and your blog brought back to me just how damaging the manifestations of misconceptions can be. I recognise a lot of your symptoms from my own major depressive episodes and really appreciate you speaking out about it. Having been signed off work in the past and unable to socialise and then had those moments with friends and colleagues I know how tough it is to deal with. So thanks again :)


Thanks for your comment!! :) yes thats definitely the problem as people have an idea of what it means to be bipolar but the reality is quite different- I think until you have experienced it (rather than watching an actor on tele) its hard for people to understand how serious and life altering the disorder is. I hope your doing well now. Thanks again for commenting! :) xx


I too had a bad experience of work after I was diagnosed with PTSD back in 2009. My employer, a large government department, walked the walk and talked the talk in terms of appearing to care but it only took them 3 months to dismiss me on the grounds of 'medical inefficiency'. Discrimination and stigma is alive and well in the civil service.


Hi and Thanks for commenting! That sounds horrid! I didnt realise they could do that! And I bet that had a hugely negative impact on your mental health too! Employers really need to start caring more- they really dont realise/care about the consquences of their actions! I hope you are somewhere supportive now! xxx


Dear Mary, My best wishes and love to you. I've had similar experiences and reactions. The reaction of your teacher friend in the pub however sounds not only immature, but frankly rude and disrespectful. Something children and bullies do. Some of the jobs I've had over the years have meant working in an online capacity — masking the fact I was suffering at home alone. When people meet me they often say they're surprised because they saw something very different online. Watching people online is always from a limited perspective; your real friends and family will know the true story. Getting a job has subsequently proven very difficult and because of previous reactions from colleagues and lost friends I fear having to face similar rejection again. I'm curious what the book was you were excited about! I wish you all the very best.


Hi! Thanks for commenting... Yes I know what you mean, the whole situation made things ten times worse, if only more people were aware and understood! I feel like i have severely burnt my bridges and so am now fearful about going into a similar envirnonment again! The book was Twilight: Breaking Dawn!! ;) xxxxxx

Building Bridges

Dear Mary, Ah, the Twilight series is very good indeed; and I can see now why you may have been excited about it :) I totally understand what you mean about feeling like you've burnt bridges — I know that feeling well. One thing I've learnt, is when you enter a new environment, no-one knows you (a bit like me commenting on this thread, albeit virtual) so you do have the opportunity to start over — the other thing I know is everyone in that new workplace or environment has they're own issues and challenges (some more obvious than others). I've learnt that confiding in one person at the workplace about the challenges I may be facing can be useful if the person is professional and empathetic. I try to find out more about my colleagues' lives, than talk about myself — it helps me to detach from my past and my fears of failure, and focus on the present moment. In other places where there's not been anyone I trusted in the workplace, I've found it much more difficult to settle so I believe more support within workplaces is hugely important. I hope you are well today and have something nice planned for the holidays, with friends and family. All the best xx

Signed Off

After being bullied by colleagues at work it eventually became to much & I was signed off with stress & anxiety. My colleagues seemed to think I was just being a hypercondriac because I did not have any physical signs I was sick like spots. I tried twice to go back to work but only lasted a couple of weeks. When voluntary redundacy or relocation to another office miles away I took the exit package & have never regretted it. I am slowly getting better & hope to start looking for some sort of job next year.


Hi thanks for commenting! I hope you find a job you enjoy with nice and supportive people around you. :) x

A relative's point of view

Thank you all for blogging - I have a very close relative with clinical depression and trying to do the right thing for someone you love is quite hard at times. I have to trust that when they say they are well and coping they are telling the truth and I have to refrain from asking most of the time. You never stop worrying about those you love but I suppose that is part of being human. The more you understand about mental health the more likely you are to be able to help and respond in a supportive way to those you love. I wish you all well and am so glad to hear that many people with serious mental health issues cope so positively.


Hi!!! Thanks for commenting- you sound like a fab and supportive realtive! I can imagine that mine must feel the same...Not really knowing if they should ask or not lol!! But the mere fact you are on here and actively involved shows a great deal! Amazing! Thanks again! :) xxx

Stigmatisation is the norm

I used to work as a Probation Officer and I received no support when illness took over because I was working in a profession where 'working under pressure' is fetishised at the expense of employees health. Having gone off sick I discovered my line manager had forbade my colleagues from making any contact with me. She also phoned me out of the blue to inform me she had a duty to report to social services her concerns about the effect my illness might be having on my child. She had tried to pressure me into allowing a social services assessment of myself and my partner - who was also working as a Probation Officer at the time! My manager was a self appointed 'child protection lead' in our office but she had no mental health expertise land no first hand knowledge of my family life. At the time I was under the care of an array of mental health professionals. All of whom had a statutory duty to report child protection concerns and none had expressed any concern about my son's wellbeing or my parenting abilities! I know its not just limited to the Probation service – throughout the public sector many vulnerable unwell people suffer at the hands of managers whose priorities are targets and the advancement of their careers rather than the wellbeing of their employees. A former colleague and lovely guy who also off sick due to mental health issues recently committed suicide. I am certain the bullying and intolerant attitudes of my former employer contributed to his demise.

Hi. I have experience of this

Hi. I have experience of this from both sides. I have bipolar, I have 3 young children (2 with autism) and also work pt in local government statutory child protection. I told my line manager about my bipolar during my last appraisal having worked there for 5 yrs unable to say anything out of fear. My manager didn't really comment which made me a little anxious. A week later I was signed off for two months with severe depression. I was unable to speak so my husband phoned my manager to inform him. He was very concerned but said to take as much time off as I needed. I even received a get well soon card. On return to work I was offered a phased return and told to take a break whenever I needed too. I was also told to go home if things got too much and this still applies. Now everyone at work knows about my bipolar as I chose to tell them. They have been so supportive and understanding. No reference has ever been made regarding my parenting ability or the safety of my children.

Well done and keep it coming!

I just want to say well done for speaking up and telling your story! It's an incredibly scary illness for anyone and even more scary when you aren't given the support by friends, family or colleagues. This is why I'm so grateful for forums such as this, so that we can come together and share in our fears and most importantly to remember that we aren't alone.

Thank you for sharing your experience

I can so relate to your experience and it really made me think about something similar which happened to me years ago. During a period of depression I was signed off work. My birthday falls on New Years eve and as a treat my husband thought it would be fun to be in a TV show audience for the evening. Anyway, in the New year I was back in work and my colleagues commented how unimpressed both they and my boss were to see me having such a great time on TV!!! I was mortified. And even years later I still feel totally awful that people could think I was having a ball while signed off work sick. The whole portrayal on TV was out of context - the audience were actively encouraged to be in a 'frenzy' of fun and while I felt like dying inside, it certainly looked like I was having the best time of my life.


I can identify with your post. One can wear a mask and come across as 'normal' a lot of the time, but when the mask slips, people can be less than understanding. Some people will be sympathetic, but I find that the sympathetic ones are those who understand and have suffered themselves. Sadly, the majority of people simply see us sufferers as a burden or resent us fir having the problem. They don't want to deal with it. People you considered as friends may avoid you or disassociate themselves. That hurts. We do not choose to suffer with depression, but often feel blamed for it. I am currently managing to keep the mask secured, but it doesn't take much to create a 'wobble'. I am lucky to have a wonderful, supportive wife and son to keep me on the right path. Without them, the struggle would feel pointless. It would be nice if awareness and understanding of depression and related illnesses grew. Sites like this may help, but if nothing else, it's a place to share experiences.

I am currently signed off

I am currently signed off work for depresion, and I feel the same, I went on holiday and I've been too scared to even mention it on fb or anywhere else cuz people will thihnk what a bitch 'pretending' to be a bit down to go on holiday, but thats really not the case while I was there I still struggled to face the day, I still felt hollow and numb, granted I had a nice time an it improved how I've been but why should I feel so guilty and so ashamed, its just the same when I get invited out, I'm desperate to get out of the house n make an effort put my face on but I feel like people will judge me an think im faking or not as bad as I say but no one can see how good you can feel after making yourself look nice and getting out of the house, just doing something normal can lift a persons mood so much, yet peoples judging eyes can stop you or make you feel such guilt!


I left my job after being completely isolated after being off sick with depression. I was told not to visit my department, nobody even sent me a card all the time I was off and on my return (having been put off and put off by managers not being able to find time to meet) I was pressured to do a secondment after which I was told I would not be allowed to go back to my original job. My employer was a public sector one. Despite providing evidence of bullying, no action was ever taken against the perpetrator who now has a promotion. I am not working in another organisation but have already been treated differently because of my declared depression, I find it very disheartening that this condition is protected by law (DDA) but that makes no difference in a day to day context. Unfortunately I cannot afford not to work.


I also work for a local authority, in a management role, and have struggled with bipolar for a number of years, only receiving a diagnosis 2 years ago. I have found that, no matter what policies and procedures are in place, the quality of understanding and support one gets is very clearly down to the personality managing you. I have had variable experiences with my Managers, most I am sad to say, highly negative. And the culture of constant change does not help a condition that needs to be managed with routine and avoidance of stress among other things. If I did not need to work to support myself and my family, I would leave in a heartbeat.

This Helps

Hello, thank you for relating your experience, it helps me to know I am not the only one who has suffered in such ways. Also the many replies I have read. Unfortunately I have just been diagnosed after more than 40 years struggling with this illness, from age 14. I look back on bad bosses, bullies and intensely bad bouts of illness in horror as I can now see things in a different light. I think I would have handled things differently if only I had know of my illness. There are some truly awfull people out there, in the workplaces but there are also some real nice ones and I feel like a better person for having my own metal tested. I have always instinctively champtioned the underdog and aided those I could. The bullies just dont know what lies round there own corner though I would not wish anyone bad. Thanks again, good health to you all

nice to know I'm not alone

wow, It's amazing how many things in different comments on here I can relate to . My Mother passed away after just 6mths after being diagnosed with brain cancer , It was difficult at Christmas and my Birthday as she would say merry Christmas happy birthday and happy new year as these 3 days are all within 6 days of each other and this was all just last year!. I thought I was just sad and was so it's normal. Her Birthday came up 3mths later I was a mess losing my temper hitting the drink not caring, being selfish, being impulsive spending money on things I don't need arguing with my beautiful and amazing Fiance . Time was going so fast weeks would pass I was just numb . My GP said you have symptoms of depression and put me as a priority to speak to a specialist , so after 6, 40 minute sessions over the phone I understood depression but didn't really help but the guy knew what he was talking about and very professional . It's easy to say go out and excersise keep your mind busy but I found and still do wrap myself up in a cocoon . I've put on weight have no self esteem bored easy , can't sleep sensitive hearing . I have the most amazing friends and Fiance and they know it will take time I have never contemplated suicide . I just need that boost and hope I do . I've just realised how much I have written and It's always easier to speak to people like this for me.

An update

I just thought it might be worth posting an update. In March, I left a job which I had been doing for 14 months because the culture was absolutely horrendous and the boss worse. On the day I quit, the boss shouted at two of us continuously for nearly half an hour over nothing. I then went into a major depressive panic mode thinking I was going to lose everything. Three weeks later I got an interim role an hour's drive from home. It is an absolutely lovely job, with lovely people. Tonight I am applying for the permanent role which I really hope to get. It is working for the NHS which is what I have always wanted to do. While I somewhat feared the drive at first, I have found it is a great way of relaxing with my favourite music on full blast. And I have got tougher with the kids and said they need to sort out their own meals one or two evenings a week. Because I am looking forward to the work, everything seems better. I hope this continues. The reason I am posting this is that I feel that often things work out for the best. Good luck at work and elsewhere all. Colette xxx

Severe depression- out of work

Hello Delighted to have found this website. Over the last six months I've been living with moderate to severe depression. With my completed PhD, I started working as an academic at a university. Towards the end of last year I was put under a performance review which would have ended into a capabilities procedure. I applied for jobs and was offered a well paid academic post which was closest to my friends and loved ones. I immediately resigned from my the academic post, had put down a deposit for a new house in London and paid for all the furnishings for new place. I was looking forward to a new start and leave my cold, untrustworthy and unsupportive colleagues behind. My poor mental health was frequently discussed by my colleagues (I only told my boss but she decided to discuss it with my research assistant and colleagues) which left me feeling isolated and alienated. I had no one to talk to and everyone treated me as if I was some sort of creature who didn't belong there. Sadly for me, my employer mentioned the performance review in an bad job reference and my job offer for my new job was withdrawn. I then had to cancel all my plans (the house) and hopes for the future. This happened a few weeks before Christmas so this ruined my Christmas and my birthday. Losing this job also means I'm unable to continue with my current professional doctorate as this required a relevant placement and job. I'm now left in a position where I'm deeply unhappy, without a job and have been stuck in a vicious downward spiral of severe depression. I haven't washed in weeks or left the house in weeks and just haven't got the strength to anything. I can't sleep and my interests in my pleasurable activities have vanished. At the moment I'm stuck in a thick blanket of chronic sadness and thoughts of death are becoming more and more common. I just don't want to suffer like this anymore. I can only hope this experience will pass. It's comforting to see that I'm not alone.


Elizabeth, You seem severely depressed and need to get your GP, or therapist, or even go speak to someone at the hospital over your thoughts of hurting yourself. There's a way out of depression, you just need assistance. I've been there.

being judged!

I know how hard it is! I have been suffering from depression on and off for years, i seem to get to the point where i can no longer face work or my friends, i feel ashamed and weak for all my attempts to beet this illness keep coming back, i feel that work is getting fed up with me as over the years i have spent time off sick , not for long periods of time , but also i think that my friends too ! I've feel that my attempt to heal myself are futile and thats how work feel too, no matter how i try i keep failing also i don't get paid so that also set me up for finical fall , intact as I'm righting this my mind is battling against the choices, go off sick as discussed with my doctor or go to work get paid and wait till i become more sick ! sometimes the disposition alone is worsens the depression , i know i have had to move location before because of work collages " managers failure to support and to only to judge me . But i do know there are also good managers out there too.

Work and depression

I have just been rereading these comments and they have really helped me to realise that I am not alone. I am on my last day in a job which has really added to my depression and, particularly, anxiety - it started off fine then when I broke my ankle. my boss took my job because it suited his personal circumstances and I was moved to another role, which didn't suit me. I have managed not to go off sick with depression (although it was touch and go for a while) and start my new job on Monday. I hope it is better. I still wish I could work fewer hours but cannot for financial reasons . Reading the comment above has made me realise how strong we really are carrying on when many would have given up. Thankyou

No understanding or empathy.

I've been reading the posts on this page and I feel a bit better knowing that I'm not the only person in the world dealing with these issues. I was diagnosed with severe depression about 5 years ago. I've been on various types of medication and, as I write, am on 20mg of Cipralex daily. Several things led to my break down... several family deaths close together, a failed engagement, the loss of a loved pet and of course, the stress and anxiety at work. I was off work for 4 months while my doctor tried varying types of medication in varying doses to see which might actually help me. Sometimes, I feel ok... sort of normal but void of any real joy or sadness. Other times, I can't stop crying and all I can think is that if I didn't have my fur babies (3 cats) to care for, that I would end it all as I really don't feel I have any reason to go on. I do get paid a reduced salary while off work, if the insurance company that represents my workplace feels that my reasons are valid. They do have discussions with my doctor to determine that. 4 months is the max. I'm allowed. I thought after that episode, endorsed by my doctor and my the insurance company, my boss would understand that this is real but just the other day, he mentioned how "there's always something" which causes me to have rough days and that he and everyone else have issues but they function regardless. This really made me want to give up. How can I be expected to improve when I get that kind of thing from my boss? I even asked him once if he knows what depression is/does and he said "no". I advised he Google it but clearly, that didn't happen. Every time I see commercials on TV now about how employers and colleagues judge people with depression, I hope that those people are actually watching and thinking of me.

Can relate

I can relate to this so much. I have recently been diagnosed with depression after the death of my grandma in November and it's been a spiral down ever since. I lost a friend as well who's friendship I valued but he doesn't seem to care. I have bottled my feelings up for years but now I feel nothing but numbness. I struggle to get out of bed. I used to love driving but that even feels like a chore. I struggle to find the motivation to be hygienic. A majority of the time, I just sit in bed and cry and think how much of a bad person I am. My manager has been really supportive, my main manager has anyway and is ok with the time I have had off. I can't say the same for my work colleagues. Some have been ok, but then I have heard about others who thinks I am making it up or I shouldn't be this upset because it's only my grandma. (My mum died when I was 9 so my grandma was the next best thing) They don't realise how much their comments hurt and can make you worry so much about returning to work. Today, I was supposed to start back at work but ended up bottling out after constantly feeling sick and panicky. It worries me that when I go back, people are going to talk about me etc. That, and I have to see my friend who I recently fell out with there too. I actually do like my job which is why I haven't left and my friends pub manager is really supportive. It's just when other managers are getting told this that and the other then are in a discussion with colleagues on whether I am making it up or not, it gets to me. Why would anyone want to make this up? I have a lot of suicidal thoughts. I am on fluoxetine and recently, they upped my dosage but it does absolutely nothing. I am constantly in tears, I feel so down about myself and I probably have about two proper friends ATM and support from my family. Like some other people have mentioned before, just because it's not psychical, it doesn't mean it's not real.. I hate feeling like the way I do. I want to be happy. But it's hard and I have no idea where to start.

similar problem

I'm not sure if anyone still uses this but I thought I'd share what I'm going through. I'm currently 25 and in my 3rd year of teaching. For the past 2 terms I have had a horrible time. I find myself crying every night after work and hating life. I shake, have panic attacks and have migraines but have never been brave enough to go to the doctor. It's got so bad now that I can't sleep and I even cry in the morning. I'm dreading going back to the pressure and I don't think I can cope anymore. My contract ends in the summer and I have a new job to go to (not teaching) but I really can't handle the thought of going back. I spent the last two terms hiding in my room and sobbing and I feel like I'm getting worse. I think I need to see my GP but it's a terrifying thought...


Hi Ann, thanks for sharing. I'm really sorry to hear you're experiencing all of that, it must be really difficult. I agree it would be good for you to talk to your GP about your mental health, as that's the best entry point to accessing services. Perhaps you could ask a friend to go with you? There's some information on other support services you can access on our website: – Take care of yourself, Tim at Time to Change


Hi, I would like to thank you all for the comments on this page. I believe that anyone who has not suffered with depression, doesn't really understand it, I know, as I am one of them. I have colleagues who are off work with this, and because I see them out drinking constantly, and putting photos of social media, I and others get annoyed, as all we see is someone who is taking time off during the summer, but able to go out and enjoy themselves. So I do understand how people can become annoyed, as they think that if you can do all of this, then why can't you come to work. Obviously, from reading the comments, we don't see what goes on behind closed doors, so don't really understand. I think the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" fits quite well. I hope you all feel better soon, and would like to wish you all a speedy recovery. Apologies from one who didn't understand.

depression please help!

Im a full time supervise at a store it takes me hour &half to get there a day. i have to do 1 till 10 pm 5 days a week. iv had no Fridays off 1 Saturday off in 4 months. manager said i can do morning shifts so i can finish at 5 pm but transport is an issu. i have to get up at 4.45 to get there for 7 as i need to get 2 buses and in all takes hour 25min. i was sent to help at anther store and i was up at 5am finish 630pm hour to get home that was for 2 week,went back to my store done 5 days of 10am till 10pm shifts ,( hour an half to get home ) but while im at work my boss talks to me like crap with attitude, other members of staff have seen it too. I also found out im moving house and i dont want to move, The guy i was seeing has got anther girlfriend . so everything just warn me down and im tired all time crying all time. stressed out, doctors have put me on anti depressants been off work nearly 4 weeks and my manager has phoned me but i dont want to talk to him. i dont want to go back to my previous work place but i dont no what to do either.

How long did everyone wait

How long did everyone wait after a suicide attempt or depression leave to go back to work?

Bullies or me

Having read your comments I have a question to ask. I'm off sick with stress. My line manager and another we're sacked after bullying me for over ten months to get me to leave. When I didn't it became physical. I did my job during this time and my manager hated the fact it often made him look stupid. I dealt with the operations manager thought when the manager was sacked life would be better. Within a week of him leaving another manager who was also bullied went sick. This meant the position was covered by the sacked managers friend and he and another collegue intimated me and said I wasn't part of the team. In fact when I reduced to tears the worker was shouting and waving his arms around when the gm stepped in. He past it back to shift manager as he said he could see why I was upset and he himself felt threatened by this man's actions. This was on Friday Monday the manager told me as from Tuesday I wouldn't be doing my job and he was going to get me out doing real work. He and the sacked manager had said this all the while they had bullied me. I went said I had a headache migraine and had to go home. I went to Dr on way home and because of the state I was in was signed off there and then. Work rang me next day but I couldn't face talking to anyone I couldn't stop crying . Four weeks in I have just seen Dr who wanted to sign me off for another month but I said no two weeks I will be ok to go back to work. Already I am doulbting this and dreading returning. I need to go back but am I the problem ???is it me or work as the bullying was cut dried and admitted so was the pushing to get me to leave and it was witnessed. No one from work has contacted as a friend and I feel my friends have not wanted to so as not to be picked on but again is that my fault?????? I need to go back ssp doesn't pay the bills which adds to my stress. Wrong time to change jobs too .will I get sacked for taking off the extra two weeks or should I go back before I feel ready to do the battle I fear is coming

It's not you, it's them!

Sorry I've only just seen this. It's not you it is them. Bullying can make us so ill and you sound like you have been made really poorly by this nasty treatment. My advice is keep a note of everything which has been said or done to you in a diary and keep copies of anything written. Make a positive choice not to return to work until you are well enough to cope with their attitude. I know from experience how awful it is to have no contact from people you thought were friends at work as I went through the same thing. Not even a card. Maybe they are frightened of the bullies or maybe they are ignorant of the effect this is having on you I don't know but look for support with your other friends or family or on here. Workplace bullying is sadly very common - I have seen it in almost all of my jobs. Take care of yourself and believe me it is not your fault. It says more about them than you. I hope you are managing to care for yourself properly and listen to your doctor. Although people can lose their job if they have a lot of absence (in line with your organisation's absence management policy) you can also be discriminated against if you have a long-term condition like depression. I would also consider (when you are strong enough) making a formal complaint about the bullying. Good luck and best wishes.

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