Post # 1
About 8 months ago I started therapy again after several years without. Shortly after I started an anti-depressant for general feelings of depression, not wanting to live and feeling like my husband and son were better off without me. I have had quite the struggle. My insurance changed twice, so after my primary care dr referred me to a psychiatrist, I had to later switch to a different psychiatrist. In the last 6 months I have tried numerous medications. I am having a lot of trouble sleeping, eating, and focusing. At work I am behind, and have been struggling to catch up for weeks now. This month I missed 4 days in one week due to side effects from a new medication and then the following week I was unexpectedly traveling for work, putting my paperwork off even further while I was on the road 3 out of 5 days.
I have struggled with attention and productivity forever, but the diagnosis is recent and I’ve just started an ADHD medication, though the dose is still being adjusted.
My supervisor asked to meet with me on Monday. She is generally pretty understanding and realizes that I have been struggling quite a bit over the last few months. I did tell her about 6 weeks ago that I was in therapy, but did not discuss my Depression or ADD diagnoses.
I am worried that on Monday I am going to get a written warning for continuing to be behind in my work and not having been able to catch up on certain responsibilities yet.
Is there anything I can do to protect my job? I want to do well, I like my job, and I am actively trying to find ways to cope with my depression and ADD. Do I have to disclose my diagnoses to my supervisor or human resources or something in order to not get fired? Is there anything that I can do, or have they put up with my sub-par work for long enough that they can write me up or fire me if they want to?
Has anyone else been through something similar? I could use some advice. I am totally stewing over having to meet with her on Monday, instead of getting the work I brought home with me done.
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re going through a tough time. But you’re getting help and it will get better.
I was in a “major depression” for several months. I was a total wreck. But apparently, I was a high functioning clinically depressed person. People at work had been basically bullying me(yes, pick on the “weak” one who just went through a year and a half of hell)and continue to do so.
I had my therapist write a letter stating that I was undiagnosed clinically depressed for several months and that the behavior/treatment of my co-workers was a contributing factor to my depression. It’s dated and I’m keeping it for protection….just in case. (also, I have begun talks with higher ups about the treatment I’ve been getting)
But, a friend in HR told me that depression can be considered a disability. And if you are fired for your disability, your workplace can get in big trouble. Tough to proove….
Maybe you should say something about how mental illnesses are often considered a disability and (maybe throw this in) you could probably go out on disability until you feel better. (just a thought)
Keep your chin up! Things will get better!!
Post # 4
I got diagnosed with major depression in March last year, I missed three months of work after that. I kept my supervisor in the loop about what was going on and she was very understanding. I am a casual employee so they only get me in when they have work for me and approval for me to work, so I didn’t get to go back straight away when I felt ready to but they got me in as soon as they could afford to 🙂
Post # 5
@wabisabi: If you’re in the US, see if you might qualify for FMLA. I believe the company needs tohave 50 or more employees, and either you’ve been employed there for a year or maybe worked a certain number of hours there over the past year. Google it and see if you qualify. It allows for up to 12 weeks of time off, and the time does not have to be taken all at once. It can be taken intermittantly, meaning if you are able to work for 2 weeks, then need a week off to adjust to a new dosage or something, that is allowable. The trick is that the time off is not paid, and your company can make you use up all your paid time off first. So if you have paid sick days, vacation days, etc. they can make you use those up first, then you can take the FMLA time unpaid. I would not recommend going on disability unless it’s a last resort because that can cause isolation and an unhealthy focus on the depression, which could exacerbate it. (I speak from experience, my own and people dear to me).
Post # 6
i have bipolar disorder that was going untreated when i started my current job (it had been diagnosed a few years earlier). i started seeing a psychiatrist and she put me on medication. there was a major adjustment period so i told my boss what was going on. i work at a small company (about 10 employees) and i felt it was important for him to know why my behavior had been off and that i was going through tweaking this new medication. he actually told me that his brother in law has bipolar disorder so he totally understood! i’m sure some people will disagree but i think it’s important to tell your boss about it. it is considered a disability (if you’re in the US) but i agree with PP about not going out on disability for it if you can help it.
Post # 7
Thank you all! I have put off using disability because I have still been functioning well enough, and I didn’t want to go through all of that unless it was really necessary. I do have documented diagnoses from my family doctor and a psychiatrist.
My supervisor thankfully is pretty understanding. I totally understand why she might be frustrated, as this has been going on for months and I’ve been behind for just as long. I have had a lot of difficulty with medication and the ADD was just diagnosed within the last 6 weeks, so that medication is pretty new.
I have been hesitant to say anything because I don’t want my supervisor to think I am making excuses or trying to get out of doing my work, but I think the time has come to let her know more of what is going on. It seems like it would be beneficial at this point. I want to do well at my job, so hopefully that will come across well.
Post # 8
About 4 years ago I stopped going to work for a month. I eventually had to talk to my boss about it. She was very understanding…and when I went back I was feeling much better.
After a move in my new job I ended up taking FMLA leave and concurrently worked with a counselor. By the end of it I decided my employment wasn’t a good fit and was a big cause of my stress.
So, I quit. And they told me to file for unemployment and say “lack of work.” So I did, only I filed for “unsafe working conditions” because the lack of policies etc was causing me so much stress. They contested and we went to court and I won because I had the dr’s backing that the job was affecting my health…I won on the other counts too, that they really did lack training and emergency procedures etc. But the lawyer said we only needed to win on one count and that was the health.
So, take care of yourself, if you feel comfortable talk to your boss, and def keep documentation of your therapy visits.
Post # 9
I do have FMLA. I used it when I was on maternity leave, but didn’t even think about other medical reasons for using it.