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NSHN Forum Support & On Topic Forums. Some additional boards are viewable to members only => Survivor Room => Topic started by: riot-grrrl on September 09, 2016, 10:48:48 PM

Title: Work and MH Issues
Post by: riot-grrrl on September 09, 2016, 10:48:48 PM
Hi Guys,

I recently had a really awful experience at work.

I've been struggling with my MH recently, and have had a relapse. I was signed off work for two weeks, and work referred me through Occupational Health for private therapy sessions, I am also currently on NHS waiting list for CBT. I had my medications increased.

Work is important to me, and trying to "keep going" and "be strong" is also very important to me. There is so space in this world or my life for weakness.


My emotions have been a bit out of control, I've cried at work a few times which is very embarrasing. I've had to go to the toilets and punch myself repeatedly to get out some of my anger, and some self induced vomiting.

I returned to work after the two weeks off, determined to be as normal as possible. I was doing great until I heard about something which really upset me - basically, I felt that a serious injustice was being done to some of my colleagues and felt that no-one else was able to confront the situation, so stupid headstrong me did. I wrote an email, challenging / querying the thing I felt to be unjust. The email I sent was polite and professional though - and i used the proper channels. A few days later I got pulled into a meeting with one of my managers to say that the email I sent had been taken very badly, it was thought that I was disrespectful and the people involved were 'offended'. They suggested to me that I had sent the email because I was "over emotional" and that I wasn't well enough to be in work. It was VERY strongly recommended that I take time off to "get better".

This really upset and angered me, it felt like my (very legitimate) query / question / complaint (however you want to word it) was being ignored and whitewashed with a "well, she is unbalanced".

I went home from work that day, and stayed off the next two days, thinking things over. But I decided, I wasn't being labelled or pushed out, I wasn't too ill to be there, and they couldn't tell me otherwise. So I went back in on Monday with my head held high. I took extra care with my clothes and makeup all week, and I worked extra hours on two days this week just to show how well I am.

The thing is, I havn't yet seen either of the two women (who are my managers in a sense - they are a grade above me, and one of them is my development worker) who were so offended by my email. I have to work quite closely with one of them, and I am anxious about our first meeting when she returns from annual leave. She had previously been very supportive about my MH issues but she had also got me into trouble once before (she told me about a change in manager for a few of our colleagues, I then told said colleagues they would get a new manager, and she then flat out denied she ever told me that - which she 100% did).

I guess I'm just looking for a bit of support, words of advice about what to say to her. Do I acknoledge the whole issues? I know they will likely expect me to apologise, but I refuse to apologise for something I don't think was wrong.
Title: Re: Work and MH Issues
Post by: SteveP on September 09, 2016, 10:53:10 PM
No expert but been in trouble at work before for speaking out.

Are you in  union? if so talk to them

If not, its difficult to give advice, apart from asking how far are you willing to push this?
And if you are not in a union, join one - they are there for this exact reason

Sorry for not being too helpfull
Title: Re: Work and MH Issues
Post by: Tucan on September 14, 2016, 10:13:26 AM
That  does sound like a very difficult situation to be in. You do need to feel safe to bring up issues and discuss them. I don't have any answers but maybe you could wait for them to bring up the email. I know in the past when I have had problems at work I have asked my manager how beat I can deal/cope with it, rather than saying this person has done something. So in a way I changed the focus onto how i can deal with it. It's a tricky situation and I don't envy you.
Title: Re: Work and MH Issues
Post by: princess890 on September 27, 2016, 05:54:16 PM
Perhaps that what you need to do, take a few days/weeks off work if you can or perhaps ask about reducing your hours to something manageable.
Do you want to tell us what the awful experience at work was?
Title: Re: Work and MH Issues
Post by: Lorien on October 26, 2016, 01:03:44 PM
Perhaps that what you need to do, take a few days/weeks off work if you can or perhaps ask about reducing your hours to something manageable.
Do you want to tell us what the awful experience at work was?

^^^it explains the experience in the original post.

I hate stuff like this at work but I fall into it quite easily. I have found that for me the best option is to write down exactly how I saw it and what I intended the interaction to go and what I hoped it would achieve. I know that it can be really difficult if the person involved is someone that has also been really supportive. I've been in a similar situation with my manager over an email she sent to me. There was a point at which my Mental Health was questioned in that too. I tackled that by evidencing all of the things that show that my Mental Health was not related to the interaction at all. She conceded, but I would imagine other work settings might not be as open to that way of expressing things, I also seem to remember I left her office because I was so angry I couldn't speak. Where I work that is manageable, but I know other places might be different. Have you seen either of them yet?
Title: Re: Work and MH Issues
Post by: princess890 on October 26, 2016, 03:29:21 PM
Does your mental health affect things such as concentration and remembering things? If so, write down either on a piece of paper or on your smartphone of all the things you need to accomplish whilst at work and work through each situation and then when you have a moment go through what you've done and remind yourself  you have coped really well with it and reward yourself with something you really enjoy. If things didn't go to plan, think about how  you can improve it for the next time and draw a line under it and move forward.