Wednesday, 23 March 2016

I've Been Thinking A Bit More....

When I'm being the therapist rather than having therapy I often come across people with  anxiety or depression who believe that their distressing and uncomfortable symptoms must be pretty unique.  I've often felt moved to let them know that what's happening to them is the bread and butter of my work as the same themes as theirs have arisen time and time again.

I was signed off from work for another three weeks last Friday.  I told the GP that I felt fraudulent.  Why can I go out and enjoy myself, laugh and chat with friends and get stuff done around the home yet basic childcare is onerous and  a return to work still seems impossible?How can anyone else believe that I'm ill when I can't quite fathom it myself?  In lots of aspects of my life I'm too bloody normal.  Shouldn't I be curled up in a sobbing unwashed heap?

The doctor concurred that this was a tricky one for me to understand let alone expecting others always to do so.   But then he told me that patients repeat the same kind of tales over and over.  My story is typical for those with work related stress .  I cannot emphasise how immensely helpful hearing this was. Perhaps I'm doing something right as a therapist when I give the people that I work with similar assurances.

Previously I believed that acceptance in the context of ill health might be just about being stoical about the limitations that a condition imposes.  But I've learnt that there's more to it than.  It's  also tricky to accept wholeheartedly the things that I can do. Rather than feeling guilty I'm trying to change my perceptive and  be grateful for the inner resources that I've retained.  Simples?  Well no. It's actually much easier said than done.


  1. My anxiety, stress and depression miraculously disappeared following my retirement from work. However I always thought I had a satisfying job which I enjoyed. Funny that!!

  2. PS I will just say also that from my own experience the longer one is off sick from work the harder it becomes to return regardless of how satisfying a job we have. Thus outside work we can function happily and appear like we are coping but the thought of returning instigates all of the same anxiety and depression.

  3. Mental health difficulties are so difficult for others to understand and yet we probably all know someone who has suffered whilst still maintaining a charade of outer calm and good health. I know, I've done it myself! It's fortunate that you have found a doctor who is willing to be honest with you whilst supporting you too. Wishing you all the best on your slow road to recovery wherever it may lead! X

  4. Someone close to me has experienced exactly the same thing. An understanding GP is worth their weight in gold.

  5. When I was the same - I gave up part of my work life that was causing me the most pain. It was worth the drop in income. Didn't fix me, but it sure helped. I'm glad you've a brilliant GP. Hope work is as understanding xx