Depression/Mental Health Expert Forum
Stress leave
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Stress leave

I am a 37 year woman with a history of depression and anxiety issues. Which runs in my family. The problems started during my early 20's at a very stressful time in my life. I was prescribed Zoloft and then eventually put on Lexapro. Six months before I got pregnant with my 3rd child now 29 months, I felt I no longer needed it and thought I was cured. I didn't want to use drugs while pregnant. So I stopped taking them. After I had my son. I fell into a post partum depression and started to have anxiety problems again. I dealt with it for awhile. Then decided to ask my primary care physician for something because it had become a problem. He put me on Lexapro which sent me to the ER with a panic attack. I was then put on Effexor XR with the same problem and was referred to a Psychiatrist. Since seeing the Psychiatrist due to problems with the meds worsening anxiety or not working. I have also been on Zoloft, Celexa and am currently on Cymbalta. I also have Xanax as needed. I have also been to many specialists for physical problems since January, Urologist- for bladder control/urgency. Gynocologist for chronic pelvic pain,spotting, heavy/long periods. Stomach doctor-stomach issues/ do have IBS-GERD. Orthopedic Surgeon for sciatica problems, lower/middle back pain. Not to mention Ear,nose and throat specialist for chronic sinus issues.  I have had all kinds of testing done finding everything normal. I have been with my company for 11 1/2 years, not to mention a previous job for 8yrs and never having to miss work as much as I have so far this year. Recently, I fell back into depression/anxiety issues, not sleeping at night due to panic attacks. I have been have a hard time dealing with the things I have to do,work, home family ect.
I have no idea why and do not understand the medication not working. I am worried about my physical health as well as mental. I saw my Psychiatrist yesterday, told him all this, about how stressful my family life is. I requested some time off work to relieve some stress for awhile, get my symptoms under control and myself back on track. When asked how long i thought. I said 1-month.  He told me that he thought that was too long. He prescribed me a higher dose of Xanax/more often, Granted me Stress leave for a month off. He warned me by taking the time off, not only would everyone at work know I was under Psychriatric care, It would permanently be in my file and depending how my company is about that stuff. They could use it against me. When I spoke with the leave consultant at work. She informed me that since my next appointment was in a month. She doubted they would cover me under a paid leave but would be covered under FMLA which is unpaid. Though I very much feel like I need to take off or I will crack. I am scared and am thinking about forgetting it and going back to work. I am also not sure why my doctor would have been against it under the circumstances. I didn't think a month was much to ask. What do you suggest?
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242532_tn?1269553979
It sounds like some time off and some good talk time with a therapist is what is required at this point.  The tradeoff of time off vs risk to your job is a decision only you can make, so why not try a shorter time, and get an extension if you need it.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Sometimes you have to do whats best for you.  Obviously your worried about "cracking" and if you feel the month will allow you to regain control of your life, then do it.  It could be the beginning of positive changes in your life, even if your unpaid, people find out your a "nut job," or whatever else.  I see it as taking a real hard look in the mirror and getting yourself on track.  Better to "crack" in the privacy of your own home than in the office or important meeting.  And i only say "nutjob" b/c I've struggled w/depression and anxiety since  I was 13, I'm 25.  I've had my share of instances where people would say I was too weak, can't handle life, depressed, blah blah blah. I knew I wasnt the happiest most stable person, but I knew that I needed time to find the ground I stand on today.  I may lose sight of my ground again, but I now have the coping skills to find it. I've had to make alot of changes, I still fall off the horse a lot but I always got back up b/c I found out how to. Do whats right for you now.  Dont look ahead or worry about what people will think, just put one foot in front of the other and thats all you need to know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Has anyone even heard of having symptoms on anxiety on one side of the body only (ex: tingling)? I have been having a wierd kind of feeling on my right side and I am not sure if it is anxiety or not. I am a very anxious person about almost everything. If anyone has heard of this, please post it. Thanks!
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144586_tn?1284669764
I hate to comment on another physicians precriptions, but valium has a bad rep thanks to the politicians and the DEA, but is is great for short term stress/anxiety/ psychiatric symptom relief and it wears off and you become completely normal. It has a long safety history, providing you don't take alcohol.
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125112_tn?1217277462
Do you have a supportive spouse and if so, does he work? If so, should you lose your job, could you make expenditure adjustments allowing you to stay home?

I'm a woman, have 4 children and stay at home. Trying to take care of the home and children is a full time, with much overtime, job.
This wears on me plenty at times and I don't work outside the home.
We can't do everything, be everything and somehow think...that it isn't going to take it's [major] toll on us. We (and men too) were not created to lead this kind of life. Being too busy and yes, being too idle isn't a good thing.

As for a month off, I certainly don't think it's too long. However, 2 people will think so: those who depend on you or those who absalutely have "no life" and think a month is a very long time. A month goes by in an awful hurry, in my opinion.

If you have somebody who you can count on to take care of your children and home, my advice is...you need to go out and refresh yourself. It'd be nice if you could at least leave for 3 days and stay in an environment (and alone) that is calm & quiet.
You need to relax and give things some thought, without disruption. Trust your instincts. Do what it necessary (priorities, what are they? Sift what IS and is not important) and think long term.

As for short term anxiety relief, after having my tonsils taken out, I was prescribed Ativan (lorazopam)and it was quit effective and taking the hard edge off. It took about 15 minutes to kick in and lasted a few hours. Quite frankly, I would consider it equal to a good beer or glass of wine, as far as effect.

Anyway, you do what you have to do to get on track. This may mean losing your job but what good are you to anybody if you break-down? Once broke down, how long would it take to get back up and would your job still be there waiting for you?
You see.

Best of luck to you.
From one mother, to another.

~Kate


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Avatar_n_tn
For your comment on pain on an individual side it is totaly possible and plausable. Heres the reason. we have all heard the saying "carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders" well there is truth to that!. When we get very stressed out, other than the brain, the neck and shoulders are the first to know. Your trapezious muscle will tighten and pull foward because of how tense you have become. this cause's your neck to be pulled into a kinked position that compresses on nerves a little bit. remember that the framen magnum (C1) is where all the weight of your head is and when it is pulled out of position it screws everything up underneath it. When the neck is messed up and out of whack it starts with a tention HA, because the muscles are swelling and your body is putting more blood and effort into that area to try and correct it. This increases your Blood Pressure which gives you your head ache. Muscles are also pulling in directions that they are not used to be pulling in creating pressure as well.
Part 2 to this is that if this isnt soon fixed your spin starts to shift to compensate the now screwed up posture that you have and now its all twisted out of shape. So now your lower back hurts. With all these Vert out of whack sothings gonna get compressed. Think of it this way, your bodys wireing system is like any other electrical system persay. So in a car thereis electrical wireing everywhere and if you get into an accident (Just a minor fender bender) and it shifts the frame just a fraction of an inch all the wireing that was tightly squeezed through small holes in the frame and now compressed. All of the sudden your R headlight starts flickering every now and then...not all the time, but just when you turn left and put enough pressure on it to compress it and screw up the electrical impulse from the computer. Does that make sense?
I am going through the same thing with both my legs and arms as I type this. Massage therapy is so benificial and should always be recommended. I had calf pain so bad last week and went to my Massage therapist and she worked on my whole body for an hour and my calf was so tight that when she was working on it I almost came off the table. At one point I actually felt the muscle unwind like a rubber band and then all the pain was gone. Try it out and see and I guarentee that you wont be dissapointed. If you have insurance Im sure that it will cover even a couple sessions and a little is better than none.
Take care I hope you feel better.
Ryan
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much for your response. I have had a hard time finding any information on one sided symptoms that did not involve a stroke. I am going to take your advise and try a massotherapist. I was experiencing a lot of general stress and then it seemed like everything got out of control physically. Hopefully the massage therapy will help. Thanks again!
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96108_tn?1197694930
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have decided to take the stress leave. My kids are ages 14,9 and 2. I do work full time and about a 45 minute drive from home as well. My husband works 3rd shift with alot of O.T. I had tried to cut back to part time. The only thing my boss offered me was to work either 10 hour shifts 4 days a week or 12 hour shifts 3days a week. Which wouldn't work for me and most likely wouldn't take any stress off. I had a panic attack at work and walked off to go to the nurses station. When I came back I was pulled in the office and had to let my bosses know what was going on with me. Which was very embarrassing. There has also been a few occasions that I started crying for minor things and had a hard time stopping. So I already embarrised myself enough at work anyways and have probably already been labled with weak unstable anyways. I have been sick non stop, have continued to have anxiety and depression issues after a year on trials with different medications. There are times that I am really struggling to even be around other people due to depression. I feel I need to do something about this for my own well being.
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