When to take leave of absence for depression?
October 27, 2013 2:00 PM Subscribe
I am in a depressive episode and my symptoms are getting worse. They manifest themselves almost exclusively at work or when thinking about work. Should I ask my psychiatrist for a leave of absence to get my symptoms under control?
posted by anonymous to work & money (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have been treated for bipolar II disorder for over a decade. In April this year I took a turn for the worse after a family crisis. I received adjunct medication, took a course of MBCT, things improved. My family life is better, my weekends are good, my sex drive is back. I cycle 20 minutes and walk 15 minutes every day, practice yin yoga weekly and do mindful stretching/some breathing exercises in evening as I can (I need to not force myself).
However, I still cannot get it together to show up to work on anything resembling on time, or complete actions at work. I think this is directly related to the fact that I am on a team of people that do not trust each other. One of my colleagues will yell, pitch fits, and be generally argumentative. He doesn't like me and gives me the silent treatment. If I do something that he doesn't like, he will convene meetings with other team members (me excluded of course) to overturn the action, he will complain to our boss, he will badmouth me to other colleagues. Another colleague told my friend that he was damaging his professional reputation by spending time with me. I have given dissenting opinion which he called immature in a meeting with my colleagues. He will also forget the contents of communications in previous meetings and then turn around and undermine me in public. I surely do have my flaws in communication style that fans the flames of this but I am now considering the behaviour of these two individuals bullying.
I have told my boss that I am looking for an exit from my position. It is a small company so if I were to stay I would need them to create a new position for me (there is no transfer). I am actively looking for new jobs, I had two first round interviews last week and a phone screen tomorrow. We have no HR and no bullying policy.
In the meantime, my boss is trying to get the team to work together by various unfacilitated communication exercises, which I honestly think will just make the problem worse. I dread going in to the office and opening up my computer to do work. My husband will be hospitalized for elective surgery in 2.5 weeks and I am afraid that I will have a nervous breakdown from the two sources of stress together.
I see my psychiatrist on Thursday. Should I ask for short term leave from work? I think 4 weeks until my husband has been discharged and home from hospital for a week would do. Purpose would be to see if symptoms remit by removing source of problem. Would I even be eligible for disability in this scenario? I would spend the time on disability looking for other jobs, exercising, breathing, spending time with husband in hospital, caring for 6 year old child and dog (though I would retain and use services of babysitter to give myself a break). I would also talk to my boss and see if he could get me a different job in the company or sever my employment with package.
In all my years dealing with my illness I have never gone on leave from work. Is this even a good option? All insights welcome.