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Thread: Work-related stress

  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Unhappy Work-related stress

    Hope this is in the right place...

    I've always been quite highly-strung and prone to panic and anxiety, and have always coped until now. Maybe I *shouldn't* have, but that's by-the-by. In the past I've dealt with some major life stuff, surfed the panic and got through the other end.

    Now, though, I'm on Prozac for the first time and I'm wondering if anybody has anything helpful to say about when the anxiety is rational? I have a very serious work situation (shan't bore you!) which basically seems to be leading to the point where I shall be unemployed - in itself that will be a relief because I've been bullied - and then I shall have to start over at 52.

    Bizarrely, I remain optimistic (I'm pretty resilient by nature) against the odds. My current problem is that I need to arrange a 'Welfare' meeting with management. My Union guy is very supportive and will be there too. But I've realised the mere thought of the meeting is making me feel so ill that I can't see how it is ever going to take place! Obviously it is something I need to do. I realise I need to work out what outcomes etc I need, but the Duty of Care has been such that illegal things have been going on (ie not addressing the Grievance I put in before I went off sick, not making referrals to Occy Health, docking a Management Point off my salary without negotiation). So I have no confidence in the outcome of any meeting. (It's in the context of a school/LEA).

    I have no interest in pursuing legal action - I don't think it would be helpful to my recovery. (FWIW I have been told I would have a case for Constructive Dismissal but the law is such that it would be so hard to bring that I'm not prepared to go through the stress).

    Has anybody here ever had to go to a meeting that they felt too ill to make? How did you get through it?

    Thanks.
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    All manner of thing shall be well... (Julian of Norwich)

  2. #2
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    Re: Work-related stress

    So sorry to hear what you are going through and can empathise completley

    I have been through something very similar (I work in FE). The fact that you have a supportive union rep will help but it is a daunting thought. Actually I really don't know how I made it to my first formal meeting...well I do, with a little help from some diazepam and a very supportive colleague. But I must say this...the thought is sometimes worse than the actual deed and your employer must treat you with a duty of care so I really think they are not going to mess up now - assuming they know your circumstances.

    If you really cannot face the thought, ask your GP for a letter stating that you are not well enough to attend and your psychological well being may suffer as a result. They may go ahead without you present but you can supply any information or points you wish to be considered at the meeting in writing.

    Unfortunately, there is no easy way. Your inner strength may surprise you...and it would really be useful for you to attend if you can.

    I am taking the legal route...it's very tough and long drawn out but I really felt I had no choice. And I still don't know if I am strong enough to face it when it comes. That is the chance I had to take...but I know I will get through it and so will you.

    One way or the other something will happen but you cannot go forward with this on your shoulders, the anticipatory anxiety and rumination will only make you worse.

    I hope that you find the strength and courage to move forward in the right direction. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I wish you the very best of luck and hope that you make the right decision for you.

    Kitti

    ---------- Post added at 11:42 ---------- Previous post was at 11:37 ----------

    Just a quick note...I assume you know that you are covered under the Equalities Act?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Work-related stress

    Thank you so much Kitti, the main reason I'm not going the legal route is that because I've been there for less than two years, the money I would get would probably not compensate me for the MH issues it would create. I came here assuming there would be quite a lot of people from Education. The thought of soldiers going into teaching is scary - I think many education staff have some form of PSTD so combine that with a past in the Army and it doesn't bear thinking about!

    Thanks for your support, I shall try to return it if I can. It really does help to know that people have been there/are there. Thanks again.

    Gill x
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    All manner of thing shall be well... (Julian of Norwich)

  4. #4
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    Re: Work-related stress

    Have you spoken to a solicitor about this? Maybe someone who is an employment law specialist could give you some advice. It's not the fact that you have only been there 2 years, if they have failed in their duty of care and ultimately made your condition worse, what about compensation for loss of future earnings too? Yes, your MH will bear the brunt but it is worth looking into. My current situation has been going on for well over a year now and I am still here to tell the tale, in fact I have surprised myself at times with strength I never knew I had!

    Education has changed beyond belief and so has the way it is managed. I tend to agree - if education staff didn't already have some form of PTSD, the changes over the years, and more recently in particular, would certainly be a contributing factor for many already overworked and stressed teachers.

    Feel free to PM me anytime if you need to talk or want some support and I will do my best to try and help you xx
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  5. #5
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    Re: Work-related stress

    Thanks, I have been thinking about this, just it's daunting - as you know. 8And of course you come to doubt yourself because so many people are still hanging in there; of course I don't know what pressure they are feeling. It's easy to feel like you were the only one to crack (in fact I'm not!) and then to persuade yourself that what is going on is not that unreasonable... but my subject isn't even on the curriculum any more! I will get in touch with you via PM, thanks.

    Meanwhile - anybody else suffering out there?
    __________________
    All manner of thing shall be well... (Julian of Norwich)

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