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helr

Time off with stress

8 posts in this topic

Would really appreciate some advice. Have got myself in complete mess. Here goes situation is this.

Am SHO and contract due to expire soon . Have a lot going on in my life at present out of work that dont want to go into too much . Took part 2 this time and naturally felt v stressed out but thought that would all settle down once exam over- didnt but has got even worse to the extent that have been having panic attacks( never experienced anything like them before and let me tell you they are the worst feeling in the world)

Despite feeling like this have been carrying on with work and had appraisal just before xmas where consultant said was doing a really good job etc.

Problem is now wake up immediately heart pounding, vomit and diarrhoea b4 work, dread the day even though i know realistically can do the work, get home exhausted from having to put on a 'calm front ' at work and am v tearful and fearful about future with mmc.

Been to gp who has advised some time off from work but how is that going to change things if anything it will make things worse as will affect references and amount of sick leave to disclose on future job applications.

Lets face it in competition for mmc nobody is going to employ a dr that they think cant cope with the job.

What are peoples thoughts about what to do? Has anyone else been in this position?

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Hi Daisy,

Sorry to hear that things have been very strassful for you. It is understandable, given the difficulties with changes in training, exam stress and your personal challenges. I am not in that position but i would like to offer a few words of encouragement.

First of all, take a step back. You sound like you really could do with at least one week off work. That should not in any way affect your references and is extremely unlikely to count against you in future job applications (unless you'd been repaetedly taking weeks and weeks of sick leave in the past).

Daisy allow yourself to acknowledge the good you've done so far and your achievements. You've passed part 1 MRCPsych, and you are doing a good job clinically as reflected in your last appraisal.

Do you have anyone you can confide in one-on-one? If so, please talk to them. If you consultant is the understanding type, then you might consider going to him/her. Or maybe to your clinical tutor.

Wiht regard to the panic attacks; that must be a dreadful experience. I remember in my first job in the UK, I was close to having those. I would wake up with palpitations at the thought of going to work each morning and have knots in my stomach and dread going in to the wards. I gave serious consideration to handing in my resignation. I confided in close friends as well as in God. I was encouraged and stuck it through. Eventually, the fear habituated, and the symptoms stopped.

You may wish to consider a brief course of anxiolytics, if the symptoms are disabling.

It must be very hard to get your thoughts together right now, but WHAT exactly are you fearful of? if you can put pen to paper and objectively address your concerns Re: job/career/future by listing them and listing your options, it might help you focus, feel more in control and make the situation feel less evasive and uncertain.

Please don't despair; this is just a phase of your life; you will make it!

Justme

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daisy

i think the most important thing is to speak about what you are going through with one or more people whom you are comfortable with.first you will be able to ventilate and second you will get other views form neutral but caring persons who will see and may be able to show you what the situation is really like.there seems to a knock on your confidence and self esteem and if your personal life is in turmoil it could get worse and spill over into your work.

you need nonjudgemental and caring support which is best through people you are already close to.i know that it is anxious times for us all with new changes and exams add to this anxiety.i guess talking with and preparing for this with people in the same situation will help.i hope and guess that in psychiatry at least for this and the next cohort of trainees most will get some post in st.

you also need to see your GP or an understanding senior to get medical help if necessary.it must be horrible being in this situation,the most important thing is not to suffer alone.with support and help i'm sure you'll get through this.

remember if you do need medical treatment do take it.it will not affect your reputation or career.ignoring it may.take care.

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Daisy -

justme and Aron have given sound advice. A week off work sounds like a fine idea - you can phone in sick/self-certificate and you may find that a break allows you to recharge your batteries and take a step back from these problems which can become massive obstacles.

A purely practical suggestion - have you considered looking into cognitive therapy to help with your panic attacks? With the right therapist it can be really helpful and the effects can be long-lasting.  Especially as you say there's other life issues going on as well, not just the work-related stuff.

I think you're very brave to post on here and I'm sure you'll get through this.

All the best.

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The BMA offers some couselling by telephone. If you are a member of BMA, try it. It is well recognized that doctors get stressed and are reluctant to seek help. The BMA service is anonymous and won't appear in your GP records or occ health notes. You can see if it helps.

Some trust also have acess to counselling for staff. You should have been handed info on induction, or the occ health department may have info how to access this.

Good luck.

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Dear Daisy,

Chin up! you're doing ever so well by the sounds of it! All the above advice is sound -see what'll work for you.

Tha BMA number for their Counselling service and Doctors for Doctors is 08459 200 169.

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cmon guys there is more to life than a job and exams and the MMC. All this can end one day so thank God for everything( life and health and the love of your family)

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Thanks for your support and encouragement. Been to see my gp who has signed me off this week and already feeling much more relaxed. Just needed some time to put things in perspective.Planning to go back into work on Mon. Also have cut out caffeine which has made big effect - sounds crazy but was drinking 5 cups coffeee a day plus about 1 litre coke to get me through tiredness of working full time plus oncall plus filling job applications plus exam study plus looking after 2 small kids! Anyway today found out have been shortlisted for staffgrade job no on call which will fit in with my home life much better- fingers crossed for interview!

Thanks everyone again

Daisy x

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