Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Anxiety and guilt over sick leave

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. peacock
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    peacock avatar
    51 posts
    4 August 2020
    Hi, I am going through a difficult time at present with anxiety and depression. I saw my doctor yesterday and she gave me a week off work. Now I feel guilty for taking this time off as I’ve only been in the job four months. I sent a text to my boss explaining the situation and she was very supportive but I can’t stop feeling guilty about this. Has anyone else experienced this?
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Here I am
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Here I am avatar
    123 posts
    4 August 2020 in reply to peacock

    Hello peacock,

    I fully appreciate the feeling of believing we've let people down as a result of our mental health taking control of our ability to function. I feel completely useless at the moment with my anxiety feeling like it's on the way back from wherever it went for a few months, and I am just waiting for work to reach a point where I just can't actually do it any more!

    I think we've come a long way in society now where it's more acceptable than ever to say to ourselves and to others, 'me first!' (don't worry; I intend to take my own advice! :-) ). There is so much value in getting ahead of our mental health whilst it is still manageable; our employer retains an employee that is good at their role, and we keep our own head above water. When we wait for things to escalate, it usually ends up as a lose/lose outcome with us resigning or just vanishing and our boss and colleagues never get an opportunity to show their supportive side.

    As much as you can, take this week to realign and recover. Go back to work with eyes wide open and know that you have the support of your boss.

    Hope you feel the benefit of your weeks recovery time! :-)

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    534 posts
    4 August 2020 in reply to peacock

    Hi Peacock,

    I experience this all the time when I take time off from work. Even though my boss/team can handle the work without me I feel guilty for not being at work. If I'm not at work, I don't feel productive, if I don't feel productive, I feel worthless.

    I'm learning 'you cant pour from an empty cup'. You are allowed to put yourself first. My psychologist suggested I take 2 weeks off from work around march and I didnt know what to do with myself. Over the 2 weeks I started to reconnect with myself and reconnect with the things i enjoy doing. I felt relaxed and calm and I was able to return to work in a better state of mind.

    I'm actually going to take a few days off in about a month or 2, for no reason in particular other then to recentre myself.

    Theres nothing to be guilty of in looking after yourself.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. peacock
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    peacock avatar
    51 posts
    5 August 2020 in reply to Here I am
    Thanks for your message. It really put my mind at ease, I hope things look up for you too.
  5. peacock
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    peacock avatar
    51 posts
    5 August 2020 in reply to Gambit87
    It’s good to hear that I’m not the only one to worry about this. Good on you for taking some time off work for yourself. I think my generation was thought to put work first before anything else which is not healthy. Thanks for replying to my post
  6. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    534 posts
    5 August 2020 in reply to peacock

    No worries at all, I hope you're feeling a little better knowing that youre not the only one.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. mads8796
    mads8796 avatar
    5 posts
    6 August 2020

    Hi Peacock,

    I relate to this entirely.y anxiety flares up on an extreme level any time I call in sick to work to the point that I avoid it, come into work, then get sent home because of how visibly sick I am. It’s also extremely hard now because if we feel sick were not supposed to come into work because of COVID... so I feel guilty if I feel unwell and I’m at work, and I feel guilty if I call in sick. It’s a lose/lose situation. I don’t really have much advice unfortunately, I just want to let you know you’re not the only one feeling that way. x

    I know it’s easier said than done, but try and take this week to do nothing at all, or whatever you feel you need for your wellbeing. A year from now nobody will even remember you took this time off x. Best wishes

    1 person found this helpful
  8. peacock
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    peacock avatar
    51 posts
    7 August 2020 in reply to mads8796
    Hi mads8796 , thanks for your comments. I have found this week off at home so helpful. I have just let myself do nothing for once. I liked your comment that in a years time no one will remember i took the week off. Xx
    1 person found this helpful
  9. peacock
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    peacock avatar
    51 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to mads8796
    Hi again. I had a lovely week off work, did not do much at all and just relaxed and distressed. Then yesterday I started thinking about having to go back to work and felt unhappy. Could not sleep last night and when I got up this morning I felt that I never wanted to go back to work. I was going to ring my manager and resign but my husband convinced me to take a sick leave instead which I did. I’m really not looking forward to going back to work and want to resign, I’m 64 and have been working since I was 16 and feel I’ve had enough. I would be grateful for any advice you can give me. Thanks
  10. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    534 posts
    10 August 2020 in reply to peacock

    Hello again peacock!

    Great to hear you had a good week off!

    wow, you have worked a very long time - no wonder you are feeling the way you do! I kinda know what you're feeling!

    I'm only 33 - I've been in the same job for 10 years now. My job is pretty much a dead end job, no opportunities for advancement and no learning opportunities etc. I felt so stuck, worthless and felt like I was going no where but I clung onto the idea that once I hit 10 years I can go on a long holiday then look for another job! once i hit the 10 year mark, I started planning my holiday and getting really excited.

    then COVID hit... freaking covid haha.

    Thankfully with the work I had been doing with my psychologist, I was able to reframe my situation - My holiday isnt cancelled - its just postponed and although I do hate my job - I am thankful to have a job.

    It sounds like your job stresses you out? is there anything in particular you find stressful about it? (only share if you feel like it)

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up