I thought it was about time that I gave an update to my Blog “How life can get on top of you”.
I am still hearing a lot about mental health and how it can steal someone away from you.
In my last blog, I made some suggestion that might help others, that I found in a couple of the books I read, that helped me and what I went through.
So, how did it go and what was the outcome over the last year. I have reiterated my suggestions and highlighted them in italic with the outcome below.
- Try to get them to understand their behaviour, get them to talk to you about the issue, what is the cause. I found I took advice from someone outside the family, a close friend when my wife told me that I needed help for some time. I either didn’t listen or I would throw a rage.
I did listen and went to the doctors. At the doctors, they ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire. You must be as honest as possible to get the right results. The test indicated that I was suffering from moderate depression. The doctor placed me on medication right away so I did not get any worse and try and balance my mind again. She also referred me to getting help from a professional group who deal with depression. Remember it’s good to talk and quite often it’s good to talk to someone unrelated to your self, however, its a must to let the family know what is going on.
- Move away from the situation that is causing stress. Not necessarily forever but for enough time to help your mind recover.
I did move away from the situation; however, this was only the time taken off sick (2 months).
I felt guilty about taking the time away from work and being dedicated to my job, I didn’t want to let my team down. In hindsight, this should have been for a longer period.
On returning back to work to my place of work, they did not acknowledge the fact I had returned or to even ask how I was for at least 3 weeks.
Work started slowly but then grew once more. We were told that my base site was closing, and I was project managed the decant. A couple of months after my return Crown decide to put me on a Personal Improvement Plan based on information left to them by my previous line manager that had left the company 6 months previously, and also knowing full well that I had not been well through that period of my employment, I found this hard to understand.
This placed extra pressure on me to show that I was competent in the area they felt I needed improvement. At the same time, my employer announced that they would be making everyone at my site redundant but would not offer me redundancy, which was the most absurd thing I had heard, adding even more pressure on me.
By the time September arrived, I could not fight with them anymore over the redundancy, I could not put up with how they were treating my team. All the pressure was back and unfortunately, things went downhill again, I was signed off once more.
Make sure you are fully ready if you are to return to the company that caused your mental illness.
Do not return to soon, think about your health, not that your letting the team down and feel guilty in any way as I did. LOOK AFTER YOURSELF
Make sure your company have a meeting with you on return and that they put in place a strategy to help you back into work.
At the end of my sick allowance, and with the demands that my employer was asking for, they left me no choice than to resign from the company. To be honest it was the best thing I did. I started my own company which is much more fulfilling, far less stressful.
3. Go to the doctors. The tablets that I was subscribed need to be taken for a minimum of 6 months. They need this time for your brain to change its cognitive thoughts.
I came off my tablets after 6 months to see how I felt. Within two months I was back on them. I may have been ok had I not had to face the pressures bestowed on me by my employer. Make sure you are ready to stop taking medication. 6-12 months minimum. After 12 months, and the fact I have left the company that caused the issue, I have come away from medication once more. I have felt a little strange and very emotional especially in the first week. I am now into the second week and feeling better. I still have moments of emotions both anger and upset, but I can soon turn these around with more positive thoughts.
- Get them to read one of the books that I have mentioned or something similar. They are both very good and have helped me. Book yourself in for CBT Conative behavioural therapy
I still recommend ready self-help books to help you understand what is going on with your thoughts and how to overcome the negativity. (this is not a quick fix) I have given a few books to individuals close to me that also have suffered from depression. With good feedback.
- If you are suffering, then Talk to someone who will listen. Don’t keep it to yourself, you don’t have to be ashamed or feel embarrassed, I am a man, therefore nonsense, I am a man and I can tell you it’s better to talk. It the start to the road of recovery.
This is number 1 on my list. Do not hold it in and keep things to yourself. This builds on your anxiety/stress and does not help your situation. You end up exploding or imploding.
I have spoken to many about what I have been through, and how I currently feel, and I still do. I am still not back to myself before the breakdown. On discussing it with some, they have found it easier to open to me and let me know that they have or do feel the same way.
Do not be ashamed of mental illness, do not feel you are a lesser person because you are suffering. By talking to someone makes you a stronger person and believe me it helps.
- Go on holiday, chillax and read a book. Spend some time in good company.
This too can temporarily get you out of your situation, but once you have understood that you might be suffering it gives you space, relax and give you time to work out what is causing the problem and what you can do about it going forward.
- Set yourself achievable goals (outside of work), there is nothing better than the feeling of achievement. This could be as simple as going to your child’s football game that you have been missing for a while or getting out on your bike.
Hopefully, on your return to work, your company does understand your situation and will try and help you recover, you can still focus on daily or weekly successes whilst at work. Even if something has not gone correctly it’s a positive. It has shown you that another way is to be taken or improvements can be made to the way you have tried. Look at your outcomes in a positive way and improve your way of thinking.
- Do an exercise of some sort. Get your blood pumping. This help gets rid of the stress chemicals on your body.
I got back into my training which helped relieve my stress and actually improved my physical fitness. I still do my weights but now, as I own my own business, have taken a punch bag into work. If I ever feel a little stressed I go to town on the bag and get the stress out of my system.
Remember you are only human, we are allowed to get it wrong, we are not infallible so don’t beat yourself up if something does go wrong, just learn from it and move on. Don’t live with what if’s and if I had only. Its happened it is in the past you can not do anything about it now.
Try not to predict what might happen in the future. You won’t really know until it gets to you in the present. Things always change as it gets closer. What you think might happen may not.
Remember you are in control of your thoughts don’t let them control you!!
Thankfully, I am feeling much better in myself. I have been supported by my family and friends. Through starting my own business I have met a whole new very understanding and helpful circle of individuals and made some good friends, some with their own problems which if allowed, I will help them get through. The business is keeping me busy and growing and giving me focus. I am now sitting on the steps of success and will take each step at a time.
Thank you to all of those, family and friends that supported me through my darkest hours, I may not have been here if it were not for you
Love you all