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Going back to work??



Well-known member
Dec 25, 2009
Ilford IG1
I've been signed off work since December 2009 due to my mental illness. What worries me is that I've been claiming statutory sick pay and this will end fairly soon, I've been briefly advised by my employer that I will then have to claim incapacity and income support. My CPN often mentions returning to work but, I don't feel ready to return just yet. She says their is a thing called employability that assesses what you can do and can't do and will help you either back into work or lead you on to voluntary work.

What's worrying me is that I don't feel ready for work just yet. It frightens me to think of what will happen if I return? I think of suicide and harming others when I was at work before December 2009 this due to the voices (demons) that often command me to, I feel kind of pressured by the mental health team and just know that things will break up again and I'll be back to square one again if I return now. My GP has no problems issuing me with sick notes but I can't help but thinking about my employment. I often have nightmares about work and to be honest my work place hasn't really taken much notice of my absence, I feel kind of let down as the only contact I've had from them is the usual HR visits. This also making me feel worthless, it's kind of true that people have a stigma attached to mental illness and most people will turn their backs on it.

Has anyone else been off work? Or recovering?
Hoping to return to work?

I would like to know what others would think please.


Well-known member
Jun 4, 2010
SW England
Dear RollingJovi,

I know that feeling of utter dread at having to face the world again. But I made myself do it, and it did work out OK.

Getting some confidence back I changed jobs and new faces helped a lot. Haven't looked back since.

Best of luck.


Mar 3, 2009
Maybe it's worth asking your CPN directly about going back to work, and tell them how the thought of it is making you feel. When your SSP ends you'll be entitled to (i think) Employment and Support Allowance which has replaced Incapacity Benefit for new claimants. I'd like to go back to work eventually but I'm not ready now. All the best.


Active member
Apr 20, 2010
Hi RollingJovi - I walked out of work in Oct 2008. I didn't know what I was doing and I was in the middle of a relapse due to a switch in medication. It was a pretty bad relapse and although I didn't do anything weird the cat is truly out of the bag. Up until then I had kept my sz quiet and was coping ok. Because i walked out I had to clam employee support allowance and I've applied for DLA...am hoping I will get it as was rejected the first time. I moved back into my parents house which was a big shock to the system after being independent for the last ten years. I am now very dependent on the CMHT and my parents. I don't do a whole lot and I have really poor motivation to do anything at all. I don't go out much now. Try speaking to your CPN and see what he or she says. I have residual symptoms from my medication and I get the odd bad times but at least I am not under. I have been told that my support worker is going to suggest some voluntary work at first nothing heavy and the some part time work...although it's not on the agenda yet. I worry about having another relapse and acting weird at work. I worry about reintegrating into a work environment...I find it hard to interact with people which is symptomatic of my illness. I stress about what kind of job I will end up in. I worry about not having a job for so long. I worry about being on benefits. I'm single too and I worry that I don't have anyone to rely on if I get sick. I always thought I needed to work because I feel half a person without it but conversely the thought of going back scares the s*** out of me. Just try and think there are other people who are in the same position as you and speak to your CPN.

Also - about people at work. Often they don't know what to say when these things happen. Imagine if it was someone else at work instead of you what would you do in that situation. Maybe HR have taken the offcial approach with you and have advised that people give you some space to recover. I never got a chance to properly say goodbye to my work colleagues and I feel quite sad that hardly anyone got in touch to check if I was ok. But then again it is a big deal I suppose when someone leaves because of mental illness. Some people just can't deal with it.



Don't worry about work. Apply for the benefits you are entitled to, then for the present find some occupation, possibly voluntary work, where there is not so much stress, and if you have a bad day it won't be the end of the world! i mean either for you or for them.
Take care and please stop worrying, as that will only make you worse.:)


Jun 13, 2010
Psycotic episodes are happening from time to time .In my case J claimed reasonable ajustments in my workplace and together with the nurse and manager we have tried to find a solution to my problems.By the way ,J think my situation is more complicated as J come from eastern europe.

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