I hear what you're saying. You must try to fight the feeling of shame. Shame & guilt are not productive emotions if you get bogged down by them. The key is to try to learn from any mistakes you make (which we all make sometimes).
Life happens...and people are allowed to change their minds...and it's especially easy to come to certain conclusions about one's life while feeling emotionally upset...and then change your mind when you feel better.
Any good GP will understand...just be honest with him or her. Being a fraud means purposely tricking some one for personal gain...and it doesn't sound like you have done that. Deciding about wanting to work or not is a big decision & you shouldn't rush into it. If you're struggling with this consider seeing a live therapist for several sessions to help figure it out.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more feedback. Good luck & take care.
Family history of depression worries me as at my age (51) my mother was first hospitalised for being mentally unwell. She went on to have a series of lengthier hospitalisations and finally died in psychiatric hospital. Now as I am in the social care professional field so I am aware that this leaves me increased likelihood of developing depression in the longer term. I will fight this but it is in my biology, I have to deal with this through my attitude and personal strength, which is at a low ebb right now.
In 21 years of social care professional work, I have a history of one episode of depression in 2008 which lasted 8 weeks (combined with menopause, moving home and moving job). This was some 2 1/2 years ago and I have worked steadily since. However, I had mood swings late in 2010, had an occupational health referrla and advice from occupational health is to watch out for work related stress and the "underlying mental health condition" which is not specified.
I am licenced to practice and this licence runs out in mid June 2011 - I need my employer to sign for me to be relicenced. (relicencing is based on training which I've done and any issues which would prevent me from working in future) I do not think it is for my employer to hold me to ransom by effectively refusing my licence by not signing to say I've undertaken all my training.
Now my GP has suggested CBT and medication which I don't want as it will feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because I have been off sick from mid April 2011 with work related stress, I will inevitably have a referral to the employee health advice bureau which will mean that my employer will investigate my health.
I think I'm trying to decide what can't be decided now as I am not ready to make any decision. I will take advice from my union regarding what my employment position is now.
I understand your history a little better now. I also used to think that being in the social work or psychiatry or similar fields may increase depression....but I am really not as convinced anymore. These certainly can be challenging fields for those with some depression...but the good news is that you can use your professional skills & experience to heal yourself.
One thing which comes to mind is the possibility of hormone therapy. It clearly has its own risks, but it's worth discussing with your GP. I have seen many women get better emotionally with hormone pills...but I have also seen some get worse. The only way to know is to try it if your GP thinks it would be safe for you.
I'm not sure which treatment you don't want...CBT or medication. You have absolutely nothing to lose by trying CBT. It is a powerful & effective treatment. And in most studies on moderate to severe depression, the best results tend to occur by combining both treatments together. I'm not saying you should go on medication...but I would stay open minded to the idea if your depression continues.
Last, make sure you treat yourself holistically. I have seen many patients get better with meds...but then they ignore trying to balance their lives with: nutrition, exercise, stress management, psychotherapy, and relaxation therapy.The last 2 treatments I mentioned are proven by sophisticated studies using brain scans (CT, MRI, EEG, pet scans) to improve brain function. Also, by formal relaxation therapy I mean yoga, meditation, or similar methods. Having relaxing hobbies is also important, but not quite the same as formal relaxation therapy.
The job decisions sounds difficult & complicated. I would definitely discuss it with your union...and also with the CBT therapist (along with any trusted loves one in your life). Take everybody's opinion with a certain grain of salt, and in the end follow what your mind & heart tell you.
Is there anything else I can help with?
I hate being helpless. Unfamiliar as I am with computer technology, I think I have asked a supplementary question already but it somehow disappeared before I finished it. In case it's got lost, here it is again.
Firstly, thankyou for leaving the decision with me. I think that the issue is that rationally and cognitively I am quite capable but emotionally I'm unsure.I have made an appointment with my GP to ask her to review my fitness for work and my need for treatment. I will consider her advice carefully.
Emotionally, my heart is afraid and anxious and just wants to run away. I can write about issues but find it hard to talk about them. When I knew I was going downhill I found a psychotherapistn and started to see her in February 2011. She feels I'm not ready to make any decision at present.
Workwise, there has been a new senior manager who is determined to score highly with staff performance. My previous manager (who was lovely) stood down because she couldn't agree with the performance methods. Now I have an agency manager to get performance improved. Consequently the team is under high stress and out of a team of 4, 3 are on sick leave due to work related stress. Clearly this is a problem which the Union need to be made aware of (and I will tell them) but I also know that each person's health circumstances are different and I must deal with mine.
You are quite welcome. The only ethical thing for me to do is give you ideas...the only way I could give more specific advice about the decision would be if you were a long term "live" patient of mine. That's why I'm glad you're seeing a therapist. Follow her guidance.
If you're better at writing than talking I would look into some self-help books: 1) The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra, 2) The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression, Second Edition by Mary Ellen Copeland and Matthew McKay 3) The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns; 4) The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by XXXXX XXXXX
It's difficult having a very stressful work environment. Keep trying to heal & thicken your skin to see if you can handle it. Also brainstorm to see if there are any other job opportunities for you.