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Too many sick days

Community Member

I've been feeling physically sick from the depression and anxiety and have taken a few sick days from work in the past 3 months.

For context I work in hospitality in a really busy venue. I find some days that it feels impossible to function and I'm extremely overwhelmed by the amount of people around me. I feel awful and weak every time I leave sick but it gets to the point where i feel like I have no choice.

The past 3 months have been especially challenging and I think I'm going into a bad depressive episode. I've noticed myself withdrawing from friends and family, staying home and isolating myself and just binging videos in bed most of my free time. I have had a relapse into my eating disorder and have lost a noticeable amount of weight, have not been sleeping properly and have been under considerable stress from conflict in the household.

Today was one of those days where I was physically affected, I started getting brain fog, nausea and a huge headache and just generally felt awful. I stayed for half of my shift and was going to try to stay for the rest but one of my co-workers told the manager I was unwell and I got sent home.

I'm feeling really concerned that this will impact my job. My manager called me when I got home and asked me if anything is going on that might be causing me to take these days off and I didn't want to open up about how I'm feeling. Because in all honesty I'm ashamed that I'm not coping right now and I feel like a mess. I don't want to be rostered less as a result either because I have some financial stress right now. I am having massive amounts of anxiety now because my shift tomorrow has also been filled.

I have a doctor's appointment this week and I have started my antidepressants again hoping to fix this situation before things get really out of hand. I have also been to visit my family and have planned to go away for a few days to try and lift my mood.

Any tips on how to get through the hard days? Or if I should be open with my workplace about my mental health issues? Should I maybe take an extra day off per week till I can sort myself out?

Thanks for reading, any reassurance or advice is appreciated

5 Replies 5

Learn to Fly
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Star CX330

Thank you so much for reaching out on the forum. It sounds like you really needed to vent it all out. You are in the right place to do so and to feel heard, not judged, understood and safe.
I am very sorry to hear about your depression and anxiety. It sounds like you have been really struggling.
I understand your biggest worry atm is the situation at work. You have given a few ideas of what you could do and to be honest, they all seem really reasonable to me. How is your relationship with your manager at work? You’d mentioned he/she called you to ask what was happening with you. Obviously I don’t know this person but this gives an impression they worry about you. I have no doubts that they also want to have the shift fully covered but the fact that he/she called you sounds encouraging. I think people in general prefer to hear the truth rather than suspect things that might be far from it.

You have nothing to be ashamed of. All of us go through some difficult and/or devastating periods of time in our lives. Admitting that we do need help might be one of the most difficult things to do . Shame, guilt, sense of loosing control etc all play their roles in preventing us from reaching out. You are stronger than that as you have contacted us here and set your appointment with a doctor. Great steps forward! Lots of people here repeatedly say “take one step/day at a time” and I also say that as it is so true. How do you feel when you think of talking to your manager and telling them how things really are with you?

Hi Star CX330,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story with us here.

We are sorry to hear that things have been so difficult and that you have been feeling physically sick from depression and anxiety. We understand how awful this can be and want to remind you that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

If you would like to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

We also strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).

We hope that you will find some comfort here on the forums. Please feel free to keep reaching out here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.

Thank you so much for your reply it means a lot to me!

It has helped me feel better already just venting about things and feeling heard. I appreciate you reassuring me that it's nothing to be ashamed of.

I consider my manager a friend and have a pretty good relationship with them. I overthink a lot and can't help but worry I will be judged as weak for being open about my struggles. I know this way of thinking has a lot to do with my anxiety though. I tend to not have a lot of friends because I'm scared of opening up to people about everything I've been though and worry they will judge me or reject me due to my mental health problems.

I think honestly can go a long way though and I think it is the right choice to discuss the situation with them despite my fear. It might just be part of my recovery process to admit I have a problem.

I'm very grateful that you reached out this has helped me to put things into perspective

Hi Star CX330

Thank you for your response. I am always happy to help in any way I can.
Overthinking the stuff a lot… I hear you! That’s my specialty, too. I also don’t open that easily to others but I am comfortable with this. Over the years I have built a small circle but of really good friends. It’s a handful but they are the ones I feel really comfortable talking to. I just think that we don’t really need a crowd to know the most personal details about us. Leave this for someone special whom you feel comfortable with and whom you can really trust.

It sounds like you might actually decide to talk to your manager, right? I understand your fear but you are know in a vulnerable state. It’s easy to imagine the worst, which only is going to fuel up your anxiety. This might be easier said than done but try to maybe imagine their positive and supportive response. This might help to ease your anxiety. You mentioned you considered them your friend so I hope this will help you.

And you were so wise to point out that this might be one of the things on your way to recover. You are already doing it and that takes strength and courage.

If you feel up to it, let us know how you go.

Thinking of you.

It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time mentally and emotionally. Reaching out for support and being gentle with yourself is so important.


Consider speaking openly with your manager about what you're experiencing, without shame. Your health is the priority.


If an extra day off per week would help stabilize things while you work with your doctor, that seems reasonable to request. Keep connecting with loved ones too. Don't forget - you have strength and worth well beyond your job. Wishing you patience and peace as you navigate this chapter.


Here are some entertainment suggestions that may help lift your spirits during this difficult time:

- Lore Olympus - A popular romance webtoon with an engaging story and beautiful art. It puts a modern twist on Greek mythology if you know korean then worth to read and watch these comics and webtoon.

- True Beauty - A fun, lighthearted webtoon about a girl who masterfully uses makeup to transform her appearance, hiding her bare face from everyone.

- Soul - An animated Pixar or movies with an uplifting message about finding purpose in life. The music is wonderful too.

- Palm Springs- A funny and heartfelt time loop romcom starring Andy Samberg. May help you see things from a new perspective.

Other ideas:
- Try a new hobby like learning guitar, painting, journaling, or puzzles and games. This can boost mood.

- Listen to uplifting or motivating podcasts during parts of your day.

- If you have a pet or can spend time with animals, animal therapy can reduce anxiety.

- Try gentle yoga and meditation using free apps like Down Dog or Insight Timer. This helps quiet the mind.

I hope some of these give you a boost during the harder days. Don't forget your strength, and know that brighter days lie ahead. You have this!