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Wedding Woes

Defending my 'down' time.

Dear Prudence,

I've lived with anxiety and depression for the past 25 years. I am high-functioning but there are some days I struggle to get out of bed. Most days I win the battle and make it to work, where I am now a supervisor. I know I do a good job and feel I'm generally respected by my colleagues but around once a month I can't resist the urge to spend the day in bed. I never do it when I'm truly needed at the office, so it's usually when I have some downtime that day. I think it's obvious to the people who report to me that I am taking mental health days and I worry they are judging me negatively for it. Is there anything I can do to change this pattern or to help them understand my situation? I am on medication and have been in counseling off and on throughout my adult life. Nothing has helped with my problem of attendance at work.

—Occasionally Absentee

Re: Defending my 'down' time.

  • People are allowed sick days. I have same issue, and have started meditation and yoga on my own. Things to help me 'get out of my head'. I think LW should speak to their counselor and see what they suggest, this might be something that could help.

    Edit:
    Self care ... that's the word I was thinking of.
    mrsconn23short+sassy
  • Take a sick day, and don't explain why you're not there. I agree with @kimmiinthemitten that it's probable the other employees don't know/care why the LW isn't there, as long as they're otherwise a great person to work with. 

    Or schedule them off as a standing day you take off. Say, everything third Thursday you're off. No one needs to know what you're doing. 
    mrsconn23MissKittyDangerSTARMOON44


  • Take a sick day, and don't explain why you're not there. I agree with @kimmiinthemitten that it's probable the other employees don't know/care why the LW isn't there, as long as they're otherwise a great person to work with. 

    Or schedule them off as a standing day you take off. Say, everything third Thursday you're off. No one needs to know what you're doing. 


    That's kinda what I did. When I realized I was getting low on sick days, I started booking at least once a month off for 'me time'

    It definitely helps.



  • Or schedule them off as a standing day you take off. Say, everything third Thursday you're off. No one needs to know what you're doing. 


    I was thinking the same thing.  

    Also, my supervisor rarely tells us when he's out of office unless it's going to be more than a day or two and we never know why (or question it).  He'll give us a head's up in team meetings before he goes on vacation.  What he's up to is none of our (my) business.  If we need something, there are several other supervisors to reach out to.  So as long as LW has other people on the management team to work with her people, I'm sure it's no big deal. 
    MissKittyDangercharlotte989875thisismynickname2STARMOON44
  • It definitely depends where you work. When I worked in construction, we had a couple of people who regularly "called in sick". Because their absence was a huge pain in the butt for the rest of the crew, we judged them pretty harshly. We even rallied to get them fired because we *needed* reliable people. 

    It doesn't sound like LW works in a place like that. I've struggled with depression and anxiety, but never to the point that I couldn't go to work. I would suggest what other PP's have mentioned and schedule days instead of just calling in. At least that way other workers anticipate that they will be shorthanded and can compensate accordingly.  I personally don't care what other employees do, so long as it doesn't make my life harder.
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