Depression and work

Discussion in 'General Education' started by daisycakes, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Nov 25, 2016

    I am in my seventh year teaching, my third at the same school. For the previous two years, I have done a large activity after school, requiring hundreds of hours of work outside of contract time. I got paid when work involved being with students, but not for hours of casting, schedule making, coordinating, etc. This year, I do not want to do it. I already told this to my principal at the beginning of the year and she said ok. Now she is saying I have to do it because there is no one else. I also have two smaller commitments outside of contract hours. I am willing to keep those but not this one. However, they are so insignificant compared to this duty (and one is now over for the year) that my boss likely does not care. The union says I obviously don't have to do it, but I don't think I should bring that up with my principal.

    I'm wondering what I should tell her. I have had depression and anxiety my whole life and now need to stop medication so my husband and I can start a family. I have also developed hypothyroidism in the last year and am just starting treatment. I have been exhausted for about a year but my insurance refused to treat me and now that I am married and have new insurance I can be treated. I have also lost two family members within the last year. I feel unhappy and stressed and am worried about spiraling out of control when I stop taking antidepressants. I am also worried about getting pregnant because I have fibroids and am in my thirties so I don't have a ton of time to wait and see. A teacher at my school advised me to just tell her I have depression, since saying I was busy, stressed and trying to start a family didn't work. What do you think?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 25, 2016

    If you don't want to talk about your depression (which I can understand), definitely talk about your thyroid issues. It's easier for some people to understand physical ailments over mental / emotional ones. Also, some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are similar to those of depression. Have you met with an endocrinologist yet? Getting documentation from an endo or from your primary care physician may be your best route for now.

    It sounds like your principal should start considering parent volunteers to run this activity.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 26, 2016

    I would probably just say that health issues prevent me from taking on any additional responsibilities and leave it at that. They can deal with that however they want, but you are not obligated and you really must take care of yourself first.
     
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  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Nov 26, 2016

    Honestly, it also depends upon the relationship you have with your administrator. My principal has a hard time seeing any of the faculty in a moment of emotional weakness. He thinks like a football coach and needs us all to be at the top of our game. The assistant principal, on the other hand, is the one who pulled me aside and suggested I get some help for dealing with my panic attacks. She's the one I'll seek out when I'm having a problem.
     
  6. DobbyChatt

    DobbyChatt Rookie

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    Nov 26, 2016

    For various reasons, I agree with others that I would only mention the physical ailments that you are suffering. However, I think you can level with her -- this work is not part of your contract, period. Tell her it is a personal family matter, and you cannot give up personal time any more. If she doesn't understand, leave. Harsh but teachers need boundaries just like the rest of the world.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2016

    This. I seriously don't think anyone should take on such a huge task with no recompense. Regardless of health issues.
     
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  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 26, 2016

    Agreed.
     

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