I had another panic attack this morning. Should I resign?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Iris1001, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    I think I made a huge mistake when I took this long-term subbing job at a hybrid school. I signed my contract already, but I'm feeling torn. Every single day, I'm having a panic attack. I just don't want to go to school. I'm crying myself to sleep every night and I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm also under the close watch of a veteran English teacher who is just dying to see me fail.

    I have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, and I'm actually going to see my doctor today for some medications. I just don't know if I made a mistake by taking this job during Covid. If I resign, I have to give 60 days notice, but I don't want career suicide by leaving mid-year.
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    No job is worth your physical health. During a pandemic, everyone's personal situation is changing rapidly, so I feel like leaving mid-year during this school year will not look as bad as it normally would. Do what you need to do to stay healthy!
     
  4. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Hopefully, the doc will give you something. It has been a lifesaver for me even before covid. I had my doc up my meds at the end of Aug.
     
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  5. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    I am curious as to what the contractual conditions are for you as a long-term sub. I am just not familiar with subs getting contracts in my area. Frankly, it seems like a situation that would greatly benefit the school and not you.
     
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  6. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    I honestly don't know what to do. My weekends are spent in agony over Monday morning, and I'm sobbing every morning when I go to work. I really wanted this job, and now I got it, but I don't know why I'm so unhappy.
     
  7. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    If you decide to go with meds, give them a couple of weeks to start working. It takes a few weeks for them to kick in. I wish you the best. Even for those of us who are veterans in education, times are tough! Hang in there!
     
  8. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Thank you. :)
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Your physical and mental health are more important than anything. In my building, all of us, even those with the most experience, are teetering on the edge most of the time. Speak with your doctor.
     
  10. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Start making a plan for both ways, sticking it out and bailing out. Think about things you can do to cope with the situation by identifying triggering situations and think of an exit plan. Have solid plans for both ways, but don't put anything in stone until you've tried the meds. You *can* be a good teacher with anxiety, heck, my work spouse was. This is maybe not the year to be testing that though. If you can do things so that you leave at the end of the semester or other good end point like at Thanksgiving, it'll be better for both you and the kids. If you leave and are asked about it later, a vague, but entirely true statement should do the trick. "My medical situation changed after the year started and I had to protect my health."
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 28, 2020

    This is my 28th year. I don’t usually have anxiety issues.

    However, this year is a whole other ballgame. I was having trouble sleeping because my mind was thinking about 1000 things at once. The lack of sleep made it much harder to do the things I needed to do at work. And work looked so much different. Plus, my mom took a sudden downward turn and requires 24/7 care, and as soon as we got her home after her two week stay in a hospice center, my FIL took a bad turn and passed away after about a week. Add in school starting, then not starting, then postponing again, and me needing to take time off for Mom, too. I was done.

    My doctor prescribed two medications, and they are helping so much. It took a few weeks, but I can tell a big difference. At first I just felt groggy, but now I don’t have racing thoughts and I actually sleep. Doctor was pleased with the progress, but did recommend a counselor as well. I think I’ll give it a try.

    Maybe try taking a short leave or talking more with your doctor before you give up completely, especially if this is something you really want. Take care of you first.
     
  12. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    I'm so sorry for your loss and for what you've been going through. I'm in a similar situation. I haven't been eating at all because I want to throw up most days. I'm not sleeping well and I'm waking up at 4:00 every morning and can't go back to sleep. I spoke with my doctor yesterday, and she gave me some extra medication to help with the anxiety. I'm praying that it works. I'm here at school now feeling so anxious and upset. I just want to go home.
     
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  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't know if it's helpful to you, but I know that I do better when I make plans and create options for myself. If I were in your situation, I would start making some flowcharts and see where things end up.

    How much does your current financial situation impact your decision?

    If you stick it out for 60 days, what would be your plan beginning on day 61--would you get another job, stay home for a while, return to school?

    If you leave before the 60 days, what are the repercussions? In Normal Times it might have been a big deal (although I would argue that's unlikely because it's a sub contract rather than a full-time, regular contract), but in These Times everything is in constant flux. I think you could make a really compelling argument down the road that you had to leave your contract due to a medical issue, as was suggested above.

    If you leave tomorrow, are the repercussions any different from leaving later but before the 60 days, like on day 30 or 45? If you decide to definitely leave, what are the benefits and drawbacks to sticking around for the full 60 versus leaving sooner?

    I can definitely affirm what others are saying in that this year is so weird and awful. I have been medicated for depression off and on over the last 20 years. Before all this, I had been off my meds for several years. Now, though, I'm back on and we've had to double my dosage. In addition, I've always had issues with anxiety, but they have been manageable for me. That has also changed, and now I'm taking meds for anxiety as well. Both of these medications have really helped me. While I still don't feel great about how things are going right now, I feel like I am dealing with those things a lot better.
     
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  14. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    This is concerning and I wish there was something I could do to help. You need to look out for what is best for you and should not be in a situation that constantly brings you to tears. Have you considered talking to an admin to discuss your situation? Perhaps there are some ways they can provide assistance or alleviate some stress.
     
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  15. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for your support, everyone. I think I'm going to give the medication a chance and see if I can stick it out. I want to stay, but I just need to get a grip on my anxiety first.
     
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  16. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I tell you, I feel better on mine... at school and home.
     
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  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feel better soon. I hope the meds work.
     
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  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Iris,
    If it gets to be too much, please remember that there is another out (besides working out 60 days notice or being blackballed from the district.) You are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. Simply have the doctor write a medical note that states you have a medical condition (don't elaborate on what it is) this is preventing you from working for xx number of weeks. In a letter from you, with the medical note that gives no other specific details, simply say that you are unable to continue working due to medical reasons, and will be unable to return for at least 6 weeks while you receive medical treatment. Ask if they want you to return to work in 6 weeks (which means they will have to get another sub for that time, and if they like her, they will be willing to let you leave amicably) or would they prefer to release you from your contract so they can offer the position to someone else. Don't go in in-person, send this as an email asking them to call you on your cell phone if needed (but it has to have your signature on it...you can print it, sign it, and take a picture of it with your phone and attack that to the email, because HR requires an actual signed request.) If they press you by asking what your medical condition is, simply say "my doctor feels that I am not able to work at this time, and I don't want to leave you in a bind -- so that's why I'm letting you know right away." Don't let them talk you into writing lesson plans or coming in, or anything -- just keep repeating, my doctor feels I cannot work during my medical treatment.
     
  19. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Thank you so much for your valuable feedback, everyone. I really do appreciate the wise words. I think there's definitely going to be a learning curve, but I know that I want to stay. I just started the medication yesterday, so hopefully it will do me some good. :)
     
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  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Give it a couple of weeks to work and be patient / gentle with yourself in the meantime.
     
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  21. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    I wish you the best in your decision. I think it is really sad how many ( and there are a lot) of teachers who have to take meds JUST to do their jobs. It should not be that way. I know this yr is different, harder, but I have known a lot of teachers in my life.
    I have had drs ask me general questions about the job and have felt like they already knew the answer of what working in some schools is like. I wish teachers could unite all over the US and say, "Enough!" ( This is not the best time to do it though, I know.)
    The only other career I know of that seem to be taking a lot of meds are drs. Part of the problem is the system, but part is also some of the people in education.........like the English teacher you speak of. As teachers, it is so important to be supportive of one another. I hope it works out for you, Iris! <3
     
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  22. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    I think this post is very good advice. I would take into consideration that it would be likely that the school would go into protection mode and automatically agree to have her come back. Depending on how she feels about the situation that may or may not be a good thing.
     
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  23. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I’ve been away from this group for a while, but when I see supportive threads like this it makes me want to stay. I’ve always been emotionally healthy but my anxiety about returning to school was off the charts. Medication is working for me. I feel like myself again. Take care everyone.
     
  24. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Hello, all.
    I just wanted to give an update. I've been feeling a lot better on the meds, but not so much better about my workload. I feel like I've been struggling a lot this year. It's so hard to keep the kids engaged and motivated. In a few weeks, all of the students will return, so I won't have to teach on Zoom anymore, but I just feel like I'm failing every day. It makes me feel like I'm a bad teacher. Does anyone else feel this way sometimes?
     
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  25. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    From what I hear, your feelings are quite common. Hang in there.
     
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  26. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Give yourself grace. If a coworker of yours came to you with the same problem, you wouldn't beat them up for feeling this way. Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat others.
     
  27. tuankiet153

    tuankiet153 Rookie

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    What is your specific panic attack? Are you attacked by someone or you hurt yourself?
     
  28. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    I don't think either one. I think she is experiencing what is described by mayoclinic.org:
    "A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, having a heart attack or even dying."
     
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  29. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Hey I remember you. You used to post here under two different names. You were always really miserable subbing in your districts and in one district, people were islamophobic towards you.
    I thought you were going to take a break from teaching and work on your doctorate in English literature?
    I am not sure if the public school setting is right for you. Independent schools like to hire teachers with PhDs. Look there instead? You'll also have better behaved students. There are lots of good independent schools all over NJ according to the NAIS career site.

    edit: it appears your old account was deleted but my point is that you will continue to have the same problems you did before if you keep doing the same thing. Like that saying goes: you can't build a new house with old bricks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  30. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    I think you have the wrong person...
     

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