Taking a mental health break ~ what do I say to NM?

  1. I went to a shrink today. He felt I should take a 6wks leave of absence from work due to the depression and anxiety that it has been causing me. He suggested that I come up with another reason to ask for a LOA. He said it may leave a stigma on me and cause problems with my job in the future. How/Why should I explain to my NM that I need a FLMA 6 wks LOA? Shouldn't whatever I confide in my NM be confidential?
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   WickedRedRN
    I am not so sure making up a different reason for taking leave is a good idea. Although I am not yet a nurse, my office does have us file FMLA for short term disabilities, depression issues fall in that category. Our FMLA manager would pursue termination for anyone falsifying the leave documentation. Do you have to go through your NM for FMLA requests or just your HR?
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I guess I am an upfront kind of gal. I would be truthful. If they can't handle the truth and my needs, perhaps I should not be employed there, then. Life is very short.
  5. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I wish I had some words of wisdom. I can just offer my thoughts and prayers. :kiss :icon_hug:
  6. by   dianah
    "My health care provider has recommended I take 6 weeks FMLA, as soon as possible. What forms will I need to complete?" I wouldn't think any more than that would be required, and your privacy is maintained.
  7. by   HappyJaxRN
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    I went to a shrink today. He felt I should take a 6wks leave of absence from work due to the depression and anxiety that it has been causing me. He suggested that I come up with another reason to ask for a LOA. He said it may leave a stigma on me and cause problems with my job in the future. How/Why should I explain to my NM that I need a FLMA 6 wks LOA? Shouldn't whatever I confide in my NM be confidential?
    I would tell the truth. My thoughts and prayers are with you. :wink2:
  8. by   rn/writer
    Quote from dianah
    "My health care provider has recommended I take 6 weeks FMLA, as soon as possible. What forms will I need to complete?" I wouldn't think any more than that would be required, and your privacy is maintained.
    This sounds like a good approach.

    You have my respect and admiration for taking your shrink's advice seriously. Too many of us keep on keeping on until we drop. And your shrink is to be commended as well. He has the good sense to see that you need to take time off now before you are so burned out that you quit entirely. I'm glad he didn't tell you to just "suck it up" and get back to work.

    Please do what it takes to heal. Depression and anxiety can chip away at the strongest psyche. Pretty soon, your perspective is so skewed you forget who you are. Or rather, who you used to be.

    I guess I wouldn't recommend confiding in anyone except HR, but if you do, let them know this is a preventive measure, akin to having a stent put in to avoid a heart attack. You need to remove some blockages in your mental circulation before you have a full blown freak out.

    Please keep posting here so we can be supportive and give you as many warm fuzzies as you can carry. I've been in your shoes and the borrowed perspective and unconditional caring of friends was just what the doctor ordered.

    Wyatt and your Iggies need you happy and healthy!

    Take care,
    Last edit by rn/writer on Nov 15, '05
  9. by   Thunderwolf
    I echo others. Do what you need to do for yourself. Be truthful, but discreet.
  10. by   kitty29
    Be upfront and truethful, what you are dealing with is as real as any other type of illness....due take care! Good for you for going and seeking help!

    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))) )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
  11. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I guess I am an upfront kind of gal. I would be truthful. If they can't handle the truth and my needs, perhaps I should not be employed there, then. Life is very short.
    In absolute agreement. I know it is hard to confide in some people but this is important for you and they should be able to handle it.

    Good luck
  12. by   gauge14iv
    In addition to the honesty issue - your physician or therapist will need to certify the FMLA on paper and provide a diagnosis and anticpated treatment plan.
  13. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from LoriRN2B
    Our FMLA manager would pursue termination for anyone falsifying the leave documentation. Do you have to go through your NM for FMLA requests or just your HR?
    Thanks what I was thinking. I will have to call HR today to find out because I really don't know.

    SmilingBlueEyes ~ you're so right !
  14. by   Tweety
    I certainly can understand what he was saying.

    I guess I'm the only one who isn't honest with my employer about my mental health issues. And I do have some.

    If it were me, I would tell the manager and HR the truth.......maybe, but I would probably go the medical route "I'm taking a medical leave of absence" which is the truth.

    I don't care what people say about me, but with these kind of LOA the rumor mill can be viscious and there are no secrets. If you're honest and upfront, and don't mind the extra added anxiety of coming back to a crew that knows you've been out for a mental health break, then by all means be honest.

    But if my pysch. was willing to back me up on confidentiality I would think about it.

    Quote from gauge14iv
    In addition to the honesty issue - your physician or therapist will need to certify the FMLA on paper and provide a diagnosis and anticpated treatment plan.

    I don't like the idea that the doc. has to provide the diagnosis and treatment. Seems like a horrible HIPPA violation. Then he will have to provide certification that you are safe to return to work. When I took a similar leave 20 years ago, I went through the employee assistance program and they said "he will be out of work for seven weeks, and that's all you need to know". Of course the rumor mill started, but that's o.k. No one new the truth.

    The main thing is I'm glad you're getting the help you need and I hope you feel better soon.
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 15, '05

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