Burn Out

I've worked the last 10 years in mental health and I've experienced mental health problems myself off and on for about 25 years. I've been treated for this recent bought of depression & anxiety for about two and a half years and its only now that the medication seems to be working sufficiently to lift me out of the depression. I still have off days and I'm getting horrendous PMT but overall things a way better than they were.
Anyway this last couple of months I've been feeling brighter in myself but thoroughly meh about work. I just feel like I'm stuck in a hamster wheel and never really get anywhere. I know I'm good at my job and I do good work but there have been so many changes at a statutory level that its become near impossible to do your job.
I've been thinking this for a while that maybe its time for a change but I've been doing this work for so long I don't feel like I'm qualified for anything else. I feel like I've kind of hit a wall in my current job but I'm a bit lost about what to do now instead....

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8 replies since 19th May 2010 • Last reply 19th May 2010

maybe you do need a change i dont know you but i know how i am if im around people who are sad or hurting its very hard for me because i can FEEL their anxiety maybe you are to sensitive to be around these people and they are literally sucking your energy i know maybe i sound like a weirdo but i have had this happen to me it is why i like to work with young children they have the whole world before them and so much hope unicorns still exist fairies are real the Easter bunny brings candy and if you can change the life of just one child they may change the whole world 4 the better anyway its never to late 2 change paths get the heck outa there maybe you were meant 4 something else

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Funnily enough its not the clients I find hard to work with. They are the best bit of the job. The bit I find hard is all the red tape and the paperwork. I work in the voluntary sector at a daycentre. The problem is is that the staff teams at the statutory levels have got smaller and smaller so more and more of our clients are struggling on without the proper help so where I work we seem to end up filling the gaps.

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It does sound like you've had enough. This is just an assumption but have you been working at the same place for a long time also? Maybe it's not a change of career as such but just a change of your envronment that you need, the same job but somewhere else? How do you feel at maybe doing some sort of short course at college that gives you basic training in another field maybe? Maybe you need a break or a holiday? Easier said than done, particularly if the funds are insufficient for this but maybe you need some time out?

Other then this I'm not sure what to suggest?

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Yeah I've been doing the job a while - about eight and a half years. I have booked a couple of weeks holiday so maybe that will help refresh me. I'm just worried I've become jaded. You see that a lot with professionals, especially in mental health, where people have literally run out off steam. I don't want to happen to me as I think your work suffers and the clients need you to be fresh (ish) and have hope as they often don't. I think I do need a holiday so maybe i'll see how I feel afterwards.

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you need a good break hon, you are burnt out. You need some relaxation and when you go back and it feels the same way, maybe go part time for a bit?

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Hi Kat. I found it difficult working within the mental health services. After a while you see the cracks and wonder how you can make a difference. Think you may need a rest and time to look at what you are giving to others. You need to give yourself some of that VIP treatment. Maybe a change of work place may help as I found it hard to become part of the fittings too. The clients also have expectations of you also because they have got comfortable with you. Although this is good in the sense of trusting you it can take it's toll on your emotional being. Speaking from experience here. I would have a holiday, take time to think things over and give yourself time. {{{hugs}}}

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I've actually applied for another job. Its not in mental health and although I haven't heard anything I think it maybe time for me to gently start looking around and seeing whats out there. I'm just a bit scared as I feel a bit limited. I've done my job for so long that I'm not sure how you go about making a big career change. What I had forgotten until the other day - I am a qualified massage therapist! I'm thinking I may try building up my business a bit more. You never know, it may give me a way out. I already work part time so I could try doing a bit more on my day off. I like it as its physical and it keeps me fit. Thanks though for the comments. I didn't realise till just now that any more had been added. Happy

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Sometimes a small change is all you need. I wish you the best.

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