Hours after leave for mental health issues

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Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:05 pm

Class of 2014, working in regional big law. Took a month of leave for PTSD/anxiety and depression, unrelated to work, then did several months part-time. Actually still really like my job after almost two years.

I've gotten good treatment (willing to answer questions about that if people have them) and am still going to a great therapist two early mornings per week. But this stuff is slow to recover from, and a combination of that and the fact that I wasn't getting much done when I was part-time left my (pro-rated) hours from those months really, really low.

My first month back full-time, my hours were also scary low, mostly because it took several weeks to start getting enough assignments to keep me busy. Some weeks I only billed 12 hours the whole week, that's how slow we're talking.

My first year was great, and my hours were great, so I already proved I'm capable of working long days. And it looks like things will get back to normal soon - almost full up again, and getting trusted with the same/more responsibilities as before I took my leave.

The thing is, nobody but the necessary HR people know why I was out, and I'm worried that the low hours - especially during the months I was part-time - are going to look so bad that the firm holds it against me at the end of the year. I don't have it in me to work like crazy for the next 5-6 months to make it all up, especially as I'm still recovering. I don't care at all about bonus, but I care a lot about my reputation and the chance they'd cut me if they needed to do any layoffs.

Does anyone have experience with coming back from leave and having really horrible hours for a month? Or having crap hours while working part-time? I'm worried that if I explain that it was depression-related I'll be kind of stained by the stigma from that, and if it got around maybe people would be afraid to staff me on cases in case I relapsed.

Hopefully having had one really successful year under my belt will count for something, but I'd feel much safer if it was 2-3 years.

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El Pollito

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby El Pollito » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:21 pm

This is normal when reintegrating yourself after any leave, for any reason. It will be fine.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Johann » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:20 am

El Pollito wrote:This is normal when reintegrating yourself after any leave, for any reason. It will be fine.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby 20160810 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:42 am

If the firm stuck with you through this whole affair I think it's safe to assume that they are sufficiently committed to you and will give you the time that you need to recover and get integrated into a regular workflow. I would not worry about it too much. Just make an effort to secure work for yourself, socialize with people as much as you can even though it might be difficult for you right now, and generally try and display a positive attitude. It sounds like you've been making your health the main focus, which is good. Keep doing that and the work will come.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:33 am

Really appreciate the reassuring responses, thanks. It's hard to know what's a realistic worry when it comes to hours versus what's my anxiety affecting my outlook.

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Clearly

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Clearly » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:42 am

I love this site sometimes.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:54 am

SBL wrote:If the firm stuck with you through this whole affair I think it's safe to assume that they are sufficiently committed to you and will give you the time that you need to recover and get integrated into a regular workflow. I would not worry about it too much. Just make an effort to secure work for yourself, socialize with people as much as you can even though it might be difficult for you right now, and generally try and display a positive attitude. It sounds like you've been making your health the main focus, which is good. Keep doing that and the work will come.


I disagree. A law firm isn't going to cut someone with a potential disability for taking sick leave. They'll string them along with a few low hour months, then tell them that things aren't working out and that maybe they should consider alternative firms/jobs/careers.

OP: You either get work or you don't. Your past hours aren't really relevant for decision making, only current and future hours. If you have a 200 hour June, you'll know that the firm didn't care about the leave and that you're back. If you have a 30 hour June, polish the resume.

Edit: Someone at my old firm, btw, took a mental health leave, came back, and was gone within a short period of time. I don't know what exactly happened so I'm not going to say they were pushed out, but I have my suspicions given how busy the firm was at the time.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby kaysta » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:18 am

Clearly wrote:I love this site sometimes.

eh, I was just biting my tongue hard and will continue to do so

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:Class of 2014, working in regional big law. Took a month of leave for PTSD/anxiety and depression, unrelated to work, then did several months part-time. Actually still really like my job after almost two years.

I've gotten good treatment (willing to answer questions about that if people have them) and am still going to a great therapist two early mornings per week. But this stuff is slow to recover from, and a combination of that and the fact that I wasn't getting much done when I was part-time left my (pro-rated) hours from those months really, really low.

My first month back full-time, my hours were also scary low, mostly because it took several weeks to start getting enough assignments to keep me busy. Some weeks I only billed 12 hours the whole week, that's how slow we're talking.

My first year was great, and my hours were great, so I already proved I'm capable of working long days. And it looks like things will get back to normal soon - almost full up again, and getting trusted with the same/more responsibilities as before I took my leave.

The thing is, nobody but the necessary HR people know why I was out, and I'm worried that the low hours - especially during the months I was part-time - are going to look so bad that the firm holds it against me at the end of the year. I don't have it in me to work like crazy for the next 5-6 months to make it all up, especially as I'm still recovering. I don't care at all about bonus, but I care a lot about my reputation and the chance they'd cut me if they needed to do any layoffs.

Does anyone have experience with coming back from leave and having really horrible hours for a month? Or having crap hours while working part-time? I'm worried that if I explain that it was depression-related I'll be kind of stained by the stigma from that, and if it got around maybe people would be afraid to staff me on cases in case I relapsed.

Hopefully having had one really successful year under my belt will count for something, but I'd feel much safer if it was 2-3 years.


I just want to say your story has encouraged me to be proactive about getting help. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better and treatment seemed to have helped you.

I am someone who almost certainly has these same problems (PTSD, depression, and anxiety) It has been so long since I have felt like "myself" I am 23 and probably haven't been right since I was 16 or so. My anxiety has become so crippling in the past few years, so much so that I am too anxious to leave the house alone. I still work and get through my daily life, but I want help.

I was wondering if you could tell me what treatment is like, or some more info on it.

Thank you

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Class of 2014, working in regional big law. Took a month of leave for PTSD/anxiety and depression, unrelated to work, then did several months part-time. Actually still really like my job after almost two years.

I've gotten good treatment (willing to answer questions about that if people have them) and am still going to a great therapist two early mornings per week. But this stuff is slow to recover from, and a combination of that and the fact that I wasn't getting much done when I was part-time left my (pro-rated) hours from those months really, really low.

My first month back full-time, my hours were also scary low, mostly because it took several weeks to start getting enough assignments to keep me busy. Some weeks I only billed 12 hours the whole week, that's how slow we're talking.

My first year was great, and my hours were great, so I already proved I'm capable of working long days. And it looks like things will get back to normal soon - almost full up again, and getting trusted with the same/more responsibilities as before I took my leave.

The thing is, nobody but the necessary HR people know why I was out, and I'm worried that the low hours - especially during the months I was part-time - are going to look so bad that the firm holds it against me at the end of the year. I don't have it in me to work like crazy for the next 5-6 months to make it all up, especially as I'm still recovering. I don't care at all about bonus, but I care a lot about my reputation and the chance they'd cut me if they needed to do any layoffs.

Does anyone have experience with coming back from leave and having really horrible hours for a month? Or having crap hours while working part-time? I'm worried that if I explain that it was depression-related I'll be kind of stained by the stigma from that, and if it got around maybe people would be afraid to staff me on cases in case I relapsed.

Hopefully having had one really successful year under my belt will count for something, but I'd feel much safer if it was 2-3 years.


I just want to say your story has encouraged me to be proactive about getting help. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better and treatment seemed to have helped you.

I am someone who almost certainly has these same problems (PTSD, depression, and anxiety) It has been so long since I have felt like "myself" I am 23 and probably haven't been right since I was 16 or so. My anxiety has become so crippling in the past few years, so much so that I am too anxious to leave the house alone. I still work and get through my daily life, but I want help.

I was wondering if you could tell me what treatment is like, or some more info on it.

Thank you

I take medication for an anxiety condition and have a reasonably successful law career. It's doable. There's really nothing to lose in getting some help.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just want to say your story has encouraged me to be proactive about getting help. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better and treatment seemed to have helped you.

I am someone who almost certainly has these same problems (PTSD, depression, and anxiety) It has been so long since I have felt like "myself" I am 23 and probably haven't been right since I was 16 or so. My anxiety has become so crippling in the past few years, so much so that I am too anxious to leave the house alone. I still work and get through my daily life, but I want help.

I was wondering if you could tell me what treatment is like, or some more info on it.

Thank you


So there are a few different levels of treatment that make sense depending on where you're at on a scale of "I have a plan to commit suicide" to "I'm starting to have trouble with normal tasks" or "I don't really enjoy anything anymore." Those are all more depression-oriented examples, but you get the idea.

The most intense is an inpatient program, where you live at a facility (often a hospital, but sometimes more like a rehab facility). The reasons for going the inpatient route are often related to risk of suicide/self-harm, but it can also be useful for severe anxiety, bipolar, etc. during the time when you're going on medication but not sure if it works yet. Or anything with a physical health component, like eating disorders in some cases.

The next level down from that is intensive outpatient care, where you live at home but spend 6-8 hours at a treatment facility during the day, participating in group therapy and classes to help learn good coping mechanisms, start to recognize cognitive distortions, and process your feelings about how you're doing and what's going on in your life. This is also how you spend your days if you're in an inpatient program - the main difference is where you sleep at night.

Then there are less intense outpatient programs that are similar to what I described above but you only go for half days or for 3 days a week or something similar. I did this while I was back at work part-time, in addition to regular appointments with my individual therapist, who I had already been seeing before my quasi-breakdown.

You can also do long-term group therapy - look up DBT, for instance, which was originally developed to help treat borderline personality disorder but is now used for a variety of illnesses, including PTSD. The focus in DBT is learning to regulate your emotions, and it's typically two appointments a week: one individually with a therapist and one in a group/class setting.

To anchor any treatment program, and to maintain good mental health, you should find an individual therapist. I personally think that CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) makes the most sense to me, so I looked for someone who did that, as opposed to talk therapy or some other method. Watch out for new agey types who think they can heal you with crystals or whatever, it seems like there are a million of them now.

You'll also want a psychiatrist, if you're willing to try medication, which is probably a good idea at the level of anxiety you described. Most places, it will take you 4-6 weeks to get in to see a psychiatrist, so schedule something ASAP on that front.

The bare minimum - seeing a therapist (weekly or more often) and a psychiatrist (usually every 6-8 weeks, maybe more often at first) can be totally doable while working full time, if you want to start there and see what they recommend. I go to early morning appointments and still get into the office before most of the lawyers on my floor.

It's really important to find professionals who are a good fit for you (esp the therapist), so be ready to try a few in case you don't like the first or second one you see. Its so worth it to find a good fit, it makes a huge difference in feeling comfortable enough to trust that person and open up.

I did an intense outpatient program for a month, then a part-time outpatient program for another few months, and now I have twice-weekly therapist appointments and see a psychiatrist to manage medications. It's still hard working through some of my PTSD symptoms, and some days it's still hard to go to the office, or I worry I'll have a panic attack in front of a co-worker, but my depression is way better and that makes the rest easier to work on.

Please do get help - it is so, so worth it. Even though I started this thread because I was nervous about my job, I'd much rather have to look for a new job than be back where I was last year, unable to leave the house (and some days my bed) and thinking about killing myself. No job is worth that.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:21 am

Anonymous for obvious reasons.

I went through treatment for violence/combat-related PTSD. Sexual trauma PTSD treatment can be different, but the center I worked with treated that, as well, so what I am saying here should apply broadly.

I did prolonged exposure therapy, with no medication. Totally outpatient. Once a week, with the exception of about two weeks where it was twice a week. Extremely effective (no symptoms now). Took six months to regain basic function; took another six to heal all the things that were wrong with me before the trauma. (I had severe PTSD; I was nonfunctional when the therapy started).

Anon above, if you'll post where you're located, I'll post resources if I'm aware of any. If that makes you uncomfortable, google "traumatic stress center" + city name. You want the hospital-affiliated PTSD center that people who survive major catastrophes (terror attack, mass shooting, rape, attempted murder, etc.) go to. They often use that name or something similar. If that doesn't work, call the level one trauma center in your area and ask their social worker if they have a referral. (Level one trauma centers are where mass shooting/terror attack victims often end up, so they usually know who to pass you on to). Finally, you can try contacting the DA's office's victims services office, but that should be your last stop (it was my first stop, and the person said "oh, any therapist should be able to help!" This is terrible advice. If you have PTSD, you need to see a specialist.)

Don't play the game of "my trauma isn't bad enough to warrant their time." If you can't leave the house alone, it is. If it keeps you up at night, it is.

Good luck. And OP--from someone further down the road from you, good luck to you, too. The return to normal life is tough, but it gets easier.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:23 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I just want to say your story has encouraged me to be proactive about getting help. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better and treatment seemed to have helped you.

I am someone who almost certainly has these same problems (PTSD, depression, and anxiety) It has been so long since I have felt like "myself" I am 23 and probably haven't been right since I was 16 or so. My anxiety has become so crippling in the past few years, so much so that I am too anxious to leave the house alone. I still work and get through my daily life, but I want help.

I was wondering if you could tell me what treatment is like, or some more info on it.

Thank you


So there are a few different levels of treatment that make sense depending on where you're at on a scale of "I have a plan to commit suicide" to "I'm starting to have trouble with normal tasks" or "I don't really enjoy anything anymore." Those are all more depression-oriented examples, but you get the idea.

The most intense is an inpatient program, where you live at a facility (often a hospital, but sometimes more like a rehab facility). The reasons for going the inpatient route are often related to risk of suicide/self-harm, but it can also be useful for severe anxiety, bipolar, etc. during the time when you're going on medication but not sure if it works yet. Or anything with a physical health component, like eating disorders in some cases.

The next level down from that is intensive outpatient care, where you live at home but spend 6-8 hours at a treatment facility during the day, participating in group therapy and classes to help learn good coping mechanisms, start to recognize cognitive distortions, and process your feelings about how you're doing and what's going on in your life. This is also how you spend your days if you're in an inpatient program - the main difference is where you sleep at night.

Then there are less intense outpatient programs that are similar to what I described above but you only go for half days or for 3 days a week or something similar. I did this while I was back at work part-time, in addition to regular appointments with my individual therapist, who I had already been seeing before my quasi-breakdown.

You can also do long-term group therapy - look up DBT, for instance, which was originally developed to help treat borderline personality disorder but is now used for a variety of illnesses, including PTSD. The focus in DBT is learning to regulate your emotions, and it's typically two appointments a week: one individually with a therapist and one in a group/class setting.

To anchor any treatment program, and to maintain good mental health, you should find an individual therapist. I personally think that CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) makes the most sense to me, so I looked for someone who did that, as opposed to talk therapy or some other method. Watch out for new agey types who think they can heal you with crystals or whatever, it seems like there are a million of them now.

You'll also want a psychiatrist, if you're willing to try medication, which is probably a good idea at the level of anxiety you described. Most places, it will take you 4-6 weeks to get in to see a psychiatrist, so schedule something ASAP on that front.

The bare minimum - seeing a therapist (weekly or more often) and a psychiatrist (usually every 6-8 weeks, maybe more often at first) can be totally doable while working full time, if you want to start there and see what they recommend. I go to early morning appointments and still get into the office before most of the lawyers on my floor.

It's really important to find professionals who are a good fit for you (esp the therapist), so be ready to try a few in case you don't like the first or second one you see. Its so worth it to find a good fit, it makes a huge difference in feeling comfortable enough to trust that person and open up.

I did an intense outpatient program for a month, then a part-time outpatient program for another few months, and now I have twice-weekly therapist appointments and see a psychiatrist to manage medications. It's still hard working through some of my PTSD symptoms, and some days it's still hard to go to the office, or I worry I'll have a panic attack in front of a co-worker, but my depression is way better and that makes the rest easier to work on.

Please do get help - it is so, so worth it. Even though I started this thread because I was nervous about my job, I'd much rather have to look for a new job than be back where I was last year, unable to leave the house (and some days my bed) and thinking about killing myself. No job is worth that.


I cannot begin to express my appreciation of your posts. I am very interested in an outpatient program as you've described. Also, CBT is something that was recommended to me about a year ago, but I never committed and instead just drank more and more to cope. Now that I have stopped for a few months, I realize self-medicating is not helping, but making matters worse. I am going to start doing some research, because as you stated, no job is worth feeling like this. Unable to leave the house and constant thoughts that life itself is a punishment. I'm scared, but you showed me it is possible to work and find a program and I'm motivated more than ever to get to it. Thank you, Op.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous for obvious reasons.

I went through treatment for violence/combat-related PTSD. Sexual trauma PTSD treatment can be different, but the center I worked with treated that, as well, so what I am saying here should apply broadly.

I did prolonged exposure therapy, with no medication. Totally outpatient. Once a week, with the exception of about two weeks where it was twice a week. Extremely effective (no symptoms now). Took six months to regain basic function; took another six to heal all the things that were wrong with me before the trauma. (I had severe PTSD; I was nonfunctional when the therapy started).

Anon above, if you'll post where you're located, I'll post resources if I'm aware of any. If that makes you uncomfortable, google "traumatic stress center" + city name. You want the hospital-affiliated PTSD center that people who survive major catastrophes (terror attack, mass shooting, rape, attempted murder, etc.) go to. They often use that name or something similar. If that doesn't work, call the level one trauma center in your area and ask their social worker if they have a referral. (Level one trauma centers are where mass shooting/terror attack victims often end up, so they usually know who to pass you on to). Finally, you can try contacting the DA's office's victims services office, but that should be your last stop (it was my first stop, and the person said "oh, any therapist should be able to help!" This is terrible advice. If you have PTSD, you need to see a specialist.)

Don't play the game of "my trauma isn't bad enough to warrant their time." If you can't leave the house alone, it is. If it keeps you up at night, it is.

Good luck. And OP--from someone further down the road from you, good luck to you, too. The return to normal life is tough, but it gets easier.


Not OP, but Anon from above.

I am located in/near Saratoga Springs, NY. Upstate outside the capitol region. In regards to being referred to "any therapist" is actually what had ended up happening to me a few years ago when I first started having severe issues. I would go once and then just stop going because my issues would keep me from wanting to deal with getting the help and I think it was because I wasn't clicking with the therapists. And you certainly hit the nail on the head when you mention the game of "my trauma isn't bad enough..." I am going to start researching and make some plans to do something starting ASAP. I guess I had to get to the point where I breakdown, lose my job, and realize that if I don't do something I am going to spend my life like this. So you attesting that it does get easier really does give me a little hope.

Thank you immensely for your guidance and story.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anonymous for obvious reasons.

I went through treatment for violence/combat-related PTSD. Sexual trauma PTSD treatment can be different, but the center I worked with treated that, as well, so what I am saying here should apply broadly.

I did prolonged exposure therapy, with no medication. Totally outpatient. Once a week, with the exception of about two weeks where it was twice a week. Extremely effective (no symptoms now). Took six months to regain basic function; took another six to heal all the things that were wrong with me before the trauma. (I had severe PTSD; I was nonfunctional when the therapy started).

Anon above, if you'll post where you're located, I'll post resources if I'm aware of any. If that makes you uncomfortable, google "traumatic stress center" + city name. You want the hospital-affiliated PTSD center that people who survive major catastrophes (terror attack, mass shooting, rape, attempted murder, etc.) go to. They often use that name or something similar. If that doesn't work, call the level one trauma center in your area and ask their social worker if they have a referral. (Level one trauma centers are where mass shooting/terror attack victims often end up, so they usually know who to pass you on to). Finally, you can try contacting the DA's office's victims services office, but that should be your last stop (it was my first stop, and the person said "oh, any therapist should be able to help!" This is terrible advice. If you have PTSD, you need to see a specialist.)

Don't play the game of "my trauma isn't bad enough to warrant their time." If you can't leave the house alone, it is. If it keeps you up at night, it is.

Good luck. And OP--from someone further down the road from you, good luck to you, too. The return to normal life is tough, but it gets easier.


Not OP, but Anon from above.

I am located in/near Saratoga Springs, NY. Upstate outside the capitol region. In regards to being referred to "any therapist" is actually what had ended up happening to me a few years ago when I first started having severe issues. I would go once and then just stop going because my issues would keep me from wanting to deal with getting the help and I think it was because I wasn't clicking with the therapists. And you certainly hit the nail on the head when you mention the game of "my trauma isn't bad enough..." I am going to start researching and make some plans to do something starting ASAP. I guess I had to get to the point where I breakdown, lose my job, and realize that if I don't do something I am going to spend my life like this. So you attesting that it does get easier really does give me a little hope.

Thank you immensely for your guidance and story.


God, I wish I knew someone personally in Saratoga Springs. However, I think I found you an option through a couple back channels. Google John Forsyth. He's in Albany, but he has experience with PTSD, and it looks like he might do some private practice. Not certain if he does or not, but it can't hurt to call him and ask. If not, I bet he or the psych department at SUNY-Albany can refer you to someone in Saratoga Springs itself.

Good luck. It can get better.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
SBL wrote:If the firm stuck with you through this whole affair I think it's safe to assume that they are sufficiently committed to you and will give you the time that you need to recover and get integrated into a regular workflow. I would not worry about it too much. Just make an effort to secure work for yourself, socialize with people as much as you can even though it might be difficult for you right now, and generally try and display a positive attitude. It sounds like you've been making your health the main focus, which is good. Keep doing that and the work will come.


I disagree. A law firm isn't going to cut someone with a potential disability for taking sick leave. They'll string them along with a few low hour months, then tell them that things aren't working out and that maybe they should consider alternative firms/jobs/careers.

OP: You either get work or you don't. Your past hours aren't really relevant for decision making, only current and future hours. If you have a 200 hour June, you'll know that the firm didn't care about the leave and that you're back. If you have a 30 hour June, polish the resume.

Edit: Someone at my old firm, btw, took a mental health leave, came back, and was gone within a short period of time. I don't know what exactly happened so I'm not going to say they were pushed out, but I have my suspicions given how busy the firm was at the time.

I'd have to second this view of it--they wont expose themselves to a potential liability. No one will tell you that that's why you're getting cut, but it certainly can happen. I think your concern may be centered on the wrong issue--not that people won't know why your hours are so low, but that people will either know and hold it against you, or know and not think that it's an adequate excuse.

I distantly know of two people who have done this --not in my office . though I don't think either of them directly told anyone in the office-- I'm sure that you're right and no one will ask about it directly. If you're female you could possibly pass the absence off as something related to child care, depending on your circumstances.

In both of the cases I know of, they came back but eventually were let go.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:07 pm

This has actually been the most helpful and humane post on the site I have ever seen. I took some steps towards suicide this weekend because of underlying depression and my partner came home and saw them and freaked out and told me I need to get hospitalized or take time off. It's really sad that it took this to make me realize I need to prioritize treating my depression over everything else. And I am not even someone who dismisses therapy; I've been in therapy for years and on medication at time. I think stuff got really bad recently because I assumed that once I got a job out of law school, my depression would go away but it didn't and my new therapist didn't diagnose my constant crying and suicidal thoughts as depression. Things got much worse when my firm started having problems and I was laid off. But I kept telling myself that if I just figured out all the external things in my life, my internal world would improve. It didn't and trying to just keep working (doing doc review because I figured it was better than nothing) was what pushed me over the edge. It's gotten to the point where I realize my legal career (such as it is at this point) is completely not worth it. The statistics on law and mental health are staggering; we are much more likely to be depressed, suicidal, have addiction, divorces and a whole host of other issues than the general population. And all for what? A paycheck and a 'career' that most people find unrewarding. Yes, some people are uniquely vulnerable to the pressures of law, but not being able to power through is not an indictment of you; it's an indictment of profession.
My legal career and of others with mental illness may never recover and that's ok. What's more important is that I recover and get some of my life back. My suicide attempt has alienated me from the things that are actually important in it (like my partner, my family, and my sense of self-worth). I would much rather leave law behind than all the other things in my life. Take the time to get full treatment, even if you think you can just power through, even if you think it will destroy your career. The alternative is that is destroys your life. Your life is not your legal career, if it is you're going to end up stringing up a noose on a Saturday afternoon and hoping to god that that's as far as it goes and you can guarantee to those who love you that 20 years down the line they won't come home to find you hanging there.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:50 pm

There are some trauma retreats run by trauma specialists. They are normally not covered by insurance but in very nice locations. I know there were a lot of professionals there who didn't feel like they could take a month off for inpatient therapy. It was very helpful to me and a jump start to my regular therapy sessions I had been going to since my traumatic event. One thing I learned there was that trauma is highly personal, and what traumatizes you might not bother me. However, the traumatized person is still suffering the effects that are severe and debilitating no matter what level their trauma is. Don't feel like whatever happened to you isn't so bad, etc. I suffered an extra couple of years trying to minimize my event as a coping mechanism. Honestly, there were some people there who--when I heard their story--I didn't really understand why they were traumatized, yet they were in a far worse place than I had ever been. In the end, we all were helped. The event I went to had all types of trauma, not just sexual. It was also good because you realized that other events you wouldn't have thought of might be reinforcing your ptsd symptoms. I would recommend going to a specific-gender program though as some offenders might be present in a co-ed group.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:00 pm

if this could be moved to another more appropriate forum, as this thread has veered considerably away from useful employment advice

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:if this could be moved to another more appropriate forum, as this thread has veered considerably away from useful employment advice


The first thing on the aspergers checklist:

Rules are very important as the world is seen as black or white

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:26 pm

It's just that it keeps getting bumped to the top when people make useless comments, like you just did
and if you're that invested in keeping it here why not just unanon your advice

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:It's just that it keeps getting bumped to the top when people make useless comments, like you just did
and if you're that invested in keeping it here why not just unanon your advice

Well, this post is ironic.

Also rude, since this is exactly the kind of topic on which people are more likely to comment if they can speak anonymously. And to your suggestion above about moving this, if you don't think mental health treatment is an appropriate topic for legal employment (or any kind, really), then you're very very very lucky.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:18 am

OP here. I hope it's okay to keep this thread here, because it's absolutely about employment. I appreciate the posters who've shared less-than-reassuring comments about knowing people who got let go, because that's exactly what I was asking about.

The other posts have been about ways to get help while working in law, including options that mean taking leave and options that don't. It seems to have helped some people, so I'm really glad this thread keeps getting bumped.

I'm billing plenty of hours again, but I don't plan to overdo it by trying to make up all the hours I missed while I was slow from being part time and then ramping up when I got back. In my self-review, I will be able to say that it's clear from my first year and from the second half of this year that I can work the kind of hours my firm wants from me. If they let me go anyway, at least I'm coming from BigLaw and will hopefully have some options, even if they're not at other big firms.

To the other posters dealing with mental health problems, I hope it gets better for you. Even though it was a hard read, the statement written by the victim of the Stanford sexual assault case that's been going viral was an important read for me, because I felt deeply understood, even though it was by a complete stranger. PTSD can be hell. Even though you guys are complete strangers, it's nice to feel less alone when going through hell.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:15 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's just that it keeps getting bumped to the top when people make useless comments, like you just did
and if you're that invested in keeping it here why not just unanon your advice

Well, this post is ironic.

Also rude, since this is exactly the kind of topic on which people are more likely to comment if they can speak anonymously. And to your suggestion above about moving this, if you don't think mental health treatment is an appropriate topic for legal employment (or any kind, really), then you're very very very lucky.

The response made to my suggestion to move the thread was both rude and stupid, as well as being ill-informed.

It was just a suggestion, and if you don't want to move it, I'm not complaining.
OP's post suggests it is more about mental health and the search for the right therapist than employment. But if OP prefers the thread being here, I'm certainly not arguing.

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Re: Hours after leave for mental health issues

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP's post suggests it is more about mental health and the search for the right therapist than employment. But if OP prefers the thread being here, I'm certainly not arguing.

I agree that this thread has a lot of information/discussion about options for mental health treatment, but unfortunately, in this profession (and many others) that is often important advice for coping with one's job and staying employed. Even when the issues are unrelated to work, you still have to figure out how to address those issues and work. (I don't say this to be hostile, just to explain why I think mental health stuff is an important part of an employment forum.)



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