I’m a software developer and I’ve been at the same company for 10 years and I’m very happy there, and generally they have been happy with me too.
I have suffered from depression since I was a teenager, but I’ve generally kept it under control. The impact of COVID has seriously impacted my mental health however and my performance at work is being affected. After discussions with my manager, I went back into the office to see if that helped (we were/are working from home). Unfortunately it didn’t and in the end, I had to take two weeks off sick and at the advice from GP.
My brief period off helped a bit and I started some new medication, but unfortunately in recent months, with COVID restrictions again (rightly) increasing, I am feeling worse than ever. I love software development, but no matter how hard I try I seem to just be unable to work to my standards. I have sleepless nights worrying about my work and how my colleagues probably think I’m lazy and undeserving of my role (I’m in a senior role). I dread our video calls because I have to put on a brave face while everyone is happy and putting our some good work. I have been feeling suicidal previously and I am genuinely concerned that this could get worse.
I am very grateful to my manager as despite my poor performance he has been very understanding. However, I feel I need time off and more than before - possibly even up to 2-3 months, to get some help and to hopefully tide the worst of the remaining part of the pandemic. I want to come back with a completely fresh state of mind, I don’t know for sure it’ll happen but I am desperate as I know otherwise I may end up losing my job. My doctor has agreed that they can give me a fit note for this as they know how much I’ve been struggling.
I’m in the UK and I know I can have Statutory Sick Pay for up to 28 weeks, so I know legally I can do this. But, we are pushing hard in work and have a lot on, plus we are only a small team and with my current work, only myself and my manager are involved - so knowing I’ll be essentially passing all my work over to him would make feel so guilty.
I just want to know whether I would be doing the right thing. Because my depression is worsened because of the COVID crisis, I feel extremely selfish because not only is everyone else suffering from this too, but there are thousands dying which makes me feel ashamed at feeling this way.