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Ask Ash

17 October 16

Advice column: I feel really low about my work and don't know which way to turn

Dear Ash

I am starting to dread going into work and I am sure it is the reason for my feeling so poorly at the moment. I just don’t feel appreciated at work, and however hard I work, I never seem to get any recognition for it. I don’t really have any support from colleagues and I don’t feel like I can turn to anyone else for moral support. I tend to burst into tears over relatively minor issues, and although I have tried speaking to my manager it just seems to fall on deaf ears. I’m just fearful that I am reaching my breaking point.

Ash replies:

I am not medically qualified, but I think your feelings of dread and helplessness may be symptomatic of some sort of depression and I suggest that you seek medical help as a matter of priority. There is no job which is ever worth sacrificing your health and wellbeing for, and it is vital that you take some time out to prioritise your mental wellbeing.

Once you are able to get help, you will then be in a better place to decide what steps to take about your job. It may be that your job has indeed been one of the main factors for you feeling so poorly, but I suggest that you cannot fully evaluate how best to proceed until you are in a stronger mental position. When you feel such despair it can be difficult to relate to others, and it may be that your colleagues are just unsure of how to help you.

You may need time out from work as a starting point and I strongly suggest that you speak to your GP as soon as possible.

There are also charities which can offer you support, such as LawCare or the Samaritans.

Please don’t feel alone, as many people do go through similar low periods in their lives, although there still seems to be some reluctance to acknowledge mental health issues publicly. Just remember that things can and do eventually get better, even if you can’t see how at present.

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor: peter@connectcommunications.co.uk, or mail to Suite 6b, 1 Carmichael Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PH. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, head of admissions on 0131 476 8162 or by email: katiewood@lawscot.org.uk 

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