When Rehabilitation turns bad…

Last year and this year I had two extended periods off work due to the worst bout of depression I have suffered yet. It began in about December 2013. I was off work from May-August 2014, and April-September 2015. However I’m still very ill with it and every minute is a fight.

My employer has a Permanent Health Insurance (PHI) policy with NUMU (it’s an anagram!). This company provides some useful services intended to keep employees well and to support them when unwell. Keeping a staff member in work is a win – win for all of course. Also “Every one needs a back-up plan” don’t we?

That’s good, and of course the PHI cover will provide a replacement income after you have been unable to work for a deferred period. That sounds great, and what a lifeboat for supporting you through being laid low by a mental illness.

But……. is severe anxiety and depression with life changing recurrent bouts enough to prevent you from working and trigger NUMU’s safety net…….? Apparently not! Not only that – it gets worse!

Imagine your employer decides to make a claim. They are in fact the one insured as the contract is between them and NUMU. You are told if you don’t cooperate you may be dismissed. If you don’t complete a claim form you are not cooperating and you may be dismissed. You have to be rehabilitated or you are not cooperating and you may be dismissed. 

All helpful stuff except when you know your illness and know you need time to heal and recover. It’s not clever to make tacit threats to an anxious depressive. Anxiety on anxiety, that’s the way it goes.

Say “anxious depressive” fast enough and it’s trivial, of course it is, we all get a bit depressed. Surly it’s no reason to be off work? We will see.

Off because of issues with colleagues? “These issues need to be dealt with! The best way is to raise a grievance!” you may be told. Wow! Rehabilitation and a grievance investigation by my employer! 

Be careful ….. just remember that you are “mental” and a problem to be solved. 

Well you were wrong! You must have imagined it! That behaviour was good for the business! You were wrong to feel harassed, you are mental after all!

Oh and why weren’t you at work? Why were you off for so long!…say the insurers …Sweet stigma!  

My back-up plan needs a back-up plan. 

Bollox! It’s down to you in the end.

One thought on “When Rehabilitation turns bad…

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