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Going Back to Work After Hospitalization

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Although I went back to work as an English Instructor at a college one week after being released from the psychiatric ward, I’ve often wondered if this was the best thing.

For a long time, I wished I’d have taken a semester off and just coasted ... to get used to my new diagnosis and my new condition. Instead of going back to my apartment and life in Pennsylvania, I could have moved in with my mother in Ohio and been taken care of for a while.

Once I expressed my regret to my psychiatrist. He said I may have never recovered if I’d done this. I’m jumping ahead, but I did recover.

He said I might still be living with my mother instead of being a wife and a mother, with a husband and a four-year-old.

The truth is, I’ll never know. But let me tell you, going back to work right away was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. After my bout of mania, I got depressed back at school. It was hard to function. I remember standing behind the lectern, giving a lecture and tears started dripping from my eyes. I was crying, and I couldn’t turn it off. I had to leave the room and dismiss the class.

Whether you return to your normal life right away after you leave the psychiatric hospital is your decision. Talk it over with your doctor. See what he advises. My doctor happened to be a big proponent on the benefits of work. This is why I landed back at the college so soon.

But your doctor might be different. He might suggest you take a little time to get your feet on the ground.

However the transition happens from hospital to home for you, I wish you luck in making the change.

You’ll need it.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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