Would it ever be worth going back to an old job that ruined your mental health?

I think I already know the answer but still I question it.

When I say ruined mental health we’re talking panic attacks when pulling into the car park in the morning. 9 years later I still have flashbacks to the place and have had anxiety issues still to this day. I dreamt or rather had a nightmare about it last night hence why I ask this question.

Problem is they gave me a glowing reference when I left, said if I ever wanted to come back no problem, I was only there 2 years but was actually one of the longest serving, says a lot about staff turnover in that place.

Im just looking at my options while I’m serving my redundancy notice.  Perhaps I should just forget that place ever existed even if I could get a job instantly 


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Comments

  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 3,140 Forumite
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    edited 27 January 2023 at 7:18AM
    I wouldn't go back. 

    You sobbed in the car park before work when they employed you, and a high turnover of employees are the two big red flags for me.
  • n1guy
    n1guy Posts: 685 Forumite
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    edited 27 January 2023 at 7:25AM
    Emmia said:
    I wouldn't go back. 

    You sobbed in the car park before work when they employed you, and a high turnover of employees are the two big red flags for me.
    Yeah rationally I know this is the answer.  Funny how we reconsider it though.  Maybe my dream last night was my brain telling me to wise the fcuk up.
  • JReacher1
    JReacher1 Posts: 4,652 Forumite
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    Doesn’t sound like a good idea to go back but I suppose if you find in a few months you’re struggling and need a job it’s good to have it as a safety net. 

    I would hope in the last 9 years the company has improved. If you still know people there could be worth asking them if the culture has changed. 
  • JCS1
    JCS1 Posts: 5,286 Forumite
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    After 9 years, are you sure you could still get a job instantly?

    But no, value your health more
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,199 Forumite
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    I wouldn't go back, unless you had reason to think that there had been very substantial changes which would mean that the things that caused you to become ill had disappeared. And even then, I'd hesitate because being in the same place doing a similar job would likely cause a lot of the old feelings to surface even if the other conditions had changed. 

    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • n1guy
    n1guy Posts: 685 Forumite
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    edited 27 January 2023 at 1:39PM
    The weird thing about all this was, they gave me a glowing reference and said I could come back, why then when I was there did they continuously hound me and treat me like carp?  Some weird management strategy right there but sadly I think a lot of employers take this approach rather than show a bit of respect and decency. It’s like that tv programme SAS who dares wins.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,189 Forumite
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    n1guy said:
    When I say ruined mental health we’re talking panic attacks when pulling into the car park in the morning. 9 years later I still have flashbacks to the place and have had anxiety issues still to this day. I dreamt or rather had a nightmare about it last night hence why I ask this question.
    You'd really need to consider what about it caused the issues, if it was just work or other things that were happening in life at the same time, and how you, your wider life and the job may have changed.

    I knew a couple of guys working in the offices around the Baltic Exchange when the IRA bombed it in 1992 (the site now occupied by the Gherkin) and sustained injuries from the blast (mainly flying glass). Some happily work in and around the area still despite what happened, one left insurance totally in fear of having to work in the City again and others will work for the industry and companies but not in that area.

    If there are similar opportunities elsewhere then it may not be worth the risk even if you think you are a different person now or the cause may have lessened/gone away 
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,545 Forumite
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    n1guy said:
    The weird thing about all this was, they gave me a glowing reference and said I could come back, why then when I was there did they continuously hound me and treat me like carp?  Some weird management strategy right there but sadly I think a lot of employers take this approach rather than show a bit of respect and decency. It’s like that tv programme SAS who dares wins.
    You were the one employed there, so nobody else can answer that, except possibly fellow employees. Either way, hard to understand why you are even thinking about going back if it was all so awful.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    I had a similar experience. I worked at a university for 9 years and did a great job, everyone told me so but because I was conscientious and went over and above to make everyone happy and did work that was way above my pay grade and job description, I became the 'go to' person in my department. Eventually it made me so ill I had a nervous breakdown and had to be treated for clinical depression. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. My references were glowing, brilliant, whatever superlative you can think of. Everyone in the department was full of concern about my illness and sent me flowers and cards and all the well-wishes anyone could want and couldn't wait for me to go back. But the job drove me crazy. I couldn't see a way out but while I was off sick I heard that there were some voluntary redundancies on offer. I applied and was successful. By that time I'd been off sick for six months.

    I used my redundancy money to support me while I studied full time for an undergraduate uni degree (not at the same uni!). I graduated with a 2.1 BA Hons degree three years later and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I ever did. I know your situation is different but how often have you heard the phrase 'never look back'? I think it really means never look backwards - or go there. And I know how your mind can play those tricks where you only remember the good things about something and the bad things appear to pale into insignificance. 

    For me it's over twenty years ago but still the thought of actually going into that same building (department is still there) and walking down the corridor to my old office fills me with trepidation. I could never do it. 

    If you're serving your redundancy notice, you have an opportunity to look around and see what else is out there for you. You spend a lot of time at work and you do deserve to enjoy some of that time, at least. A job where you are really valued. You can't be really valued if you feel like 'carp' all the time. You could even look at retraining (one of my recommendations - because that is something that many people can do).

    Your subconscious is trying to tell you what everyone else here is saying, it'd be a big mistake to go back. You're having flashbacks, anxiety and nightmares now. Think what would happen if you went back to work there. It's great that they gave you fabulous references - I also got those. But my mental health would have been shot to pieces if I'd ever tried to go back to work there.

    I wish you all the best for the future. You deserve better and I'm sure that better is out there for you.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • n1guy
    n1guy Posts: 685 Forumite
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    MalMonroe said:
    I had a similar experience. I worked at a university for 9 years and did a great job, everyone told me so but because I was conscientious and went over and above to make everyone happy and did work that was way above my pay grade and job description, I became the 'go to' person in my department. Eventually it made me so ill I had a nervous breakdown and had to be treated for clinical depression. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. My references were glowing, brilliant, whatever superlative you can think of. Everyone in the department was full of concern about my illness and sent me flowers and cards and all the well-wishes anyone could want and couldn't wait for me to go back. But the job drove me crazy. I couldn't see a way out but while I was off sick I heard that there were some voluntary redundancies on offer. I applied and was successful. By that time I'd been off sick for six months.

    I used my redundancy money to support me while I studied full time for an undergraduate uni degree (not at the same uni!). I graduated with a 2.1 BA Hons degree three years later and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I ever did. I know your situation is different but how often have you heard the phrase 'never look back'? I think it really means never look backwards - or go there. And I know how your mind can play those tricks where you only remember the good things about something and the bad things appear to pale into insignificance. 

    For me it's over twenty years ago but still the thought of actually going into that same building (department is still there) and walking down the corridor to my old office fills me with trepidation. I could never do it. 

    If you're serving your redundancy notice, you have an opportunity to look around and see what else is out there for you. You spend a lot of time at work and you do deserve to enjoy some of that time, at least. A job where you are really valued. You can't be really valued if you feel like 'carp' all the time. You could even look at retraining (one of my recommendations - because that is something that many people can do).

    Your subconscious is trying to tell you what everyone else here is saying, it'd be a big mistake to go back. You're having flashbacks, anxiety and nightmares now. Think what would happen if you went back to work there. It's great that they gave you fabulous references - I also got those. But my mental health would have been shot to pieces if I'd ever tried to go back to work there.

    I wish you all the best for the future. You deserve better and I'm sure that better is out there for you.
    Great reply thanks you. 
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