I was becoming withdrawn and just not coping at all’
In 2003 Yasmin Miller started to experience problems in her job as a tax accountant with a large financial company. The work had been stressful, but she began to find it “increasingly hard to concentrate, to get motivated and to achieve targets”.
“I was becoming withdrawn, sometimes tearful just not coping at all,” she said. But she was “gobsmacked” when an in-house psychiatrist suggested that she could be suffering from depression.
“He signed me off work that day. Little did I know that I would be on sick leave for the next three and a half years.”
Mrs Miller, 37, from Wokingham, Berkshire, saw a GP and was prescribed antidepressants. But once she was off work “things went quickly downhill”.
Under a disability insurance scheme, she was paid two thirds of her salary, but her employers wanted to see her every week to review her progress. “Eventually they said I didn’t need to come any more.” She left the company without going back.
Through volunteer work and teaching part-time, she built up her confidence and began a new job at the Learning and Skills Council in August 2007.
“To know there is an expert you can speak to in confidence, I think that would help. The more open people can be, the more comfortable others will get.”