Will My Doctor Give Me A Sick Note For Anxiety? (yes Or No) - PsychReel (2023)

Are you looking for the answer to the question ‘will my doctor give me a sick note for anxiety?’ then you are at the right place. In this blog, we try to understand if you can get a sick note for anxiety, how to ask for a sick note, and what it is like to have anxiety.

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will my doctor give me a sick note for anxiety?

We know that if you fall sick with a fever or flu, all you have to do is submit a sick note issued by your doctor, recommending you complete rest.

But is it as easy for a mental health condition like anxiety too?

To our surprise, it is possible that your doctor will give you a sick note for anxiety.

Anxiety is a common and healthy emotion. however, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety it might be considered a mental disorder.

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

If your doctor does give you a sick note for anxiety then there are various medications which your doctor could provide you including Benadryl for Anxiety.

There are also other alternative treatment plans for anxiety such as tragus piercing for anxiety.

How to get a sick note for anxiety?

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety you can get a sick note from

  • your local NHS GP
  • your hospital doctor if you are receiving inpatient treatment
  • some walk-in centers
  • a private doctor

To get a sick note:

  • Schedule a doctor appointment
  • The doctor may examine you to assess your condition
  • The doctor will decide if you are fit to work or not
  • The doctor will write a sick note if they deem you are fit for some work or not fit for work
  • Present the sick note to your employer

It is very important for you to make an appointment before visiting the doctor. This would avoid various trips to the doctor’s office.

Once you visit the doctor, make sure to tell them what you have been feeling. Give them detailed information about your condition.

The doctor based on your information will assess you if you are fit for the sick note or no.

Once you receive the sick note, go to your employer and tell him about your condition.

If you find that you are constantly suffering from anxiety due to your job then your job may be one of the worst jobs for people who suffer from anxiety. You should consider switching jobs to any of the best jobs for anxiety.

When do you need a sick note?

Sick notes, also known as fit notes, doctor’s notes, and medical certificates, are used to notify the employer, teacher, or person in charge that you’re not fit for work. Fit notes benefit employees by providing them with the time they need to get better, and they benefit employers by allowing them to make adjustments to their workplace to reduce sickness absence costs.

Employers usually ask for a sick note if you have been sick for 7 days or more, including the weekends. If you have been sick for 7 days or less, most employees ask for self-certification.

Work-related anxiety

Work anxiety can dramatically affect your quality of life and leave you counting down the minutes until five o’clock comes around. It is seen that roughly three out of every four people with stress or anxiety in their life say that it interferes with their daily lives, and the workplace is no exception.

Anxiety can affect performance at work, the quality of the work, relationships with colleagues, and relationships with supervisors. And if you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder, then these challenges may prove even more difficult.

In the UK, more than half a million people are off sick from work every 28 months due to anxiety and stress-related conditions. Recent NHS figures show that as many as one in three sick notes is due to psychiatric problems, making them the most common reason for people to take time off work. Between the years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, there was a 14% rise in the number of sick notes issued due to anxiety and stress.

Symptoms of work-related anxiety

Feeling overwhelmed at work, is completely normal, because who does not feel stressed? But sometimes things can get serious. It is when the anxiety gets extreme, interfering with your ability to work, causing emotional and physical problems.

Even though the diagnostic and statistical manual, does not categorize a disorder for work-related anxiety, there are a few common symptoms of anxiety that are experienced.

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Over/under eating
  • Feeling irritable
  • Avoiding family/friends
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling down
  • Loss of interest in your work
  • Bad memory
  • Difficulties in concentration
  • Muscle tension
  • Feeling like you’re going mad
  • Constant worrying
  • A desire to be perfect
  • Irrational fear of making mistakes
  • Crying

In addition to these general symptoms, a person is experiencing work-related anxiety can also show the following symptoms:

  • Taking an unusual amount of time off work
  • Overreacting to situations on the job
  • Focusing too much on negative aspects of their job
  • Struggling to concentrate or complete tasks by the deadline

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Causes of work-related anxiety

Work-related anxiety can be caused by various characteristics of the work environment. It’s quite common for certain major events to make you nervous or feel temporary moments of anxiety. For example, starting a new job or leaving an old one is sure to make anyone feel skittish.

We spend most of our time at work that if things aren’t going our way, it can feel overwhelming. It is not necessary for it to rise to the level of ongoing anxiety, but it can be helpful to talk to someone about any of these issues.

Following is a list of causes that can lead to work-related anxiety:

  • Dealing with workplace bullying or conflicts
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Maintaining relationships with coworkers
  • Managing staff
  • Working long hours
  • Having a demanding boss
  • Experiencing a workload that is extremely high
  • Having a lack of direction on tasks
  • Experiencing a lack of perception of fairness
  • Feeling a lack of control over the work environment
  • Having a low reward (not enough pay, benefits, etc.)

How does work-related anxiety affect you?

If you have been living with work anxiety for a while, it has probably taken a toll on your emotional and physical health.

Below are some of the most common effects of work anxiety, which can occur both within and outside the workplace:

  • Reduced job performance and quality of work
  • Hampered relationships with coworkers and superiors
  • Noticing effects on personal life
  • Feeling effects on your personal relationships such as your romantic partner, friends, etc.
  • Developing problems with concentration, fatigue, irritability, reduced productivity
  • Turning down opportunities due to phobias
  • Having reduced job satisfaction
  • Noticing reduced confidence and self-esteem
  • Feeling incompetent.
  • Experiencing reduced goal setting and achievement
  • Taking fewer risks and more likely to plateau in your career
  • Feeling isolated
  • Experiencing job loss
  • Developing clinical levels of anxiety (e.g., a diagnosable disorder)
  • Seeing effects on the organization if you are an executive
  • Having reduced social skills and ability to function within a team
  • Planning less effectively
  • Avoiding innovation

How to deal with work-related anxiety?

Knowing the effects of work-related anxiety and the emotional and physical toll it takes on the person, within the work environment as well as outside of it, it is a pressing issue that one needs to deal with. One can not ignore such a condition.

Here are a few steps to follow that can help your work-related anxiety:

Seek professional help: When it comes to mental health disorders it is important that you go to a therapist or a counselor. I say this because they can give you a perspective that you lack. Having a therapist or a counselor akes you believe that you do not have to go through this all alone. A clinical psychologist who provides cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals in learning better about their anxiety and change their relationship with anxious thoughts and feelings.

Stay connected to friends and family: If your anxiety has not reached the level, where you cannot manage it by yourself, you can always turn towards your friends and family. Talk to them about what you are feeling. Sharing usually helps you deal better.

Avoid alcohol and other energy drinks: When you are dealing with ongoing anxiety, it is very important that you cut back on alcohol and other drugs. Having energy drinks or caffeinated drinks may only add to your symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Take time to breathe: It is very important to relax your body. Anxiety can induce restlessness, heavy breathing, muscle tension, etc. Diaphragmatic breathing or other relaxation-inducing practices such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, exercises, yoga can help reduce anxiety and stress.

Take a break: It is important that you take time off your work and engage in activities that help you calm down. Activities like painting, music, gardening, etc. every now and then make sure you take off from work and visit a place of your liking. At the least, you can visit your parents.

Fight the negative thoughts in your mind: Remember that you cannot trust our mind yourself. Your thoughts are always not true. Sometimes these thoughts are supremely unhelpful to us. Observe what is going in your mind. Try to find evidence for the same. If you cannot find proof, refute the thought

Do not suppress your anxiety: If you are feeling anxious, suppressing it would be counterproductive. Instead, find a productive way to remove your anxiety. If talking it out helps you, find a friend who listens to you. If running helps you and gives you time to think. Go for a run.

Do not change the way you live: It is quite possible that you may want to adjust your life as per your anxiety. But do not let our anxiety win. Do not limit yourself. Take a few steps forward. If you aim in flying, then fly. Accepting your situation fully will help you deal with it better.

Keep in mind, if these above-mentioned steps do not help you deal with work-related anxiety you might want to consider changing the job rules and duties, find a better and healthier job, or if needed change careers too.


In this blog, we tried to answer the question ‘will my doctor give me a sick note for anxiety?’. We also tried to understand if you can get a sick note for anxiety, how to ask for a sick note, and what it is like to have anxiety.

Frequently Asked Questions: Will my doctor give me a sick note for anxiety?

How do I tell my employer about my sick note?

It is important that you come straight about your health condition to your employer. Take the employer to a quiet place and tell him/her what you are going through. Show them your sick note, and ask for a few days of leave so you can recover and come back with efficiency.

Can a doctor refuse to give you a sick note for anxiety?

Doctors usually do not have any incentive to refuse to provide a sick note. Patients who look physically well might be experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders. Although it is possible that your doctor might not see it fit for you to take off work for no reason. In such situations, he may deny issuing a sick note.

Do you go back to work the day your sick note expires?

Going back to work depends on you and your employer. If you feel you are doing well and can manage your work you can go back with your employer’s agreement. It can be before your sick note expires. If your employer feels you should take a few more days off, then return to work after being completely fit.






Will my doctor give me a sick note for anxiety? ›

You can get a sick note for mental health issues like depression, work related stress, and anxiety.

How do I ask my doctor for sick note for stress? ›

Contact your GP as soon as you know you'll need a fit note, and get the first appointment you can. Be honest and forward when answering their questions, so they can build a truthful picture of your issues. If your doctor decides your problems affect your fitness for work, they can issue a fit note.

What do you say when calling in sick with anxiety? ›

Dr. Cyrus recommends keeping it short: "'I'm not feeling well today and would like to call in sick' — because feeling emotionally sick counts. Or, 'I'm unable to come in due to personal reasons.

What will happen if I go to the doctors about anxiety? ›

Your GP may ask you questions about your worries, fears and emotions. They may also ask about your personal life. Tell your GP about all your symptoms – physical and psychological – and explain how long you have had them for. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life.

Can you miss work due to anxiety? ›

Yes. Assuming that you work for a covered employer and are eligible for FMLA leave, you may take leave if you are unable to work due to a serious health condition under the FMLA.

How can I prove I have anxiety? ›

Signs of an anxiety disorder
  1. your worrying is uncontrollable and causes distress.
  2. your worrying affects your daily life, including school, your job and your social life.
  3. you cannot let go of your worries.
  4. you worry about all sorts of things, such as your job or health, and minor concerns, such as household chores.

How do I get time off work for stress and anxiety? ›

How to get a stress leave from work
  1. Step 1: Look up your state's laws. ...
  2. Step 2: Review your employer's policy. ...
  3. Step 3: Consult your healthcare provider. ...
  4. Step 4: Request a doctor's note. ...
  5. Step 5: Time your request appropriately. ...
  6. Step 6: Meet with your human resources department. ...
  7. Step 7: Discuss your options.

What are valid reasons for a sick note? ›

According to GPs, the five most frequent causes for requests for sick notes - which are legally required when someone has been off work for seven days - are back pain, depression, workplace stress, other stress-related problems and flu.

Do doctors approve stress leave? ›

Get a doctor's note

If you want to take paid sick leave, you may need a doctor's note to qualify for stress leave with your employer. Your employer can ask for documentation regardless of how much time you intend to take off.

What to do when you can't work because of anxiety? ›

As a rule it is best to receive treatment from a mental health professional. Typically, these include a psychiatrist or psychologist. You may need to see a specialist to help prove that you can't work due to anxiety and depression.

What to do if anxiety is making you sick? ›

Treating anxiety & nausea
  1. Do some deep breathing. Deep breathing is helpful for both anxiety and nausea. ...
  2. Try a mindfulness exercise. Mindfulness has been used to help reduce anxiety and nausea. ...
  3. Drink a glass of water. ...
  4. Eat something mild. ...
  5. Rest.
Jan 29, 2021

How do I say anxiety without saying anxiety? ›

It can be incredibly difficult to effectively communicate what's going on and what you need when you're in the throes of anxiety.
Here are some “code” phrases for “I'm anxious” to look out for:
  1. “I'm sorry.” ...
  2. “I'm fine.” ...
  3. “I don't feel good.” ...
  4. “I'm exhausted.” ...
  5. “Just wanted to check in, are you OK? ...
  6. “I'm OK, just tired.”
Mar 31, 2018

What is considered severe anxiety? ›

Severe anxiety is when the body's natural responses to anticipated stress exceed healthy levels and interrupt your ability to function and carry out typical day-to-day tasks. The immediate physical symptoms can include a racing heart, changes in breathing, or a headache.

When does anxiety need medication? ›

If you have severe anxiety that's interfering with your ability to function, medication may be helpful—especially as a short-term treatment. However, many people use anti-anxiety medication when therapy, exercise, or other self-help strategies would work just as well or better, minus the drawbacks.

What does anxiety feel like mentally? ›

feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax. having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst. feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down. feeling like other people can see you're anxious and are looking at you.

Is anxiety a reason to call in sick? ›

The ADA and FMLA do not specify which medical conditions count as disabilities. There is no comprehensive list of mental illnesses that qualify for sick leave. You can call in sick for any mental health reason, diagnosed or not, including: anxiety disorders.

Is it hard to keep a job with anxiety? ›

Unfortunately, this is true for many people. Considering that anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders – affecting over 40 million U.S. adults, which is 19.1% of the population – it's not surprising that many people can't keep a job due to anxiety disorders.

Can a job fire you over anxiety? ›

The Americans with Disabilities Acts (ADA) protects employees from discrimination based on a disability—including mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.

What does anxiety feel like in your head? ›

Some common mental symptoms of anxiety include:

Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom. Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry. Having difficulty controlling worry. Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.

Is anxiety a mental illness? ›

Anxiety disorder is the most common of all mental illnesses. The combined prevalence of the group of anxiety disorders is higher than that of all other mental disorders in childhood and adolescence. Anxiety disorder leaves you unable to cope with daily life due to abnormal fears of life.

How do I tell my boss I need time off for anxiety? ›

Sometimes simply saying, “I need a day off to manage my mental health,” or “I need to take some time to deal with some personal matters” is enough. If you don't feel comfortable having that direct discussion about mental health or feel unsafe doing so, you can also look into using sick days or personal time off.

Can I go home from work for anxiety? ›

Stress leave, also known as stress disability leave, is a type of medical leave of absence that employees can request if they are experiencing physical and/or mental effects of stress, anxiety, or depression.

Should I leave work if I have anxiety? ›

Take a day off. On days where your anxiety feels overwhelming, call out of work. Anxiety is a medical condition, and therefore you can — and should — use your sick days to treat it. Take care of yourself and mental well-being.

Can I demand a sick note? ›

It is generally up to your employer what evidence to request, however your employer is not allowed to ask for a medical certificate (or 'fit note') for the first seven days of absence.

Can employers refuse a sick note? ›

Is the fit note binding on me? No. The assessment about whether your employee is not fit for work or may be fit for work (and any other advice in the fit note) is classed as advice, and it is for employers to determine whether or not to accept it.

What qualifies as a doctor's note? ›

What is a doctor's note? A doctor's note is a written notice from a qualified healthcare provider that outlines basic information about a medical condition, such as an illness or injury. The note may excuse the patient from work entirely or indicate what duties they cannot perform due to a medical condition.

Do I need a sick note for stress? ›

If you are off work for fewer than seven days, you don't need a sick note for stress and depression. You can 'self-certify'—which means filling in a form when you return to work. This applies to any sickness, not just mental health issues.

How can I get time off work for mental health? ›


An eligible employee may take FMLA leave for their own serious health condition, or to care for a spouse, child, or parent because of a serious health condition. A serious health condition can include a mental health condition.

Can you take a week off work for mental health? ›

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be used for mental health leave like any other medical leave you might need to take for yourself or your family. Whether you yourself are eligible to apply for FMLA and use it depends upon whether you meet the FMLA requirements.

How long can you be off work with anxiety? ›

There's no set period of time to be signed off work with stress depression or anxiety. The doctor will keep signing you off for as long as your symptoms prevent you from working. Being off work for mental health related issues is very common, you are not alone.

What are consequences of anxiety? ›

Heart palpitations and rapid breathing patterns are commonly experienced during a bout of anxiety. The persistent rush of stress response hormones at persistent, high levels of anxiety may cause high blood pressure and coronary problems such as heart disease or heart attack.

What does anxiety back pain feel like? ›

Common Anxiety Back Pain Symptom Descriptions. You get frequent back pain, tension, stiffness, soreness, or back spasms. It feels as if your back is often painful, tense, stiff, or sore. Your back is so sore that it causes mild to severe immobility.

What is the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder? ›

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is the most common type of anxiety disorder. The main symptom of GAD is excessive worrying about different activities and events. You may feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD.

What are anxiety thoughts examples? ›

High levels of anxiety and stress are usually fuelled by the way we think. For example, you might be having thoughts such as “I am going to die” or “There is nothing I can do” or “I won't be able to cope.” These thoughts can be so strong that you believe them to be true.

How do you explain anxiety? ›

Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we feel that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

Is severe anxiety serious? ›

Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions - just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.

Is severe anxiety bad? ›

Having an anxiety disorder does more than make you worry. It can also lead to, or worsen, other mental and physical conditions, such as: Depression (which often occurs with an anxiety disorder) or other mental health disorders. Substance misuse.

Is it normal to have anxiety every day? ›

A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections. If you're feeling anxious all the time, or it's affecting your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder.

What is the first drug of choice for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first-line treatment for anxiety. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. Common SNRI brands are Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR.

Will anxiety medication help with overthinking? ›

If you have anxiety, medication can help because the medications used for anxiety alter the chemicals in your body and brain, reducing symptoms, and often helping you calm down and focus on other things.

What makes anxiety worse? ›

Stress. Daily stressors like traffic jams or missing your train can cause anyone anxiety. But long-term or chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety and worsening symptoms, as well as other health problems. Stress can also lead to behaviors like skipping meals, drinking alcohol, or not getting enough sleep.

Does your body feel weird when you have anxiety? ›

When you feel anxious you might have racing thoughts but also physical symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, tense muscles, trembling, a rapid heartbeat, and pain and bloating in your abdomen. These are all the results of the stress response when the body releases cortisol as it prepares for “fight or flight.”

Can I ask my doctor to prescribe me something for anxiety? ›

There's good news: Your everyday family doctor, otherwise known as a general practitioner (GP) has the authority to prescribe anxiety medication.

How do I get a doctors note for anxiety at home? ›

With your mental health professional, generate a list of things that could help you continue to do your job while maintaining (or recovering) your mental health. Then, ask your doctor, therapist, acupuncturist, or other provider to write a note for you. The note doesn't need to say your diagnosis.

When should I stop working with anxiety? ›

When should someone take time off work for mental health? Someone should take a mental health leave from work when they feel overwhelmed due to stress and feel that they can't function properly. The time off can be used to take a breather and focus on self-care, while getting away from the source of the stress.

How does anxiety limit your ability to work? ›

Anxiety makes you less focused.

As you fret over something you can't control, you lose the ability to concentrate on the task at hand, engage your creativity, or formulate new ideas, explains Hanna Stensby, MA, a marriage and family therapist.

How do I tell my doctor I need anxiety medication? ›

Things to tell your doctor
  1. Make a list of your symptoms and when they began. ...
  2. Write down any major stresses in your life, as well as any traumas you've experienced, both past and present.
  3. Write down all of your health conditions: mental and physical.
  4. Make a list of all medications and supplements you're taking.

How do I request anxiety medication? ›

The Process of Getting Anxiety Medication
  1. Talking to a doctor for a referral. Maybe you've been struggling with anxiety and have difficulty managing symptoms alone. ...
  2. Connecting with a psychiatrist. ...
  3. Going through a psychiatric evaluation. ...
  4. Discussing medication with your psychiatrist. ...
  5. Getting your treatment plan.
Jan 31, 2023

What do most doctors prescribe for anxiety? ›

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) SSRIs and SNRIs are often the first-line treatment for anxiety. Common SSRI brands are Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, and Zoloft. Common SNRI brands are Pristiq, Cymbalta, and Effexor XR.

Do you need a doctors note for anxiety? ›

Anxiety, stress, or depression leave from work may require multiple days off, which is where FMLA may come in handy. This may be enough time to seek more intensive treatment if needed or time to relax and seek support. However, if you are thinking “can I get a sick note for anxiety”, the answer is yes.

Can you ask for doctor's note for mental health? ›

An Employer Can Ask You to Provide a Doctor's Note

Generally speaking, an employer can ask you to provide proof or a medical note in regards to sick leave or mental health leave when it is reasonable to do so, such as when an employee has a history of absenteeism or the leave requested is for a longer period of time.

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