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Psychiatric problems, sick leave, and immigration

26 posts in this topic

Posted

Your employer doesn't need a reason not to renew your contract. They can just let it expire and that's it.

Having been off sick for a long time could definitely be a reason they might not renew.

Telling them what your problem is could work either for the better or worse. They might stigmatize you because the type of health problem you have. However, if they don't know what you have, they might also be worried that you will continue to be off sick a lot.

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Posted

Thanks for your messages and support. I think I've gotta do what I've gotta do.

Does anyone have any experiences with psychiatric problems and the Niederlassungserlaubnis? I've never been asked about it in Germany for a normal Aufenthaltstitel, but I was asked about it in Hungary as part of the questionnaire for an Aufenthaltstitel there. I would really like to be here for the long term and don't want to mess that up.

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Posted

Does anyone have any experiences with psychiatric problems and the Niederlassungserlaubnis?

I have never heard of anyone being asked about their health when applying for an NE (and although you need to have an income, being healthy is not one of the requirements). I wouldn't worry about it now, you won't be eligible for an NE till 2015 anyway.

Furthermore, I recently found out that a German friend of mine really wanted inpatient treatment and was not able to get a space (for a multitude of reasons). If you have the opportunity, I think you should take it and worry about the rest later.

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Posted

Does anyone have any experiences with psychiatric problems and the Niederlassungserlaubnis?

No experience except that when I traded in my 3 year temp for the NE they just took my passport looked up a couple of things on the computer and then whacked the stamp for a lifetime in Deutschland. I imagine if Inerpol was looking for me for some felony or whatever then I would have been in trouble. Last I checked, psychological problems aren't a crime until you break the law because of them, ie you are a sociopath. Sociopaths usually don't become English teachers, although a few I've had could have come close.

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Posted

Thanks for your messages and support. I think I've gotta do what I've gotta do.

Does anyone have any experiences with psychiatric problems and the Niederlassungserlaubnis? I've never been asked about it in Germany for a normal Aufenthaltstitel, but I was asked about it in Hungary as part of the questionnaire for an Aufenthaltstitel there. I would really like to be here for the long term and don't want to mess that up.

I wasn't asked about my health at all during my NE interview. They were mostly interested in my income and whether it is enough to cover my living expenses in Germany. When all boxes were ticked (most of those boxes were income related issues) they gave me the NE. So don't worry about it, they won't be so nosy as to ask you about your health.

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Posted

I also work for a University in a teaching research position. Although it is undesirable to postpone courses, it can be done in cases of staff shortages. Which semester(s) do you teach? The older students will have a lot of other commitments on top of lectures and are often around in vacation time so a couple of weeks delay will probably make minimal difference to them. For the younger students it could be more difficult to reschedule. Bottom line though is that if the class(es) have to be covered or delayed, the world won't stop turning. :)

Sounds like you need some time off to take care of yourself. I agree that talking to your boss would be the best course of action right now. Unfortunately I have found that the guys in charge here are less discrete about illness in the workplace (than in the UK for example) but it is really up to you how much you tell them. They only need to know the reason that you're off, not all of the details. No stress there. As far as I know it won't affect your immigration status and it's probably better to get yourself well again and then deal with the contract thing when you're in better shape to deal about that sort of thing.

Be kind to yourself and good luck getting it all sorted. :)

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Posted

I don't know if it applies to you, but normally, paid sick leave is six weeks, during which you will continue to receive your full salary. After that time, health insurance pays 70% of your last salary until you either return to work or have to retire because of your health.

Your boss certainly doesn't have the right of snoopying into your illness. If you don't have a good relationship with him, probably you better not tell him many details. Your doctor decides that you are sick and need treatment and for how long. It's better to talk about everything with him.

Besides that, there is no reason not to start outpatient therapy right away until you can start inpatient therapy.

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Posted

I just want to second what PLS has said: Get help now. You will feel soooo much better when you get the help that you need, and you will be in a much better position to take care of yourself and deal with any employment or immigration issues.

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Posted

If you don't feel up to discussing your situation with your supervisor on your own, you can check whether you're able to get some help and advice before doing so. Disability issues may be something with which the Gleichstellungsbeauftragte can help, or if you're somewhere where they only deal with gender issues (depends on the uni and state), there should be a separate rep you can talk to. Things often seem helpless when you're trying to cope on your own, so see what resources are available. Teaching loads are not set in stone - they can be postponed, reduced and generally juggled.

And you may well be able to keep matters more confidential than you think. I had a colleague who was off for months. I knew they'd had surgery, but no more. None of my business, and the people who actually saw the paperwork felt the same way.

Good luck.

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Posted

Thanks for coming back and letting us know how you're getting on. It sounds like a decent place. Take as long as you need. Eight weeks doesn't sound like long to me at all - it's always just a perspective thing. :)

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Posted

And don't forget it is time you should spend on your getting better. Don't work too much on other things.

Just out of curiosity (and maybe others would like to know, too): How did it go with your boss? How did you tell him and did you find a solution?

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Posted

That sounds much better than in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

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Posted

Don't worry, I've been working my butt off trying to feel better, and my 200-300 pages of reading a day has mostly been "crap" - romance novels, Krimis, and the like. : ) I bought my Christmas travel tickets months ago. I don't have the best relationship with my family, so they don't know I am here, but they definitely know I had travel plans and will wonder when they don't get a postcard.

The people in this city are extremely gossipy (I have never been in a town this gossipy, even when living in teeny villages...), so I am sure that word about where I actually am will get out, but... I dropped hints for a few weeks that I was having sleeping problems and needed to do some testing (both things true). After I got my Krankenschein, I let my boss know that the hospital was going to keep me for a while, and mentioned that I was on an open station (in the event that he were to into me in town). He basically said cool, get better, keep me updated.

Yesterday I saw a student from my department doing an internship on another floor, so... we'll see how long it takes for the whole department to know that I am on the "Depri-Station."

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Posted

I'm so glad that you're getting the help you need, and I'm so proud of you for advocating for yourself and doing what it takes to get yourself help. I think that is really awesome. Even if people do gossip, hold your head high, and take pride in the fact that you've recognized a problem, you're getting help, and you're taking care of yourself.

I'm really glad that you're updating this thread. It is so good to know how you're doing, and it is also very interesting to know how everything works, what you're doing in therapy, how you've dealt with work, etc. {{{helpmerhonda}}}

How is your German? Or do they communicate with you in English? Please keep updating, and relax and take advantage of the therapies that are being offered there. You are brave, and awesome. Props for looking after yourself and your health. :)

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Posted

You seem to be a little afraid that people might learn where you are. I don't think you need to be. Almost everyone has experienced a kind of exhaustion that makes it very hard to do the simplest every day task like shopping or cleaning at some point in their life. I think it's the reasonable thing to do to go somewhere where all those things are taken care of, if you want to concentrate on getting better. And I don't think anybody would think less of you if you take care of yourself, whereas others start drinking or taking drugs to avoid facing their problems.

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Posted

I am sure that there are places where it's worse, but a lot of Germans that I have met have viewed psychological problems as a personal fault/ weakness and not as an illness. I have also heard lots of jokes about mental illness, suicide, etc. That's why I am not trying to "hang everything on the big bell," so to speak. : )

I've been doing therapy all along in German and continuing it now. If your German is good enough, I would recommend it. Most of the traumatic stuff I have to talk about took place in languages other than German, and describing things in German seems to add a bit more emotional distance, so it is easier to talk. I think I made more progress, more quickly by doing therapy in German instead of in English.

Other stuff of note that I have learned over the last couple of days:

*In the US, if you need a spot ASAP, you just show up at the emergency room, and you generally get fast-tracked into a room. If you just show up at the ER in Germany and request mental health, you automatically get placed in a rubber cell in lock-down until a spot becomes free at the appropriate station. I have yet to hear anything positive about lock-down stations from anyone I have come across.

*The hospital I am at now is really conservative about medicating and on "open stations" (where people can come and go when therapy isn't taking place), people are generally given a choice about whether they would like to take medication or not. Ask about this if this is important to you. There are some rooms for women with postpartum depression on my station and one of them had gone to another clinic first, where they tried to drug her up right away, without having accompanying therapy (meaning she would have had to stop breastfeeding, which is something really important to her).

*Also important RE: postpartum depression: apparently some hospitals have been advertising "mother-child" set-ups, but then putting the child in a room on a different station as the mother. If you go to a hospital for post-partum depression, ask how things are set up. (Here, there are special rooms where there is a crib and a separate bed for the mother. There is also a playroom on the station and every baby has its own babysitter during the day.)

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