Is stress a diagnosable reason for time off from work?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Stress person

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Stress and time off from work – Morning Question #18

Short answer – Yes, no and maybe.

Yes. – Stress is diagnosable – IF the person’s reaction to the stress is extreme and they are unable to work, have relationship problems or are upset about the way the stress is affecting them. It could be Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or possible an Adjustment Disorder.

No – not everyone who has stress at work should get a diagnosis. Everyone has some stress, even good things like a new job or a promotion can be stressful. So just having stress is not enough for the diagnosis.

Maybe – Maybe you can take stress time off with pay, maybe you won’t get paid for time off.

Time off from work is a legal issue. If you have leave coming or qualify for disability then you might get paid time off. Sometimes a counselor will suggest it would be good for you to take some time off even if you do not qualify for paid time off. Self-employed people probably will not get any paid time off but the counselor may recommend it anyway.

Check the laws in your jurisdiction and the rules for your workplace regarding the issue of the time off being paid.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at


1 thought on “Is stress a diagnosable reason for time off from work?

  1. Pingback: What are Morning Questions? | counselorssoapbox

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