Is stress a diagnosable reason for time off from work?

By David Joel Miller.

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.

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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 the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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

  1. Pingback: What are Morning Questions? | counselorssoapbox

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