Go Down for Anxiety: When to Ask for It and Where to Go

The losses by anxiety are one of the main causes by which an individual has to leave aside his work functions. For example, in Spain, psychiatric pathologies are the second cause of pro-employment absence and the first in prolonged absences in absolute terms.

However, anxious symptoms can cause, in some cases, some controversy when deciding whether to motivate the request for a sick leave or not.

Go Down for Anxiety

In fact, as with most psychiatric disorders, there is currently a notable social rejection of work leave motivated by anxious problems.

However, this does not mean that anxiety cannot justify a sick leave in many cases. The anxious alterations nowadays have reliable diagnoses and well-documented psychopathologies.

Go Down for Anxiety

In this article, we review the properties of work absences due to anxiety and comment on how and where to go to manage them.

What is a sick leave due to anxiety?

The labor absences for anxiety present the same criteria as the rest of work absences. That is the suffering of a condition or pathology that is incompatible with the performance of work activity.

This first appraisal is important since, often, sick leave due to anxiety is linked to more or less premeditated internal factors.

In fact, the low anxiety can be rejected by several individuals in a wrong way, by relating the psychological alterations with wills or character attributes of people.

However, when a leave is granted for anxiety the person presents a psychological condition that is pathological and that prevents him from performing the work tasks properly.

Thus, the problems of anxiety as well as any other type of psychopathological alteration must be interpreted in the same way that physical illnesses are interpreted, as regards sick leave.

When a medical professional determines that a person requires a period of low and rest, use the same criteria whether it is a physical condition or if it is a psychological condition.

Where should you go?

Another element that usually generates some controversy about low anxiety is the processes that must be performed to process it.

Do you have to go to a specialist? Do you have to make an appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist? Who can apply for a leave due to anxiety?

As previously mentioned, psychological conditions follow the same course as physical pathologies in terms of sick leave. For this reason, before the detection of important symptoms of anxiety, it is convenient to go to the family doctor.

The medical professional will perform the first examination and determine, through the results of the evaluations, the adequacy of a sick leave.

Subsequently, if deemed appropriate, the attending physician can determine the referral to the psychiatric service, both to make a more detailed assessment of the alteration and to initiate a treatment plan.

Likewise, in some cases, the attending physician may consider it appropriate to refer to the psychology services to deepen the intervention and initiate psychological treatment.


The referral to the psychology service does not depend on visits with psychiatry or the performance of a pharmacological intervention.

When should you be asked to leave because of anxiety?

The basic requirement to raise the request for an anxiety discharge is the experimentation of intense anxious signs and symptoms.

Given the condition of a highly anxious state, it is advisable to go to the medical services to perform a state assessment and initiate some type of intervention if appropriate.

Likewise, another important factor in order to ask for leave due to anxiety is the repercussion both on a personal level and at a professional level that generates the anxious symptoms.

When these negatively affect the quality of life of the person and their work performance, it is convenient to process the sick leave.

When are the cancellations granted due to anxiety?

The determination to process a leave due to anxiety, as with any other type of pathology, whether physical or mental, is always carried out by a medical professional.

In this sense, the assessment of the attending physician, as well as of the medical professionals of the referrals made if it is considered appropriate, is the element that determines the processing of an anxiety discharge.

However, there are a number of factors that, in general, tend to point to the need for sick leave. Although these elements may be useful as a guide, the final assessment in each case must be made by the corresponding medical professional.

Suffering from an anxiety disorder

At present, anxious alterations are well documented and have a wide variety of diagnostic entities that allow establishing the presence of a psychopathology.

In this sense, the diagnosis of an anxiety disorder usually motivates the processing of a sick leave. However, the relationship between the two terms is not always linear and may be subject to variations determined by the medical professional.

The main anxiety disorders that can motivate the processing of a sick leave are an obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, specific phobia (especially when the phobic element is related to some work aspect), panic attack with or without agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder.

Significant interference with the subject’s life

Although many of the anxiety disorders can be included in an anxiety disorder, not all anxiety symptoms have a specific diagnosis.

For this reason, beyond the diagnosis made, one of the key elements for processing an absence from work due to anxiety lies in the effects that the anxious symptoms cause on the subject’s life.

Also Read: What is the Relationship Between Tryptophan and Anxiety?

In general, when manifestations of anxiety interfere sharply with the normal routine of the individual, with their labor or social relationships, or produce a clinically significant malaise, it is usually motivated by sick leave.

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