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Topic: Anxiety and work situation

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Jo999
    Jo999 avatar
    6 posts
    25 June 2020
    I have bad anxiety due to a work situation and how the workplace has treated me being bullied and then excluded from work. I was on workers compensation but they are trying to get me off it. I hate the thought of not working as I want to be productive. I don't want to apply for disability, but my anxiety is overwhelming. I've never had anxiety before this and I find it hard to sleep as the same ongoing thoughts go over and over in my head about how badly my employer has treated me. I get anxious leaving the house. Does anyone have any ideas to stop the repetitive negative thoughts? I try to distract myself and find something else to think about, but it doesn't work. Thanks.
  2. Blake_S
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    Blake_S avatar
    37 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to Jo999
    Hey Jo999. Thank you for joining us and welcome to the forums. We are so glad that you decided to reach out, this is often a very difficult first step, and we all commend you on taking it.

    It sounds like you've had a very difficult and unfair workplace experience, and I am so sorry that such a workplace has bullied you and treated you this way, this is not okay. I want you to know that your feelings and distress are valid given your circumstance. I'm glad to hear that you want to be productive by working, so hopefully, we have can give you some support for your anxiety so you can continue to do so. But please keep in mind that no workplace should be treating you the way your current employer is.

    I want you to know that anxiety is a normal thing to experience, it is part of what makes us human, but sometimes it is difficult to manage. I was wondering if you get anxiety every time you leave the house, or just when you're on your way to work? I ask this because sometimes our anxiety can be generalised (meaning we have it all the time, even when it shouldn’t be there) or it can be specific (for example, you only have anxiety when leaving the house for work, or being at work).

    Repetitive negative thoughts are a symptom of anxiety and can be very distressing and often when we distract ourselves it doesn’t work because it is not effectively dealing with anxiety. How long have you been experiencing these repetitive negative thoughts? There are lots of methods to help manage anxiety, but it's important to have a good understanding of what's happening for you, so the right method can be used.

    I hope to hear back from you, so we can provide you with support. We are all here for you.

    Thanks,
    Blake_S
  3. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    25 June 2020

    Hi Jo999,

    Sorry that people felt like they could mistreat and bully you at work, that is not okay. It sounds like you were able to stand up for yourself in this situation and get what you deserved but with it has come a whole new range of problems and feelings. Now your workplace is in a way taking that power back off you by making you feel pressured to come off workers compensation? is that right?

    It seems on one hand work is something you like doing because it keeps us happy and busy but on the other hand returning to work caused you great anxiety.

    This is a tricky really tricky cross roads, but I'm sure with the support of everyone here on the forum, you will be able to come to the right decision for yourself <3

  4. Jo999
    Jo999 avatar
    6 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to Blake_S
    I get anxious about lots of things at the moment but am particularly triggered by work and work issues. I haven't been at work for a while. I get worried whenever I leave the house (which is not often) that I will see colleagues who have done the wrong thing by me, and I don't even want to look at my emails because I worry they will fire me. They said they are taking me off workers comp and I worry that I won't get another job ever. They have not helped me and go out of their way to be nasty and treat me badly. I have booked in to see my GP and also to talk to the union. I really don't want to deal with work anymore, my anxiety is bad and one of the only ways to maybe get better is to get away from them. If I get away from them will my anxiety improve? thanks
  5. InhaleExhale
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    InhaleExhale avatar
    54 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to Jo999

    Hi Jo999,

    Workplace bullying and exclusion must have been really horrible for you. I know when I’ve experienced bad interactions and have been treated unfairly at work, I tend to replay them over and over in my head and have a lot of trouble letting the thoughts go especially when I am trying to sleep. I’ve felt so angry at how I’ve been treated and also annoyed that I wasn’t able to stand up for myself in the way I would have liked and the more I think about it, the stronger these feeling would get. Maybe this is similar for you?

    It makes sense to me that you are having problems sleeping and your anxiety has expanded to other parts of your life including leaving the house, your safe space. From hearing about other people’s experiences, workers compensation can also be a really negative experience, especially for people who are on it for mental health reasons. I imagine that them trying to get you off compensation is adding to your feeling of anxiety even further. Not to mention thoughts of the disability pension.

    Overall, it sounds like you are feeling really stuck because you want to work and be productive but you’re not able to due to your anxiety. That’s a really tough spot to be in!

    Reaching out through these forums is a great step to improving your mental health. I wonder if you’ve had any experiences before in seeking help and whether anything has been useful?

    InhaleExhale

  6. Jo999
    Jo999 avatar
    6 posts
    25 June 2020 in reply to InhaleExhale
    Thank you for your responses. Yes anxiety is a difficult thing, particularly when brought on by the workplace and when dealing with them and how they operate makes things even worse. I hate how my employer has treated me as it has been so awful, they are negative, unkind and very combative, and not helpful. It just exacerbates things. It is exhausting dealing with them. I am making steps to leave employment as I think that is the only way to improve the situation. It is stressful and I don't know how workplaces can get away with treating people like this. They pretend to say the right things and pretend they are supportive organisations, but they are not. I don't like the idea of going onto disability support, but it might be the best thing for me for now. I am sad at the loss of my career and my identity. I might see if i can get involved in some volunteer work when I feel a bit better. Thank you for your replies
  7. Blake_S
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    Blake_S avatar
    37 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to Jo999
    Hi Jo999,

    Thank you for writing back to me, and I'm sorry for the late response - I am online Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    I firstly want to say that it's good that you can identify what triggers your anxiety, which is work and understandably so because this means that steps can be taken to help manage your anxiety. It saddens me to hear how poorly you are being treated at work, and I am glad to hear that you have booked in to see your GP and talk to the union! Can you please keep me updated on how these appointments go? Especially talking to the union, because you are being mistreated and your anxiety is worsening due to your work! So give yourself a pat on the back for taking action.

    I can understand why you don't want to deal with work anymore, I'd feel the same if I was in your shoes. Anxiety presents differently in all of us, so unfortunately I can't give you a straight answer about if your anxiety would completely improve if you got away from them. I think you'd feel slightly relieved that you don't have to deal with work anymore, but you may still feel worried when you leave the house because you might still worry that you will see a colleague. I do think taking steps (like talking to the union and GP) will help you feel supported, which in turn can make us feel a bit less anxious.

    I can point in the right direction to find some anxiety management strategies that can help you manage your anxiety if you're interested? Let me know. We are all here for you, if you can, write back and let us know how you are going? We are here to support you.

    Thanks,
    Blake_S
  8. InhaleExhale
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    InhaleExhale avatar
    54 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to Jo999

    Hi Jo999,

    I’m sorry that your employer has treated you so badly. Do whatever you think will have the best outcome for you and your wellbeing, whether it’s disability support or whatever it is. This is a time when you need to look after yourself and be kind to yourself.

    Once you are feeling a bit better, it would be great to do some volunteer work and get back out into the community at your own pace. Have you done anything in the past? I really enjoyed volunteering years ago in a disability day centre for adults.

    InahleExhale.

  9. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to Jo999

    I feel for you Jo999, even when we try to seek justice in these situations some workplaces are only their for themselves, and the pretending to care for the employer is almost patronising. I've been in workplaces that are similar and even when you are given what you want, you are made to feel difficult or excluded. I don't think you have told us what what area of work you work in? You don't need to share any great details but it would be nice to know considering its a big part of you identity, finding similar work/volunteer work in that area when the timings right could be nice.

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