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Topic: Anxiety at work and mental block

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Rose66
    Rose66 avatar
    1 posts
    1 July 2020
    I started getting anxiety while at University about seven years ago, and ever since it has never gone away. I was able to manage it for a few years, but lately it has been getting worse. It feels like in a matter of seconds my heart rate can go from 0 to 10 over little stresses that wouldn't bother the average person. At work when I need to speak infront of my team I find that I often get mental blocks, where I am tongue tied and unable to gather my thoughts. As a result, I sound convoluted and often stumble over my words, which can be embarrassing.

    I am only now looking to get professional help. I was thinking about telling my manager, but I don't want special treatment or have the nature of my work changed so I have avoided this.

    Any tips on how anyone has overcome this issue would be appreciated.
  2. jess334
    Valued Contributor
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    jess334 avatar
    395 posts
    1 July 2020 in reply to Rose66
    Hi Rose66,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I'm glad you are looking at getting some professional help. When anxiety starts to over take your life, some supports like your GP and a psychologist can really help you get back on track.

    As for telling your boss, I would ask yourself what you are hoping to have come out of that discussion. If you don't need/want any additional support from your boss, such as reduced workload or hours, then what is the benefit of telling them?

    Honestly, I have had situations where I have spoke to my manager about my mental health problems and it drastically changed my relationship with them. It was difficult to over come that admission and I ended up moving jobs soon after. This happened to me repeatedly and now I don't talk about my mental health issues at work.

    I know there is supposed to be no stimga, but often people have unconscious bias that they cannot control.

    However please do continue to use these forums to talk about your issues. It can be a great place to get it off your chest without ramifications.

    Kind thoughts, Jess
  3. Blake_S
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    Blake_S avatar
    37 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Rose66
    Hi Rose66,

    Thank you for posting, and telling us about what has been going on for you. I'm sorry to hear that your anxiety has gotten worse and that you're going through a a difficult time, especially when you are at work.

    I wanted to follow on from jess334's post, and let you know anxiety is part of what makes us human, it is a normal feeling. But sometimes it can get overwhelming, and we experience anxiety when we shouldn’t! Feeling your heart rate increase over little stressors, feeling tongue-tied and having a blank mind can all be part of anxiety. But in saying that, it is normal to feel a little nervous when talking in front of a group of people, I was wondering if you have been able to talk in front of your team without nerves and mental blocks before?

    I ask this because there are ways that we can manage our anxiety. I'm very glad to hear that you are looking to get professional support because those professionals will be able to help you learn how to manage your anxiety. So well done, it's not an easy task to reach out for help! In relation to telling your manager, that is a topic that may be worth discussing with your mental health professional, because they will have an in-depth sense of who you are as a person, and help you make the decision about telling your manager. I know you have avoided this so far, but it talking it out can help you feel comfort in your decision.

    I hope you will write back and let us know if you have reached out for professional help, as jess334 said, these forums are a great place to voice your feelings and know that you're not alone in your battle with anxiety.

    All the best,
    Blake_S :)
  4. Tay100
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Tay100 avatar
    479 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Rose66

    Hi Rose66

    I'm sorry to hear you have been having a tough time- have any of the posts resonated with you? There is some great dialogue here, thanks everyone.

    I just wanted to say I know what it is like not wanting special consideration or treatment but still wanting support in particular; one thing I will say in response to that is the importance of a personal network that you can confide in. They can make all the difference. Do you have anyone who might be able to check in on you? Professional help is also a great asset to your personal network- how is finding a service going for you?

    Feel free to keep us posted,

    Tay100

  5. SarahZ
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    SarahZ avatar
    115 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Rose66

    Hi Rose66,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out - you are very brave and courageous in doing so. I've also suffered from performance anxiety so I can relate to what you are saying. Whenever I had to do an oral presentation or even ask a senior a question my palms began sweating profusely and my words always began jumbling up incoherently. Even until this day I still find myself anxious several days before scheduled presentations; however, after doing quite a few presentations over the years I've learned to cope a bit better. For me personally, I found that practicing my speeches over a few times helped ease my anxiety and made me feel a lot more prepared. Also just realising that other people are a lot more preoccupied with their own thoughts to pay much directed attention to what you say helped me get through a few of my presentations.

    However, great job in taking initiative and seeking professional support - thats always the hardest step.

    Please feel free to update us if you feel up to it.

    Wishing you the very best :)

  6. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
    6311 posts
    2 July 2020 in reply to Rose66

    Dear Rose

    Hello and welcome to the forum. This is a good place to talk about the things that bother you. We all have our various mental health difficulties which makes able to relate to you.

    I have to agree with the comments from Jess334 about non disclosure. It so often changes the relationship at work no matter how accepting other people appear. I think there is still much do before we, as the human race, can get rid of our usually unconscious prejudices.

    Having a support network of your own is also a good plan. I have several friends I can call on when the going gets tough. When you start meeting with a psychologist it will be a good topic to discuss.

    Like SarahZ I agree about prior rehearsal. I presented training and gave other presentations to staff. Mostly I was OK but now and then I became nervous and felt I stuffed up. Not sure if Power Point is old hat these days but I liked to use it. I could show the public screen to my audience while having my own prompts on my screen. It was a great help for managing my nervousness. Alternatively, write your own prompts in dot points. They really do help and if you have a couple practice runs first it can help your self confidence hugely.

    I have also discovered that when you start feeling anxious it's a good thing to try to plan what you are going to do rather than get swept away by the panic. This switches the focus of your mind from the overwhelming emotion at the time into a more calm space. Yes it may take practice but it can also help to short circuit the more distressing emotions. Anything that gets you back to normality is good.

    I hope you can make contact with a psychologist soon and start working on your anxiety. Please post here as often as you feel it is helpful.

    Mary

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