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Topic: Is this normal? reaction to certain work situations

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Garion
    Garion avatar
    1 posts
    16 May 2021

    Hello all - first time poster!

    I work in IT and on occasion have faced stressful situations - security issues, human error, or just performance anxiety when having to carry out changes. I had a particularly stressful situation that cropped up on Friday afternoon (when else) and came to the realisation that my body's reaction to this is probably abnormal, to the point where I am barely able to carry out my job - I find my mind racing out of control, my blood pressure spikes to high levels (I measured it at 155/100 and my resting heart rate was over 100) and my heart races. I get that tightness in the chest, nervous feeling, difficulty in speaking calmly, and my mind scatters all over the place. In these situations you need to be calm and think logically.

    The worst part is the aftermath, especially if the situation is ongoing and I am trying to sleep. Ill toss and turn, have stomach pains and get cold hands and feet. The only thing that really helps is resolving the actual IT issue itself - even then it takes many hours for the symptoms to subside. I've tried many different approaches to calm myself down (meditation, listening to music, etc...), but these only help for a few minutes.

    When I'm not in these situations I feel Ok, so the anxiety is not a constant thing - I just feel like my body just doesn't respond the way it should when under stress - it just goes over the top for some reason. I feel like I am ready to see a specialist, but perhaps others have experienced similar things, and I am very interested in how others dealt with it.

    I guess the simplest approach is just to avoid these situations, but I feel that is a huge cop out.

  2. unigirl1994
    unigirl1994 avatar
    28 posts
    17 May 2021 in reply to Garion
    Hi Garion. It sucks being in a stressful situation when you have anxiety. Most people just feel a bit stressed but I also get all the same symptoms you do and it sticks in my mind until it's resolved. Stressful situations can't always be avoided, they are a part of life unfortunately, nothing is perfect! Therapy certainly helps with dealing with these symptoms and I hope you can find a way to manage these symptoms and not be so worried!
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10343 posts
    17 May 2021 in reply to Garion

    Dear Garion~

    It realy is terrible when even things that might otherwise be considered a normal part of your occupation start to cause more and more worry, to the point where anxiety takes over your body and your thinking. Sure not everything goes right in any job, and having the expectation that there will always be glitches is the way many people handle it.

    The problem came, at least for me, in wanting everything to work, for all efforts to result in perfection, for there to be no glitches.

    This false expectation can be something the organisation you are with expects, or can come from inside yourself. In my case it came from inside me, and resulted in the sort of bodily symptoms, mind constantly worrying and lack of sleep.

    A bit of a vicious circle, as the more tired I became and the less my concentration the more things went wrong -a no win situation. I became less and less willing to take things on.

    This situation was not something I could not improve for myself, I simply kept on getting worse. Eventually I did seek proper medical help, not just for the physical symptoms, but for my thinking too. Admittedly this was part of a larger picture but one of the things I had was an anxiety condition.

    Under the correct regime of medications and therapy I improved out of sight -not quickly but eventually I reached a stage where everything was manageable and it is only on rare occasions that this set of negative emotions takes hold.

    Even now I have a set of things I can try to reduce that. They range from exercise to reading to the free smartphone app Smiling Mind to ..

    I know your things will be different.

    You might get some ideas from the thread

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/self-help-tips-for-managing-anxiety

    which is LONG but is packed with ideas, some of which I've adopted.

    I did try avoiding those situations where I thought it was likely I'd react badly, sadly that did not realy help, not only did my job require them, but if I did omit them I found that then I'd simply worry more about something else -like the mind had a built in quota of worry to get though every day.

    May I suggest you see your GP in a long consultation and give all the details of how things are for you - it is a good first step

    I hope to talk with you some more

    Croix

  4. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    825 posts
    18 May 2021 in reply to Garion

    Hi Garion,

    I'm so sorry that you have been going through this. Work-related anxiety can be so difficult to deal with but at least you have made the connection between how you are feeling and the situations you have been in (which is definitely a strong first step!)

    I definitely relate to your post and have felt this at work also. One thing that helped me was to realise what kind of thoughts that I was having. I have learnt that there is usually a connection between thoughts -> emotions -> actions in this way. I would catastrophes so I realised I would have thoughts such as 'everyone is going to think I'm a failure' or 'this is going to reflect on me as bad performance'.

    Have you perhaps thought of reaching out to a mental health professional? They could potentially add another layer of support also.

    We are definitely here for you! You are not alone!

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