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Topic: Worried i'm going to break down in a meeting!

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Dan_1000
    Dan_1000 avatar
    9 posts
    9 January 2020

    Hello there,

    As a bit of background I've had generalized anxiety for some time but other than a few stomach issues it really hasn't impacted my life too much.

    However from about a couple of years ago I've been experiencing sudden, short peaks in my anxiety (at least i think it is anxiety?) typically in engagements with work colleagues. These have become more recurrent and now I can sometimes trigger the peak just by thinking about the engagements. These engagements could include performance reviews, notifying my boss that i'm resigning, laying off an employee, or more recently even when i think of telling other colleagues of my resignation, or an innocuous conflict in a meeting.

    My logical brain says there's nothing to fear but suddenly it feels like my stomach is falling, and I lose control of my face and start feeling my chin wobble and that i could suddenly cry. My thoughts become cloudy and i am intensely concerned that my response is noticeable. I find it really hard to get words out.

    I am now constantly ruminating about this happening which i'm sure is making things worse - even scarier, my new job starting in a couple of months is going to make these situations very, very frequent.

    Any musings or thoughts or shared experiences would be really valued. I haven't seen many comments in forums or the like about these sudden feelings/phyiscal responses (but maybe I am labelling it incorrectly!!)

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    8930 posts
    9 January 2020 in reply to Dan_1000

    Dear Dan_1000~

    Welcome to the Forum. It is a hard thing for most people to do, myself included. One first off has to realise there may be a problem, then one has to talk abut personal things to strangers. It is a brave, and a wise move.

    I can relate almost exactly to a lot of what you have been saying. I was not quite the same, having my anxiety complicated by other matters, but remember the 'stomach issues' the peaks of worry that came by even thinking about interactions at work, extreme worry abut my boss's reactions, and not feeling able to handle even simple task involving others while at work.

    My thinking was terrible at those times, unlike you I gave in to anger rather than almost crying - whch I did later on anyway when I'd tried to keep going for too long without help.

    May I ask if you are seeing a doctor or psych, and if you are under treatment for your anxiety? It sounds as if it is increasing and maybe your treatment- if you are having any - need adjusting, whch happens from time to time. Sometimes medication is added to therapy, other times therapy is added to meds or the therapy or meds changed. There can be a bit of trial and error, however hopefully you will end up having more coping skills for your new job

    Croix

  3. Dan_1000
    Dan_1000 avatar
    9 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix thank you so much for your response.

    It's funny because most of the time i cannot put my finger on what is triggering the anxious response at work - i.e. my rational brain says i don't care about the response, or that there is no threat!

    To answer your question, yes I am seeing a psych. She's helped me a lot so far around the stomach issues and some of my generalized anxiety.... but like me she's hunting for what the cognitive cause is behind my workplace anxiety.

    Thanks again for your reply

  4. 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
    8930 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Dan_1000

    Dear Dan_1000~

    I'd have to agree that the logical brain may well see a situation as being trivial or no real threat , or disastrous outcomes highly unlikely. However this has never stopped my anxiety from picking up these issues and using them to occupy my thoughts in the highly unpleasant ways I'm sure you know exactly.

    This may apply at the time, or as you put it, ruminating at other times.

    I've never been ably to point at one thing that was the start of my anxiety about particular episodes, the best I can come up with is might be I'm prone to react to certain types of situations, and try to develop techniques to live though them gracefully is often the best I've managed. In truth such matters have become much more muted and infrequent as time has gone on.

    I've finally found meds that suit me, the type of therapy I engage in with my psych works and I'm generally pretty OK. I would hope the same for you.

    I'm very glad you have found a psychologist who is helping. Even reducing the stomach problems is a big step. In my case it reduced the stress caused by constant visits to the toilet, and that reduction in stress helped everything.

    I'm sure in time causes will be found.

    Croix

  5. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    blondguy avatar
    10634 posts
    10 January 2020 in reply to Dan_1000

    Hello Dan_1000

    I echo Croix's advice in his posts above with these anxiety 'spikes' you are experiencing...

    At this time treating these awful symptoms would seem to be a priority

    I used to have bad anxiety prior to going into the boardroom..traffic jams...staff situations when I was in corporate for a long time and it is painful Dan..I understand what you are going through

    Being 23 in 1983 there was little support for anxiety. I have learned that the earlier the symptoms are treated the better our recovery will be. I didnt know that in 1983 and wasted 7 years of my life trying to self heal...That was a mistake for me which only made my symptoms worse

    Just for your info Dan...Ive been seeing my GP every 8 weeks for the last 23 years for a fine tune of my symptoms and low dose meds whilst being in senior management

    Great to have you as part of Beyond Blue Dan :-)

    any questions are always welcome!

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Dockley
    Dockley avatar
    5 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Dan_1000
    Hi Dan_1000,
    Your post reminded me a lot of things I've been experiencing so instead of lurking (as usual) your post was enough for me to finally reciprocate.
    One thing I noticed is that you mention that you understood 'logically' what's happening yet you still have feelings of being on the brink of breaking down. This is something I struggle with because I make a watertight cases for why I should be able to control the situation but can't and the terror that brings. Everyone else seems to be fine so there must be something wrong. Being a good problem solver generally makes this all the more frustrating because normally lots of analysis brings success but in this case it does the opposite. At the moment the biggest learning for me is that strengths (like anaysis), when overused, become counterproductive. I'm looking at not becoming someone else but expanding my repertoire of thinking techniques. At least that's the plan. I don't know if any of that resonates?
  7. Dan_1000
    Dan_1000 avatar
    9 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to Dockley
    Thanks Dockley for your reply, it definitely resonates with me. Sometimes i defininitely feel that with my job being about problem solving through logic, I tie myself up with rational. I am also working on trying to accept anxious feelings as opposed to rationalizing them away.
  8. Dan_1000
    Dan_1000 avatar
    9 posts
    15 January 2020 in reply to blondguy
    thanks Blondguy for your reply, it is nice to know that it's possible to survive with anxiety in senior management! Whilst my counsellor is very focused on finding and challenging 'root causes' or built-up assumptions from my past, I might ask her if she can help me for a little bit on managing the symptoms as yes, it certainly feels like a priority to me!
  9. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10634 posts
    16 January 2020 in reply to Dan_1000

    Hi Dan

    There is no doubt you have an excellent counsellor. Please dont underestimate your GP with helping out with the symptoms....They can be a huge help where our anxiety symptoms are concerned

    You will be able to cope with these meetings and excel in your career....especially with your proactive mindset!

    thankyou so much for your kind reply too!...Any questions are always welcome Dan :-)

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

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