Working With Depression

Hi

I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice or coping strategies. I am 22, went to uni to study psychology from the ages of 18-21. I got my first job as an admin assistant which lasted for 4 months (I ended up having to leave due to bursting into tears every morning, feeling sick and dreading every day at work, especially answering the phones which made me extremely anxious). My doctor then put me onto 20mg fluoxetine.

3 Months later I found another job as a minute taker which I really enjoyed. In June/July after a disucssion with my doctor I decided to ween myself off of the fluoxetine and this did not go well. I came back from my holiday abroad in August, went back to work and after a couple of weeks just felt overwhelmed and depressed. I had to be signed off work and felt there was just no point to life anymore, cried most of the day and couldn't get out of bed. I then went back onto fluoxetine and my dose was increased to 40mg.

This week I got signed back to work on a phased return. I went in yesterday, burst into tears in front of my boss and had to be sent home. I felt extremely anxious days before even going back to work. I have now handed in my notice because I'm not happy there anymore and I just can't face going back. It feels that the Fluoxetine has helped with my symptoms of depression, but my social anxiety has actually got worse.

I was wondering what kind of jobs people would suggest for me? I am quite a shy, introverted and anxious person. I much prefer a job that I can get on with alone and not be in a big busy office full of people. I am thinking of looking for a part-time job because I find it so hard and overwhelming to deal with full-time work, but I'm worried that people will think I'm stupid or a "bum" becuase I'm 22 and have no children (in other words I shouldn't have any reason not to be wokring full-time). I am just really worried and don't know what my future holds, if anyone could help me that would be great.

9 Replies

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  • Hi. I will think more about this. Maybe you could be signed off sick if you are too unwell. National Careers Advice line and online may be able to help you. Back of house stocking shelves? You may not like that? I have no kids either. Your health is most important not what other people think,nvm them. PM me if you like.

  • Hi I think you would do better to work on your mental health issues at the moment rather than thinking about possible jobs for yourself. Have you ever been to counselling? Did it help? I think you need to go back to your doctor and tell them how you feel. It is possible a change of meds could help, or even another one as well to help with your anxiety. A combination of meds can sometimes be the best option. x

  • I am going back to the doctors this morning and I think I will ask to be put on a waiting list for counselling. I will also have the discussion about my medication as I think you're right. Thanks for your reply x

  • Good idea. Let us know how you get on. Any problems or questions just jump in and ask. x

  • Volunteering can be a good start with lots of choices. I don't know which country you are in but as mentioned careers advice organisations may help.

    Also working on your own issues with ego strengthening and self confidence. Hypnosis and psychological approaches, which presumably you have some expertise in!

  • Hi Jemmy,

    Congratulations on your degree. I had to quit teaching and had a breakdown that lasted 9 months, and honestly, at month 11, I'm currently not too great.

    Anyway, my point is that I started a new job at a growing company as a telephone PA. I'm in a team of four and work part time. I too don't have kids, or the usual excuse, nor have I been asked by my colleagues to explain. You could tell people that you are still studying or volunteering, or, to mind their own business.

    I know how horrible social anxiety is, and I used to be a social butterfly. The trick is to be a good listener. People love to talk about themselves, if you direct the attention at them, they will lap it up.

    Would it be beneficial for you to tuck yourself away somewhere? I think it'd be easier, but maybe you could take little steps. When I am in a shop, I always think of a way to compliment the staff member serving me. I usually focus on pretty jewelry or nicely painted nails. If you are a guy, you might find this harder, although I think jewelry might still be a safe topic?

    Lori

    Xxx

  • Thank you this really helps. It's nice to know that there are other people in similar situations to me as it doesn't make me feel so crappy (although I wouldn't wish it on anyone).

    I think it would be best for me to find something part-time, at least for now until I get myself sorted. My problem is I care way too much about what people think of me and I'm far too sensitive! I need to somehow learn how to focus on my happiness rather than pleasing others.

    Thank you for your response it means a lot. And I hope your part time job is going good for you x

  • Hi, lots of people give up their medication without proper consultation including myself once which then ended up causing me a full blown break down. I would never suggest doing this and always seek advice to change the type or strength until it helps( this may take a while but never give up). The thing about working with depression is not about what job you have but how you handle your stress that any job can cause. If you are like me stress can be self inflicted, example...i have always been told and learnt from young that I must do all the overtime that is required by my boss otherwise I will not be thought of as lazy or not helpful. This can create stress and give yourself a negative opinion of yourself. The trick is to learn coping mechanisms of survival for depression. Have you had counselling before? , if not try and seek some CBT and address all your learned perceptions and learn breathing techniques to cope with anxieties. Identify core problems, accept them without judging yourself and challenge them, look at the good things in life and make plans or goals to work too. Best of luck

  • Too be honest, I think your GP gave you a very common response, a drug and a very common form of anti depressant. It's just covering the cracks, dealing with the symptoms and not dealing with the cause.

    Based upon what you said you liked your enjoyed the job but the anxiety and depression has got the better of the situation. There are different approaches to dealing with anxiety and depression. Exercise, medication, CBT, counselling, a support network. You just have too explore them and find what works best for you.

    Personally I recommend exercise. Exercise helps with lifting mood and reduces anxiety. Exercise is an anti-depressant, fact.

    There are techniques with dealing with anxiety, medication, breathing exercises etc..

    I hope this helps. All the best young one :)

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