Anxiety and Depression Support
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Newbie, Never Been So Panicked

Hi. I'm brand new here and never done anything like this online chat before. I've recently started a new job (about 4 months ago) with a really great company. Since completing the training I've been experiencing more and more anxiety and it's gotten to the point where I've had one public meltdown at work and several before where I have become so overwhelmed I feel sick, dizzy and hyperventilating and end up calling in sick. To say things have been like a "roller coaster" is an understatement. To give anyone willing to read a peak of the situation, here is some background. When I graduated college I had high hopes and big dreams that were absolutely shattered in a few short months. I was working a part time job that paid minimum wage and a boss who was legitimately mentally abusive and didn't get any calls back from jobs I applied for. I was trying for the American Dream and trying to start a company with my brand new husband, it was tough and stressful and there were other things going on but we were optimistic. That was blown out of the water in one day that I was told would never come. My husband of 3 months was court martialed, dishonorably discharged and sentenced to several years in prison. We lost everything (except true family and friends). That was the start to a lot of misery and pain. Very few people know this outside of family, close friends and those involved in the trial. I moved every 2-3 months for cheap places to live or friends/family extending a helping hand and moved either until another job opened up or I felt I overstayed my welcome. My husband served almost his full sentence and to this day we fight to have the charges dismissed and restoring his good name and reputation. We have fought tooth and nail to get ahead in life. We have made tremendous gains in that time, some of it unbelievable even to myself. While he was gone I wound up in a job that was absolutely aweful for nearly 4 years. I worked insane hours, it was more physically demanding at first and as I promoted it became mentally demanding and then both. I gained a ton of weight despite doing my best to be healthy by being active but where I failed was sleep, no social life, extreme stress and demanding work hours, severe financial strife... I could spend days going on about it this. Where I run in to my current problem is my husband and I have finally reached a good point where he's got a great job with a great company and we have a house we love... on and on. I finally felt he was stable enough I could leave my terrible job and try for other employment. After a brief stint of unemployment and getting much needed medical attention to get my health back under control I gained employment in a top notch company. They treat employees great and there's little to complain about. My job deals with talking to members all day and I received quite a lot of training. When I finally got on the phones and started dealing with members and the more I learned on the job the more and more anxiety I felt. Building and building to the point of over flow. It seems the more I learn about the job the more I feel panicked. The more people I talk to the more I panic. It is a call center and I can't say it's a lot of being yelled at and screamed at but I get panicked waiting for the bad call to finally come, or messing up. My manager keeps telling me it's okay to mess up, we'll coach you through it but I'm so terrified of that one thing that's an unforgivable screw up that I'll be fired. I tell myself to just do the best I can and one call at a time, one situation at a time but that becomes less and less comforting each day. I'm told this is normal with a new job but I find little comfort in that. I feel like a horrible person and a complete coward for calling off and leaving my amazing coworkers and manager just hanging and taking on my workload. I can't figure out why after ALL the crap I've been through, this great opportunity is causing me to be so terrified. Does anyone have any advice on techniques that work for them? I'm trying to stay away from prescriptions, I drink very little and exercise frequently but it doesn't seem to help much once my workout is over.

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Hi. I’m new here too. I’ve never chatted online either and I am by no means an authority but if I can help just one person that would make me feel I have a purpose in life.

It’s not clear what you do at your job so maybe there is something in daily tasks adding to your anxiety. Are your responsibilities familiar to you, meaning have you experience with this type work. The thought of failure stops a lot of people from succeeding. If you ask your boss for a mentor to show you the ropes would that help a little?

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Also if callers yell it doesn’t mean you are the cause. People need outlets for frustration and the easiest targets are the ones on the other end of the line-just out of reach

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Hi Lexica02. I do licensed insurance in nearly half the states. I've done call center on a very small scale but not with insurance before. The hard part is things change constantly which I am not used to. It's the small details in doing the job that get me and are exhausting to me. The big picture is manageable. My coworkers are great, they help where they can and have a free moment and we have a dedicated coach for the first 90 days but she has to help 14 other people and I try hard to be resourceful and not rely just on her but it seems when I really run out of resources she is off helping someone else and I'm out of options. I'll get someone to come listen to calls once in awhile but that is a double edged sword. It makes me nervous having someone monitoring but I have someone to help on hand if I get stuck.

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So you need to know a lot of information that is different for each state, yes? What do you think is causing the anxiety. The knowledge you need that you don’t have yet or talking to people in general. If it’s the knowledge, that will come in time. I think that once you are confident with your knowledge, dealing with callers will be easier. If you make the effort to learn (I’m not saying you aren’t) then you can say to yourself and be confident that you are doing your best. Take a deep breath and fully exhale before and after every call. Don’t start your day rushed and take a little me time at the end of your work day.

I know there is more going on here than your job You may want to try writing down everything that is getting to you and possible plans of action to resolve or help you cope with each

What I do for myself is look at the few good things I have in life and keep in my mind that no matter how bad I think I have it someone has it worse. I’m sorry I don’t have any real ideas but I hope that just knowing that people in this world, even strangers, really care about others helps you a little

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You're right there is more going on but my job seems to be the biggest pain point and the hardest to get through on a day to day basis. I'm not enjoying talking to people mostly because they want to be rude our treat me like I'm stupid when it's really them that don't get it or they just don't like what I'm telling them. I try to have the what in my life is good mentality to outweigh the panic and stress and it worked for a short time. Not as much now.

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Hiya, sorry to hea about your difficulties. I was a line manager for most of my career and what I would say is that you have to give yourself time to settle in. The first three months is a very steep learning curve and then it should begin to level out but in my job there was a 2 year probationary period. After all you've been through it's no wonder you are nervous but if you are conscientious, hardworking and honest (as I'm sure you are) you will always be employable. Of course, not all jobs suit all people - For e.g. I would never have made the grade as a sales person. So see how you feel after 6 months. If you are still not happy, consider whether it's the job or something else and then once you have identified the source of your unease, think about what solutions there are. For every problem, there is an answer. Take care,

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Thank you. I'm trying to give it time but I'm not the most patient person I'll admit.

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It sounds to me as though you feel anxious because you and your husband have worked so hard to get things back on track, and now that they finally are, you're afraid of messing up. I'd go see a doctor about some medication that might help your anxiety and also learn some relaxation techniques that you can use while at your job.

One good one is deep breathing and tensing and relaxing your musciles. You can do it right at your desk.

You've done such a great job for your family, and I wish you all the best. You have lots of friends here who understand.

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I am afraid of messing it up. I've worked most of my life and when my husband was gone and for these last few years and while he was trying to find stability I never worked so hard and never been so stressed out but I HAD to be strong and suck it up or we were gonna end up homeless. Now, this year when I was finally able to quit my job and just take my time finding a new one I felt it was the best thing ever. Don't get me wrong I was depressed because that job ruined me physically and mentally. I felt a bit like a bum not being employed and contributing financially but for those months I cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, maintained the house and started working out again. I did almost everything I hadn't done in 4 year and I didn't have much to Nash about to my husband which means we argued a lot less. It was great just being home not worrying about anything until money started running out and job hunting had to get serious. What I'm struggling with now is that we aren't financially strapped and all debts but our home will be gone soon I'm asking myself if I want to work at all? I've never had that mentality. I was always of that mind set off work until I keeled over. But now that I had that no work feeling it was great not feeling the physical pain of stress for that time. I feel guilty though if I made my husband the financially responsible one. That and this company is great but I just don't want to deal with crappy people, or I don't to be the one who screws something up and it destroys someone's life. That isn't an over exaggeration either.

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All you can do is the best you can - to do your job, to try to relax, to hold things together. You're only human and if you can't make it work, then at least you've given it your best. The most important thing is your health. Do what is possible and that is all you can do.

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Thank you. And that's the conclusion I'm coming to as well. I don't sleep much and I don't eat normal when I'm stressed and it's been getting worse. Almost constantly now I feel that fight or flight feeling prickling under my skin and speeding up my heart. I'm constantly beating down the panic and trying to hold back the fear and anger and it's a losing battle. This just may not be the job for me unfortunately. I can't keep justifying it because of good benefits. My heart and mind aren't in it.

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