Working full time with anxiety, it is so hard

Hi, I have been off work since last Monday due to feeling really panicky and generally not good with anxiety, because of family issues and a couple of things I find a challenge with at work. I'm working as a temp and I tried to go back in to work this morning but felt so bad, shakey, head felt numb, that I had to call in sick.

I contacted the agency I am with and told them for the first time that I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks. The lady I spoke with didn't know what to say and it was really awkward talking to her! She agreed to contact my manager and let him know. I followed up our conversation with an email basically reiterating what I had told her and that I've been having counselling for the last year and a half.

I didn't receive any response to my email so I called the agency back this afternoon and was told a message had been left with my manager - not sure what he was told though as the lady at the agency didn't seem to want to say I'm suffering with anxiety. She said 'oh I'll just say you have a few things you need to sort out' which was a bit frustrating. I'm guessing they don't want their client saying them don't want me back as there is always this stigma attached to mental health and how you will cope with the workload. It's been a struggle all my working life as I have suffered with anxiety since my teens. I've not been able to stay in a job for years as I really struggle with stressy situations at work.

I am feeling a bit panicky still and exhausted with worry about having to try and go in tomorrow. I will give it a good go because I don't need to lose my job as I'm on a contract until October this year, however, working full time in a busy office is hard work when you're not feeling yourself.

I wondered if anyone else feels this way with trying to carry on working and how you cope with it?



8 Replies

  • Hi Louise oh it is hard...I had to leave a full time job because of it,so I totally understand...I'm sorry I don't have any answers to this..I think we know when we simply cannot carry on for the sake of our health....but we all differ and some of us may be fine , the job taking our mind off things ....I tried so so hard but just couldn't do made me too ill...I found I lost my concentration....

    I truly wish you well in this...

    Let us know how you are..

    Sue xxxxx

  • Thanks Sue and sorry to hear you too have had a difficult time.

    I find it hard to concentrate at work as I am constantly worrying if I'm doing my work right. It's a vicious circle - been there so many times now and lost / left a few jobs because I couldn't cope. I wish I could give up my job for now but it's not fair on my partner plus just bought and renovated a house.

    Hope you're feeling better soon


  • It's hard I truly empathise with you...

    Don't forget your health is important and I'm sure your partner wouldn't want you ill...but I know it's really not easy...I guess I was lucky I could give up...I don't have the money I had but it was just too much to bare.....

    You have experience of it before, so you know all the signs ...take care...

    Always hard to advise as we don't know the bigger picture..

    I wish you well though keep in touch.....look after yourself

    Sue xxxx

  • Its so hard, I understand. I suffer with anxiety and im currently have a really bad bout of anxiety and depression at the moment so have had to go off sick. I have kept going for weeks but cant take the pressure anymore. You health is more important so take same time out for you x

  • Brave of you to admit your health problems.

  • Please don’t worry! It’s amazing that you have taken the time to write down and share this with everyone. Its hard for people with anxiety to accept anxiety and understand it, so i have learnt we have to be patient with people who dont struggle with anxiety to accept and understand it.

    It will happen, but we just have to be a little patient! I discovered not to be ashamed of my anxiety when I started having black outs at work and blacked out in the toilet and woke to a paramedic - I couldn’t hide it anymore! That when i started to make people aware that i suffered with anxiety, it was a bitter pill to swallow - BUT THE MORE I TALKED ABOUT IT, the better i felt and I educated people and found out that so many people everyday struggled like me, but never talked about it! I am now am ARM Buddy for ARM (Anxiety Rebalance Method), Carl Sheppard.

    Dont be so hard on the agency, she probably thinks she is doing you a favour - She isn’t judging you! she just doesn’t know, like thousands of other people how to explain to your work about it. It’s a normal reaction. I had it when I blacked out at work - It took about 1-2 months for work colleagues, family to understand - Now they do, its made me feel so much calmer and if i am having a bad day, i talk about it! I DONT HIDE IT and WORRY ABOUT IT ALL DAY! I hope my message helps....!?! ARM Buddy (ARM – Anxiety Rebalance Method)

  • Well done you for telling the truth!

    Thankfully I find that having to pay the bills forces me in to work. It's probably kept the little bit of sanity I have left :)

    The main thing is getting in to work (if you need the money)

    Secondly, I always have an escape route planned. Vital for me!

    An escape route can be going to the toilet, or I've left something in the car. Anything to get my breathing under control and bring myself back to earth. I'm now at the stage where I don't always need to retreat, I can be in the place I'm in and regroup using some techniques I've developed that work for me. The people around me have no idea the turmoil I'm fighting they just think I'm always hot!

    It's a constant battle but a battle worth fighting.

    Remember, all those around you are doing their own thing, you are not in their thoughts.

    You can leave at any time to regroup.

    It's not long until you're break time, where you can further relax.

    It's then not long until you go home.

    Is your anxiety under control at home, and in Social situations?


  • Thanks all for your comments. I managed to go back in to work last week for 3 days but am off again. I try really hard to think of the money especially having just bought a house and have debts, but it's actually leaving my house and walking the 30 minutes to work before I even reach the office it all seems like a mission and a half.

    It's a daily battle and I am starting to feel like it's taking over my life now even though I'm trying to fight it and think positive - it's difficult. I feel even worse because my partner is working long days in order to pay for things and here's me not even able to go in to work to earn the money to pay my share. I think that's also stressing me out!

    I will try again tomorrow!



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