Anxiety Disorders and Holding Down a Job

Ok , so given that Anxiety Disorders are vastly different from person to person, both in terms of severity and symptoms, do people reading this hold down jobs or careers and cope?

I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, GAD....

NMo panic attacks, just a dull constant annoying anxiety state !

My personal story is that I luckily have a master of engineering degree, and work in field sales management, so Beta Blockers help with my fearless presentation skills, and if I look a bit tired and jaded management think I must be working hard!

As crazy as that sounds I have held down a well paid job for 10 years, paid off 40% of a mortgage on a 3 bed semi, married and am about to have a baby boy.

Have you guys and gals managed to find a part time or full time job which you can stick at?

(I appreciate that some anxiety conditions require hospitalization and are very severe).

9 Replies

  • So glad to hear that you are doing so well.

    You have achieved so much and congratulations on the forthcoming birth of your child.You are absolutely correct in saying that anxiety conditions vary a lot.

    At the age of 19 I was diagnosed with health anxiety.I fought my way through Uni despite sleeping less than 3 hours per night.and got my M.A.

    By the age of 29 I was the chief housing officer with a major housing association.

    Unlike your good self I never got married but treated myself to a three bed bungalow and holiday cottage in Truro. I had two cars one a powerful 3 litre Alfa.

    However I still had the anxiety and insomnia.And this is where I went wrong.To keep going I started popping pills and abusing alcohol.

    One day I was on my way to a meeting and driving up the M1 when I came over ill.Two days later I woke up in hospital.I had suffered a massive heart attack and was lucky to be alive.

    So what I am saying is that you are doing very well.Holding down a job as you are doing whilst suffering with GAD is very stressful.You are doing so well,your wife and baby will need you more than ever so keep up the good work and don't make my mistakes.

    Best wishes to you and your family.

  • I've only had bad anxiety for the last 4 months but I've managed to still hold down a full time job. My work have been really good about it though, for instance today I started having bad palpitations and my manager sent me to lie down until I felt better. I imagine in a really demanding job this wouldn't be possible so I'm grateful I work where I do

  • @ bevvy1 - sounds like you did very well living with it, and proved that you can work on little sleep. Sorry to hear about the heart attack, I will allow myself the occasional sleeping aid med, but twice a week max, so as not to build up tolerance.

  • I think you've done a pretty good job of holding down the fort.

    I really understand what you're going through... I've been diagnosed with GAD with major depressive disorder for the last decade. Most days I wake up not wanting to get out of bed.

    I'm a surgeon by trade, and it makes it all the more difficult; as I need to ensure that I'm competent to look after patients; and give them the best care that I can. It's a pretty demanding job; and working in private practice makes it all the more difficult.

    I've been using short-term solutions such as benzos which i'm now tolerant/resistant to in order to sleep and hence function during the day. I've been working a lot in the last few years; nobody suspects any problems (but I suppose that's because most may be having similar problems of their own!)

    These days, I'm just trying to work less; spend more time at the country house; and actively increase exercising as well as telling myself to just 'CHILL', everytime I sense a stressful/anxious moment about to implode on me.

    Take care, wishing you all the best!

  • @ Tenley - wow , amazing story , my wife is a Theatre Nurse, hence your story is close to my everyday discussion of her working life.

    Amazing to hear you held down such a tough job for so long, and still do.

    Surgeons I have met have to cope with little sleep regularly.

    It's one of my biggest problems.

    Perhaps you can reassure me?

    Eg. My question to you would be, if I blank one nights sleep, and feel quite rough as a result, my experience has been to act as if nothing has happened , and go to work anyway.

    Would you agree with this concept?

    People are rarely focused on anything apart from themselves anyway, so aside from the occasional ''you look tired '' comment, i can easily cope with a 10 % IQ reduction associated with sleep deprivation, and catch up the next night!

    I am hoping you will say ''yes absolutely I have coped with several nights of little or no sleep in a row regularly for years whilst working''

    I honestly think the lack of sleep is my worst fear, but if I can turn it on it's head and cope with insomnia I truly believe I can live through it all.


  • Well done, sounds brilliant - your new baby will probably help your sleep situation in a weird way because you'll be so tired whenever you get a chance you'll nod off! - at least that's how I found it. I'm a managing director of a medium size co with 20 workers. I've been coping really well with it all for a few years but didn't even realise I had this anxiety until last week (as you know). Not coping well this week, I don't know how much longer I can pull it off without coming a cropper from not concentrating enough (being on here has turned into my version of Facebook for wasting time in the office!) but hopefully the ad's are going to kick in, in the next few weeks and I'll get a move on. Good to know that people can pull off doing tricky hard jobs whilst coping though - gives me hope.

  • Sorry Russ, I've just seen your other posts , somehow i'd missed them before.

    In answer to your worries, yes SSRI's take a few days to kick in, possibly 1- 2 weeks.

    Don't take Zopiclone every night, I would say 3 days a week 7.5 mg a night, in the early weeks before the SSRI kicks in.

    I have no experience of Citalopram.

    I have lived on a low dose of Prozac and Beta Blockers for 14 years !

    I take Zopiclone maybe twice a month and a new form of Valium maybe twice a month also.

    Have you seen any better mood yet from taking the Cit ?

    How many days since you started.

    Don't worry , the panic subsides, meds work , they really work!

    I have gone from on deaths door to coping within a week of meds back in the early days.

    You will get right back on the horse, and might even find you become stronger and more capable.

    I've achieved some crazy business feats using meds, lol.

  • Interested to hear your thoughts on the zopiclone - do you become addicted/dependant because the thought of going through these days and then not being able to sleep is really scary - I'm only taking 3.75mg a night at the min. I've been on them and the ad for 5 days now. The panic attacks, lack of appetite etc have actually got worse during the day but less in the evening, but I'll stick it out for a week or so unless it gets really bad. Glad to hear its worked/working for you - I need to pull off some crazy business feats in the next couple of months so here's hoping!

  • Zopiclone is a Benzodiazepine, therefore your body builds up a resistance to the drug, and eventually you become immune ish to it.

    It's prescribed for short term use.

    I use it once every 2 weeks ish.

    It has a rebound anxiety side effect, so the next day you feel like sheeet.

    If you have been diagnosed with Anxiety, you need Beta Blockers combined with SSRI's, then something like Zop or Valium for occasional sleeping aids.

    Propranalol (Beta Blockers) will work to reduce the physical symptoms of stress, they are used by Lawyers, Golf Players, Doctors, MP's , anyone under pressure or who speaks publicly and gets panicky.

    The SSRI's will improve your mood over time, and you will start to feel the anxiety subside slightly, almost as if it is being masked.

    I would 100% recommend seeing 2 GP's.

    I don't know exactly your symptoms, but I do suggest 40 mg Beta Blockers + your SSRI daily.

    Speak to your GP about it


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