Anxiety Support
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Will I lose my job over anxiety and depression?

In December I began a part-time job that involves a lot of customer service and due to anxiety in particular I just haven't enjoyed it at all and haven't been able to do my job properly. It's March now and I'd say I've had about 6 absences; one because I went to A&E in early hours of the morning and couldn't go to work the next day and others just because of how I was feeling. I have two fairly understanding bosses, and to quit my job, it would make me feel very guilty for leaving so soon, however, I feel it would be a huge relief off my shoulders because I just don't fit in at all.

The night before I'm due to go to work, I tend to have really bad nightmares, causing me to wake up terrified and from then on be shocked, anxious and depressed. After nightmares I've heard a voice once, too. It said: "The night reaper is here, the night reaper is going to get you" - I don't know if that was related to something emotional or if it was actually something psychotic.

I'm having a meeting with Human Resources on Thursday and i'm absolutely dreading it to the point that I feel sick to my stomach. I have no idea what they're going to say; does anyone have any idea what will happen in this meeting and what the possible outcomes are?



2 Replies

Hi, I'm not an HR expert but believe they will try and support you as best they can. Many companies have employee assistance programmes and private medical insurance which can be used to help.

If you haven't done anything badly wrong, I don't think they can dismiss you and likely to be your anxiety conjuring up all sorts of negative thoughts and feelings (anxiety is a master of telling you the worst case scenario but it is just a scenario and not reality). Anxiety is more common than you think so the company may have experience in helping you deal with it.

In terms of dealing with anxiety, I have posted quite a lot on this website about recovery which you may find helpful. Despite my intense anxiety, I carried on working and gradually exposed the lies spun by anxiety. I thought it was the job causing my anxiety but it was me worrying that it might be the job making me feel anxious, not the job itself. To find that out, I had to carry on working. If I had packed it in, I would never had made that discovery which brought peace of mind and body (recovery) and likely to have taken the anxiety on to the next job, if I could muster up the will to find one. My advice is to "keep on keeping on" and live a normal life in spite of how you feel. You will find that doing normal stuff like working will bring back feelings of normality. Anxiety is one great big bluff and by experiencing it and learning not to fear the symptoms and letting go, will lead to recovery.

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This assumes you are based in the UK

If there is a local Citizens Advice Bureau then you might find it useful to contact them for support - otherwise I think they now do a lot on line

Discrimination legislation means that if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to do day to day things (which would include anxiety and depression) then you are in a protected category and in the case of employment your employer is under an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to your duties. I am sure that at the appointment with HR they will start by explaining this if they are aware of your condition - or they may start by asking if there is anything that is affecting things. please be honest with them - and as Beevee says, they are usually interested in being supportive and getting the the best solution for both you and your employer.

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