Will This Ever Go Away?

It took me a while to work up the courage to join out of shame from how I feel, but here it goes... I am 33 with a 2 year old and one on the way. I've never suffered from anxiety or depression, but a few weeks ago the owner of my company pulled me in for a meeting with the partners and told me the company wasn't doing well and we needed to increase our efforts to bring in more work. It came as a surprise to me, as I thought we were doing well based on the information that I had. Anyway, it took me a couple days to digest the meeting, then one morning on the way to work I really started to worry about my job. I contacted the partners and explained my concern, I was assured by all the partners separately that I had nothing to worry about and the company may need to just pare down to the amount of work that we had.

The partners are very straight-forward people and have never B.S.'d me over the past 13 years I have worked at the company, so that should have made me feel better.

But It didn't... My worries continued to get worse to a point where I ended up at the urgent care to try and get something...anything to help. They gave me Vistaril to help until I got in to see my primary, who prescribed me Prozac 20mg once a day.

I've been taking it for 11 days, and don't think it's working. On my way home from work I had my first every panic attack. Oddly, I felt better after the attack and into the evening, but when I work up I was anxious and worried again.

I decided to go and talk to a therapist to try and get my worries under control. I've never had any problems in the past, but am worried that now that I have this will always be a problem.

Does this ever go away?

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5 Replies

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  • That's a very short history so far. The fluoxetine takes 4-6 weeks to start working. If you have previously not had this problem then the outlook for you is excellent

  • Chris_1983, it sounds as if all your anxiety symptoms stem from the fact that you think there's a danger of losing your job. Job security is important to most people but there's no guarantee in any job on planet Earth. But you've had the next best thing: the reassurance from your partners that your position is safe which I don't think they would have given unless they meant it.

    Not only does that mean you're most unlikely to lose your job, the fact that they gave that reassurance means they value you highly. Maybe more highly than you value yourself. That's worth considering because the ultimate job security is the knowledge that you're so good at your job you'll find an equal position somewhere else without much trouble. And from what I've read about you, that's the category you qualify for.

    I think what's happened is that you've never been in a position where you feel there's some job uncertainty before and it's come as a shock to the system. I bet you're thinking about it 24/7. Yes, we've all been there, you are not alone.

    So I say: Chris_1983, you have nothing to worry about at all. Your partners value you much more than you realise, if they do have to lay anybody off it won't be you. But in the extremely unlikely event that they're all lying through their teeth, well so what, you'll get another job no problem. And in my observation people who do lose their jobs usually end up somewhere they like even better.

    So I'll say it again Chris, stop frightening yourself half to death, you're worrying needlessly. What you should do is play the game and be seen to be responding to the partners wish to bring in more work. Instead of putting your mental effort into needless worry, put that effort into ideas for gaining new work. When you've thought of something, write it up as a two-page report and show it to the partners. It doesn't even matter if the ideas you put forward are feasible or successful you'll be seen to be responding constructively to the partners' concerns.

    Regarding any bad feelings of anxiety and panic attacks, they may make you feel uncomfortable but they're just blips in your netvous system caused by too much worry and introspection. They can't kill you, disable you or send you crazy, believe me, and the best way to handle them is to ACCEPT them without paying much importance to them and before long the bad feelings will yield. Only if you don't accept them and keep adding one layer if fear on top of another will they continue to trouble you. And you don't want that.

    Treat this as a bit of excitement in your job, certainly not the end of your career!

  • I agree with Jeff1943, Chris_1983. I've had the same worries about my job that you have. What helped me was to create a plan for what to do if I ever did lose my job. Not only does worrying about the situation not help, as Jeff1943 pointed out, but it's counterproductive. Not only can you channel all that energy into trying to bring in more work, but you can also channel it into double checking the financial security of your family. I always find that I alleviate my anxiety by making a plan. For example, should I ever lose my job, I know I have enough savings to carry me through to the next one in addition to marketable skills. You might find creating a plan helpful, in addition to reminding yourself that you are a valuable member of the company and your bosses have told you, all separately, that your job is safe. That way you can rest assured either way, then relax and enjoy your family.

    If you find yourself still worrying, then yes, seeing a therapist might be helpful. The type of anxiety you're experiencing usually does go away with time. Something to remember, that I have to remind myself of constantly: there's always a way, you just have to be resourceful.

  • Thank you all for your kind posts. They really helped me. I've been doing a lot better lately, I've been able to control my anxiety through relaxation and breathing techniques and my chest tightness is gone. I've been on Lexapro now for almost 3 weeks and it's starting to work, my morning depression is subsiding and I am starting to feel normal again! I still wake up much earlier than I used to, but I read that is a side effect of the medication.

    My psychologist called symptoms anxiety with situational depression. I can't explain why, but having a name for what was happening to me, helped me focus on controlling it, and reading this forum made me realize that I'm not the only person with these problems and there was hope.

    So a huge thank you to you all, and for those still struggling, take it from me there is hope and things will be okay!

  • Glad to hear that Chris_1983, continued success in going forward.

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