work and anxiety disorder

Ive asked this question before.. but I am wondering how people who live with daily anxiety and panic disorder get through the work day. I always get so overwhelmed and stressed out. I worked full time for nearly 4 years before losing my job due to missed work. I now work part time and am even struggling with that. I feel no one understands and everyone thinks I'm lazy. Not working is not an option for me as I have a mortgage to pay. I have a room mate and that helps but doesn't cut it. I feel so lost and hopeless about finding a low stress job that I can handle.

19 Replies

  • I no were you are coming from working full time with anxiety drains your system and makes things worse I to work shorter  hours now .I am trying to feel good again but it's a struggle most  days and my life is restricted to my everyday  feelings which at the moment is not good 

  • It's a work in progress for sure. Only you know what's right for you. I work part time now too but can barely even do that anymore. I am worried for my future and even more so if I keep quitting jobs :( 

  • we go through tough times I have been there before and beat anxiety  but the last 18 months things have been creeping up on me .I no I am over stressed and need to look at my life and see were things are going wrong .hope things get better soon 

  • I know exactly why you are curious about this, as I have wondered how others survive the working week too. I have chosen to work as a freelancer in tv and film, which gives me a bit of flexibility and I don't do the regular 9-5 mon-fri, but most of the gigs I get are big 8-12 days straight, then a bit of time to myself. I am lucky enough to work with a few guys who I have opened up to about my disorder and most of them are genuinely understanding which helps a lot. Don't get me wrong, there are times where I don't know how I am going to make it through the day, and struggle with all the anxious symptoms and tiredness afterwards, but overall I couldn't imagine working any other way. My job venues change regularly which for me is also a plus. The only downside is if I get sick or want to take holidays, I don't get paid, but by putting a bit of money aside each pay for those days is easily done. 

    Hope this helps a little. XX

  • I'm DEFINITELY with you on this one, tdawgg123. I run my own business, in a field that I love, and I do what I love to do, and yet even with all of that, my brain still manages to make me feel physically terrible just about every day. 

    Believe me, if not working were even remotely an option, as much as I love what I do, I might walk away from it all - which is sad, given how much blood sweat and tears I've put into building it - but that's just what severe, never-ending anxiety does. It's draining.

    Seeing as not working is clearly not a realistic option - unless I want to give up most of the other 'perks' of my life (my house, internet, etc.) - I have been combating things via every method available to me. Western medicine, talk therapy, eastern medicine, acupuncture, daily exercise and meditation. Journaling helps get the thoughts out. Taking extra long showers in the morning helps a little. Eating right. Getting more sleep than I think I need. All little things, that I have to believe will add up to good things for me eventually, even if sometimes I can't feel it in the moment.

    That's another thing - being present. Being mindful of what's happening right now; not what I WORRY about what will happen in the next minute, next hour, next day or week or month. That can help. 

    Anxiety keeps us trapped in regretting what we didn't or couldn't do (past) or ruminating on how we'll ruin what happens next (future) - the cure is to examine what's really here right now. The present.

    Wishing you the easiest day possible!

  • All these things ring very true for me too. Why would I want to be at work if I feel nauseous, can't breathe .. My heart is racing and I'm sweating? Not enjoyable at all but I take it day by day. I excercise and " try" to eat healthy most of the time. Stopped doing yoga and acupuncture as appointments and being held at places made me anxious. Hoping to get back into it though.  A good massage therapist is nice to see once a month or so too. Really helps with tension headaches and stiff neck.   

    All these things are so so important to someone suffering GAD. Vitamins too .. Lowering your stresses they say .. Too bad I stress about anything and everything 

  • I'm right there with you. But we CAN and WILL get better! :)

  • Thank you !  I wish the same for you:) I have a friend who over came pretty terrible anxiety so I'm hopeful 

  • I honestly understand where your coming from, I work in the NHS and I'm only 19 and having anxiety on a daily basis is horrible every Sunday evening you just feel over whelming panic and I don't sleep all night and then I have to travel all the way to my work wich is 30 min drive, I have had anxiety for 11 years now and every year it seems to get harder for me, i have been to see 2 therapist, occupational health (to do with my work) and another anxiety help line, nothing works. & what makes it even worse is my family don't understand either my mum gets irritated with me quickly, so does my boyfriend I just feel so alone and helpless and now my job is on the line I can't keep falling in sick 😔

  • It really is hard I feel for you. No one in my life understands either and probably never will. I have to work part time but I even find that a challenge most days. Wish there was an answer for us .. I can't live off my wage. It's especially hard when anxiety is such a blind illness .. You know .. You look ok from the outside 

  • I actually love being productive . It gets my mind off of the anxiety. It's on an off day like now , that I really get anxious & restless. But sometimes anxiety creeps up at my job ..I go to the bathroom & meditate for like 2 minutes then go back to work. I really do hope you find relief , that's such a tough situation to be in. I do agree to try & find something that works for you. Don't try to overwhelm yourself with a full time shift if you can't do that. Do whatever works for you. Start a business where YOU make your own hours , or try working at a therapist office , one who specializes in anxiety ..I would love that. Lol ..or maybe a library .  I also know those work from home things are good. BUT find one that's legit , of course. I only mentioned that because I'm looking for that myself . Lol. People are rude , you're not lazy , it can be overwhelming at work , to a point you don't want to do a thing but run back to your house & isolate yourself from everyone but you can't take off so many days where you wind up fired. It sucks ..but when there's a will there's a way . I hope you find a solution. I want to change my career path too.

  • My anxiety started because of issues at work. It's very difficult keeping up the appearance that all is ok. I work full time and have to financially. My partner is job hunting and if he ever gets a job I can go part time. I'm also in the process of starting a business from home which would make a huge difference in my life. I find the worst times are when I go to bed when all my doubts and anxieties and negative thoughts surface and if I wake in the middle of the night I truly think if I could get away from the job I'm doing things would improve. 

  • Absolutely. Added stress is so hard on anxious minds. I really don't want to put myself into an early grave. It seems so unfair to me that I can't afford to live without working full time but don't feel like I have it in me to work 40 hours a week. We have no other choices tho as mental illness has such a stigma around it. I had to rent out my home as I couldn't afford to be there myself

  • My home is my refuge. If I sold it I could buy smaller and easier and cheaper to run but I love it so much I don't want to lose it! But that means I need a certain income to keep it and at my age you're lucky to have a job! (I'm 60). If I can get my business up and running I can semi-retire, work in the place I love and feel most relaxed and have time for me again. 

  • I am now working full time and my anxiety kicks in every day. Worse in the mornings, work are fab with me and so understanding. If I need time away from my desk, I am allowed to go and chill out for 5 mins. It's hard but being at work is good for me even if I am suffering every day :)

  • I'm  glad to hear that. I think pushing though the anxiety is good for anyone. It especially helps when co workers are understanding. I also think it totally depends on what type of job you are doing. 

  • I haven't been to work in 8 months due to my anxiety/panic it sucks :( I'm trying to get back to work but their short shifts have increased unfortunately :( 

  • Sorry to hear that. I'm usually ok on my shorter shift days but i also have ten hour days which are so bad im thinking about quitting :(

  • It's very hard and there is no way I could do 10 hours :( Hang in there x

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