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Starting new job, major anxiety


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I've had general anxiety, social anxiety and serious depression almost all my life. Due to this I've had very low-functioning and low-paying jobs because I can't concentrate and can't stand to be around people. I don't know how to handle working in a professional or even half-way decent environment. I've been fired many times. I lost my lowly job a few months ago (laid off after four years) and just today officially got a new one. This one pays far more than anything else I've ever had. It was offered on the same day I interviewed, which is to me suspicious. Now I'm very anxious about taking a job I will likely be fired from, given my history. It's much more complicated than anything I've ever done. I don't even know Word or Excel, which were mentioned in the job listing but not in the interview, and I'm lousy at math, which was also mentioned.

I'm not stupid, but I'm functionally stupid due to the noise in my head. How do I concentrate and be friendly to people at the same time? The only relief I have is 1mg Ativan, which I only take at night and which barely makes any difference but keeps me from having panic attacks. I need more to take during the day to give me a chance to concentrate more, but I couldn't get an appointment and the public clinic probably wouldn't prescribe me more anyway.
The pay on this job would make a big difference in my life- if I can keep it. Any suggestions? I'll of course lose my unemployment, which means if I'm fired I'm fucked.

 

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How about some accommodations to make it easier, even if they are not official accommodations...

 

For example, there are a lot of people at my job who use noise canceling or regular headphones to help them stay focused and not get too distracted.

 

What are some of the skills you have at your disposal to manage your anxiety? Sounds like ativan is one but it's very limited access. Some other tools might include things like checking in with your breathing, to make sure it's slow enough, putting ice cold water on your face to reduce or interrupt emerging panic, taking regular breaks to re-ground yourself in your body.

 

Can you use a calculator for math and take some tutorials for Word and Excel in your off time? A lot of libraries have free training programs if you can't find something free on line.

 

Also, I'd encourage you to find a tdoc if you don't have one already because that person can really help you polish up your coping skills as well as help you treat the anxiety at its roots so hopefully you will have less.

 

Good luck!

 

(I'm changing jobs in the next two weeks too... I hope I can do this new job! I'm pretty sure it's going to be ok.)

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Hi politicat.  First of all congratulations on lasting more than 4 years in your previous job.  You should be proud of this acheivement!  How did you manage to do this?  Did you do anything differently in that environment than you have done previously?

 

When you speak of noise in your head .... what do you mean?  Everyone has self talk to a lesser or greater extent.  Very often it could be very critical.  Try not to put yourself down so much .... for example

 

"I don't even know Word or Excel, which were mentioned in the job listing but not in the interview, and I'm lousy at math, which was also mentioned."

 

Focus on what you are good at.  There was a time when I didn't know Word or Excel ..... everyone has to start somewhere

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