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I finally got a job in a field of my interest after 1.5 years of looking.  I have only been there a month, but have already taken time off here and there due to anxiety and difficulty thinking.  But, now, things have gotten much worse.  

 

Since I started work, I have started having:

more loud voices in my head to the point of making me upset

more visual disturbances like flashes and flashing lights, waves, shadows on the walls, and bugs on the table and walls

self harm and suicidal thoughts

worse anxiety

panic attacks

little motivation to go into work or do much of anything

Probably other things that I can't remember

 

Before I accepted the job I was functioning much better.  Nothing else, except for the job, has changed in my life.

 

I have submitted an accommodations request to the disability coordinator to hopefully get to work at home; but, I don't even know if that will help me maintain a 40-hour schedule, which is required.  I am also concerned that my mental health will continue to deteriorate with the stress of work.

 

My girlfriend suggested I tough it out until things get more regular.  But I don't know if I can last that long or if my symptoms will get bad enough to require hospitalization and then months of recovery.  I have had episodes where stress has caused my mental health to deteriorate to the point of being in a hospital a few times before.  I don't know my pattern very well yet though.  Quitting the job is an option I am strongly considering; I have SSDI to fall back on.  My girlfriend is also very supportive of me if the job doesn't work out.  She wouldn't mind if I was a "house husband".  However, the job is interesting (when I am healthy), and it is a job I have fought to get for a long time.  I would be sad to give it up.  

 

In short, my job is making my mental illness much worse (stress and extended social contact are big triggers for me).  I have a safety net if I quit.  Are there any suggestions?  Have others had symptoms like these before things start to get real bad?  Has anyone been through similar situations?

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Stress will cause me to have increased symptoms (mainly hallucinations) 100% of the time.  So now I keep the lowest stress life I can.  I don't commit to anything unless it is last-minute, when I know right then and there if I can do whatever it is.  I am on xanax and klonopin to help out.

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 I don't commit to anything unless it is last-minute, when I know right then and there if I can do whatever it is. 

Oh this is me as well. It's annoying isn't it, not being able to make plans!

 

 

You're right!

Edited by melissaw72
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I finally got a job in a field of my interest after 1.5 years of looking.  I have only been there a month, but have already taken time off here and there due to anxiety and difficulty thinking.  But, now, things have gotten much worse.  

 

Since I started work, I have started having:

more loud voices in my head to the point of making me upset

more visual disturbances like flashes and flashing lights, waves, shadows on the walls, and bugs on the table and walls

self harm and suicidal thoughts

worse anxiety

panic attacks

little motivation to go into work or do much of anything

Probably other things that I can't remember

 

Before I accepted the job I was functioning much better.  Nothing else, except for the job, has changed in my life.

 

I have submitted an accommodations request to the disability coordinator to hopefully get to work at home; but, I don't even know if that will help me maintain a 40-hour schedule, which is required.  I am also concerned that my mental health will continue to deteriorate with the stress of work.

 

My girlfriend suggested I tough it out until things get more regular.  But I don't know if I can last that long or if my symptoms will get bad enough to require hospitalization and then months of recovery.  I have had episodes where stress has caused my mental health to deteriorate to the point of being in a hospital a few times before.  I don't know my pattern very well yet though.  Quitting the job is an option I am strongly considering; I have SSDI to fall back on.  My girlfriend is also very supportive of me if the job doesn't work out.  She wouldn't mind if I was a "house husband".  However, the job is interesting (when I am healthy), and it is a job I have fought to get for a long time.  I would be sad to give it up.  

 

In short, my job is making my mental illness much worse (stress and extended social contact are big triggers for me).  I have a safety net if I quit.  Are there any suggestions?  Have others had symptoms like these before things start to get real bad?  Has anyone been through similar situations?

 

I will say this... I believe there is a "stress hump" that occurs when you start a new job... its a pain in the ass but it is a mountain that needs to be climbed and then things actually DO get better.....

 

So my thinking would be to go with what your girlfriend is saying at the moment... yes attempt to reduce stress where you can in the interim, but keep plugging away! It will, it absolutely WILL get better.... 

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Hi Chickenlips.

 

Thank you for your response.

 

Can you talk more about the "stress hump" you refer to?  In your experience, is it one of work-related expectations or a momentary increase in symptoms regardless of work-related stress?  

 

My experience is that I am having a ramp up in symptoms, but I have no stress from work related things. In other words, it is not the feeling like "I can't do this work by the deadline, no way!". I know I can do the work they need if I had a sound mind.  Rather I am experiencing things like, "People are talking about me, I can't concentrate, the voices are too loud, the people are too loud, I can't get out, I am stuck, I am going to vomit".  

 

I am familiar with the work-related hump from school and internships before my mental health got poor, but I am not familiar with the hump in symptoms.  I am afraid they will get to the point of no return (suicide), or hospitalization, or worsening mental health that will require a longer time to recover from compared to if I got out now.  I want to work, but my mental health is a higher priority so I may continue to enjoy life and so I don't break my brain more.

 

I tend to ramble.  Sorry.  What I am asking is, can you explain the "stress hump" you mention in more detail?  What is it like for you when you go through it?

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Sure!

 

In my own experience when I have started a new job I have had an increase in symptoms that I can directly relate to being placed within a new environment... with brand new sometimes unfamiliar expectations. This is a fairly common experience...

 

What I "think" you may be overlooking is that starting a new job is in and of itself a stressful occurrence, in terms of "life events" its a big one! And if there is one thing that sets us crazy's off it is stress... so even though you say are able to manage deadlines, you may need to also widen your perception and recognise that you are in the middle of a significant life moment and it will be hard... for a while...

 

This is the hump I am referring to...

 

The other side of the hump looks like this,  OK I have formed some social connections that I am able to trust, I have become enculterated into the organisation to some degree, I get how things are done around here, I have settled into my groove somewhat with a simultaneous reduction in symptoms...

 

This of course takes time and a steady hand on the tiller, but you know what they say, awareness is the first step to resolving an issue, so maintaining your awareness now is important in my experience and will lead to better coping skills and a smoother transition into the job...

 

Dude... you waited 1.5 years for this opportunity... keep going... leave the job and "self protect" only when you absolutely have to and NOT before time if you can... I don't know if that is of any help, but I hope so.

 

Best to you x

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