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CPTSD and Others => Our Relationships with Others => Employment => Topic started by: samantha19 on August 01, 2018, 08:22:02 AM

Title: Seeking advice
Post by: samantha19 on August 01, 2018, 08:22:02 AM
TW: suicidal feelings, panic, shame

I had a nervous breakdown at work. It was quite public in that I locked myself in the toilet for over an hour and I came out with red eyes, interrupted someone to ask for a first aider when still panicking, and had to tell two people including my boss about the panic attack situation. Iíve then been off work for about 2 days and counting.

I donít know whether to go back or just quit. Itís highly embarrassing and I feel like my self esteem has just been shot to bits at work. My panic was triggered by a bunch of negative feedback I got and the fact some of it was telling me how to socialise essentially - I found that quite personal and insulting. Also, was told to announce to the room when I was taking a break - something that gave me immense anxiety and triggered my panic.

My toxic shame, etc keeps getting triggered at work. Itís nobodys fault but it just constantly happens, because of my lovely brain :)

My main goal right now is to get better and recover from my mental illness. I want to get to a functional level so I can feel less horribly ashamed of myself and get by at work without too much of a fuss. Nothing specular, just be basically functional - because Iím not managing so great right now - always late, many sick days, barely talking, occasional panic attacks, etc.
I have felt like I canít go back to work - partly because Iím petrified, partly this severe shame. Everyone says just forget about it and donít care what they think of you but I just canít let go of it.
Iím not really meeting the bar of how I am expected to be. And Iím not sure I can right now.
I feel like Iíve destroyed my reputation and I just want to quit this job, focus on recovery then start somewhere afresh and hopefully be more functional.

I donít have the most ideal safety nets but I wonít be left to die and I have enough money to maintain for a month or two unemployed reasonably well.

Iíve been getting the urge to literally run away, crazy things, and been dealing with very strong suicidal feelings / thoughts. Since the panic attack my social anxiety has also massively increased back to old levels - scared to go into the shop, talk on the phone - I was recovered from this!!

I donít know whether to just push myself to go in and try and say f- it to what anyone else thinks - Iím doing my best. Or to stop bloody pushing myself because itís all gone a bit too far now and I feel very vulnerable and quite weak mentally / emotionally.

On top of this if I do keep my job Iíll probably be signed off on sick leave for a bit with mental illness, and I feel very guilty to get paid to do no work by a smaller company. Especially when I have low intent of returning.

Any advice is much appreciated.
Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: Eyessoblue on August 01, 2018, 12:16:39 PM
Hi that sounds really tough. Would you be able to contact your boss and explain what is happening to you and how youíre feeling etc and see what he says?
It definitely sounds like you need some time off to get yourself feeling better, but I wonder that because you are feeling so bad about what happened if this would be enough now to stop you ever going back, as the more you think about it the more youíll beat yourself up thinking how embarrassed you were etc.
I donít know what your job is or about the company etc but would there be a job available there for you to do with less stress attached to it and maybe could you work shorter hours once you are feeling back to normal?
Would you in the meantime be able to get yourself some therapy to help you? Maybe some self esteem Cbt would be good for you, Iím just in the process of starting that.
I would worry that if youíre just left with no support that you will end up feeling worse and worse so hopefully a therapist maybe what you need right now to help support you and get you through.
Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: Kizzie on August 01, 2018, 06:28:56 PM
Samantha, I am so sorry you are going through this.  I've gone through this kind of thing when I worked too (retired now), and it's just really hard to get the panic, shame and vulnerability down to a manageable level. I'm with Eyessoblue though, if at all possible please don't make it worse by beating yourself up.  We have a very real psychological stress injury that makes us susceptible to this kind of reaction.  We wouldn't fault a diabetic for low or high blood sugar but we do blame and shame ourselves for a hair trigger nervous system that causes us to react to stress and danger the way we do.  We shouldn't because we're not being fair or compassionate to ourselves.

Sick leave and possibly disability may be something to consider until you  are able to get some help to deal with things.  That's what it's there for so if it is available maybe give it some thought and talk to your employer?

Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: samantha19 on August 02, 2018, 12:43:07 PM
Thank you for the advice it means a lot!  :hug:

I went to the doctors and Iíve been given a sick line for up to a fortnight so thatís good.

My boss might be frustrated about it, Iím not sure, but heís at least acting nice enough about it.

I got given some beta blocker medication and it has worked really well, my stress and anxiety has drastically reduced and is no longer taking hold of me.

Self esteem CBT sounds good and Iím going to look into that. Thank you <3

Iím going to try and build myself up a bit in my time off. Thereís lots I need to change and work on and I can make a start. Hopefully get on track to being able to continue recovering once Iím back at work and hopefully not need another break like this. Fingers crossed!

Iíve just got so caught up in what other people think and perceive because thereís a high demand to be an amazing / perfect worker and Iím struggling with some aspects of that. It got to me more than it should have but I do understand I have a condition and I canít really help it that I got so stressed out.

Will need to find a way to deal with the shame I have surrounding this as itís my biggest barrier for returning.

I have been pointed to some resources so going to try and arrange counselling. Hopefully something more long term this time so I can build up my self esteem and get better with socialising again, have more confidence in myself.

Thanks again! :-)
Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: Kizzie on August 03, 2018, 04:57:42 PM
Great to hear you have some time to deal with this and cheering you on :hug: 

:cheer:   Shed that shame, you're just human!  :cheer:

Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on August 03, 2018, 10:39:12 PM
Hi Samantha
Whenive been triggered / in a flashback so many emotions and thoughts are racing around my head I find it hard to cope. Its been about learning how it cope and things that help. I've had much time off work and have had understanding employers. I reiterate what eyes so blue has said and suggest speaking with your boss honestly about your condition cptsd is a diagnosis and comes under having a disability employer's have a duty to make reasonable adjustments where possible. At least that is how it is in the UK.. But take what time u need first to recover from this time of symptoms. The chances are Things  will look when you come out of being triggered. Everything is heightened when I'm not well Inc wanting to run and hide.
Guilt is part of it that says 'your not worth being taken care of. But we all know you are worth every ounce. Sorry you are going through this sending you kindness and understanding.
This will look brighter
Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: Boatsetsailrose on August 03, 2018, 10:46:57 PM
I've left nursing cause I couldn't hack the pressure, but responsibility and being good enough,,, did it for 10 yrs time to let myself off the hook.
I had a lot of that too 'obsessing about what I thought others thought of me when what it was was my take on what I thought of me. Not good enough defective,  not as good s her /him essentially my perfectionism, but high expectations and low self worth with a good dose of inner critic on top. Performance is a massive trigger for me.
Title: Re: Seeking advice
Post by: samantha19 on August 04, 2018, 02:39:11 PM
Thank you so much for the kindness and understanding.
I relate a lot to the things you have experienced as well. Things are definitely hightened when triggered to do with wanting to run away and avoid. I’ve been getting in a better headspace since (at times, anyway) and I start to see that the best thing for me is to go back to work and not harm my stability and future by abruptly quitting. It’s the shame that’s making me want to run away, because I feel I can’t bear it when triggered and I’m so concerned with being “good enough” (ie perfect) and the terror of being perceived in a bad light.
The healthy outlook is to make the best of the future, not stay stuck in the past and wallow in shame and let it control me.

It’s really hard but I know I need to move in the right direction, and definitely take recovery more seriously so I can cope better and feel better in the future.