C-PTSD affecting my job performance

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flyingfree

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C-PTSD affecting my job performance
« on: May 14, 2015, 09:39:59 AM »
So today I got feedback on a piece of work I handed in (a draft). Both my manager and my project manager are aware I'm dealing with issues with my family, although I haven't said anything about C-PTSD because I really don't think that technical word is going to help to explain. I have explained how badly I'm struggling to focus and how emotionally exhausted I am. Things have been much worse in the last few months, particularly the last month. The stress of trying to get the piece of work done pushed me over the edge, it was like I was coping before but now it's all just too much.

Anyway...basically, I'm really behind on where I should be. I spent the rest of the day locked in a meeting room on my own (at my own volition), doing planning work and struggling not to cry. I unfortunately dissolved into tears in the afternoon. All I could think is 'this is not me. I don't do crap work. This isn't me!'

I feel terrible. So embarrassed, guilty and humiliated. This is the first project of this kind I have done, and I want to prove myself. How the * do I do that when I feel like I'm wading through mud every day, trying to keep my head above water on others? And worse, I'm terrified they think I'm making it up or using it as an excuse for pissing around. But...this is me. I'm not like this normally. I have a master's degree. I'm a hard worker. Yet...I'm handing in work that isn't at all good enough.

Has anyone else had C-PTSD badly affect their job performance? What is your advice (aside from taking leave, which I don't want to do and will be difficult to do?)?

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keepfighting

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Re: C-PTSD affecting my job performance
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 10:37:03 AM »
So sorry you're dealing with this.  :hug:

FWIW, this is 'normal' for the early stages of learning to deal with CPTSD. It gets better as you develop more 'coping muscles'. At this stage, the most important thing is that you try to be kind and patient with yourself and trust that once you've gotten through the first really tough patches, you'll not only find your old mojo back, but have improved your coping skills and self care skills which will also help in your professional capacity. All your talents, your knowledge, your professional skills and your tenacity are still within you - nothing's gone even if it might feel like it now.

What might help in an emergency is having a 'grounding exercise' at hand that works for you and one which you can use at work, as well. For me, it's taking a gulp of cold water and concentrating on the sensations when it slides down my throat - cool, refreshing, pure and real. Try some different grounding exercises and see which one works best for you.

In the long run, you'll need more than just a quick fix. For a friend of mine, a combination of CBT and anxiety meds worked best. For me, CBT helped stabilize most of my symptoms and better skills at boundary setting and a better self care routine combined work fairly well. (Not saying that CBT is always the answer, it only ever gets you so far and for some people it does nothing at all, but if it's not CBT than there are plenty of other methods that are effective in helping people with CPTSD cope better. It's a question of finding the right thing for you).

Do you have a t that can help you?

Sorry that I can't be of any more practical help. Just trying to reassure you that you'll get through this first stage of disorientation and insecurity. You're not alone in this and we do understand and care. Sending you a  :hug:.

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flyingfree

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Re: C-PTSD affecting my job performance
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 07:06:09 AM »
I'm glad to hear that this is normal! I definitely feel like I'm in a 'bad patch' and that it's not going to be like this forever, I hope.

All your talents, your knowledge, your professional skills and your tenacity are still within you - nothing's gone even if it might feel like it now.

What might help in an emergency is having a 'grounding exercise' at hand that works for you and one which you can use at work, as well. For me, it's taking a gulp of cold water and concentrating on the sensations when it slides down my throat - cool, refreshing, pure and real. Try some different grounding exercises and see which one works best for you.

I'm glad that nothing is 'gone', I kind of still know this but you know how hopeless it feels at the time and you start to wonder if you've lost it for good!

Thanks for the suggestion on the grounding exercise. I am working with a T and she told me that when I have anxiety, to use something like this (like concentrating on your breathing, running your hands under a warm tap, sipping hot tea or cold water, etc.). I have put this into practise - hot tea really helps me, for some reason.

I have a T appointment on tuesday which will be good. I'm looking forward to it in terms of talking about what I can do to get through this patch.

I also had a really good chat with someone at work today about the whole situation, including the family issues and my ongoing struggle to fight through the C-PTSD. He was super understanding and actually said that I have massive strength of character for just turning up to work rather than taking to my bed for weeks, and that I should be proud of what I have done so far on my project given that I have a whole lot more to deal with outside of work than most. That made me feel a lot better.

He also reassured me that no-one thinks I'm just making excuses so...phew.

Thanks for your advice and support, keepfighting. Getting some reassurance is great. I'll keep this thread in mind and re-visit it whenever I start to panic again.

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Checkach

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Re: C-PTSD affecting my job performance
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 11:59:37 PM »
Seeing this really helps. Iím glad Iím not the only one struggling in a job that I was good at and that I like. And being terrified that someone will figure me out. I think Iím hitting my breaking point, though. I just canít concentrate or put on my game face.
Even these old posts help.

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saylor

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Re: C-PTSD affecting my job performance
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 07:45:17 PM »
I struggle with this, too. A lot.
CPTSD has been really detrimental to me in the workplace (and in relationships... and when I was in school...). The expectation that you will be "on" and adequately functional on-demand (generally according to a time frame set by others, and over which you have no control) can be maddening.
I've often felt like I have little to no control over my brain. If my brain "feels" like dealing with the task at hand, it can often do wonders, but if it wants to ruminate over some perceived slight, or some injustice, or some horror that has happened to me recently or long ago, or some damage I think I may have caused to another person, it will do so, and I can't make it stop. The distraction from this rumination can often be so great, that I'll lose consciousness of what someone else is saying directly to me (or in a meeting), and I'll end up missing out on some important piece of information that is crucial to my doing my job. Then I have to try to decide whether to "out" myself that I tuned them out yet again (and in the process, paint myself as an idiot in their eyes, or so assume), or try to fake it and hope I didn't miss anything too important.
Another thing that makes things difficult at work (and anywhere that I have to function among other people) is the many stimuli in the work place. I have severe misophonia, and I can be on-edge much of the time at work because of it (there are so many noises, banging around of objects, bright fluorescent lights), and that absolutely blows my ability to concentrate. I'm also afraid of people, and hate having to navigate interpersonal interactions with coworkers and contractors. I really hate it, even if I like the people I'm dealing with. I'll either obsess about something they said to me, or something I said to them (which I'll later ruminate over and wonder if there's some way I might have offended them, even if they've given no indication to that effect). This can take up a lot of mental bandwidth that could better be spent being productive, but I often can't get my brain back on track.
I'm dying to retire. I consider CPTSD to be a disability, and I often think I'm unfit to work (and it seems to be getting worse as I get older).