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Old 01-18-2019, 07:01 AM #1
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Default Anxiety /panic from a positive change

Until now, I've been working on 75% time. Now I got an opportunity to work full time. It will be combined from two places of work. The new work is better, I can use my skills, gain more respect, self confidence and it's something I plan doing long term.

However the problem is working is very triggering to me. I actually got PTSD symptoms activated from my first full time job after uni. It was extremely stressful, I was bullied and worked 12-14 hours a day, as well as had to attend training during the weekends. I had nightmares, extreme anxiety and depression. I don't know how I survived. If I stayed just a month longer I would have ended up in mental hospital. Work has activated my trauma from childhood because I used to be bullied as a kid, too and than I got the same at work.

Now I realise I should be happy about working 8hrs a day, and it's a work I enjoy. However on a purely physical level, my nervous system is panicking and recognizing work as a trauma trigger. Yesterday I got a true panic attack when I realized I'm going to work more hours. I had to ground, do breathing exercises and splash myself with cold water. I was shaking and my face got red. I had an ugly nightmare about a snake at night.

I rationally know I'm being ridiculous and it looks like I'm spoiled and lazy. Many people work much more and have families to care about... I should be happy and content and feeling this anxiety makes me ashamed of myself.

I haven't even started my new work yet and I'm already scared of collapsing in advance.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:51 AM #2
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Default Re: Anxiety /panic from a positive change

Congrats on the new opportunity! When do you start? I think the anticipation is worse than what will happen when you go from 75% to full time, so hopefully you'll be able to get that part over with soon . It's natural for there to be an adjustment period for something like that.

Are you already working with one or both of these workplaces?
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:16 AM #3
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Default Re: Anxiety /panic from a positive change

I'm so sorry, seeker33 Try to hang on until you start your work. Maybe you'll feel better by that point. Goon on you for applying all the coping skills you know. Keep doing that. And please, don't feel guilty, it's not your fault this is happening to you. It's clear you're trying your best to deal with it. Just stay safe, do your best, and wait until work begins. Hopefully you'll feel better then. Most importantly, be proud of yourself for this new job! Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. Sending many hugs to you
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:47 AM #4
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Default Re: Anxiety /panic from a positive change

I think what you are feeling is normal. Change, even when it is for the better, can be scary. It's the fear of the unknown, I think.



Is there any way you could ramp up the hours over a few weeks rather than going directly to full-time right away?


I wish you all the best! It will probably be just fine.
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:22 PM #5
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Default Re: Anxiety /panic from a positive change

Thank you everyone! I'll let you know how it goes! Hugs to all of you Hearing your encouraging words is helpful.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:48 AM #6
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Default Re: Anxiety /panic from a positive change

Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker33 View Post
Until now, I've been working on 75% time. Now I got an opportunity to work full time. It will be combined from two places of work. The new work is better, I can use my skills, gain more respect, self confidence and it's something I plan doing long term.

However the problem is working is very triggering to me. I actually got PTSD symptoms activated from my first full time job after uni. It was extremely stressful, I was bullied and worked 12-14 hours a day, as well as had to attend training during the weekends. I had nightmares, extreme anxiety and depression. I don't know how I survived. If I stayed just a month longer I would have ended up in mental hospital. Work has activated my trauma from childhood because I used to be bullied as a kid, too and than I got the same at work.

Now I realise I should be happy about working 8hrs a day, and it's a work I enjoy. However on a purely physical level, my nervous system is panicking and recognizing work as a trauma trigger. Yesterday I got a true panic attack when I realized I'm going to work more hours. I had to ground, do breathing exercises and splash myself with cold water. I was shaking and my face got red. I had an ugly nightmare about a snake at night.

I rationally know I'm being ridiculous and it looks like I'm spoiled and lazy. Many people work much more and have families to care about... I should be happy and content and feeling this anxiety makes me ashamed of myself.

I haven't even started my new work yet and I'm already scared of collapsing in advance.
It sounds like you've been through quite a lot. Don't underestimate how much change can affect our moods and mental health. Uncertainty can be very difficult to manage. Thank you for sharing it on here and reaching out for help and advice.

I always try to say away from the "should be's". These always have a negative connotation for me and do nothing more but put me down and create an even deeper funk then I'm already in...

Hope this helps a bit. I wish you the best of luck!
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