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  1. So, let me start with the fact that I'm 23. All my life I have dealt with social anxiety. It use to not be as bad as it is now. When I turned 18 I went to college, a couple times actually. The courses I chose didnt work out because it was sort of what my mom wanted for me. Also the professor had some assignment where I had to speak in front of class so I would drop out. Anyway, I went on to try and have many jobs but I would always quit. Because it is so much easier to stay home then to face my anxiety and work 8 hours a day 5 days a week. So, my boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now. He wants a life with me, marriage, babies... and he is the manager of a store. We are struggling for money right now so until things are fixed we can't have a future. I love him to pieces. He recently offered me a job. I want to take it but I don't know if I can ever get up the courage to work. I want to but I'm scared. I don't wanna fail him again. I was walking today and found this website. I don't really know if this is how you're even supposed to use this site but here I am, writing this here. Maybe I really want help this time. So, anyway, if anyone has any tips or anything... It would really be nice. Thanks to whoever reads this. (:
  2. Hello! How y'all doing today? I found myself back on this forum after a couple years when we shared helpful advice on my anxiety related worries. I've been battling with a huge challenge for a year now. I believe some of you might relate to this – let me tell you. I was doing good in my life – working my ass off at school and work, traveling, being healthy, going to gym, having a girlfriend, etc. In a time frame of two years the pushing and too little sleep burnt me out eventually. Learned my lessons there. I went to the doctor and it was diagnosed as a burnout. Now here I am, trying to get myself back in life so to speak. I've been recovering for almost a year now and been careful about my diet, sleep hygiene and now I've started taking walks in the morning. I do a little yoga and meditation daily and try to write down my thoughts every now and then. The process is taking longer than I could ever imagine. The thing is I feel fed up with surviving on my own and being tired all the time; the constant trying and trying and it feels close to not progressing at all. I'm battling with my final work at the same time to get graduated from school but the work feels so huge and difficult that it eats me inside. I can barely work with it for one to three hours per day. I've been depressed battling with all of this – therefore I feel "stuck" at life. I can't even think about my future because I feel like I'm drowned in my school work and recovery, and I can't find the energy to do more of it every day. Sometimes I skip doing the work because I feel so exhausted just waking up. And I feel this recovering and unfinished work is prolonging my future plans because I can't deal with them both properly. Life is in a stand-by mode at the moment. I just want to feel energized and motivated again and be done with my graduation – to continue my life. I see no light in the end of the tunnel right now. I'm not totally sure which category this issue exactly goes to but I hope some of you can relate in your own way and share some thoughts. We're in this together. Any thoughts?
  3. How many of you, have gone through a Vocational Rehabilitation program, or the other program known as the NTL@Home? Did either of these programs help you with getting a job, or were they both useless in doing this? Both of these programs are suppose to help the disabled community.
  4. My name is Jaclyn, and I am currently a first year graduate student pursuing my MS in Psychology at Villanova University. Having battled anorexia throughout my working years, I have experienced both social and occupational stigma. My own experiences have been unique and upsetting, and I do not believe that experiences of stigma should be reduced to numbers. For that reason, I am conducting a qualitative research study in the form of interviews with men and women battling eating disorders in the workplace in the hopes of learning more about the stigma they face. There is a LOT of research on the implications of stigma in the workplace as well as the sort of stigma those with eating disorders face, but there is very little literature regarding the impact of having an eating disorder in the workplace, and I hope to contribute to the field in a meaningful way by conducting this study. I am hoping to present at both the ANAD and NEDA conferences in October. Your participation in the study would consist of a 60 minute (maximum) phone interview in which your history with the disease and how it has affected you in the workplace. You would be completely free to skip any questions you found uncomfortable or simply did not wish to answer. The interview is recorded and transcribed so that we (Dr. Katina Sawyer, who is supervising my project, and myself) can see if certain themes arise from these interviews. All recordings and transcriptions are locked in Dr. Sawyer's office and all potentially identifying information (name, phone number, employer - if any of this is mentioned) would be removed to ensure complete confidentiality. If you are still interested in participating in the study, I would absolutely love to speak with you! If you could send me some times that would work well for you to talk for half an hour to an hour, I'm sure we could work something out! Thank you so much again, and I hope to hear from you soon! Contact at
  5. I am employed as a substitute teacher. When I go to classrooms and schools I am familiar with I am always able to go. However, I hesitate to accept different assignments. I understand that accepting them will make me more comfortable with schools and classrooms. I do not work as often as I would like and I cancel too often. I am concerned about losing my job, as I have cancelled four times this semester, without a doctor's note. I am only permitted two "free" days off without a doctor's note. I am not contributing to my household as much as I would like. My husband works part-time and volunteers part-time. If he were to accept a full-time position that would take pressure off of me. However, my husband is very happy with his current situation, and I would like to resolve my anxiety issue, so I can carry more of the load. However, I know drastically reducing my hours has the potential to heal or hurt me mentally. I have no children, and I am struggling to work even part-time. This is a blow to my self-esteem. I regularly have an existential crises over my productivity and "contribution to society". I am concerned about being defined as "lazy". On bad days I struggle to even get dressed. I feel paralyzed, with no identifiable fear. I try to work through thoughts, but it just feels like there's a bunch of adrenaline in me. My mind feels scrambled and tense and I cannot even identify faulty thoughts. I have been working very hard not to equate my self esteem with my secular work, which has helped. When I do work, I typically do well. At times, I am immensely irritable, but on the typical day I do well. I think that a regular position, where I go to the same place everyday would help my anxiety. Unfortunately, I am too nervous to apply for another job! I have held three different jobs for about four years a piece. The first six months or so are really difficult for me. I second-guess myself and ask constant questions, which becomes very irritating to trainers. I don't want to go through that again, but I know it is not guaranteed I will suffer that way. Also, when I work everyday for even one week, I become so irritable and emotional. I would like to be able to hold a full-time or even a close to full-time position, without suffering the whole way through, and causing others to suffer. I am a very high-energy individual. This can be positive-happiness, giddiness, gregariousness;or intensely negative-nervousness, clenching and grinding of teeth, hyper-vigilance. Sometimes the positive and negatives co-exist or alternate rapidly. I am often feel like I am going to "burst out of my skin" because I am so excited. Excitability can be positive, but it is a negative when I feel "out of control" and I may embarrass myself with my hyperactive behavior. A have been journaling, and doing CBT on my own for about 6 months now. I exercise daily to help with anxiety. I have been on Prozac for 18 months, and it has kept the crying spells at bay. (I suffered from anxiety for years, but I was only diagnosed 18 months ago) I do not drink any caffeine (even a tiny bit makes me intensely intense lol). I only drink alcohol occasionally, and I never binge-drink. I take Valerian as needed for intense anxiety. I take Evening Primrose Oil nightly to regulate my hormones. I have a strong support network of friends and family. These things have helped immensely, I don't feel constantly on the verge of a break-down like I used to, but I'm still not functioning as well as I would like to. I have been diagnosed with GAD. I do not take risks (bipolar) or have panic attacks. I have occasionally suffered from depression when I get frustration with my anxiety disorder. What can I do to improve my situation? Any suggestions about my employment? Any kind help is welcome. I am frustrated with my progress at this point.
  6. Hello, I'm new here and having some major upset at my work with a boss and evil coworker. I went to higher ups and that was no good as it backfired. I've been sick and anxious all week. I'm on Xanax and Prozac and it's helping a little. I feel on edge and scared and dreading work. Please help me.
  7. Hi there, I'm new to this forum but had a read of some previous posts and it seems like a nice place with some sensible advice! I kind of need a support place at the moment, so will look forward to joining in with postings. I have been suffering from Social Anxiety and general anxiety for about 20 years now. Maybe longer. My life has been a mess because of it. I quit my job. Then university. And I haven't been able to work for the last 20 years because of it. I am now 38 and despite this, I have managed to find a lovely boyfriend (on!) who I have been with for the last 4 and a half years. I want to start a family, since I cannot envision a life without kids. After quite a lot of research on anti-depressant drugs and anti-anxiety drugs, my boyfriend and I have decided it would be best to come off my Efexor before trying for a baby. The doctors say the potential harm to an unborn child is low, but the newborn is likely to suffer withdrawal effects. However, there are many court cases where parents are suing doctors or the pharmacology company for saying the risk was low, when their babies have been born with a cleft lip or a hole in the heart. I don't trust doctor's advice on medication because they have repeatedly told me that generic Efexor was the same as brand name - however, I know it isn't because I felt terrible while taking generic Efexor. Also, the first anti-anxiety drugs I was prescribed, caused me extreme panic symptoms which lasted a week and I had to go to the Emergency Room to get Valium. This happened TWICE! Also, when they prescribed me Prozac, I was so foggy-headed I couldn't think straight or even walk properly and couldn't get out of bed for a week. So, because of my past experiences, I do not trust Doctor's opinions when it comes to anti-depressant medication. So, I really don't want to take the risk that medication could harm my unborn child and I know my boyfriend doesn't, either. I have been doing voluntary work for the past 3 months, in order to get job references so that I can get a job to support my child. It is gardening in the grounds of a museum once a week. I have been able to talk to the staff and be friendly with them, although I am still very nervous about sitting in a room and eating my lunch with them. I did this once, but most of the time people tend to do their own thing, so I'm not really required to have lunch with them. I have noticed that since I started withdrawing from my Efexor, I have been experiencing greater general anxiety. I was on 150mg and now I have been on 75mg for the last 2 weeks. In less than a week, I am due to halve the dose again, and I suspect this will make me feel quite sick. Since, Xmas I haven't been going in to my voluntary job as often as I should. It is a slow time of year anyway for gardening and they said they don't need as much help. So I said I would go in every 2 weeks. In reality I have only been managing it every 3 weeks, since Xmas. The Efexor withdrawal is making it harder for me to deal with going in to work. It is a huge step for me to attempt to work, after 20 years of not being able to. And it has taken me a lot of courage and determination to get this far. I am glad I did it, however, I now feel myself slipping backwards and giving in to the anxious thoughts again. One of the things which spooked me, was my supervisor being very NICE to me and giving me some leftover plants. I know it's stupid, but I ended up feeling overwhelmed and like I didn't know how to deal with him. From reading the signals, I also think he might fancy me, although he hasn't really done anything to overstep the mark - but I still feel uncomfortable about it and don't really know how to deal with it. I know he was only being nice and trying to make me feel that volunteering was worthwhile, by giving me plants. So that might be part of why I've avoided going in. Stupid, I know. I'm also worried that if I don't go in often enough, that the staff will start not liking me, for messing them about, because they have to work there most days whether they like it or not. It's stupid little thoughts like this which fester in my head and grow into a big problem - I have to make sure I keep on top of them by giving myself therapy by addressing the problems in writing and coming up with strategies of how to deal with them. Although that's something I've slipped out of doing the last few weeks. The Efexor withdrawal is making it harder for me to focus on making myself feel better, because of the tendency to think negatively. So, I just resign myself to feeling crap and hope that I'll feel better one day. I'm also experiencing headaches and anxiety every day, due to withdrawal. I can't help thinking that rehabilitating myself to get back into work would be alot easier if I could just keep taking Efexor. My boyfriend has also insisted that I get a job, since he doesn't want to be the only one working, to support our upcoming family, which is perfectly understandable, and I really want to be able to work too. I am 38 in a week, and I don't feel I can wait any longer before we try for a baby. I want 2 kids and if it theoretically takes 2 years to conceive each one, I'll be 42 by the time I'm having the last one! And the older the mother is, the greater the chances of there being something wrong with the baby. It took my mom 18 months to conceive me, when she was 22. And the older the mother is when she tries for a baby, the longer it takes to concieve - and I am now medically classed in the age bracket where it could take up to 2 years. So, I'm in a difficult situation at the moment. I really want to have a normal life with a family of my own and a job. If I can't have kids, I think that would spark off a major depression for me, since I would feel that my anxiety has won and robbed me of the chance of a normal life. I do not want to grow old with an empty, child-free life. I want to enjoy the company of my children and experience the joys of raising them. I know it's hard work, but I'm from a big family and helped my mom raise my brother and sister and the kids she child-minded, so I know I can cope with that side of things. I am also now able to do normal things like go to the doctor's or out for meals or go to family gatherings or go out for the day. About 10 years ago I wasn't able to do any of that, and I was completely house-bound due to my anxiety. So, I've improved a lot. I only hope I can do the last bit of trying to work, whilst withdrawing from my anxiety meds. Staying positive is probably the hardest thing for me, right now, but I absolutely need to be able to do it. I wish my life didn't have to be so difficult and that normal everyday things weren't such a struggle. Anyway, thanks for listening and sorry this post has been so long! Cherise.