Anxiety and panic at work

Most attacks I can deal with these days,the thoughts the slight physical symptoms , they are ok…well not ok, but I’ve learned how to cope over time if you know what I mean.

The problem I get is when that huge sensation comes on and I don’t feel comfortable enough to tell anyone what is going on. Because of the dependency I built up with those closest, work is not the kind of place where you want to be crying and clinging onto someone your not at all comfortable with !
How do you tell them???
‘Excuse me mate, I’m not being funny, but I’m fucking dying, can you help?’
How would you take that?!
It’s happened throughout my working life, I’m not sure if I believe in God or not, I’ve never been into religion much as it causes wars, divides people and families etc but anyway, as I get out of the car, I look up to whoever is up there and ask ‘please let me get through it without embarrassment’. I stilldo it at times now.
For years, it would be like Groundhog Day ! Just living to get through the day, one at a time. Not once could I plan ahead in hope of a good weekend, or a date! What was a date?? Half of my twenties can be wiped off the record. It’s something I deeply regret, but it’s happened so tough shit! There are people far worse off than me, so I cannot complain or moan.

However, I am at a job now where that comfort has been restored in a way, it’s a great place. I knew that from my interview.

I walked in chatted for about twenty minutes and felt all of the sensations building, I had to try and explain quickly that I suffered severely with anxiety/panic attacks. As I started to explain my boss cut in ‘no way?’
I thought ‘here we go, thanks for your time’
My boss ‘Do you think your dying?’
Me ‘Excuse me?’
My boss ‘When you have them? You feel like you’re going to die don’t you? I had them for several years, house ridden, scared of my own shadow, a horrible feeling’
All I could think of to reply at that moment was ‘fucking hell’ probably not the greatest of replies to your potential boss ey?? πŸ™‚
My boss smiled, I felt like crying!!!! I AM NOT ALONE! I felt at ease.

I have been in this Job for nearly five years now, my colleagues are great and so understanding, most days are good however, when I have a bad attack, the palpitations, the numbness, breathlessness, the thoughts of dying (thankfully I’ve not wet myself in work as yet πŸ™‚ ) you will find me half naked in the disabled toilet with my head under the cold tap talking to myself, mainly calling myself an idiot etc. As I am in the middle of one, they can last up to an hour, I take a tablet (clonazepam, another of my bad addictions, my second mask) that takes the intensity of the attack and allows me to get back to my job sooner. I only wish I had a turn off switch for my thoughts and anxiety….. But unfortunately I do not, that is why im lucky, I work for a great company and I’m surrounded by understanding people who do nothing but try to help. some sufferers do not have theseΒ surroundings and will suffer alone, which is and can be a very dark place.
So the reason for this blog is to share and help, but also to ask;
Do you go through this, or share a similar problem?
How do you feel about them?
How do you cope in these situations?
Let’s talk, we can help each other.

Have a good evening my friends
Be safe and take care
πŸ˜‰

10 Comments

    1. Is the ‘wow’ because you have realised that you are not alone in this?? πŸ™‚
      i hope so, please share your thoughts, id love to chat and there are people on here who can join in and help too. πŸ™‚
      LOTS OF SMILEY FACES AS I AM HAPPY YOU HAVE POSTED. thank you so much.
      have a good day πŸ˜‰

  1. Love reading that. The people we surround ourselves with play such a big role in how we experience our pain. So glad your boss and colleagues respond supportively.

    1. Thank you so much Annie πŸ™‚
      Yes, i have 110% support and my colleagues are very understanding. I have read a lot of blogs, facebook posts, tweets etc where people are going through so much but do not have the support or hide away. I have been there so i urge them to come on to the site and speak it out here. Do not hide, it will eat at you.
      We care, i care! so please visit and chat about things.

      thanks Annie.
      x

  2. Another brutally honest and brave post, thank you for sharing. I resonate with much of what you share. Additionally, as a manager myself of a reasonably sized team (50+) I have learned over the years that typically there has been a minimum of 10% of my colleagues who were or had suffered with anxiety. This is vitally important as it shows that you/we are not alone, it is far more common than many people realise! It is therefore important that people that suffer with anxiety do reach out to colleagues, HR or their manager. There is a good chance they really will understand.

    A good thing about your boss is he recognised it, brought it to the fore and empathised. This is something I try to do and it is incredibly helpful, not just for the person, but for me as well. πŸ™‚

    keep up the great work. ian@mentalkwellbeing

    1. Hi Ian,
      thank you for the reply. πŸ™‚
      It is great to read that you are a manager who can understand and reasonate with other sufferers. I take my hat off to you πŸ˜‰
      As many i have come across have been oblivious to what was happening and became blind until i was right to work.
      We do not need extra care, just a little understanding from people, as what they see on the outside, is certainly not a reflection of what is happening inside. hiding away cost me dearly, if i had spoken aboult it, maybe things could have been better…. but i am at a place now where all is good and i cannot thank the people enough. (Although, i do tend to sneak off or disguise them if possible).

      May i add, that i have started reading your blog and this is a message to all readers ITS A MUST πŸ™‚

      Thanks Ian,

      have a good day mate

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  5. It’s nice to hear that there are jobs that are that supportive. I work in an industry where my ability to thrive under constant pressure is a must. Even though I’ve managed to push through while hiding behind my mask, it is killing me inside. I wish I didn’t love the industry so much so I could change professions, but I just completed grad school for this and I don’t know what else I would even do. I feel so stuck.

    Thanks for reaching out. It means a lot.

    -M

    1. Hi M,

      Thank you so much for posting.
      I must ask, have you ever spoken to anybody about it? Or is it just the mask?
      Thriving under pressure is one thing, but thriving under pressure and keeping this under wraps is a whole different ball game!
      You must be a strong individual but how much can you take and keep producing?
      I really hope that the mask is enough, I’m always here if you find that you cannot talk to anyone and feel lost.
      Also on Twitter under @allinyourhead14.
      I am not in this for fame or fortune, I am anonymous for a reason also.
      but I have found that talking helps and I want to try to help as much I can.

      keep in touch and stay strong.

      πŸ™‚

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