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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Work burnout & anxiety

Topic: Work burnout & anxiety

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    9 April 2022

    Hi all, I’m new here so please bear with me. The situation is that I’ve experienced extended trauma and moral injury at work. It started with a colleague making false allegations and the company being too scared to protect me. I was investigated and cleared through two mechanisms over a nine month period. Unfortunately this happened during COVID and I live alone and have felt isolated and lonely. I also work in a very hard, high pressure environment. On top of this, I had an unfortunate health diagnosis that can luckily now be managed but fell out with a close friend and a few other unfortunate events during the same period.

    I ended up on SSRIs and have been seeing a counsellor but my mental health plan has expired. I can get this extended but my GP has left and I’m so exhausted and don’t want to retraumatise myself explaining again. I’m off the SSRIs because they made me feel unwell and tired. For a while I was great but my work stress has flared up again. My boss is unsympathetic and previously told me in my PDR that he would like me to work on my resilience. I’m a very resilient person and found this offensive but it confirmed that I have zero support.

    Recently a colleague passed away suddenly and there are rumours about the cause, another colleague has confided in me that they’re struggling to cope and took some leave. I’m desperately looking for a job but am not having much luck. Unfortunately I’m feeling incredibly burnt out and have short fuse, which isn’t helping me with writing applications and presenting. Tonight I burst into tears after a bad haircut and flew into a rage. I screamed and smashed a hairbrush. This is not my usual behaviour and I feel at my wit’s end. Any suggestions for where to start? I can’t quit my job, but know it’s 99% of the problem. I’ve started feeling hopeless, sad, tired and alone.

  2. Sophia16
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Sophia16 avatar
    286 posts
    10 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average

    Hi Edna,

    Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for sharing your story. That all sounds very difficult to deal with.

    You have been strong throughout your whole situation. Getting through something like that isn't easy. You mentioned seeing a counsellor but your mental health expired and your local GP left.

    I know it is hard to restate your story to somebody new but sometimes it is the best option. See a mental health professional can really help us maintain our emotions and create a coping plan.

    Stay safe and i am always here to chat.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Mark Z.
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
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    Mark Z. avatar
    195 posts
    10 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average

    Hi Edna,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm sorry for what you've experienced. I feel you need a break, a longer holiday or a career pause. Do you mind sharing why you can't quit your job, knowing it is the problem? You mentioned your current state is not conducive to perfect performance when looking for a job. I guess Even if you find a satisfactory job, it is difficult to show very good performance during the probationary period, which will probably bring you more frustration.

    And I feel you still need professional support. There should be some way not to re-traumatise yourself while switching to new professional support. Do you want to give BeyondBlue hotline a call? I believe you can get some good advice.

    Also, you need more emotional support from your family or close friends. Are you able to find someone close to you who can be a good listener and companion?

    Hope everything will be ok.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    10 April 2022 in reply to Mark Z.

    Thanks Mark, I agree that I need the break but I’ve whittled away my leave just taking short breaks to cope unfortunately. I’d need to build up some savings to be able to quit with nothing to go to.

    In terms of my support network, it’s very limited unfortunately. My family don’t live here and my parents are sick and elderly. My best friend is always saying that everyone in her family relies on her for support and that she’s over stressed by it. I fell out with my other close friend as a consequence of her constant criticism and me asking her not to do that. As painful as it was, it was important for me to set boundaries. I’m trying to make new friends but am always tired and not putting my best foot forward.

    I’ve made an appointment with a new GP on Tuesday. I know I can’t get through this without help.

    Thank you for pointing it out and taking the time to reply to my message. Fingers crossed I can get a good psychologist and develop new tools to at least get me through in the short term.

  5. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    10 April 2022 in reply to Sophia16

    Thanks Sophia, it’s really kind of you to reply. You’re 100% correct. I need to just see the new GP and start talk therapy again. I think this time I need to come up with a tangible plan rather than just recounting all the horrible things in my day-to-day interactions at work.

    I’m considering sick leave after Easter if things don’t get better, or broaching the possibility of purchasing leave to recharge.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Mark Z.
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mark Z. avatar
    195 posts
    11 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average

    Hi Edna,

    Thanks for your reply.

    As you have limited support network, would you like to consider Mental health peer support? There're some organizations out there providing mental health peer support service, such as MindAustralia (www.mindaustralia.org.au), or access to peer support groups, such as GROW (https://grow.org.au).

    And very glad to hear that you've found a new GP, hope you'll be referred to a good psychologist soon.

    Mark

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    12 April 2022 in reply to Mark Z.
    Thanks Mark, I had no idea this existed. I’ll definitely take a look! Thanks!
  8. That Other Guy
    That Other Guy avatar
    125 posts
    12 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average

    What sort of work do you do? It's tough if you need to work to survive, but work is where the stress is. The company you work for has no mechanisms to try to deal with this situation? It's a small company? Are you seeing a therapist? Have you thought about that? My last year was basically hell, although I have the good fortune of having a good job and no trouble finding work, the rest of my life collapsed. I'm not sure what I would have done without the support of my therapist. But yes, to get one without the cost, you need a mental health plan and that feels like a lot of hoops. I've had two mental health plans when I was close to the edge, but I am lucky I can afford to just pay for therapy. It can vary though, my therapist is $90 which is quite cheap. My wife also looked for someone and the person she found was $350 a session.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Mark Z.
    Multicultural Correspondent
    • Foundation members of our Multicultural Experiences section
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mark Z. avatar
    195 posts
    12 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average
    No worries at all Edna, if you feel you need more supporting resources, feel free to give BeyondBlue a call (1300 22 4636, 24/7).
  10. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    13 April 2022 in reply to That Other Guy

    Without saying too much I work for a very large multinational in a male dominated industry. My role is a combination of supply chain development, sustainability and business capture. It’s very unique and not standard for the industry. It was somewhat of a career change three years ago. In some ways I’m not enough of a specialist but in others I’m in a niche role. Unfortunately my organisation won’t move me because nobody else wants to do it. It’s quite politically sensitive at times and I have the people skills.

    I earn good money but it’s being whittled away on psychologist appointments, physio, massage, food and anything to make me feel better.

    The organisation admitted they didn’t deal with the original situation well. I was sent home during the investigation and told to access the EAP during the protracted process but they made me jump through hoops to even get a couple of extra sessions. The damage is done. I’ve now been pretending I’m better because of the culture there. Comments about whether I’m the right person for the role etc. and questions about my resilience were made, which was veiled bullying to stop me from raising the issue again. The problem is that the colleague that made the false allegations didn’t face any consequences and is still undermining me. As you can imagine, it’s impacted other areas in my life and I find myself single and regretful of my life choices generally.

    Anyway, the new GP confirmed today that I’m depressed and I have something to help me sleep now. I will see my original psychologist asap. She was good but seemed to be running out of ideas in January.

    As an aside, I was contacted by a recruiter about a job interstate which is a return to something I enjoy. I’m not sure if I’m up to another move but need to get out. I’m trying to write an application but my mind is jumbled. Wish me luck! Maybe some sleep over Easter will help.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. That Other Guy
    That Other Guy avatar
    125 posts
    13 April 2022 in reply to Edna Average

    I am always aware that, whatever challenges i face, patriarchy is in my corner, if i want it or not.

    Getting another job offer is exciting!!! If you pursue it or not, it's validation that other people see your worth. I hope you find it in yourself to pursue it, because it sounds like you don't have a lot of ties where you are, and it sounds like it might be a path to solving the biggest issue you're facing

    It's also sad you're facing all of this alone. Meeting people is tough, the dating scene is awful on women. I was out there for six months and i found simply not being a pushy jerk gave me a real edge, the bar for how men typically behave is THAT low. For that reason I'd imagine unless you meet someone organically, you probably want to deal with this work stuff before trying to deal with that. But you have some meds to help you now, and people are chasing you to work for them, so i reckon grab onto that and see a path forward to happier times.

  12. Edna Average
    Edna Average avatar
    10 posts
    26 April 2022 in reply to That Other Guy

    Argh, so since this thread began my situation hasn’t improved…

    My father has now been diagnosed with cancer (we’re waiting to see if it has spread) and I’m still not sleeping after the sleeping pills didn’t work. My psychologist has now put me on a sleep prescription that consists of building sleep pressure by staying awake until midnight and getting up at 6am. That hasn’t really been working either but I did manage to sleep through last night. I’m hoping it’s a sign that it’s starting to work, as I’m so tired and getting teary again.

    With regard to the interstate job, I put in an application but am waiting to hear back. There were red flags in my discussion with the recruiter (admitted they underpay, very political and a bit of pressure - made me wonder if she wanted me to apply at all). I applied to keep my options open. However, it would mean being much further away from my parents and what little support network I have here. I also want to be close to Dad (they’re about 2.5 hours away).

    Everything is basically turning to shit and I’m wondering if I can recover when more stuff keeps being thrown at me. Can anyone share a story of recovery after a cluster of events that has caused your mental health to spiral. I want to recover but am stuck in the work environment for a few months before I can resign with no job to go to… I feel that leaving is the only way I can begin to heal but am a bit petrified of not having something to go to.

    1 person found this helpful

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