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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Wings Offline
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Unhappy Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 28th 2014, 12:41 AM

When I was sixteen years old, I got my first job at a fast food restaurant. I've suffered from social and generalized anxiety for as long as I can remember, so having this job was one of the scariest things I've ever had to do. I only managed to work there for five months before quitting.
I recently graduated high school and I'm eighteen now. My father will be kicking me out soon, I have almost no money to pay my car insurance, and I am in desperate need of a job, but my anxiety is so severe that I've been almost entirely isolated for the past two and half years (I was home-schooled). I had a job about a month ago, but I was only there for a few days before I panicked and bailed
I don't know why talking to people is so hard for me, but I get so anxious during interviews I can't think straight and then going in on the first day is even worse. I'm a slow-learner and the anxiety makes it even harder for me to learn and preform a job effectively, so my previous bosses were always really frustrated with me and I felt horrible about it. I'm terrified if I get another job, the same thing is just going to happen again. I know I need to grow up and be responsible but it's like: I can either be completely isolated and have peace of mind or I can go out and experience life but be in a constant state of fear and uncertainty (so I usually choose being alone).

I'm sorry this is long, I ended up venting more than I intended to, so I really appreciate anyone who reads this. What can I do about my situation? Any input or advice is helpful!

Thank you
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 28th 2014, 12:55 AM

Hi there,

I've been in a similar situation as you. I got my first job when I was fifteen, and I bailed six months into it because I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety amongst other diagnoses. It's been hard for me to hold down jobs, but it's definitely possible. I think the longest I've kept a job was eight or nine months, but that's because I got laid off for being hospitalized.

I understand how difficult it is to hold down a job, but it's so worth it. Depending on the job, you can develop a sense of purpose or self-worth because you're making your own money and can pay for things by yourself. It's important to have those feelings. Have you ever thought about going to counseling/being on medication for your anxiety? I've found that both have helped me tremendously while I'm trying to establish a life for myself. I'm able to go to interviews and express who I am now that I'm working on things. Hopefully soon I'll have a job and I'll be able to accomplish things with little to no anxiety. I'm sure that you can get a job and do the same soon.

Maybe you could make a list of positive things about yourself (because employers will ask about your strengths and weaknesses). That way you'll be prepared to answer questions AND you'll feel confident going into the interview. Let employers know that you are a slow learner, but you're eager to learn the routine. They'll help you get adjusted and you'll pick it up in no time at all. You will be able to hold a job and control your anxiety. Take deep breaths, listen to calming music before an interview and/or shifts. Reward yourself for going through with it.

I'm sorry that I talked about me in this post, but I think reading about other people's experiences could be helpful... so I hope I helped in some way or another. If you have any questions/need to talk, feel free to message me.

There is no beauty without some strangeness.

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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 28th 2014, 01:34 AM

hi there,

I also been diagnose with both anxiety and social anxiety. I understand how difficult it is!! And I could hardly hold my first job and only worked about 6 months!! Then I had another job... But it was a summer job but I got through it but there are more calmer jobs I washed dishes at a restaurant and I worked at a warehouse. You can also be a those people who clean hotels rooms too!

But I strongly recommend seeing a doctor or counselor or someone to help you get through the anxiety you don't have to suffer alone! It may be really scarey but it is a lot easier to deal with it!

The best advice I can give you is to fight it.. Yes It may be extremely difficult! I have done it myself... Make yourself say Hi to some people and stuff... It will be really hard at first, but it does get easier it gets harder if you isolate or stay hidden and it will make you more scared to be out in public and stuff like that. You don't have to do it now.. Or tomorrow.. Or the next year.. Fight it when you are ready too!

I hope this kinda helped! You're not alone! And feel free to PM/VM me anytime

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Celyn Offline
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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 30th 2014, 05:47 PM

Hi Paige,

Iím 21 and am yet to have a first job! I havenít been officially diagnosed but my old counsellor did say that I have suffered symptoms of anxiety for a long time.

Being anxious during interviews is very normal and even expected. I find that preparing answers in advance, thinking about what questions might be asked and trying to think of a question or two to ask at the end when they ask ĎAny questions?í can be helpful.

I canít imagine how difficult it must be managing a job and anxiety. But donít give up! One of things I learned with anxiety is that to overcome your anxiety you must face your face fears, and stick with it. Itís also normal to feel anxious on your first day, but since you feel the anxiety is interfering in your life Iím wondering if you have had any counselling to deal with it? Counselling can teach you how to manage your anxiety and to eventually overcome it. During my time with counselling, I found that doing some breathing exercises and mindfulness helped with anxiety as it makes me feel clearer headed and focused.

I know that it is very hard to accept growing up and taking more responsibility when you have anxiety, and I know that it is very tempting to isolate yourself. But take small steps in managing your anxiety (e.g. setting yourself goals, having counselling, breathing exercises) and try to work out what is making you anxious and challenge those thoughts by replacing them with more realistic thoughts e.g ĎIím rubbish at my jobí becomes ĎI am not rubbish at my job. I have anxiety which can make things difficult, but I wonít give up!í

All the best
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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 31st 2014, 09:40 PM

I can totally relate to you on this. I'm 20 years old and I ave never had a job before and it is not because of my social anxiety; I just have not found anything that I would like to do.

I know how tough/difficult it can be to talk to people because of the social anxiety. Part of my problem is that I have a hard time starting a conversation with someone and having any sort of eye contact whatsoever. I started working on my "shyness" when I was in high school and I am currently in my junior year of college and I still have some issues with my social anxiety.

Anyways, I think you should think about seeing a counselor/therapist about your social anxiety.

I know it can be hard to overcome any sort of anxiety, but it will be worthwhile to start to overcome any sort of anxiety.

Member Since 1/15/2012
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Philomath Offline
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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - August 31st 2014, 10:24 PM

Hey Paige,

Do not worry about the length of your post; we want to listen and help as best as we can and no one minds how many words it takes you to vent out everything.
You mentioned you were home-schooled. I am wondering, did you participate in any groups with other children outside of being home-schooled often? If not, you could get anxious do to your lack of interactions with people your own age/social situations in general.
I agree that it could help you to see a counselor for this. They can help you learn breathing techniques you can use to cope if you get anxious as well as other coping mechanisms. It can also help you to have a counselor at this time of transitoin in your life. You can tlak to them about finding a job and the struggles associated with that/how it connects to your anxiety. Maybe the counselor can help you brainstorm ideas about how you can get a job and how you can keep the job. You can discuss how tot talk to your employer and what techniques of teaching you would be best (for instance if having someone one-on-one or being taught in a group).
I am unsure what your thoughts on this are but have you ever considered applying for assistance from the government (food stamps, money for housing and medical support etc.)? I am not saying this as a long-term solution to what you are going through but the assistance could be useful if your dad is going to kick you out, you have car insurance and you need to pay for housing, food and get help for your anxiety. Just something to think about. If what I said above is in anyway offensive, I do not mean to be, I just think it may help you to have that extra support since you are unemployed currently (I know that suggesting this as an option can offend some people).
I hope this helps.
Take care and you can message me.

"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
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Wings Offline
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Re: Social Anxiety and Working...? - September 1st 2014, 07:00 AM

Hi Christina (^__^)/

Thanks for the response! I just wanted to let you know, I'm not offended at all by your suggestion. If it comes down to it, getting assistance from the government sounds like a viable option for me so I'll keep that in mind!

And thank you to everyone else who responded I really appreciate all the support! This thread gives me some hope and most of you suggested talking to a counselor which is something I've been thinking about for some time. So I'll be sure to look further into that. Thanks again!
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