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Unread 11-02-2016, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Hi everyone,

I had the idea of doing a weekly chat for people who have an MI and work to share struggles and coping strategies/techniques, but I'm so busy that I can't really commit to that.

I thought this might be the next best thing. This is a thread for people to check in as many times as they want during the day and receive support, give support, vent, talk about struggles at work, whatever you need to help you get through the work day.

Maybe we could start with introducing ourselves, our work/career goals, our diagnosis, and our struggles? I will start us off:

I'm Seesaw. I have major depressive disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety or panic disorder (been diagnosed with both at different times), mild agoraphobia, and an eating disorder (undiagnosed but I'm finally admitting to it).

I went back to work after an 18 month absence on SSDI in February 2016. I work in nonprofit development and fundraising. My job is very high level and fast-paced, I focus on raising 5,6 and 7 figure donations. I'm working on becoming a Vice President in the near future and a CEO in the next 7-10 years. I often work 7 days a week and up to 60 hours a week.

I don't know how I hold on to my job with the struggles I have with depression, in particular. I am often fatigued and exhausted. I have no energy for anything outside of work. On weekends I'm like a battery that has to be plugged in and recharged for two days straight. I collapse and sleep for almost 2 full days on weekends, except for the few hours I need to go in to work on weekends.

I also struggle at work with letting myself get drawn into drama that is outside the scope of my responsibility, being ambitious and wanting to achieve and do more and show leadership, but also mind my own business and get my work done. I find it hard to pick my battles sometimes. And I have found that getting too much into the drama of work really negatively affects my depression and PTSD. Especially the PTSD.

Today is actually a relatively quiet day, which I haven't had in a while, and strangely enough I'm having trouble focusing because things are kind of slow and quiet today and the rush of deadline isn't looming on me.

I look forward to meeting you all and getting through our work journeys together.

Seesaw
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My Dx: PTSD, Severe Chronic Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

Meds I've tried: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Wellbutrin, Risperidone, Abilify, Prazosin, Paxil, Trazadone, Tramadol, Topomax, Xanax, Propranolol, Valium, Visteril...

Treatments I've done: CBT, DBT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Talk therapy, psychotherapy, exercise, diet, sleeping more, sleeping less...
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Unread 11-02-2016, 11:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Hi seesaw!

Thanks for this thread. I admire your recovery and renewed career.

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Add me as a friend and we can chat
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Unread 11-02-2016, 07:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Hello and thanks for starting this thread! I leave every job I get due to anxiety or fear. Reading about your work sounds rewarding and very challenging. I'm caring for an ill parent and my teenage twin daughters but I really am determined to find something that I enjoy outside of the home. The more I isolate, the less I want to leave home. Best wishes
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Unread 11-02-2016, 08:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Good idea, seesaw!

I struggle with generalized anxiety, PTSD, depression (Dysthymia), and some social anxiety. I also have a skin disorder (vitiligo) on my face that makes me self–conscious. I used to feel extreme anxiety over work deadlines. Over the last few years, I learned to tune out my feelings for long stretches of the work day. I feel the fatigue and anxiety, but keep pushing myself to focus on the 'facts' of the work at hand and leave the emotions for work breaks or until the end of the day. I still have days were I can't seem to cope. On those days, I do my best to do something productive or I hide.

I have a good position at a financial company and as much as I struggle , my managers praise my work - a lot. It is difficult for me to accept the praise. I am not sure why.
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Unread 11-02-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

hi, i like this thread. working has been one of the most beneficial things in my recovery but does come with stress. i have complex ptsd, a psychotic disorder, and an eating disorder. i work as a bookkeeper in a store. i struggle with finding out how to be 'myself' at my job but not be too crazy. at first i was super quiet and shy but ive gotten better. the only thing really bothering me is 2 of my managers are sources of paranoia for me as i dont like them and i dont think they like me. also sometimes i think my coworkers are talking about me and taking pictures of me on their phones
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Unread 11-03-2016, 08:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by sans View Post
Hello and thanks for starting this thread! I leave every job I get due to anxiety or fear. Reading about your work sounds rewarding and very challenging. I'm caring for an ill parent and my teenage twin daughters but I really am determined to find something that I enjoy outside of the home. The more I isolate, the less I want to leave home. Best wishes
Working definitely has helped with my recovery. It has helped my confidence and my self-esteem. I hope that you are able to find something or maybe look into volunteering, because having the routine of work really does help to stabilize my disorder, at least.

I can't imagine handling twin teenage daughters. God bless you!

Seesaw
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My Dx: PTSD, Severe Chronic Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

Meds I've tried: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Wellbutrin, Risperidone, Abilify, Prazosin, Paxil, Trazadone, Tramadol, Topomax, Xanax, Propranolol, Valium, Visteril...

Treatments I've done: CBT, DBT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Talk therapy, psychotherapy, exercise, diet, sleeping more, sleeping less...
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Unread 11-03-2016, 08:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzen View Post
Good idea, seesaw!

I struggle with generalized anxiety, PTSD, depression (Dysthymia), and some social anxiety. I also have a skin disorder (vitiligo) on my face that makes me self–conscious. I used to feel extreme anxiety over work deadlines. Over the last few years, I learned to tune out my feelings for long stretches of the work day. I feel the fatigue and anxiety, but keep pushing myself to focus on the 'facts' of the work at hand and leave the emotions for work breaks or until the end of the day. I still have days were I can't seem to cope. On those days, I do my best to do something productive or I hide.

I have a good position at a financial company and as much as I struggle , my managers praise my work - a lot. It is difficult for me to accept the praise. I am not sure why.
Do you think it's difficult to accept praise because you are a perfectionist, maybe? I know that's my problem. I see all the flaws and ignore the good things about the work I do. Nothing is ever good enough for me.

I think that's what I like about work, is being able to put my personal issues on hold for 8 hours and feel like I accomplished something productive. I understand what you mean about the fatigue and anxiety. Sometimes when I come to work I just pretend I'm a different version of me, one without all the disorders. It works sometimes. Sort of like "fake it til you make it."

Glad you joined our check-in thread!

Seesaw
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My Dx: PTSD, Severe Chronic Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

Meds I've tried: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Wellbutrin, Risperidone, Abilify, Prazosin, Paxil, Trazadone, Tramadol, Topomax, Xanax, Propranolol, Valium, Visteril...

Treatments I've done: CBT, DBT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Talk therapy, psychotherapy, exercise, diet, sleeping more, sleeping less...
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Unread 11-03-2016, 08:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkDNA View Post
hi, i like this thread. working has been one of the most beneficial things in my recovery but does come with stress. i have complex ptsd, a psychotic disorder, and an eating disorder. i work as a bookkeeper in a store. i struggle with finding out how to be 'myself' at my job but not be too crazy. at first i was super quiet and shy but ive gotten better. the only thing really bothering me is 2 of my managers are sources of paranoia for me as i dont like them and i dont think they like me. also sometimes i think my coworkers are talking about me and taking pictures of me on their phones
When I first came back to work it took me months to open up and start to be friendly with my co-workers. I was afraid anything I said or did would tip off my MI to them. But eventually I started to relearn how to behave in the work place and realized that my co-workers are all pretty great people. I still keep my disorders to myself (except HR, I have disclosed to HR) but I am able to share aspects of my life.
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My Dx: PTSD, Severe Chronic Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia.

Meds I've tried: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Effexor, Remeron, Elavil, Wellbutrin, Risperidone, Abilify, Prazosin, Paxil, Trazadone, Tramadol, Topomax, Xanax, Propranolol, Valium, Visteril...

Treatments I've done: CBT, DBT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Talk therapy, psychotherapy, exercise, diet, sleeping more, sleeping less...
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Unread 11-03-2016, 10:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Glad you started this thread, I could use it! I have major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, and they've always affected my work. I work a very stressful job primarily with federal inmates who are transitioning out of prison. Over the summer we also started a program for people on state probation who are at risk of being sent back to jail or prison. It's difficult some days, it's stressful, but there are moments that feel good, when I know I'm making a difference. Lately things have been pretty crazy, and I get overwhelmed easily by all the paperwork I have to do.
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Unread 11-03-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Working with a Disorder Check-In Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by seesaw View Post
Do you think it's difficult to accept praise because you are a perfectionist, maybe? I know that's my problem. I see all the flaws and ignore the good things about the work I do. Nothing is ever good enough for me.
I am exactly like you in that I see all the flaws. The flaws bother me to where I lose sight of all the good. I also feel I could do so much more if I didn't have to fight through the emotional drama that I sometimes get caught up in with myself when things don't go perfectly.

I mentioned that I used to stress about deadlines. I used to work weekends and nights for fear of missing a deadline. About 2 years ago, I reached a breaking point when my manager at my previous job gave me 6 weeks to do something that would take 4 months to complete. We had a standing Friday afternoon status meeting right after my quitting time every week where I had to explain why I was behind schedule. He made me feel like I had to keep working through my much needed recovery weekends. My anxiety was high and my depression deepened so much during that month that I confronted my manager ready to quit. I told him I could not make the deadline and told him he could hire someone to replace me that would. He backed off. That experience was good therapy for me. I learned not meeting my manager's expectations (and my own perfectionist expectations) is not the end of the world. Now, I focus more on doing what I need to do to get the work done, but I have a 'do not care' attitude towards targets and others expectations. I do what I can today and leave the implications of whether or not it meets someone's expectations to others to judge.
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