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Old 10-16-2006, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How do I deal with work and being around people all day?

Hello I'm new. I'm 23 and have been dealing with very bad social anxiety for around 10 years now. I've been housebound in the past and very suicidal and my anxiety is with me every day, all day. It makes life a nightmare. I've seen psychiatrists and therapists since 18 but am not seeing anyone now because I didn't feel like they addressed my problems and seeing a psychiatrist is very expensive, especially when you aren't getting solutions.

I dropped out of school this semester because of my anxiety (it's completely ruined my college education) and recently got a job as a teller at a bank. I am finding this extremely hard. I'm shakey, paranoid, my voice comes out weak and hoarse because I have trouble breathing right when I'm nervous, I feel stupid because I don't feel like I know what I'm doing...I feel like all my co-workers think I'm a joke and a weirdo and a freak. The customers think I'm an idiot because I have to ask my co-workers for help on a bunch of things because I know nothing. I have zero self-esteem and confidence. I'm very tempted to quit (another failure in a long line of them) but I know my parents would be so disappointed because they were proud I took initiative and got this job. I just feel so bad all the time and when I come home I feel like I embarrassed myself the whole day and people are laughing at me. It's an overwhelming feeling of regret and just feeling like a joke.

I know I should get a new therapist and probably get back on medication, but it's never seemed to help me much in the past. I don't understand how people w / severe social anxiety are supposed to earn a living? I did have one job where I worked in a hospital basement and that was okay because I didn't have to deal with people really, but it's pretty pathetic that I have to confine myself to a basement to make money.

I feel so lost, desperate, and anxious about tomorrow and what a fool I'm going to make of myself again. How do you deal with customers and people all day???? Should I get a new job where I don't have to deal with people so much? I don't think this is something I can beat. I feel stupid even posting this but I'm going to post it since I wrote this all out
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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paranoid. it sounds like your work environment is not conducive to your recovery. your experiences there are only serving to build your anxiety rather than giving you confidence. I would try looking for another job, one where you have a lower, more manageable level of social interaction. I know it may seem like the easy way out but you need to reduce your negative exposure so you can get some confidence back.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to SAS, Paranoid!
Hmmm....good question about the job. I think you should stick with it. Here's why:

- With therapy, it's like on-the-job life training. You will get to experiment with your behavior and see how things happen. I have done this with my job. I have seen that the more open and friendly I am, the more I get in response.
- Since you are new, you are bound to make mistakes. Everybody does. There is no harm in asking your co-workers if they are more experienced, they have to help you. That's training.
Customers will think "Oh, she's new" and that's all. They don't know you well enough to be able to think anything more.
- Think of a day at work as a performance. You are playing a character on a television show called "The Tellers: Trauma in the Bank". You go around helping people like they are in the E.R. The "doctors of the savings account" know what to do in a crisis and keep the customer calm.

See, you can think of it in a multitude of ways. With therapy, you can definitely handle this.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How do I deal with work and being around people all day?

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I just feel so bad all the time and when I come home I feel like I embarrassed myself the whole day and people are laughing at me. It's an overwhelming feeling of regret and just feeling like a joke.
I can totally relate, when I'm feeling like this at work it feels like the center of my chest has this infinite pressure and I want to break down and cry ....I've had trouble crying tho ever since taking Effexor Xr (which I'm now off of but still its difficult to cry and hard to release this pressure inside)

Something Positive I came across reading your post was that you are trying! Keep telling yourself YOU ARE TRYING when you're having it rough

I had a rough day at work myself where this girl I like(d) gave me a weird look and I started bringing myself down with some internal negativity...It felt like my heart burst when It reached the final point...I couldn't look at her anymore but at the same time I needed to keep doing my job and I kept telling myself that I'm still fighting social anxiety disorder by just being there instead of running like I've done in the past and that allowed me to pick myself up a bit and carry on.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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what medications have you tried in the past?? have you considered a maoi like nardil?
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likewater
paranoid. it sounds like your work environment is not conducive to your recovery. your experiences there are only serving to build your anxiety rather than giving you confidence. I would try looking for another job, one where you have a lower, more manageable level of social interaction. I know it may seem like the easy way out but you need to reduce your negative exposure so you can get some confidence back.
this is good advice.

i think you need to take baby steps towards healing and that a job as a bank teller was too big of a step. you should live your life for you and not worry about whether or not quitting this job would disappoint your parents.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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You got the job so that's a good acheivement! And you know what? Although it's so hard, you do talk to customers and co-workers every day so you should feel proud about that. i know how you feel though. It's humiliating and exhausting. Even at work today I kept thinking the other women there were *****ing about me. But then I told myself that they're probably not but even if they were, it doesn't matter. (These are two women that ***** about a lot of people).
I don't know if you should keep the job or not, but if you quit then perhaps that would be avoidant personality which only makes the social anxiety worse. If it helps, I'm getting a lot better at social interactions in my job just by overpowering my irrational fears with rational thoughts. All the best ...
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I don't see anything wrong with quitting your job. Forcing yourself to be "out there" may help some people but it doesn't seem to be helping you. I think a job where you only have to deal with other employees and not customers would help. When I was working I started out with light industrial work, making keyboards, running small machines, simple manufacturing type jobs. Yes, sometimes I was bored but I would rather be bored than terrified everyday dealing with customers. I realize not everybody has access to those types of jobs.

Quote:
I don't understand how people w / severe social anxiety are supposed to earn a living?
I forced myself to work for many years but slowly my anxiety and depression got worse and worse. I'm on disability now, it isn't really a living but it helps to have some money coming in.
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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You are not alone everything you said relates to me.I am 24 and struggle everyday going to work no matter how many times i have done it.I wake up with a knot in my stomach.I actually am not going to work today because my mind is going nuts.I tried a couple jobs a few years ago but i could not stick them out.I then took two years off stayed in my house and then i felt pressure to start working again forgetting how awful i felt out in the real world. I have now been working about three years but everyday i want to give up.Personally therapists and anitdeppressants have done nothing for me.Only someone with SA can fully understand SA.I have been put in groups with people with different types of anxietys and quit all of them because i have SA and don't want to be around people and every time i quit Pysharistrist don't understand it.That being said don't give up there is hope Everything you are feeling at work is all in your head believe it or not.I have purchased the DR richards program and am on lesson 2 I hope it does something for me.I was on paxil for 5 years and now have been off for about a month and a half.I could not take the side effects anymore plus i still had anxiety so i didn't see the point.The withdrawals are finally starting to ware off but they are awful.I am currently just taking Clonazepam which is a valium .Dr richards recommends it He sais most of his patients are taking it while doing the program.I take it before i go to work and it seems to help.I know how you feel.The stares from co workers feeling that there watching your every move.Not being able to Concentrate or retain what people are saying.Thinking what your going to say next.And a bunch of other things i could write.Just feel comfort that you are not alone and don't give up.We are pefectly normal. SA just over powers are minds most of the time.You are not alone remember that.
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Old 10-17-2006, 07:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I didn't go in to work today and didn't call in. I was up all last night unable to sleep a wink because my stomach was in knots, and then around 7 AM I got up and threw up. Got dressed and ready for work and was deciding whether I should go or not and decided not to and went back to bed.. I figure I will just mail a letter tomorrow telling them I have to quit for personal reasons..I feel so guilty I don't think I can even call and talk to them. They put me through the training and spent time preparing me for this job and I flaked out so early. I feel horrible yet relieved.

I think I will look for a job where there is not so much social interaction and get back into therapy and on medication..to the person that asked above, I've taken Prozac, Paxil, Effexor (worked best for me), Doxepin and Lexapro for depression and Buspar and Xanax for anxiety..I'd really like something that would work great for my anxiety because I think if it went away, my depression would be manageable..the anxiety is feeding it. Xanax just made me very sleepy and Buspar didn't work well for me.

thanks for all your thoughts..it's reassuring to know there are others out there who can relate to feeling like this. I don't feel as crazy and alone
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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i guess i'm late for replying. i dealt with a similar situation just last yr (dropping out of school and getting a job that caused me tons of social anxiety) i wish you the best of luck, paranoid.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I started a new job about 4 months ago, knew absolutely nothing about what I was doing, went through the same things. Sucks even worse when you have to learn your job as well as dealing with new workmates. You will pick it up after a while, to start any new job and begin to feel comfortable with what you're doing you need at least 6 months especially when working in such a systemised environment like a bank. I don't know if it will work for you, because well ...I'm a little wierd , but I enjoy f.cking up. It's like hey i'm getting paid to be a f.ck up alright!
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I have been a teller for a long time. I've actually dropped out of school 3 times because of my social anxiety. Now, I'm taking online classes and doing much better. However, I think you should stick with the job. No matter where you work, you have to deal with people.. either coworkers or customers. If I hadn't been a teller, my other option would have been Wal-Mart.. doing about the same thing-customer service. I think it has actually helped me to interact with people more on the job. And no one knows what they're doing at a new job. You have to ask a lot of questions and have a lot of practice to learn and get better. It takes time. Anyway, I wanted to comment because I am an extremely shy person and I was a teller for 6.5 years. I just recently moved to the loan dept. So, you can do it! Just take it a day at a time.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoid View Post
Hello I'm new. I'm 23 and have been dealing with very bad social anxiety for around 10 years now. I've been housebound in the past and very suicidal and my anxiety is with me every day, all day. It makes life a nightmare. I've seen psychiatrists and therapists since 18 but am not seeing anyone now because I didn't feel like they addressed my problems and seeing a psychiatrist is very expensive, especially when you aren't getting solutions.

I dropped out of school this semester because of my anxiety (it's completely ruined my college education) and recently got a job as a teller at a bank. I am finding this extremely hard. I'm shakey, paranoid, my voice comes out weak and hoarse because I have trouble breathing right when I'm nervous, I feel stupid because I don't feel like I know what I'm doing...I feel like all my co-workers think I'm a joke and a weirdo and a freak. The customers think I'm an idiot because I have to ask my co-workers for help on a bunch of things because I know nothing. I have zero self-esteem and confidence. I'm very tempted to quit (another failure in a long line of them) but I know my parents would be so disappointed because they were proud I took initiative and got this job. I just feel so bad all the time and when I come home I feel like I embarrassed myself the whole day and people are laughing at me. It's an overwhelming feeling of regret and just feeling like a joke.

I know I should get a new therapist and probably get back on medication, but it's never seemed to help me much in the past. I don't understand how people w / severe social anxiety are supposed to earn a living? I did have one job where I worked in a hospital basement and that was okay because I didn't have to deal with people really, but it's pretty pathetic that I have to confine myself to a basement to make money.

I feel so lost, desperate, and anxious about tomorrow and what a fool I'm going to make of myself again. How do you deal with customers and people all day???? Should I get a new job where I don't have to deal with people so much? I don't think this is something I can beat. I feel stupid even posting this but I'm going to post it since I wrote this all out
Whoa this is EXACTLY my situation... well not the details, but the essence of it... parents being proud, feeling guilty about being anxious, dropping out of school (multiple ones for me, I wasted SO much money for nothing), disappointing myself, the FEAR of disappointing myself, and seriously not knowing how the crap I'm going to earn a living.

I hope we both figure it out. But all I know is that my last job just felt like a daylong panic attack. I have no answers for you, but if you find any please let me know. lol

Oh, brother.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Wow, looks like SA has really got a grasp of your life. Goodluck on your treatment and hope you feel better!
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:19 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Make work into a game.

Use people in order to practice getting better at speaking with people.

You're going to face a lot of setbacks and embarassing situations, but it gets better pretty quickly. Not only will you feel more confident with talking to people, you'll also be able to feel less embarassment when you slip up.

You'll never be able to be perfect, so have pride in your mistakes and be not afraid of making them.
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