Best job for anxiety sufferer?

@eager4 (48)
United States
February 19, 2007 12:38pm CST
Anxiety is very hard to deal with in general. Work situations can make it even worse. What jobs do you think are best for a person with anxiety? Have you left jobs or fields because of anxiety?
5 people like this
10 responses
@ulderich (18)
• United States
19 Feb 07
My panic/anxiety disorder appeared out of the blue in the Fall of 2002. I had panic symptoms since I was in high school, but the doctor wrote them off since I was a young woman and young women are prone to being anxious, etc. I, though, was in that very low percentage of females that actually had "real" anxiety. In 2002, I was 23. I had just graduated college and had a subbing job and then a part-time teaching job. Right after I interviewed and got a position teaching English in high school, my goal job, this happened. I had to take one leave of absence and then another. I eventually never went back. I took an entire year off of work. I am getting back to my "normal" (yeah, what is normal?) out-going self in the past couple of years, but during the worst part of my panic/anxiety attacks, I didn't want to leave the house. I didn't even want to step out on our porch and get the mail. I was like that for two months. Luckily I had a husband who was more understanding than the large percentage of them and worked with me. He was flexible enough with me to not go too fast, but he was strong enough to not let me make any negative progress. One of my problems is that my body has always been sensitive to meds. Advil could make me feel funny, and that's no joke. Finding meds that worked for me was a nightmare. It took about five med changes and a year to figure out a combination that would work. Even after that I had to change it drastically the next summer and then have tweaked it here and there. Right now I feel great, but I am on such a strict bunch of meds and know what my limits are. I lucked out and found a part-time position in the learning center of the college from which I just graduated. The position was in the afternoon, and that was great for me. I was still in the education field, and I didn't have to worry about how I would feel in the mornings (I had many attacks before I would go to the high school early in the morning). If I couldn't sleep well, then I could make up for it the next morning since I didn't have to be at work until the afternoon. I had to wait until I found the right job for me. It wouldn't have been beneath me to go to Hallmark or somewhere in retail to find a job, but I was too nervous about the hours and such. I found this job in the paper in late August of 2003 and applied. God was with me, and I got the job. I'm actually still here but I'm the supervisor now! Are you asking these questions for you or just in general?
@eager4 (48)
• United States
20 Feb 07
I too am an anxiety sufferer. I have had it all my life. Panic attacks started at about 19. Went to doctors with meds. Nothing really helped. I have gotten better over the years, but it is a way of life. I find myself stressed out at work alot due to it. I am an auto mechanic and worry if I did something right or not. I was basically curious about others like me and how anxiety affected their work life and their career choices.
2 people like this
@Jaytech (2251)
21 Mar 07
Stress, anxiety & panic attack issues have plagued me my entire adult life. I've had endless trouble holding down jobs & now find myself unemployed & completely broke. I'm trying to build an online income, as it's my last hope, I'm 40 now & nobody is going to employ someone with my history when there are younger healthier people willing to do the jobs. All this is doing it adding to my problems by depressing me & causing me even more anxiety, the future is feeling pretty grim. I hope you are able to find something & wish you the best of luck.
@eager4 (48)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I am in a similar position as you. I am always fearing the end. A little paranoid? I don't feel like I can really do as good of a job as everyone else. I feel my job is in jeopardy. I too am looking to the Internet for income. A "just in case" kind of thing. I have never met anyone who was anxious their whole life that ever got over it. I accept it as a character trait but certainly don't enjoy it. That fact has helped me a little. I used to get angry at myself for feeling anxious. Why can't I be normal? etc. etc. Everyone has their flaws and anxiety is mine. "Normal is just a setting on the washing machine."
1 person likes this
@Jaytech (2251)
21 Mar 07
I've had it well over 25 years now so it isn't going away any time soon. On top of my issues my mother is disabled, so i have to spend a lot of time looking after her too, it's quite a mess :(
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
I think almost all jobs out there could make anybody anxious because there are a myriad of factors that can cause anxiety. It could be the nature of the job itself, your co-workers, your employer, or the environment you are exposed to. As for me, I have tried working different kinds of jobs and they are all stressful. Nevertheless, I have never left any job yet because of anxiety. I think people are different in terms of the way they react to stress. I had my very first (and hopefully last) panic attack during my last job when I had to submit my deadlines. I easily pulled out of it, though, and I try my best to work out my stress level to a minimum. I think the best job for a person who easily suffers anxiety is a stay-at-home job or an office job (desk job) that gives flexible time and can be accomplished at home or at a familiar environment.
2 people like this
@lifeluver (743)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I have been dealing with anxiety and depression for most of my life. It started when I was a child as I was subjected to serious abuse by my biological mother until I was about 6. After that, I was adopted into a home where verbal abuse was the method of communication. Additionally, I was unmercifully picked on at school (from grade 2 until first year grade 12) being called names, spat on, tripped in the hallways and just general harassment. I could continue to tell you events which have influenced my emotional growth but that's not really what this post is about. I've actually left 3 places of work due to anxiety and depression. The first, was a job at a convenience store. At the time, I didn't know what was wrong with me or even that there was something wrong. I turned to gambling to ease the strain I felt. Unfortunately, this led to me losing that job. The second job was at a busy coffee shop (Tim Horton's) where I worked very hard and for many hours. What happened here was that I basically dove so far into my work, that I ignored myself. Thus, after three years with Tim Horton's, I burnt myself out and had to leave. The last job I had was working with a papar sales company. I felt very lucky to be working there as the people were amazing and extremely understanding towards peoples' "quirks". Due to some unfortunate events that happened to the staff that I cared deeply about, I had a mental breakdown right in front of my boss. Needless to say, I felt it was necessary to leave so that I could concentrate on getting myself well. It was with leaving that last job, that I finally realized that I needed help. I didn't really know what the problem was but I knew I could no longer try to "fix" it myself. I turned to my family doctor (and a little help from God) and started the healing process. Through Canada's mental health programme, CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association), I am now working part-time in a small office where everyone knows that I have a mental illness. This employer works with the CMHA and other similar programmes to help those who want to, to ease their way back into the regular workforce. By working with all parties involved with my case, I am much better able to cope with work situations. I make note of "triggers" - things that make my anxiety rise - and then I am able to discuss them with my doctor/clinician. My intention, once I am well enough, is to help draw attention to anxiety and depression to the public so that others can learn from my experiences and hopefully, have an easier time accepting themselves and members of their community who may be suffering from these types of mental illnesses.
@jamaja (51)
• Australia
30 Mar 07
I had anxiety and it was not too bad at start-could be that i am shy person,it get way worse when war start(in my country),i become refugee ,gone with kids to another country,new languae learning,new laws, way of life,... Finally I get with my husband to Australia where we can stay,I am still trying to "get life". For these 10 years here I just make little steps. It is very hard to find job =anxiety +language,difference of culture,way of life,41 year old,my school is not Ok here (I finish for librarian),... I do crafts and art(mosaic,painting glass,...) try to sell but i am very bad seller:) when someone ask me how I did it I want to run away and my answer is too stupid usually. The best was in Wienna where one woman did selling for me and I am hard and good worker,but don't get me on the front page:) She sell a lot of stuff for me to help me.She can't do it for me any more but for anxiety suffers that is great way to get job.If you can find that someone do outside work for you. It will be good to find some group that do these things for us?If you find anyone plaese inform us all. Makeing craft can help U to relax anyway.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Feb 07
I have quit jobs where my employer started expecting way too much of me. I had two jobs where my employer tried to take away my lunch breaks! I left a job working retail in a clothing store because I was threatened by shoplifters and harassed by customers regularly. I couldn't deal with that crap. A great job with NO stress is a night job at a hospital working contract security at the entrance opposite the emergency room! That was the last thing I did while I was pregnant and I LOVED it. One of the regular security guards even told me to take naps because it was so boring and he knew how tired and pregnant I was. I brought books to work and read. I took walks around as I pleased. It was great!!! Another low-stress job I had had to do with the employers. They were just awesome- never rushing us to get things done. They were "go at your own pace" kind of guys. I still am employed there though I do not work there due to fact that my boyfriend works days now and they are only open days. I was building computer boards and doing simple tasks around the place. Want a low-stress job? Get one somewhere where you have little to no contact with CUSTOMERS! Also make sure that you surround yourself with low-stress people. If you are working with the guy that doesn't have a care in the world you will be better off than if you work with the guy who worries about everything. That rubs off.
@eager4 (48)
• United States
24 Feb 07
I know what you mean. I work with someone who has 'heard" that we're being sold. We are going on strike. "they are thinking about laying someone off". He thinks there is a microphone in our breakroom!
2 people like this
@fawcey (928)
• Australia
26 Feb 07
I have had Depression and anxiety problems scince I was a teenager. Even if I'm not feeling depressed the anxiety is aways present. It has stopped me from getting a job, the fears that other people get are magnified for people with anxiey problems. I have a constant fear of losing my husband and son, I hate lots of people around, and failing is just as bad as dying. I don't know about other people but I find being at home in my surrondings the place I feel more safe and less anxious. So I have just started working from home. I can not comprehend having to go off to work somewhere. I would crumble. Fear is a natrual and healthy thing but when fear is always with you it can distrupt your and those around you. I have found telling someone my fear no matter how stupid it sounds sometimes makes it seem less scary and my anxiety from the situation goes down. Staying within your comfort zone is your right. Anxiety is a way of life for some.
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14374)
• Canada
21 Mar 07
Yes, I suffer from both anxiety and depression. It got so bad that I actually stopped going to high school and completed the rest of my diploma online. For anyone who doesn't suffer from anxiety and depression, it's very hard to understand and I know that my family had a tough time trying to learn about it in the beginning. As for a job that would suit someone with anxiety, I suppose that it would be best to get into something that your passionate about. For me that thing is animals and I hope that by working with them and helping them out, my anxiety is kept to a minimum.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
I have had panic attacks for a long time now, I was a nurse and had to leave my position becuase of them, I am not really able to function in the public like I used to. So now I am home working on the computer I work for an online search engine and then do some ptp sites. My panic attacks are so bad that at times I don't even leave my house for days.
• United States
13 Mar 07
My first job was at Walmart(it's the only place that hires in the tiny town I live in), and as an anxiety sufferer it's VERY hard to interact with customers. I had bad job performance ratings the whole time I worked there because I would avoid customers and didn't seem friendly, but it was because I was afraid of them and the situation I was in. It also helped though, because the exposure desensitized me quite a bit. As a social anxiety disorder sufferer, I was surprised to find how easy it is(anxiety wise) to do telemarketing and customer service over the phone. I think it's because you have most of the answers on hand, and if you don't it's perfectly fine to refer them to a supervisor. At Walmart, if you didn't have the answer to any question you were punished.
• United States
20 Apr 07
I used to tend to thrive on the "anxiety" aspect of my jobs and performed exceedingly well under the pressures. As I've aged I noticed I preferred less and less of the stresses at work and eventually, although the actual move was due to cancer, I ended up taking a very low stress job of reading books for a living! Now THAT is about as LOW stress as you can get!