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When you have/ have suffered anxiety, stress and depression.....

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by marymoocow, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    when do you stop over reacting to any unpleasantness? I have all of the above due to workplace bullying that saw me leave my job and teaching. I've been feeling really well lately, but tonight I have been knocked for six and feel very tearful.

    It is about something not to do with me but to do with a relative that has caused ructions and fallings out with a joint friend. This friend is understandably very angry with my relative, but has been blanking me to such an extent that it is making things really difficult at the choir we both attend and other people are noticing. I decided to try and clear the air tonight and said although it was difficult for both of us I didnt want us to fall out and at least remain pleasant to one another. She wouldn't have any of it and it ended spoiling the end of what had been a very nice party. This all sounds so petty, especially as this is someone I am only friends with through choir, so not a good friend. However it is all so unfair as it is nothing to do with me.

    It has really upset me more than it should and I wonder if I will always be so hypersensitive now. I want to start looking for jobs again, but worry I will end up back at square one due to my inability to take criticism, cope with unpleasantness and taking everything to heart. Sorry for the moan. I feel like a 6 year old in the play ground again.
  2. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    It takes some time to mend, Marymoo.

    Your legs have been knocked out from under you at work, and now you have been kicked while you were down. You didn't know it, but WRS and bullying has ensured you are in a state of hyper-vigilance as a form of self-protection. Everything for a time will seem like raw nerve endings are being shredded. It's horrible, but your brain will be over-reacting and trying to protect you from the slightest of threats or unpleasantness. Have you been receiving counselling? I found it helpful.

    I shall look for a post by GL which explained all the physiological bits. You take care, chick. xx
  3. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Found it!

    GL posted it almost two years ago. I will also "up" a thread about Depressive Illness, the curse of strong people. Some of it may strike a chord and be helpful. xx

    • This post is the physiological bit - I'll do the legal information separately, to avoid an epic post!
    'Stress' is not a 'symptom'. It's an over-arching and rather loose description of the tension we experience when attempting to perform at a level above our usual resting state. In primitive terms, the body recognises a danger and prepares to either fight it or run away. Physiologically, the body prepares for this 'fight or flight' by releasing adrenaline and focusing on only the essential bodily functions necessary to 'save' us. The heart-rate increases and breathing becomes faster, to get more oxygen round the body; blood thickens and blood sugar increases; mental activity increases; pupils dilate; digestion and sexual performance slow down or cease; blood vessels constrict generally but dilate around the heart, arms and legs. When the perceived threat has passed, the body then produces hormones which restore the body to its normal resting state.

    These physiological changes are a normal response to stress, whether in a work situation or in preparation to run 100m final at the Olympics. However, when a person is placed in a scenario in which the body is not able to rest and recuperate, the physiological changes can become long-term and cause illness or injury, both physical and psychological (though it can be demonstrated that the so-called 'psychological' injury is, in fact, also physical).

    If a person is put into a position where extreme and unreasonable performance is expected of them at work at all times, or if they are being bullied and are in fear for their positions, they can experience the symptoms of stress continually. This means they can have a permanently racing heart, hyperventilation, dilated pupils and mental activity (and therefore headaches), sleeplessness, nightmares, digestive disorders, bladder problems, sexual dysfunction. This position becomes not one of 'stress' but of 'DIStress'. Although they may be working flat out, their performance will in fact deteriorate, the harder they work, as the body puts greater and greater resources into preparing to fight or flee from the 'danger'. The risk of heart attacks and strokes increases because the individual has a racing heart with thick, sticky blood coursing round them.

    In the state of 'DIStress', where the body is constantly pumping out adrenaline, the hormones usually produced that bring the body back down, into a resting state, throw in the towel. They 'learn' they are not needed and so, instead of working, they are reabsorbed. They include serotonin, the 'well-being' hormone, and nor-adrenalin. I never was a great one for the fine details of the physiology, but if you want to read in greater detail, it is explained clearer here:


    When people take anti-depressants for 'stress', depression or anxiety, they often take SSRIs (selective serotonin re-absorption inhibiters) or SNRIs (selective noradrenaline re-absorption inhibiters). These work by re-training the body from its learned response to reabsorb the hormones that create a happy relaxed state. It's a bio-chemical reaction and the reason why 'psychological injury' caused by stress is a physical injury. It's not 'weakness'! Sufferers can no more help their bodies' hormone-balancing function misfiring than they can help catching flu or breaking a leg!

    Occupational stress (or 'distress') causes an extensive range of physical and psychological illnesses and injuries. In some cases these can prove disabling or fatal. Illnesses can be so extreme that teachers have to leave their jobs or take early retirement. It is why employers are rightly liable in law for negligence if they ignore their statutory responsibilities for the health and well-being of their employees by imposing regimes that result in excessive stress or ignore employees' concerns about feeling stressed.

    [edited by: Gardening Leaves at 12:04 (GMT 0) on 6-8-2012]

  4. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I hate fall outs and personal unpleasantness and so do lots of people. I'm not surprised you were upset at having your approach rejected.I found I took pride at work in dealing with differences professionally and the fact I was being paid to be there made difficult work situations manageable. I looked at them as part of the job, like planning or assessment. Away from work I avoid such issues.

    I overreact to responsibility now after extreme stress at the end of my career. I know I am more than capable of taking things on and do so but lose sleep and weight when things pile up. Dpesn't stop me though.

    Give yourself a good talking to - this person is not particularly important to you, you don't need to be close to them, you can work around them and be cool without being rude even if they want to be rude, they are not the main reason you go to choir, you are better than them and can rise above their pettiness ( I like that one particularly!). Don't get involved in talking to anyone else at choir about this, that would only let the situation persist while left alone it will pass.

    Work on sorting your head out about this and feel all the more prepared to return to work when you succeed. Smile and be cheerful today.Find things to laugh at and give yourself a good day. Go girl!!!
  5. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Thank you. I let myself have a good cry last night to get it out of my system and eventually slept through til 10.00 this morning. I think it was partly the situation with my sister finally hitting home and my period starting today. I had been trying to not take on all the issues with my sister as I had enough on my plate and it made me very ill earlier on. However I think all I ended up doing was putting it in a box to deal with later and it has now bitten me on the bum. It is harder because the situation with my sister has split the family apart so I only have one friend I can talk to about it due to the sensitivity of the issue, but I only see her once a fortnight. I can't even discuss it with my OH because it has caused problems for him and he can't stand her at the moment.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Sorry for my flip reply this am mary - I have no idea about your history as I don't come on here often.
  7. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    I didn't take it as flippant lindenlea, I found it very supportive! I needed the Gee up stuff too. I feel 100% better today.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

  10. Hi Marymoocow!

    I continually ask myself the same question. I had similar symptoms to you in my last job (which is why I left it-the environment was so bad that I knew that I would never recover if I stayed there) and even though I'm now working in a nice college with a supportive boss, I still 'fall to pieces' as it were if I'm given too much to do (and my boss noticed some of my symptoms on one occasion when this happened-he told me this later, even though I didn't realise that I had one of them), even though I stopped being treated for the illness in 2012 and left the horrible job in 2011. One symptom I had recently, I had not experienced for over 2 years and it happened at the college reception! I was mortified but those who saw me at the time were extremely understanding and supportive as was my boss when he heard about it later on (from the college nurse who treated me) and from then on did as much as they could to protect me from having too heavy a workload when they knew that I felt overwhelmed.

    After reading the quotes from GL in this thread, I now feel reassured. Btw, as a Psychology Teacher, I totally endorse GL's explanation.

    As for your 'friend', I'd stay away from her until she decides to apologise to you for taking out her frustrations on you. If she doesn't, you're better off without her! Btw, she's the one behaving like a 6 year old in the playground, not you!

    I hope you feel better now, as I know from experience how horrible it is to be 'knocked for 6'. Btw, on a positive note, I have found that when I have 'fallen to pieces', I put myself back together a lot more quickly these days, so maybe I'm not so bad after all! I'm certain it's the same for you, so be kind to yourself! Smile

    I've reposted my previous response as the format has gone weird! Sorry about that!
  11. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Thanks SK. I feel so much better now, but must admit I can't take stressful situations anymore. Yesterday I realised my old insurance company had automatically renewed me and taken a huge payment. I had a perfectly pleasant conversation with the insurance company to cancel and return the money and was fine during the phonecall, but afterwards I was seriously jittery and had to sit down. You sound like you work for a lovely place.
  12. I think so too which is why I was delighted when the college offered me a permanent job there a couple of months ago. :)

    Don't worry about your reaction to the insurance company! I felt the same 2 days ago after reading a letter from the tax office, even though it was good news! Good thing I was already sitting down at the time! Hehe!
  13. I've found that meditation helps if I need to calm myself down very quickly!
  14. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Hello Mmoocow

    I read your post last night but decided to reply today having had two glasses of wine and being a bit tipsy!

    I know how you feel.

    I left a post where I was very badly bullied 5 years ago. God must have been helping because I did find another better more highly paid and responsible post in a side ways service where I have been valued and cared for. The managers in my current service area are strong minded and kindly. I still do not feel safe and I probably never will. That deep rooted feeling of fear has taken root but you can live with it as long as you know it is a fear and not reality. Cognitive behaviour therapy can help and you can get this from your GP as the standard NHS counselling or you can work on it yourself.

    Have you thought about looking for work away from schools so that the feelings do not come back? I cannot even drive past my previous workplace without feeling physically sick.

    Your sister and your friend are having a horrible time and are very unhappy. But you can still be happy. It is OK to be happy even if they are wretched and trying to cause harm to others. Even if your friend blanks you. It is her lack of wisdom and her lack of problem solving social skills that is the root of the problem. What she needs is time to recover. She is angry and upset and not thinking clearly at all.

    Your choir will be supportive for you both understanding the current difficulty and behaving sensitively to you both. (and being quite interested as we are in these things) - and if they are not, then you can find another choir who are better at nurturing each other.

    Remember that if you were outside the issue, a bystander watching the issue, you would be kind and neutral and concerned and sympathetic... yes, because that is who you are and there are lots of other people thinking in the same way!

    We lost this in our fear, the belief that others work to the general good.

    Don't know what you can do about your sister! I have one of them - a problem sister - and I have not seen her for more than ten years.
  15. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Thanks Nelly. I am indeed looking at jobs outside of school. I have the same teaching background to you and looked at those sideways moves, because despite everything I feel strongly that I really know my stuff. However my confidence in my abilities and the constant fear of being caught out has probably put paid to that for now. Financially I will need to do something soon, but I'm not in any hurry. I think this latest incident was a shock as I had not reacted that way for a while.

    I have had some counselling but not CBT. I may go back to my GP and ask for some if I don't think things are improving.
  16. I had 4 free sessions of CBT on the NHS and found it quite helpful as both the counsellor and I agreed that it was definitely the place I was working in that had caused my issues and nothing else. Also, some of the techniques were quite useful in helping me to remain assertive when talking to bosses, even when I was on the verge of 'falling to pieces'. Unfortunately, they didn't help me to stop the actual symptoms or move out of them more quickly but as I said, they were helpful for the rest of the time. I certainly think you that you might get something out of CBT! :)

    As a taster, I've posted the link of one of the websites I was given to look at while waiting to be referred for CBT, so that you have an idea of what you might do:


    Btw, apologies if like me, you find parts of the site irritating because you already know what it is, as it's written for members of the General Public who have no idea what it is! :)

    That said, I think it's worth a look at because one of the professionals on there is well known for his work on the theories of depression! :)
  17. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Thank you, I will take a look.
  18. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    One of my kinder is a cbt counsellor!

    She tells me 90% of her case load are teachers, classroom assistants etc or even Advisors.

    This is the kind of data that should really be published by the NHS.
  19. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    That's pretty damning! I remember when I had my first baby, the health visitors told me and a few other teachers at their postnatal group, that by far the biggest profession to have complicated pregnancies and PND were teachers and nurses due to the stress of their jobs. As an anecdote, there were 3 of us pregnant at the same time at a school from hell and a nasty head and all 3 of us had serious complications. I had a threatened miscarriage and ended up on bed rest for weeks, another had their baby 12 weeks early and the other's cord got twisted and had a severely disabled child. The unseen dangers of stress and a sign that something has to be done before the whole education system collapses.
  20. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    When I was having this "discussion" with this "friend" it was overheard by another lovely lady I sit next to at choir. She is an ex teacher and knows my teaching situation and we have a lot in common. Due to the nature of the discussion and the fact she shares lifts with this "friend," I was worried it would also make things awkward with her too. However this weekend the choir went out for a meal and she sort me out and spent all night chatting to me. I was very grateful to her. We didn't mention the issue, but it was obvious that she was trying to make it clear that it wasn't an issue for her. Some people are lovely!

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