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What to do when you hate your job?
antthony57 posted:
My job is causeing anxiety and depression in my life. I feel like I am trapped. I went to school for 2 years and recieved a degree in Multimedia Technology. I have been working as a civil service employee for about 8 years doing Graphic design. My co-workers are great people but everyday is a struggle to come to work. Sunday nights the anxiety starts and every morning I just don't want to get out of bed. I am supporting my wife (who also works) and 3 children so walking away is not an option. I can't really figure out a point when it took a turn for the worse. I just sit and stare at the computer somedays feeling like I am going crazy and then the depression starts. I am currently on effexor and klonopin but I just sit here unmotivated and wasting time. I used to have such an active life and my job is not the only contributor to my depression but it is a big factor. I feel so usless at work. Everyday the talk about how how department may get shut down. When I first got here we had 68 employees and now we are down to 7. What do I do?
antthony57 responded:
Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Antthony,

It can take a while for others to see and respond so we appreciate your patience.

I have a feeling we've all been there at one time or another and it's not easy. I hope that Dr. Farrell and others have some ideas for you.

I know this is easier said than done when you're busy with your life and family and work itself, and you're having problems with motivation, but it may help to update your resume and look at job sites to see what's out there. It may spark something or at least give you hope that one day, when you're ready, there will be something you can move on to.
We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace.
~Peggy Tabor Millin
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
Considering what you are experiencing in terms of the downsizing where you work, I can certainly understand your feeling anxious and not exactly happy to go to work on any given day, much less Monday morning. I'm wondering if the talk in the office and the general atmosphere might be contributing to how you're feeling right now. I think it probably is. When a staff is cut so dramatically it has to have consequences and one of those consequences would be anxiety. I would wonder what management is doing, if anything, to improve the morale of the employees in the office.

Right now I can imagine that you are feeling that things are a bit bleak and that your current medication hasn't been of sufficient help to you. It's my professional opinion that medication alone, especially in a situation such as yours, is insufficient to help you. You really need to be referred for some cognitive therapy because you need to have the opportunity not only to air your concerns, but to work on things that can help you in the long run. What those things may be is not for me to say, but for you and the psychologist to discover.

I'm also wondering if you are doing some things which may be of help to you such as getting some regular exercise. I know that in your current situation this does not sound very appealing or even something you would want to do. Let me explain. Exercise can help you improve your mood and your outlook and I think that is something that needs to be worked on right now. Since exercise can work in much the same way as a medication can, it can make a significant difference in how you feel. It does have the ability to begin to make changes in your body's chemistry which will raise your mood, lower stress and anxiety levels and even help your immune system. All of this is to your benefit. You don't have to go tod a gym. Go walking, do some simple, light weight training in the house (provided your physician agrees) and any other type of exercise which appeals to you.

I know that things may be very difficult for you now, but they can improve and you are fortunate because you do have a wife and children and I'm sure they love and support you.
An_240250 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
I hate to say this but I disagree. Cognitve therapy isn't going to help this man make the decision he needs to make...which is to find another job ---
All it tries to do is make you "think" your way out of anything...never addressing your feelings. You feelings will then come out in other ways....
trust me--I know I've been there and will never ever go to another therapist who tells me they use this method. I will RUN not walk..........

Good luck to you Antthony57. I feel for ya.
AKCrawford replied to An_240250's response:
I had the same problem. I was becoming physically ill and my psych meds had to be changed for the first time in 6 years. I was having to see my psychiatrist more frequently, and counseling was recommended. This was not working with my current position becuase the hours are very rigid and exceptions are not tolerated. Finally I had to put in my notice and quit my job even though I didn't have another one lined up. I've never done that before but had to for my health. If I had it to do differently, I would have started an aggressive job search sooner, before I became so worn out, exhausted, and depressed. I have one week of work left and will leave much wiser - I will never keep myself in this position for this long again.

Take care of yourself
tderksen3 responded:

I felt exactly like what you are describing. It took 3 years of trying different medications and strengths before we finally found what works for me, but the difference was night and day. I'm taking Strattera, Wellbutrin and Lamictal - all 3 are pretty low doses but it is enough to help me stay out of the emotional spiral that I was in.

My situation is somewhat different in that I did not have a loving spouse, although I didn't know that at the time. After my divorce about 1 1/2 years ago I started going to a support group. It was there that I learned how to love myself. By loving myself I mean things like setting boundaries, realizing that what people say or do really truly is about them and not about me (that took a while to accept), and learning who I am including my strengths and weaknesses. What helped me the most? The items listed above plus I took an extensive Myers Briggs class that helped me understand who I am and how I communicate with the rest of the world. I am surprised at how much it has helped me step back from the issues at work.

I have just recently made an appointment with a Cognitive Behavioral therapist because I want to move even further in my recovery. There are underlying issues that affect how I react to people and situations. I hope that by learning to understanding what my triggers are and learning new ways to defuse/handle those triggers I can learn to be a better parent to my children.

I have felt so guilty because I love my children so very much but there are days I just have to get away for a few hours. I look forward to my Wednesday nights and every other weekend when their father has them. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps me tremendously to know that I am not alone. And remember - you are not alone either. Seek help, not just from a therapist, but from a support group. Just like not every therapist is a good fit for every person, not all support groups will be a good fit for you. Don't hesitate to shop around until you find one that works. And if you feel guilty or are concerned about taking a few hours each week for this, remember that setting boundaries includes taking the time to take care of yourself. By taking those few hours you will become better equipment emotionally to handle what life throws at you.

Check out a couple of books by Melody Beattie: 1. Choices and 2. Co-Dependent No More
both are awesome and well worth the read.

Good luck and keep reaching out until you find what works for you.
GeorgiaBulldog responded:
I had a high stress job that became a trial, used substances to self medicate, etc. I had a graduate school professional education, and changing profession was not a viable alternative. Finally I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety. I also developed agoraphobia. I agree with Dr. Farrell about cognitive therapy and exercise. Try exercise/walking/running on your lunch hour and on breaks. Get outside as much as possible. Also, check WebMD for foods that help anxiety and depression, including @ I trust you have a psychiatrist and your PCP is not treating. If you are not satisfied, get a new one. For me medication is a necessary part of treatment and your doctor should be trying the many available to get the right ones (it took some time and trying different ones, but the meds are really helping - I am on 4 different meds). If your depression is resistant, there is ECT (electro convulsive therapy) and VNS (Vegas Nerve Stimulation). While some psychiatrists are good with cognitive therapy, I find clinical psychologists are generally well versed in talk therapies (my Dad was a psychiatrist and good with talk therapy, but he had several psychologists who performed this.) Finally, make a list of things you are thankful for, and add to it as new things come up and read it every day. Summary: 1) talk therapy, 2) new meds or other treatment, 3) force yourself to exercise and get outside on breaks, 4) food, 5) make a list of good things. I still have the same job with the same problems, but with good treatment, my outlook is fine and I can cope. Good luck.
ApplebyM replied to GeorgiaBulldog's response:
I have exactly the same feelings, Anthony; my job is very high stress and my age and lengthy experience, and the provincial Depression as well as my own, are triggering agoraphobia and upsetting my stomach particularly on Monday mornings. I do not go to therapy because I have found that modern doctors try to make me do all the heavy lifting, and will not give me advice except what I already know. Its all frustrating and I spend a lot of time in prayer.
GeorgiaBulldog replied to ApplebyM's response:
ApplebyM, if talk therapy doesn't work for you, still try 2) through 5) I give in my response above yours. I presently do not use talk therapy (had in the past) and my MD is fine with this. Most psychiatrists I know won't push you into talk therapy. For many, including me, medications are effective. When you're depressed, I know it's hard to be proactive (I loved it when I was told to exercise when it took effort just to get out of bed) but, if you haven't got a psychiatrist MD, at least make an appointment with one. God does for those that do for themselves.
goblue63 responded:
Anthony. I just started reading up on stress and saw your post. I am 48, have been at my job six years, and have depression and anxiety due to stress. I am also in civil service - federal litigation management. Everyday I wake up with major nausea and many times vomiting. I have frequent headaches and my life at home has deteriorated. I am a newlywed and it is tough for my wife to understand and help (she is also much younger and has never been through this before).

In all my years, I have never had problems like this. I have tried a variety of medications but I have a low tolerance so it limits what I can use. Ativan tends to help but it also makes me sleepy and it is addicting. I quit smoking ten years ago, only to start again in the last few months. Some days smoking and ativan is all I can do to make it through another day. Finding another job at my salary is very difficult and we live in an area with a high cost of living - and more jobs but nothing which fit my skills at this point. We just can't live on my wife's salary alone so even quitting until I find something, is not an option.

I am the exact same way on Sundays also. I have seen a therapist but have not found the "right one" since my best therapist no longer accepts my insurance and moved a bit further from me.

What else have you tried? The professional opinions here are great, but, without them being exactly in our shoes, it is difficult to hear (I have heard similar things lately but nothing seems to help change my thinking patterns).

fungal62 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
I think this is great advise. I have been going through the same type of situation with my job, but instead of being depressed I am lashing out at my coworkers and loosing friends because of it. I did take the jump and send out my resume' to see what else may be out there for me in my industry. I had one interview & did not get the job. I had a 2nd interview & just checked my email to find I have a new job offer. Its almost to good to be true, because this new job appears to offer everything my current job lacks. I felt like I was dying career wise, dead end. This new job is giving me new hope. Please Anthony, take a chance on you. Talk to other people in your industry who might have an in. Life is to short. Best wishes to you !
fungal62 replied to AKCrawford's response:
Exactly !!
fungal62 replied to GeorgiaBulldog's response:
Great Advice !!!
MichiganMan34 replied to antthony57's response:
I agree with Dr. Farrell's advice 100%. I too have been feeling for a while that I hate my job, and what you described for yourself is the same way I feel when I'm at work. I have tried several different antidepressants in the past, but I think they should be a last resort. I also saw a psychologist for a while, but his approach was not helpful, so I changed, and my new psychologist has a totally different approach and is amazing. She doesn't suggest drugs as an answer, but instead encourages me to make small changes that will improve my overall situation. Remember, nothing will happen overnight, it all takes time. I'm a single man, and I live alone, but my counselor has also helped me to understand how important it is to surround yourself with supportive, caring people, which will increase your overall happiness, and cause you to focus less on the stresses of work. A wife and kids is a great start, but this can also include extended family, freinds, and for me, a church family. Work is a major part of every day, and every week, but being able to find a balance is extremely important. I too have experienced a lot of downsizing within my company, and often consider looking for a new job. Although it may seem like there's not much, or nothing out there, it can be good to look, and you never know what you may find. If not, try to look for something about your job that you do enjoy, and focus on it. Maybe its just the people you work with...take time to be friendly to them each day, even if it's just a simple hello. Any small thing can take some stress out of your life. Excersise and hobbies are also very important. Excersise can make you feel good, and good about yourself. Hobbies are a good way to distract you from everything else going on, and are a good way to balance your life. Getting out of a rut will bring you happiness, and you'll want to build on that.

Best of luck to you! I know it can be very difficult, but take it one step at a time, and things will change for the better before you know it!