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Having a crisis *possible trig*

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Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:14 pm

Having a crisis *possible trig*

Postby strangeangle » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:52 pm



Having a crisis. It's around work as usual but seems particularly bad. Where I work isn't run particularly well and I am a fairly senior member of my department. I've been looking to leave and had a few interviews. Massive anxiety over them to the point I feel I can't cope with doing more right now. Work is going through changes and I need to support my colleagues but a few cases of confrontation have happened leaving me feeling worthless, stupid, unappreciated, arrogant, selfish etc etc. Trapped with no way out, either stay and be consumed by the situation or leave and not have a job. I feel I won't get a job I deserve because I can't prove I'm worth having. I'm questioning my own abilities and worth. Do I have unreasonable expectations or too high opinion of myself? I'm even finding it hard to tolerate people I'd otherwise call friends at work. It's like everyone is my enemy and I can't trust anyone. It's usual that I think it must be me and I'm mad or a bad person. I do this to myself and those around me like a spiteful child.

I'm being treated, have been for years and had many periods of depression and anxiety. Anger and frustration at myself and others is a common pattern for me. Nothing physical, I'd hate if I hurt anyone physically or emotionally. I know I'm blunt I snap and choose bad explanations and say things that aren't appropriate. I've recently decided to go private as on NHS I am self-diagnosing and brunt asked what I want. Meds or therapy. Tried both. Initially better but then anything even trivial stuff can send me back to zero. Had an hour initial session with psychiatrist but no diagnoses yet, wants to see me for two more sessions. I was feeling better but a confrontation at work on Monday meant I couldn't go into the office for a few days. I want to not go back for the week, actually not going back at all would suit me better. A colleague needed my help though and another is leaving and I don't want to miss seeing them before they leave. I could really do without it though. I'm going to be on high alert anxiety tomorrow.

I've fantasied about getting a train ticket and disappearing to god knows where. Just to escape. Had suicidal thoughts and got to the which way would I choose but never went past that thankfully.

My partner is supportive but doesn't know what to do to help. I don't know what to ask for. Even just being held doesn't feel like something I want to do. It feels false, like I don't deserve it or I'm just emotionally dead. I think I even resent that. He's very stressed as well and I feel guilty I'm not supporting. Funnily helping someone else is easier than helping myself and is at least a distraction. Work is usually distraction too, as long as it is either alone or I don't end up in social difficulties with colleagues. I'm a software engineer so it's very analytical and cerebral and that tends to switch off my emotional side and I stop ruminating. For a bit. I finished a half hour ago and almost immediately started going over how bad I was today, what I did wrong, why I was stupid. Over and over. When it's like this I just want to be unconscious and I usually reach for the sleeping pills or Valium or alcohol. The latter I'm trying to resist as I'm a little addictive and can end up drinking every day six to either units. Of course I know that leaves me lower and guilty. So no alcohol again tonight. Not drunk all week. But sleeping pills every night. I know without I will stay awak thinking and if I do sleep I'll wake regularly. Only this week have had them so frequently. I try to stay to one a week, usually Sunday night.

Wow have I really written all that? I just needed to get it out. I so hope my psychiatrist can help me soon. I don't feel far away from just resigning and walking out.

Thanks for listening


Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:08 pm

Re: Having a crisis *possible trig*

Postby jds321 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:38 pm

Hi Steve,

I came on to this site because i wanted to know how the NHS could help me with suicide prevention. However your query struck a chord with me because I went through something similar when I was at a senior position in a law firm. I don't know your particular position in your company or your financial position, but if you are feeling trapped between a rock and a hard place at work it is about time to leave. You are probably asking yourself these questions:

a) how am I going to support myself?
b) if I looked for another job without securing employment, will this look bad from a recruitment standpoint?
c) am I good enough to get another job?
d) can I handle the stress of the other job when I join or will it be a repeat of the same situation?
e) will the new place be any better?

I can't offer any advice on your first point but what I can tell you is that if you don't leave that company or at least take some serious time off to get to grips with your despair it will lead to a mental breakdown. A full blown mental breakdown takes a long time to recover from, both emotionally and financially. Your work will have to give you the time off and your doctor would be more than happy to sign a note.

If you feel that the company is just too chaotic to work in there is nothing wrong with handing in your notice. If you do a budget, see if you can support yourself (benefits or savings) then at least you know you will have a bit of a buffer.

As regards securing new employment, I don't know your current role but if you are senior enough and have built up certain skills you will have a fair few options to find an organisation that is the right cultural fit for you. Also, regardless of what you may hear the small blip on your CV would not stop you from securing employment. If you give a good enough excuse for why you suddenly quit and say it in a way that does not make you look like you are badmouthing your former employer, then most organisations will take it on board. You could just say that the culture of the organisation was deteriorating, people seemed like they were leaving and you could not see that it was going to get any better. Chances are someone senior to you would have experienced something similar and will understand your position.

Not to mention your employer can't give you a bad reference for leaving and they can't disclose your depression. You would be able to sue them to kingdom come.

Chances are, you are good enough to get another job. You just need time to recharge and think things through clearly. As far as back stabbing friends go, it sounds like your company has a pretty shitty culture. There will always be backstabbing but some organisations seem to have bitchiness engrained into its culture. Its likely to do with poor management from the top. All you can do is cut ties with people who are not true friends. It may seem tough but once you have done it you will realise that you worried for nothing.

I hope some of this helps and that and you reach a decision that puts your own wellbeing and that of your loved ones first.


Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Having a crisis *possible trig*

Postby strangeangle » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:38 pm

Thanks Josh.

The culture is off you are right. The majority there know it. We also know where a lot of it comes from above us all but that person has shares and the CEOs ear. So nothing will change there. I actually think he has mental health issues so I should try to be compassionate. He's one cold fish to be certain.

I am going to leave. I'm try to do self-learning as the four years there have no kept me up to date. It's a struggle as doing more "work" is not exactly what I feel like doing and getting motivation is both hard and adds guilt when I fail. I've stated saving but living in London and not exactly paid for what I add to the company makes it tough and a slow process. Still I've probably been better at doing it than I have been before. Spending is one of my outlets. Not a very productive one that. It wouldn't cover a months bills though and my partner wouldn't be happy if I didn't have a job to go to. I'd feel guilty too.

I do worry if I'll get a decent job or if I just can't cope. I'm 49 and that counts against me where most at my level are 20-somethings. I just don't want to move into management as that would drive me nuts and I wouldn't be very good at it. I certainly can't entertain the idea of big interviews and technical tests right now. A friend suggested contracting/freelance. I've done it before but can't face switching jobs every few weeks. I'd have to find a 3 month stint at least.

I really want my mental health stabilised in some way, hence seeing a private doctor. It'll take at least a few weeks to get to a diagnosis but at least it's under my control and I get suitable time. As long as the money lasts. I just don't trust my gp it nhs with my mental health.

On subject of colleague-friends I hadn't meant to say they were back-stabbing. The majority are nice decent people many suffering under the same strain and frustrations as me. Maybe it just doesn't exhibit itself in the same way as with me. What I hadn't said was exactly what happened. In danger of boring anyone I'll explain. I had noticed that a new start (contractor not let enact employee) had made a small error in following process. I went over to explain and suggest an alternative but he reacted very defensively saying it was nothing wrong and then started saying I should calm down. Unfortunately that's a trigger for me and I started seeing red. He then got up and walked away when another contractor asked why I was causing a fuss and essentially told me to explain to him "as if he didn't know anything". The wording wasn't exactly nice and I felt put down. Maybe I over-reacted. But I said I didn't want this to happen again. Of course that was taken the wrong way. I wasn't trying to pull rank I was just trying to ensure we kept to agreed processes. So I ended up saying ok and walked off. Then the guy shouted across the open office saying I had come over in a temper and it was my fault. Of course the whole team heard this and my manager said "ok stop this now". I managed to explain to him privately and he agreed I was right in theory to question the bad process. However now I feel I can't remember what happened and the way I said the words etc, even the order I spoke or got upset myself. That's been going over and over in my mind. Anyway the guy who I went to talk initially to was spoken to and I said I hadn't meant to cause offence. So that got sorted. I still haven't spoken to the other guy who came to his defence and shouted at me. It's particularly unlsetting as I know he has mental health issues and we'd had ku ch to talk to each other and he was the person who recommended the psychiatrist. So with him I feel he should have know better and thought what his action might cause me to feel like. Of course I can't tell anyone else this as I won't divulge his personal situation to anyone. He's been quite awkward and did resign his contract but after the big boss spoke to him he stayed but I feel he now has the bosses ear and can throw his weight around. He has only even there two months and I've put in four solid years and still try to support everyone. Really really angry at that.

So I guess I was stabbed in the back but I hadn't meant to say that originally. There are nice people there but I feel I resent some now that they can deal with the stress and almost are oblivious to how things are and I have to run around making everything work. With little acknowledgement or reward.

So yes I'm going, it's just getting myself on an even keel and having some savings. I'm not going to interview for a while. I don't want to take the first job that comes along or miss out on a good place because I don't do across well. I do also worry, as you said, if ill just take my frustration, anger and resentment with me. I really can't go through this cycle again.

I really appreciate you replying.


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