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Author Topic: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?  (Read 254 times)

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Offline AncientMelody

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Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« on: December 06, 2013, 04:12:07 PM »
Just hoping for some positive input I guess. I feel like it's going to be very difficult for medication and even therapy to really work if I'm under continued high stress at my work. I'm expected to perform my physician assistant job, but also do my own medical assistant type tasks: calling lab results, faxing, rooming my own patients.  And in spite of trying to "step it up" and personally feeling like I've succeeded in this, it's never enough. Right now leaving the job is simply not an option: I am the breadwinner, and there simply are not jobs available right now. Relocation is not an option. I AM getting resumes out to other offices if they do open up positions in time.

I feel like here and there I've had some glimmers of improvement.......but how can I keep this up in the face of continued negativity where my ability to multitask is valued over the quality of care I provide to patients? Has anyone been through this and have you been able to make strides in your own anxiety and depression recovery when your work situation did not improve?
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 06:50:05 PM »
Hi AM...  I can share with you, my initial problem with GAD and panic attacks.  It happened to me some four years ago.  I had a high stress job too, working an intensive care unit for the last eighteen years.  I was out of work for just shy of three months, had to try a number of meds, but I finally got on the right one.  Within a short period of time, after returning to work, I felt 100%, felt like my old self.  I was on Remeron, but unfortunately it has stopped working for me.  So my GAD has returned, and I have just been started on a new med, two weeks ago.  I am hopeful that the new med will work for me, and I can continue with the higher quality of life that it gives me.  The very best to you...  Chuck
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Offline anxiouskathie

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Re: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 08:02:01 PM »
Hi Melody,

I do understand your frustration!!  I also am a professional and suffer with anxiety and it's none to pleasant especially when you can't let it affect your work!!  I'm sure as a physician assistant you know all too well about taking SSRI's and that everyone responds differently.  I found what worked best for me was to start them at an extremely low dose and begin on a Friday, since I was off on Saturday and Sunday and as I increased the dosage, I would always do it on a Friday.

I also work in a hospital setting and as you know, seems to be that the hospitals are taking great cuts in finances and reimbursement and so it appears the health care worker suffers and in the end, the patient as well, and this is extremely stressful for those that have the main priority of helping patients.

I don't want to say that meds are your only option, because we both know better, but they do make the stressful situations a lot easier to deal with......good luck with this and keep us posted on how you are doing!
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Offline wheelie19

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Re: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 12:46:36 AM »
Your situation is very similar to mine.  I have GAD with some OCD habits.  My first ever panic attack occurred about a month and a half into a new job and it may help you to know that I am still at said job two and a half years later.  I work in a call centre and my job is very result/sales based so, can be extremely stressful which causes me to do poorly which causes more stress; it is a vicious cycle.

Is your boss/supervisor aware of the GAD? Depending on your situation, this may help.  My boss is aware and has done what he can to assist (i.e I constantly worry I said something I was not supposed to so, he will listen to the call.)

How long have you been on meds/ in therapy? It takes time as well as trial and error.  Even with my job, Cymbalta (after 2 other med tries) and the right therapist have helped immensely.  I still have bad days.  The anxiety has not gone away but I have strategies and can now write things off as this is anxiety/OCD so I am going to continue on with my day.

Is a stress leave an option? Is doing all these things in your job description? Is there someone who is supposed to be doing some of these things and is not so you are essentially doing two jobs? Bosses always want more, they are more likely to point out that they need more from you then "hey, you're doing a good job!" Even if they don't acknowledge the good things, it doesn't mean they don't see the,. At the end of the day, if you feel that you have done your best (which might be less on anxiety-filled days) that is all anyone can ask for.  Move on because tomorrow or the next day will be better.  Do not let your boss manipulate you into taking on duties that are not yours to take on, that will not help.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 07:38:40 AM »
Hi AM,

You may want to give yourself a break.  I sense a high drive and ambition in you - and of course, that's not a bad thing - however you may be beating yourself up if you don't have perfect performance.   Geez, can't a working mother who makes the primary income, as well as raise two young children, shuffle patients, fill out insurance forms, focus on what's best for the patient, make sure the kids go to bed on time, whose worked hard in school to get a good education, be allowed to not be so hard on herself?

You'll need to give the Lexapro a few more weeks before you really notice a difference.  As a general rule, antidepressants for anxiety disorders may take up to 12 weeks to take into effect. The medication will do one primary thing, it will help you manage your anxiety levels, and as a person working in the medical field, there's nothing wrong for a sick patient to ask for help.   The aim of the patient is to get better, not beat themselves up for getting sick.

Of course, in dealing with anxiety, the type of thoughts we think, in addition to how our brain responds to our thoughts, is just as important to consider.   Since you're getting help with a cognitive behavior therapist, you'll benefit from someone, who can train you to think differently about your situation.

All perception - including your perception of your current job and how it makes you feel stressed - is based on how you direct your thinking on how you think and feel about the situation.  One of the tenants of cognitive behavior therapy is to shift your focus, and writing exercises are part of that shift.   

You may want to write out lists of what is working in your life right now.  For example, if you spent twenty writing a list of what you do have -- a supportive husband, a nice building to work in, two kids who look up to you, a stamp of approval that you work and raise kids  -- you can shift your focus on what is working, instead of what is not working in your life.

There are other cognitive behavior exercises I could recommend, but the Book of Positive Aspects (BOPA) can be a valuable tool, in conjunction with the medication, since it forces you to redirect your thinking, without necessarily having the situation change immediately.

In other words, you don't have to feel confident, until you leave your job.  You just have to direct your focus, and still feel good, while you are at your current job, now.

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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anyone with any positive outcomes in spite of high job stress?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 01:01:29 PM »
First of all thanks for your thoughts everyone :) Appreciate the support.

My manager is aware of the situation, I discussed it with her about a month ago when it became a little more clear that something was off with me. On one hand she is very emotionally supportive and concerned.....which is nice. On the other hand she has done nothing tangible to really assist at work, and in fact she's the one who has been involved with adding so many tasks to my plate. I HAVE a medical assistant assigned to me......and when I get to at least ten patients on my schedule, she can start assisting me, on a day by day basis. Otherwise she is helping the other medical assistants get their work done or is doing filing. These tasks were not in my contract. However, I've talked to the corporate manager and this is "how things are done" and I have no recourse at the present time anyway.

Fortunately I had a very good weekend: kickboxing, a piano lesson, we were getting Christmas decorations up which was fun. Today the anxiety is bad again, but from Friday night until bedtime last night I really felt good, so that gives me optimism :)

Definitely journaling the positive stuff, great idea Abraham. Thanks again and will keep you all posted
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