I have struggled with mental health issues for my entire life. My first real memory being when I was 7 with symptoms ranging from anxiety attacks to violent vomiting & not being able to breathe.
I didn’t address it for many years, and it affected my studies, my ability to form healthy lasting relationships and my own self-confidence.
Although I am very open about my struggles, I am now on medication which thankfully has worked for me in the most part; I still struggle to assert myself in the workplace and can be more sensitive to criticism and threats of instability.
More positively, my experiences have made me more patient and empathetic with other people’s emotional responses in the workplace; I am less likely to disregard people’s stresses and worries.
My advice for other people in the same situation would be to talk, let your manager know your triggers so that they can understand and frame things differently. If something is causing you stress and anxiety, step back and think rationally, or speak to a colleague you’re close to or even an external friend. The hardest part is knowing whether something is real or whether it’s the anxiety talking; a second opinion will always help.
Never be ashamed, mental health is the same as physical health. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it takes a knock, but if you talk about it with friends and family you’ll realise how common it is, get the help you need.
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