I have just gone back to work after a two year break. I have an anxiety disorder. I am now working in my local A & E department in a busy hospital . Occupational health have been supporting me but feel I should now declare it to my manager.
I feel I should be standing up while telling you this . My name is Jane and I have Anxiety, like they do at an AA meeting.
I really love being back at work and it has done wonders for my confidence, but if I get over tired I tend to get hypervigilant. While most people think this is hilarious, I have noticed a few nurses starting to avoid me especially if I am doing a tea run. The worst thing that could happen is if I heard a loud unexpected noise I grab on to the nearest person or object and hold on for dear life.
Thank you Jane (name changed to preserve anonymity)
Well done for getting back to work. It can be really difficult and a major source of anxiety for anyone who has been off work for any length of time. When you have been off with anxiety the prospect of returning can seem very daunting indeed. I think it would be helpful to tell your manager as they will be able to make any reasonable adjustments should you need it. Also hopefully as someone working in health, they “should,” ideally, be more understanding of your situation. Hopefully, they would be able to look out for you at busy times.
As for nurses avoiding you. It is a pity that “understanding” is often thin on the ground, even in the health professions. All we can do is to keep fighting to end stigma and get people talking and promoting greater awareness. Again, your manager being aware should help.
Good luck and best wishes, Steve
Please email your submission posts to firstname.lastname@example.org Steve Clifford, Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist