Anxiety

I’m a teacher and the school year starts next week. Lately I’ve been having severe panic attacks worrying that my health will interfere with my job. Last year I missed almost a full month of school because of lupus- related issues. Am I alone in this?

I have the exact same problem. If I have to do anything early in the morning I start to panic. It take s me about 4 hours to just feel good enough to even start getting ready. Sometimes I have a little bit of drossiness from my night meds and my am meds. I am lucky enough to work afternoon shifts but I often have morning appointments. I hope you have FMLA to protect your job when you are ill. I hate calling in to work. Some people understand but some people do not. I want to be a valued employee. So besides feeling sick the anxiety about calling in makes everything so much worse. So to make a long story short...Yes, you are not alone.

I admire you for being a teacher and having lupus. Teaching alone can be super demanding and on days you don't feel I think are almost impossible.

Take care and know that you are not alone!

I admire you for being a teacher to start with. You are not alone their were days I dreaded calling I but then I decided my health was more important and it would be better to call in than push it so far I be in the hospital or out for a longer period. Of course I decided this after pushing myself and being in the hospital 8 times in one year. I hope you have a great school year with less pain and wonderful well behaved students.

You are definitely not alone. If I had been a smart cookie years ago, I would have put two and two together . . . I have had to take 3 Clonezapam a day plus Zoloft to curtail my panic attacks just to drive to work (in the past 8 years). I no longer drive. No longer works. If I had any smarts at all I would have figured out that the anxiety + severe muscle/joint pain all went together ... but not me. You are definitely not alone. Nothing worse than hyperventilating with a panic attack... No worries ... I am sure you will be fine, but keep in mind that it all goes together.

I'm so glad you posted this. I have had panic attacks for the past 7 years. I was wonder could lupus cause this. Mines only occur when I drive. I try to talk myself out of them but some days are better than the others. I'm on Lexapro and Xanax

I have a lot of anxiety worrying about how my lupus will affect my work. I have been off for up to 3 weeks at a time with a flare. My husband tells me I'm a self-fulfilling prophecy. I worry, worry, worry and then I get sick. I have been told to avoid stress, but my job is stressful by nature. (I am a child protective services supervisor). No way to avoid it. The stress of my job, coupled with the "disease process" of my lupus and diabetes sent me into a bout of major depression back in December and I am still trying to come out of it. It is definitely true, too, that stress and anxiety exacerbate autoimmune conditions. Definitely not alone - that's what I like about this forum. I have spent much of the time after my diagnosis feeling alone and misunderstood. I am so glad to have the support of the folks here. Please take care of yourself.

No you are not alone my doctor started me on Burspar and it helps. I work for the state with kids as well and my job gets intense most of the time so I'm easily frustrated. I'm looking at changing jobs not sure at the moment, but things are better with me as far as anxiety. Good Luck I pray everything goes well.

Take care!

I am also a teacher and made a big mistake of not taking my summer to rest. I spent my summer training teachers across my region on the new common core standards…big mistake my body has been rebelling ever since. I try to tell myself that my job gives me a reason to get out of bed every morning… I sometimes set the alarm up to an hour early to get my body to actually move out of the bed

HI! Im not sure if its a common thing but I have the same problem to the point of not using public transport or being in crowded situations. Sometimes it happens without warning and most of the time im anxious. At the moment im seeing a hypnotherapist which has massively helped! I hadn't really had this problem before my lupus so it could be related. It might also be the meds. Are you on prednisolone?

Okay guys…help me with this. I quit working at a new job, six yrs ago, that only lasted 6 mos… I never knew anexity had a lot to do with it. I start getting nervous, when getting ready for work, and my body start hurting all over. I quit the job, now I do substituting but I feel I want my degree to take me further. How do I get a job, last 12 mos, so I can qualify for FMLA? I’m really scared…

Hi Gm ... are you on any meds for anxiety? It took a year for my GP to find the right cocktail - I was becoming an agoraphobic while trying to work. Finally, she found what I needed and I have gotten through the last 8 years on the same meds, albeit if I fly (really closed in), I double my dosage (she knows I do this). Finding the right meds to treat the anxiety will get you through the year you need for FMLA. I am assuming you are applying for disability along with FMLA, since FMLA does not pay you anything. Just note - when you find the right med, it will work within 10 minutes of taking it; at least mine does.... Good luck and let us know how you do :).

I am a teacher and I had to have 2 fmlas because I was sick.

I went thru all of this when I was working and the company I worked for did the opposite of what I needed or requested. My requests were : not to sit under an air duct which caused me a great deal of pain, not to sit next to the huge windows, and permission to buy my own ergonomically correct chair as I was on the phones and computers all day. What I got was, sitting by the windows, always under an air duct, and a hassle about buying my own chair. They finally allowed me to buy my own chair from one of their vendors but that was their only concession. Yes, there were and are laws about this but I was too tired and overwhelmed by my health and my life that I finally quit. I did nothing but sleep and relax for 3 weeks at first. My anxiety lessened greatly and I was much better overall. I got SSDI after retaining an attorney and I got it and my court date was cancelled. I have worked part time off and on until I wore myself out again and had to quit.

I am on disability. Took the chance and took this full-time job knowing it could hurt my benefits, but I love working. Especially if I’m feeling okay. I don’t take any med’s for anxiety because I don’t even know if that’s heat I have. I do however take 11different med’s. I want so bad to work but when things get uptight, as you know, my body goes ballistic. I’m lost…



Gm78108 said:

Okay guys…help me with this. I quit working at a new job, six yrs ago, that only lasted 6 mos… I never knew anexity had a lot to do with it. I start getting nervous, when getting ready for work, and my body start hurting all over. I quit the job, now I do substituting but I feel I want my degree to take me further. How do I get a job, last 12 mos, so I can qualify for FMLA? I’m really scared…

I feel your pain. I, too, work at a school district (Food Service Director). I work year-round, but have missed a LOT of days this past year. Over the summer, I worked from home, a lot, because all but 2 members of my staff were off. I am lucky enough to have a very understanding and patient boss. You can't let yourself worry so much about your illness interfering with your job. The added stress you're putting yourself through will only make your flares worse. Mind you, I am no expert and only very recently diagnosed, but I have buried myself in Lupus research for the past month, and every resource I have found says to avoid stress! :-)

Thank you for answering, and for other's who have also. You really don't know the help you're bringing to me. When I had that fulltime job, I was popping so many extra Hydrocodone's (325-75) that I ended up coming out short by the end of the month. Please, if anyone out there can explain, to me, how do you do it? Carrying on a full time job and still have illness's like Fibromyalga, RA, and Raynards (forgive my spelling)without wanting to climb under your desk and lie down? Damn, this makes me soooo mad. I hate being on disability. What I make on disability now, I was making fulltime on my first job out of high school in 1980. When the doctor told me, in 1995, that I would have to quit my job, I refused to quit school. I figured at least I could keep up to par with an education and have my degree, but needless to say that really didn't help. I go for jobs, get hired, and then the stress makes me have to quit. Now that I've been feeling better. Please people, give me some advice, as to how I can hold on to a job without showing signs of my weakness? I really would love to hear as many people as possible...good and bad. Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!

I think this is going to be a long post. Hope it helps.

Here are some of the things I have learned about agoraphobia and anxiety:

I suffered from agoraphobia for 5 years. I was unable to go out of the house (my safe place) and needed either my husband, my mother or stepfather with me to get to appointments (safe people). I got pregnant (god knows how - I think it was an immaculate conception) and decided mothers could not have agoraphobia. Therapy and drugs were not working. I happened on a book (can't remember the title) that said extreme anxiety attacks (which I still had even though I was in my house or with a safe person) were a result of being hypersensitive to our bodies. I would have a symptom of anxiety and then would focus on it which just sent me reeling into a huge panic attack. "Normal" people have the same symptoms, but don't notice them as we do and so don't have the panic attacks. I also learned that anxiety attacks cannot last more than about 20 minutes (in the extreme form), so I began visualizing them as clouds that came to me, through me and passed out of me. That began to help.

So, I finally got out of the house, but continued to have huge panic attacks. I would be on the job, have a panic attack and just bolt out to my car and race home (way over the speed limit). I still needed "safe" people I could turn to that would talk to me until the panic subsided. I took a new job- my commute was 25 miles each way through rush hours and through tunnels. On snowy days (MN) it could take three hours both ways. I had huge panic attacks when stuck in a tunnel or in rush hour. I kept trying to visualize the cloud and kept telling myself that I was not going to die, throw up, have a heart attack, etc. I kept repeating my name and address out loud to try to ground myself and bring myself back into reality. Then one day, I had a John Denver tape in my car and was singing to it. I noticed that I was not panicked. It was sort of like you can't have a panic attack and sing at the same time. So when I started to have an attack, I would crank John Denver and sing as loud as I could. It worked.

I am talking about a period spanning 35 years. The more I practiced the cloud visualization, sang and talked myself down, the less frequent the attacks became. They sort of lost their power. I have been an Executive Director of social service agencies and been in meetings from which I could not bolt or sing. The cloud visualization works for me.

At this point in my life, I do not have anxiety attacks. Once in a great while I can feel one trying to start and I just ignore it.

For all of you who are suffering panic attacks and great anxiety, I hope a couple of these tips work for you.

Susan

That is absolutely awesome. I never made the correlation but I,too, sing when I'm stressed (which is all the time!) or feeling an anxiety attack coming on. I've done that for years. I know it calms me but never really thought about why. I am not agoraphobic, but have panic attacks in crowds (I cannot shop in most stores over the holidays) and when stuck in heavy traffic.


susanjs said:

I think this is going to be a long post. Hope it helps.

Here are some of the things I have learned about agoraphobia and anxiety:

I suffered from agoraphobia for 5 years. I was unable to go out of the house (my safe place) and needed either my husband, my mother or stepfather with me to get to appointments (safe people). I got pregnant (god knows how - I think it was an immaculate conception) and decided mothers could not have agoraphobia. Therapy and drugs were not working. I happened on a book (can't remember the title) that said extreme anxiety attacks (which I still had even though I was in my house or with a safe person) were a result of being hypersensitive to our bodies. I would have a symptom of anxiety and then would focus on it which just sent me reeling into a huge panic attack. "Normal" people have the same symptoms, but don't notice them as we do and so don't have the panic attacks. I also learned that anxiety attacks cannot last more than about 20 minutes (in the extreme form), so I began visualizing them as clouds that came to me, through me and passed out of me. That began to help.

So, I finally got out of the house, but continued to have huge panic attacks. I would be on the job, have a panic attack and just bolt out to my car and race home (way over the speed limit). I still needed "safe" people I could turn to that would talk to me until the panic subsided. I took a new job- my commute was 25 miles each way through rush hours and through tunnels. On snowy days (MN) it could take three hours both ways. I had huge panic attacks when stuck in a tunnel or in rush hour. I kept trying to visualize the cloud and kept telling myself that I was not going to die, throw up, have a heart attack, etc. I kept repeating my name and address out loud to try to ground myself and bring myself back into reality. Then one day, I had a John Denver tape in my car and was singing to it. I noticed that I was not panicked. It was sort of like you can't have a panic attack and sing at the same time. So when I started to have an attack, I would crank John Denver and sing as loud as I could. It worked.

I am talking about a period spanning 35 years. The more I practiced the cloud visualization, sang and talked myself down, the less frequent the attacks became. They sort of lost their power. I have been an Executive Director of social service agencies and been in meetings from which I could not bolt or sing. The cloud visualization works for me.

At this point in my life, I do not have anxiety attacks. Once in a great while I can feel one trying to start and I just ignore it.

For all of you who are suffering panic attacks and great anxiety, I hope a couple of these tips work for you.

Susan

I do understand you clearly, anxiety was my middle name :-). I was a teacher up until last December when I realized how the stress of teaching was taking a toll on my body. My attendance was so bad and then my quality of teaching do to memory , fatigue,concentration, headaches, and pain diminished. The very thing I loved doing was also causing my body to deteriorate. I was out in 2012 from April until the end of the year. I came back in August of 2012 and was out by December 5th and have not been back since. I am on retirement disability and long term disability waiting to here back on SSD. This was a hard decision, I was superwoman. I have finally learned how to pace myself and the stress of the job has really made a big difference in my quality of life. I still have my issues but not worrying about work lessened the load of stress. It was hard initially because I had used all my sick days, then started FMLA went without pay fr a month then my sick bank kicked in and paid my salary for 45 days, then soon after my LTD kicked in. Being single, this was no easy task. I have to borrow from my 403b plan and friends pitched in. I had to down size, but my health was more important. I admire your drive to continue and I understand the anxiety of starting a new year never knowing what it my bring with your health. I am 45 and never expected to be retired so early from a job I loved so much that I could not believe they were paying me to do.



I pray that this year will be a great year for you. Take care of your self and I would love to here from time to time how it’s going for you. You are in my prayers.



P.S. Do you teacher elementary or secondary? I was a 5th grade teacher for most if my time, then they moved me to 1st grade. That was such a bad move, but I understand because of my attendance they did not want to interfere with it being a testing grade.

Purplefav: As some know on this site, I am contemplating disability, as well. I am 52. I have pushed myself raising four boys, working 50-60 hours a week, going to basketball games, etc., etc., pushing and pushing. I applaud you. I needed to stop years ago. I happen to be in business with my son (insurance agency) and he is taking over, however, it will be a much slower process than I want (getting he and his wife up and running, etc.). Like you, I don't think straight and I know I am not doing the best job for the clients. I told my son I would take it month by month so trying to make it to the end of the year for him, then apply for SSD. Thank you for sharing your story. It is good to know I am not alone ... Warmest thoughts your way ... hoping we can share again soon :).