To work or not to work?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/1/2007 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   
This is an issue that has been bothering me for awhile now, and since everyone I seem to ask in my personal life can't give me a straight answer I figured I would get some opinions from another source. Here's the situation....
My anxiety attacks have pretty much tapered off as of recently. Every once in awhile my anxiety level will rise but haven't had a full-blown PA in weeks, but at the same time I also haven't eaten any solid food in weeks either due to eating anxiety(scared of having something solid on my stomach/digestion) thus I've been on a strictly liquid diet of water, tea with plenty of sugar, or gatorade. It's unhealty I know, but at least it allows me to function enough to go to my counseling sessions to try and get better. The problem is: One of my major stressors at the moment is the fact I don't have a job. My girlfriend has been working extra hard at her job and my parents have been lending me money but I don't want to put them through that burden along with me being sick. A friend of mine recently called me and said there was a job waiting for me (I haven't told this friend of mine about my situation in detail yet).
So should I go ahead and take the job or not? I'm thinking that maybe, MAYBE if I get to working I can focus my energy and attention on something other than my physical problems. It'll be a source of income so that stress can be lifted, and hopefully while I'm working I might be able to eat a little something solid and then turn my attention away from my digestive hypervigilance long enough to get some decent nourishment. But on the other hand, I don't want to go out and try to work an 8 or 9+ hour shift, outside in the heat no less, with so little energy in my body. I don't want to pass out on the job or anything like that, and honestly as of late if I'm outside in the heat for too long I feel like I'm going to pass out. I also don't want to start working and realize I just don't have the ability to work to my full potential because I can't eat. My job record is pretty good for a young guy and I don't want to screw it up.
Opinions/advice please?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 6/1/2007 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all..yay on the decline of anxiety attacks. Hun, if you're not eating and havent had anything solid in weeks the last thing you should go out and do is work outside in the heat. Im glad you are able to drink a lot of liquids but still, you need food to nourish your body and you will not be able to handle manual labor in the heat with the vitamins and minerals your body is in no doubt lacking at the moment. Even if you take supplements, really the only way to get proper nourishment is from healthy food. However, i understand how you must feel with your girlfriend working hard and having to borrow money from your parents. So maybe there is another alternative here. Have you thought of seeing if you qualify for disability? Your condition seems to dibilitating at times to the point where you arent eating and you havent been working. If you are under a Doctor's care they will be able to tell you if you should or shouldnt work. In my personal opinion of just what i read here, I really think you should hold off on working. Until you are at least well enough to get some food in your body and maybe wait until the end of summer when the temps start going down. Good luck to you! I hope things start getting better very soon! Blessings
Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.--

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/1/2007 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Pilehead

Welcome to Healing Well.

You say you have been on a liquid diet and now you are considering a outdoors type construction job in the heat with heavy work involved???

Did I get that right?

Is this the type of job you would choose for you if you were actively looking and not a job offered by a friend?

My concern would be your nutritional health is not good at this time.

You could go on a high protien, high calorie liguid diet. But you would really have to work at making sure you stick to it before you venture out in the hot weather for 8-9 hours a day.

I hope this has helped some. yeah

Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 6/1/2007 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh yeah. That's a tough decision. Without knowing you and your entire situation, I'd say going to back to work would be good. But this particular job might not be best. I think your number one priority in life should be nourishment. You NEED to eat food. Somehow, someway, you need to get back to eating. And then you might be surprised at what you can handle. But first things first. If you're not careful you're going to make yourself much sicker than you already are. Find a way. When is the last time you've seen a physician?
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/2/2007 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
hunniebee- Thanks for the blessings and advice. I had never thought to try and get on disability, mostly because I never thought I'd get it because I'm so young and beyond me not eating, there isn't anything physically wrong with me (that I know of!). Besides, it's a topic I know very little about, and I heard it takes almost a year or so before it starts working. I'm probably off base though, just going off rumors.

stkitt- It's an outdoors type job, not exactly construction but kind of. I know that doesn't make any sense at all. It's working for the city, so I'd be mowing grass, cleaning up streets, things like that. Not heavy lifting the whole shift but still hard work. I normally would take that kind of job if I wasn't sick. I understand what you're saying about the high protein, high calorie diet but I kind of tried that already. Actually, I tried to have a slim-fast shake when my problems first started and it killed my stomach to no end. I'm not sure if it's milk, or maybe it's just in my head, but I've been staying away from milk products since that shake. I may try again now that I'm a little more stable, any other suggestions would be great!

debaser- You're right about making nourishment my #1 priority. For a moment I thought about just getting a simple job, like a fast food place, just to test out my idea of distracting myself. That way if it works, great, and if not I can just quit...not like those places aren't used to seeing people quit within 1-2 days. Don't get me wrong, I WANT to eat badly! But there's a mental block of anxiety about having something on my stomach, waiting for it to digest and running through my sounds so silly but for some reason I can't get over it. I was nibbling on ice cream from time to time, but like I said above after one milkshake I stopped touching milk products. And I've never had a problem with them before so I'm certainly not lactose-intolerant. It just seems as if I'm only comfortable with liquids right now. I get this feeling on my stomach that's hard to describe, but it's almost like my stomach is full of a soapy water, which I know doesn't make ANY sense but it's the best way I can describe it. I've also got pressure on the right side of my abdomen, almost like someone is grabbing and squeezing my side really hard. I just can't find that one 'breakthrough' product to eat that will give me the courage to try more. And by now I'm certain my GI tract has little to no digestive acid, and my metabolism has slowed so much that I don't want to go into shock trying the wrong thing. Anywho, to answer your question(finally!): I saw my doctor last week, but that was about me not taking my klonopin. He suggested I break the 1mg tabs in half and take them but I still haven't since I honestly haven't had a real panic attack in awhile. I've got to go see my counselor on monday and hopefully she'll be able to help me out some more.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 6/2/2007 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Go to eating better & take the job.It will keep you busy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 6/2/2007 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Mystruggle gives good advice (except for the Wal-Mart part...go somewhere else!).

I'm very familiar with where you're at. I dropped around 40 pounds in two months at one point and pretty much had to force myself to eat again. Along with the shakes and drinks Mystruggle talks about, try starting with something inoffensive like crackers. Eat them for a while, then switch to bread. Gradually add some deli sliced meats in very small amounts until you can handle that. Then add more things. Eventually you can try grilling chicken and other light meals that are easy to digest.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder

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