anxiety at work anyone????

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/12/2007 7:34 AM (GMT -6)   
So I just had (i hope "had" i'm starting to relax now!) an anxiety attack at work and I wonder if anyone has the same the thing as me??
You know how it is when you're suddenly taken over with anxiety? my head went all light, i seemed to be out of my body, and suddenly I thought I would never make it to the end of the day! (3 and half hours and counting)
Well I think the thing that started it was the fact that my stomach suddenly started to churn and i needed the toilet! This sent me into a panic of 'what if i have bad diarrhea and have to keep goin?' 'how will i explain my trips to the bathroom' which of course made it worse! Now I've started to calm myself and realise that i'm not goin to die (!) it seems sooo irrational....
Does anyone else get this kind of phobia which sparks an attack?
P.S I have been off my citalopram (cipralex/lexapro...) for nearly half a year now and not doing too bad! I just wanted to share that as I dont talk to many people about it and I'm very proud :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 10/12/2007 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
First of all, yes you should be proud of being off the meds!!!! :-)   Just make sure that you talk to your pdoc if you think you need to be on something again - don't let it get out of control. I am so happy for you that you are off the meds.  I hope that I can get to that point some day.
I am not working right now due to all of my problems, but yes when I was working at my last job, there were 3 or 4 times I had attacks.  I was lucky in a way because I could close my office door and work through it and usually not get interrupted.  I woud have the same feeling of not being in my body, I also felt like there was a weight on my chest, I would be light-headed and just wanted to curl up and die.  These attacks sure did interrupt my day and I couldn't wait for the day to be over.  After the attacks were over I was really disfunctional for the rest of the day.
I'm now learning to do some relaxation techniques, a couple of which I have taken from this board.  If you look back through some of the threads you will find some.  I find that if I use them when feeling panicky they work.  Maybe it's worth it for you to try them too.
I hope you can overcome this and I wish you well.  Keep us posted on how you are doing
Wen :-)
I have:  Agoraphobia, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Panic/Anxiety Disorders, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, and Social Anxiety
Meds: Ambien CR, Ativan, Flexeril, Lamictal, Lexapro, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER

A slip of the foot you may soon recover,

but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.

Benjamin Franklin


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 10/12/2007 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
At my previous job (which I hated- that certainly didn't help matters) I remember that out of boredom and sitting at a desk all day I would find myself stretching a lot. One time I stretched a little too hard and pulled something in my left arm/chest area. Well for someone prone to anxiety you can imagine what went through my mind (despite knowing exactly what was causing the pain)!

The way I deal with situations like this is closing my eyes, focused breathing- in through the nose deep breath... hold it a couple of seconds as though I'm letting it permeate into my body... and then breathing out through the mouth. I imagine that the tension and anxiety are coming out in the air I exhale. I actually visualize it like a cloud.

I can sympathize with the gastrointestinal bit too because my family has a history of panic disorder accompanied by GI issues, and when my anxiety has been at worst I have often found myself having to use the bathroom 2 or 3 times before going out...especially if I am going somewhere unfamiliar.

Hang in there! HIV/AIDS Forum Moderator
- HIV hotline counselor -

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 10/12/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm feeling the exact same way! As a matter of fact I just had to get up and walk outside for a moment because I was having an anxiety attack while sitting at my desk. I work in a cubicle so I don't have an office where I can just close the door and be alone. When I do start to feel light-headed and "out of it" (I get that floating outside of my body feeling too) I find it can sometimes help to get up and either walk to the bathroom and splash water on my face, or just get outside for a minute to breathe. Moving around forces me to feel more grounded and it's easier to get some deep breathing in this way -- plus different scenery can take my mind off the anxious feeling. My anxiety today was triggered by tummy troubles as well...I found myself scrambling for the Immodium I always keep handy.

I suffer from emetophobia (fear of vomit/vomiting) and I also coach a middle school cross-country running team. I love the coaching, but when stomach flu season comes around I have a really tough time. Of course there's a tummy bug making its rounds right now and tomorrow we're supposed to take a long bus trip to NYC for a meet. I can't even explain to you the horrible anxiety this is causing for me. Number one, with every stomach twinge I'm convinced I'm coming down with the bug and I'm worried that I'll start to vomit tomorrow while on the bus...or while we're at the meet, in which case I'll have to spend the whole day there being sick and also the bus trip back. Number two, I'm dreading riding in an enclosed space with 25 kids carrying germs. I can't figure out if the anxiety is causing me the stomach issues I'm suffering now, or if the stomach pains are contributing to the anxiety. It's a viscious cirlce. I even told my boyfriend I'd give him $50 if he'd drive down behind the bus so that I could ride with him if I started to feel sick, or could leave the meet early if I needed to. I hate giving in and being weak like that but I'm having a really rough time making it through the work day today just anticipating what's coming up tomorrow. Of course he said no anyway, so I don't feel any better.

If I can just make it through the next 36 hours I'll be so grateful. Not much work getting done by me today though, I'm afraid.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/12/2007 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello and welcome. I am so glad to see you got some great answers already. 

I had severe anxiety attacks when I was working and I know the trigger was the increased stress and responsibility that I had.  I would break down in my office and hide in my bathroom.  Or I would call my co-worker and friend to come up and be with me.

I fianlly took early retirement and spent  1 1/2 years working with new meds and therapy.

I am now working in a part time low stress no management responsibilities job.  It is a whole new experience for me.  It does come with some stress but I have managed to laugh it off and remember to not get back on the Stress merry-go-round.

Hope this helps you.  Gentle Hugs

Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
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


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/12/2007 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank God for this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am at work right this second and am having heart palpitations this has been going on for a few days and I don't know why. Does anyone else have palpitations... I feel like the sensation is in my chest and my throat... then I get light headed and I can TOTALLY feel my heart racing. I'm only 30 but I've got a lot of stressful changes happening in my life right now, so maybe that's it - I'm just so afraid that I'm going to have a heart attack or a stroke and die behind the wheel on my car or while I'm home with my little ones.

Anxiety stinks!!!!!!!!!!

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/12/2007 2:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey Good Buddy!

I hope this letter finds you in better condition than before. All I can say is, that I too am a 30-year old guy with little ones at home, and I too have all the symptoms you suffer from. It has been a long and hard journey for me, but I'll tell you what, it has been a learning experience. I have learned that life is precious, and that folks like us are special. Since they have started, I have made a vow to better take care of myself, as diet, exercise, and sleep play a major role in panic attacks. Unfortunately for most of us "anxiety heads", a good night's sleep is hard to come by, especially with all the stress that a job carries. It often seems like work in general just makes it worse, I mean for example my schedule. I have to wake up at 5:30am, get ready and be at work by 8am, mon-fri (by the way, I barely make it to work leaving that early) then I have to deal with some of the most ignorant, vile, and stupid co-workers that have ever existed. From the moment I clock in to the second I clock out, my day is filled with misery and panic, but I dare not show it for risk of losing my job, so I just swallow hard and take it, which is probably the worst thing in the world to do. I have a wife, I have babies, I have bills. Anxietry does suck dosent it?! Me personally, I'm taking steps in finding another job much closer to home, hopefully with a good company and quality folks working there.

There is always hope my friend--anywhere the human spirit dwells God is with us. I am not an overly-religious nut, and I am not here to preach to you about any particular diety, but I just would like you to know what is what. There is a GOD, believe it or not, and he's with us through the thick and thin. Sometimes it seems like "O.k., that's it man, I'm gonna die now!", but it never happens, does it? I have always seen God as the greatest teacher and friend. So...treat him as such! I am sure in that past you have asked your buddies and maybe your parents for help...why not the creator of the universe? The point I'm trying to make is this; focus on the beauty and strength of God, be open to his love and guidance (it could appear from anywhere and anyone you see), and trust in him to help you in tough times.

Also my friend, trust in his precious herbal-creations of the Earth. Try and stay away from all those horrible meds that are out there, and stick to natural approaches and therapies; aroma therapry, counselling, massage, audio guided imagery, yoga, herbal supplements (chamomile, holy basil, valerian root, etc.) and meditation to name a few. All of them work, and all of them make you a better man, trust me bro.

Take some time out for yourself, sip some herbal tea, relax, take a nap, draw a picture, anything to get you in the chill-zone.

Take care my friend, and know that you are not alone in this. All my love and light to you and your family,

Alex  scool



Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 11/12/2007 4:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I too have had anxiety attacks at work, I only work part time now but when I was full time and working 60 odd hour weeks, I had them quite often. As I have said in previous posts, sometimes it is natures way of telling us to slow down, which I did. I still get panic attacks, but I am trying to get through them with CBT. My therapist tells me not to run away and just to sit and go through the attack rating it on a scale of 0-100. Analysing what is going on ie - heart racing, boiling hot, feel like you're going to faint etc and by the time you have analysed all the symptoms it should have passed. You have to question what is happening and that it is not going to happen. I fear that I will pass out, but I know medically I can't (physical impossibility from a panic attack apparantely!), the more you can get through an attack, the easier it will be to overcome them. The first step is accepting them and then treating then. Good luck.
Smile and the world will smile with you

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