Panic attack before work; now out of work

  1. 1
    I had just gotten a job in an assisted living facility. I was getting dropped off and I couldn't walk in there. I got warm, my heart was racing, my breathing increased and I felt like someone was choking me. I told my partner to circle around and we stopped at a gas station and I said, "I don't think I can go in there!" so I didn't, but I didn't call either. All weekend, I beat myself up, especially on Saturday when I realized it was a panic attack. (I had worked at several awful nursing homes and didn't go because I hated it there, but this place was different).

    I called on Monday, but of course it was too late. I haven't worked steady in over 2 years because I've been going to school and my partner has been working. Now, today I got my first and only paycheck, and I feel awful. I feel like someone ripped out a part of me and now I'm just floating around, invisible. Everything feels foggy.

    I can't talk to my partner about this anymore because I'll drive her nuts. She says she doesn't care I quit, she just wants me to be happy. I had a thought that cheered me up last night, which was in 8 months, I'll be graduating and becoming a nurse, and that calmed me down. But I had all these plans since I started working, and now with one income, I can't do that anymore, and I feel awful.

    I know not calling was unprofessional, not going was a mistake and going over and over it in my head is killing me!

    Just needed to vent. If I had realized it was a panic attack (I've only had one other one before) I would have waited and calmed down. I thought it was the job that was getting me worked up.

    I'd do anything to get a second chance at working at the facility, but no luck.
    interceptinglight likes this.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    That little mistake might cost you future jobs once you graduate. They can feel that if you pull a no show/no call for a CNA job what will change if they give you an RN position with tons more of responsibilities. You may want to not even include that job experience in your resume, but then again if you omit it, it might be worse if they find out. Maybe you will benefit from taking to someone and addressing your panic attacks and in case you need to explain to a future employer you can at least tell them you have been working on your issues. Good luck!
    sharonp30 likes this.
  4. 1
    Hello ShaynaSmart -- I'm really glad you shared this experience with allnurses. It really caught my attention because I just completed a certification program called 'Mental Health First Aid'...and one of the experiences that we discussed was the incidence of panic attacks in people, which often occur for the first time in a person's life from around age 18 until they are in their late 20's. The symptoms you describe are very common. First of all, don't be hard on yourself about this. From what you describe, it doesn't sound like it occurred because you were dreading your job or had anxiety about going to work. Secondly, I'm not trying to imply that you have a problem or a disorder - I am not a medical professional and this forum is not the place to be offering medical advice. What I'd like to offer is that you may want to share this with someone you can talk to who can help you understand what happened, perhaps a counselor or a family physician. A little support from someone who understands is very empowering thing and can give you the tools you need to prevent a no call/no show from happening again, which mom2banurse has already stated can keep you from being successful in the career you've chosen.

    Your partner cares about you but may not know how to really help you with this, so the best thing to do is to discuss it with someone who does. Best wishes!!
    sharonp30 likes this.
  5. 0
    I have anxiety disorder, it can destroy you if you don't get control of it first. There is help out there, don't be ashamed to ask, you aren't a bad person, let it go. You have to put all of your effort into getting another job, and force yourself to face the unknown. I have to walk, more like run, out of crowded buildings, busy malls, loud places, and I can't even think of going to Wal Mart until 2 AM. I also have a tendency to put off what is unpleasant, like your phone call to the employer. I have to force different behavior from myself. It is very uncomfortable, but can be done. It could be just a one time thing for you, but check it out just in case. Good luck on your next job.


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