Scared to go to work, no self-confidence, worse every year

  1. Hello,

    I'm thinking I've posted this before a long time ago, but I am out of ideas. All last year was a blur, with several jobs but because I had excessive absences, I lost every one of them. The people who love me all wonder why I do this to myself, why I cause myself more low self-esteem, increase my fear, and scary financial distress. I wonder why myself.
    I am one of those persons that as the hours draw closer to going to work, I feel horribly scared and can't sleep. I sometimes vomit. Everytime I call out, I put more financial hardship on myself.
    Thnk about all the demands at work, I think of busy staff who tend to get snippy. I think of new jobs, new ways of doing things. I think of making mistakes. Generally I believe I'm a good nurse, skilled in many ways, but my thoughts and emotions get the better of me.
    I am so poor and with my lack of work and absences, I get poorer. I need help. I am not taking any psychotropic meds or seeing a psychologist right now and I have no insurance. I probably should do self-study CBT or something. I'm in a job right now and I'm just starting, but I'm already missing.
    Please help me. Has anyone experienced what I am experiencing? Any worthy books out there? Thanks so much.

  2. Visit zacarias profile page

    About zacarias

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 1,352; Likes: 83
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 14 year(s) of experience in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg


  3. by   klyders
    Your symptoms need professional attention. Please seek help. There are many community-based, church-based organizations that offer minimal fees for service. Have you spoken to your nurse manager? Perhaps he/she could direct you to receive help via the employer's own assistance programs. One must care for oneself BEFORE providing care for others. Peace to you.
  4. by   zuzi
    Hey... took a paper and a crayon and write each and every of your jobs. ANd why do you think that make you to act like that in each of them.

    At one point will be a common issue...why you are scarred to go to job, is somenthing that is going with all of them. Try to discover your self.

    From where is coming your scare? What was happend? Someone did do somenthing wrong to you? You was like this before? When is started?

    Try to analyze your self first...and speak out. When you will be able to verbalize your fellings in front of others will be ok!
  5. by   Jules A
    You don't have to live like this. Please consider seeking professional help. Hugs, Jules
  6. by   teacher08
    I understand your restless nights because my sister and I have similar symptoms. We usually worry about what we are to do (work, school, errands, etc) and find ourselves losing sleep. Just last night I lost sleep because I am out of town and I had to take my child to get a haircut (although it was the baber shop on the college campus I graduated from 13 years ago). Why did I lose sleep, worring about what route to take, making it on time, how many patrons, making sure I had cash because no credit cards accepted, will the haircut be acceptable, etc.

    Well, the day turned out just fine, they accepted credit cards, I had little difficulty finding the place, and there were only two clients. The babers were extremely nice and I engaged in quality conversation with the as well as my child recieving a wonderful haircut. The point is I CREATED all the negative thoughts in my mind and embraced them prior to going to sleep and when awakening to use the restroom. I've gotten much better over time because there are times when I tell myself, "shut up and just go to sleep." However, please seek the advice klyders gave you in the above post. I want you to succeed, be happy, and help others in their time of need. I'm quite sure you're an AWESOME's your time to shine, make other smile and fill their heart with joy.

    I wanted to tell my story because I want you to know their are others who have similar experiences just as you. We all deal with our situations differently. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Last edit by teacher08 on Dec 23, '09 : Reason: delete a word
  7. by   netglow
    Op many hugs to you. Know that you are being thought of right now by all of us. I wonder if you might start to fill your time away from work. No matter how tired, be around people you enjoy, join a club (put it on that visa) and after work daily, spend time doing cardio work there. Stop by the library and get some books with great engaging stories. Read these for an hour at least before bed every night. Start a project: fix stuff, crafts, cooking. Try to be so busy that work is just another thing on your to do list.
  8. by   keithjones
    I took the last 30 minutes and reviewed your post history, something happened to you dec 2007 - mid 2008 that broke your confidence. You went from posting helpful advice confidently and talking about loving your job and where you worked to seeking help on the basics, nothing wrong with asking for help but in your case I think it speaks to a loss of confidence. In order to move forward again in confidence you need to overcome whatever that event or series of events has done to you and I agree with previous posters that outside professional help is needed (many places offer free or discounted services based on your circumstances).

    I also noticed that your problems seem to have caused, or followed,or coincided with your decision to Travel. You may need to seek out the cause-effect relationship there and see if traveling triggered your anxiety or if you are traveling to run from something (just to find that the problem is there waiting for you). Maybe settling down and finding a "home" would help. Again, this is a complicated road to go down and professional guidance can help you get there, but there is healing and confidence at the end of the road.

    I have been through a similar depression, lack of confidence and lifestyle of fear and starting down the nursing career path oddly enough broke me out of that cycle. I pray that you find the healing and peace you are looking for!
  9. by   VegRN
    Hi Zacarias,
    I am sorry that you are going through this, it must be tough. I can really empathize with you though because I have had and still have some of the same problems although now it is to a much lesser degree. Years ago when I was an NA, I used to get so anxious giving a patient a bath that I contemplated quitting nursing school to be a supply stocker in the hospital (I am not kidding). I have to agree with the previous poster that recommended seeking help. this point in my life, my anxiety and depression are much much better due to seeking help for it. Even when I was a poor student, I was able to get a low cost therapist and see a psychiatrist for meds.

    Here are some specific recommendations from my experiences. I strongly recommend that you make sacrifices with your finances and see if your family or friends can help you out with expenses in order for you to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

    1. When you get anxious worrying about people being snippy or the emotions of situations, focus on the task of the matter, not the emotions. Even though the anxiety is there, focus on the task, don't try to push the anxiety away but instead continue to shift your focus on the task.

    2. Despite being anxious about going to work and not being able to sleep, force yourself to go to work anyway. Missing work because you are anxious just reinforces avoiding your problems and also reinforces calling in. Something that might help is prior to your shift, right down all the things that you are scared about and set it aside. When you are done with your shift, look back at the list and write down everything good that happened and a list of everything bad that happened and try to keep these columns balanced. For the list of everything bad, pick one of two things that you will work for your next shift and set specific goals to achieve that.

    3. Really really try not to take what other people do or say personally, it is usually about them anyway. If someone is snippy to you, maybe they are having a bad day or maybe they are just always like that. And a few people go out of their way to make others lives miserable, just don't engage the bad behavior.

    4. One book that helped me is this, "The dialectical behavior therapy skills work book" by McKay and Wood. This therapy was developed for people with BPD but is helpful for anyone dealing with overwhelming emotions. It helped me a lot with my anxiety.

    I wish you a lot of luck in seeking help for this. It does get better, trust me, I've been there. If you would like, feel free to pm me.
  10. by   Goldenhare
    You sound like me!! Consider researching the symptoms of 'Anxiety Disorder'. Call your local health department and they can point you in the right direction if money is a problem. You CAN get off this merry go round!!! Good luck to you!!.
  11. by   zatara74
    I empathize with your story greatly. It saddens me to read it but you are not alone!! My very first job out of school cut me to the bone. In general I am a very confident person. My grades were average but on the floor I shined. I am a bit of a people person so my personality really came out on the floor. While still a student I was getting thank you letters and kudoes from patients and family stating how wonderful I was and how well I cared for them or their family member. My professors told me what a great Nurse I was and how well I did on the floor. Then I graduated and took my first job. Then the horror began.
    My confidence, up beat attitude, and autonomy was immediately taken as a threat. I was accused of not asking enough questions. Was I just to act dumb and ask questions I had already known the answer to or was competent to do on my own? One of the five or six preceptors I had back stabbed me and told management that they were not confident in my abilities. One mind you. One I had worked with for weeks and NEVER received a bit of negative feedback or constructive criticism. I was blind sided by it all. Unfortunately for me this one critique followed me from that day on. Everything I did was scrutinized down to my charting. I lasted 5 moths before just calling in and quitting one day. By the end of it all I had no confidence, would become so anxious about going in I would become sick or just call off. I realized I had to start fresh elsewhere so I did. I ended up calling up the unit manager of a unit I had worked on as a student nurse at another city hospital and they were very happy to take me. I explained my bad experience in my interview and they were very understanding. Over the course of the next year slowly I regained my confidence. I regained the desire to want to be there and go to work. What mattered to me is that my patients needed me and if God had given me this gift to be a Nurse and help others than that is what I was to do. If I allowed my past experience to prevent me from doing that then they had won and what a sin that would have been. Whenever I felt anxious about going In I would remember and tell myself that. I have a job to do and people need me, its my duty.
    Looking back I wish I had never had that first job experience because I don't think you can ever fully recover from something like that but in short they failed me. I did not fail them. And at the end it was a learning experience and one I will never forget. Nurses eat their young

    Nursing is very difficult. The toughest job I have ever had and whats worse is unless you are talking to another Nurse no one has a clue what we deal with, see, or do on a daily basis. Your friends and family even if supportive have no clue what it is like and this makes the problem even more difficult. I believe as many have suggested professional help is needed but sometimes professional help does not work for all. But the good news is there are things you can do on your own, some of which people have already suggested.

    What I can tell you is what helped me. Meditation. I'm not an overly religious sort. In fact I'm more of an Agnostic but I do believe in spirituality and caring for not only the body and the mind but also the soul. One book the REALLY helped me was "How to get what you want and want what you have." By John Gray. I hope this helps and I wish you the very best!!
  12. by   zuzi
    Zacaris, first you need to belive that YOU REALLY ARE A GOOD NURSE! Starting from here all others inquires will go!

    You don't take any meds/drugs at this time. That is great ...because this anxiety is not treated, induced or mixed with anything now.

    Try to go out from the environment that create you the anxiety. Work environment, personal one, whatever.....Change the place change the friends, chnage the high potential stressfull environment...

    Try to find a place where you fell comfortable....... a less stresfull place.
    Let you sparkling mind to work...where to go....

    Forget about traveling!

    Put yourself first before money, or anything else. Value yourself! You are GOOD! Just your choices was bad!

    You are much more strong than you ever belive!

    Happy Christams hon and to see you a happy nurse next year!
  13. by   etaylor900
    I had a similar experience when I worked as an elementary school teacher. Every morning in the shower I would suffer from dry heaves and dreaded going to work. My solution to the problem was to embark on a new career path--the problem cleared right up and the anxiety vanished! Perhaps professional guidance would help you sort out whats going on for you. Best of luck!
  14. by   Jules A
    Quote from zuzi
    You don't take any meds/drugs at this time. That is great ...because this anxiety is not treated, induced or mixed with anything now.
    Although I'm sure your heart is in the right place please don't discourage someone from taking medication when we have no idea as to whether or not it is needed. As a psych nurse I treat very ill people every day that likely could have avoided hospitalization and decompensation if they took their medications. Sadly there is still a stigma where psych meds are concerned and well meaning friends and family are often the ones convincing them they can go it alone. It does a disservice to those that need medication.