story 6

This was so difficult for me to read.

I have struggled with extreme anxiety and chronic depression and brushed up against the thought of there being no way forward or out but suicide. During the closest calls, I was making the most I ever had, living in a nice house, etc. It didn’t really matter though. I felt a tightness in my chest and a boiling kettle of acid in my stomach from the second I woke up until the second I fell into fitful sleep. I had a Pavlovian response to the sound of email arriving on my phone, to the point where it would be in my nightmares. But it was more than just work; irrational panic and anxiety filled everything facet of my life. I would nearly pass out from panic attacks when flying, or worry that the police I saw were going to arrest or harass me for an unknown crime, or think that any time my family was calling it would be tragic news.

About three months after I most seriously considered suicide, I got a new job, saw a psychiatrist, saw a counselor, and a few years later I was pretty much stable. I did have to detox off benzos, but that wasn’t too bad.

It has to be understood that highly motivated, highly intelligent people can be driven to irrational levels of stress from their work. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as just reminding the person that they aren’t their job or their career, just like you can’t treat depression by telling a depressed person to turn their frown upside-down. This man may still have struggled with stress, anxiety, and depression even if he left Uber for somewhere healthier; what’s important now is that people reading this story or these comments realise that there are always so many ways out, and that no matter what there are resources to keep you afloat.

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