Working is killing me

We all get tired and stressed from work and we all definitely have our bad days and even bad jobs, but I am finding as time goes on I am coping less and less with work.

I have recently moved jobs due to numerous issues at my last place of work, but I am finding that I am constantly run down, fatigued, stressed and just generally feel unwell as a result of working.  I am in my early thirties and I know we slow down and get tired with age, but I feel ill - not just tired.

My mental health is strained, I am suffering with anxiety and possibly depression, GI issues, skin complaints, respiratory problems, migraines, fatigue, muscles cramps/pain, joint pain, general illnesses etc etc.

Packing my job in is not an option as I have bills to pay, but I also want to work and like having purpose and responsibility - I just wish it didn't take so much out of me.

I have been looking at career changes, but at the moment I cannot financially afford the risks and even then I am not really sure what I could do that would alleviate these health issues.

Most people seem to breeze through life (ok slightly over dramatic) and get a weeks work done without a hitch and then make the most of the weekend.  I spend my weekends and evenings a wreck, just trying to recover to start again.  Are other people like this and just hide it better or is it me?

If I have to work until my late 60s until I retire, I am starting to think I won't make it anywhere near retirement at this rate.

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  • Hello there,

    As soon as I saw the title of this I just had to reply - it sounds so alarmingly familiar to the situation I found myself in two years ago. I am 27 years old now and I have left work to pursue postgraduate qualifications, and I am much happier. I understand this may not be feasible and/or desirable for you, but I have a few suggestions which might help.

    I think you can distill your options down to two: make this job more bearable, or make steps to find one which works better for you. I have compiled a few suggestions of things I did but am happy to suggest more if you need it.

    1. As with many on here, I think it is worth telling your employer if you are on the spectrum. You may not have a formal diagnosis, and this may or may not be something you wish to pursue if you haven't. But definitely communicate with them, even if you say that you are self-diagnosed.

    2. Ask for a referral to Occupational Health. 

    3. If you are diagnosed with any conditions, your employer is obliged to help you make reasonable adjustments to your environment of work under the Equality Act of 2010. Now, their understanding of 'reasonable' is based on interpretation, but there might be a few things you could ask for:

    - to use headphones to block out noise

    - ability to use a different room for complicated tasks (depending on the job, of course, but for instance I used to write my minutes in an isolated room)

    - ability to use tinted glasses/ sunglasses to reduce sensory input

    - access to a work wellbeing programme, if they have one

    - suggestions of a quieter, accessible place to spend your lunch

    As far as possible I would suggest making requests in writing and keeping a good paper trail if you can.

    I appreciate these things may not get you out of your situation, but perhaps they can reduce some of the anxiety and overload feelings you experience at your workplace. 

    I am so sorry that you feel this way and you have my sympathy as work very nearly led to me experiencing a breakdown a couple of years ago. I wish you the best and hope you keep us posted as to your progress.