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Work and me. What's my best option?

Cogitant

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#1
I suppose others have been open about their issues on this site, so I might as well explain mine.

Right now, I'm out of work and relying on a sick-note with a time limit.
The bills are mounting, debt is mounting meanwhile, and it is obvious that I need to do something about this situation (besides, I don't very much enjoy living off charity).

I suffer from social anxiety disorder. I have dealt with anxiety since I was a child.
It has a cyclical pattern for me, I'll make progress, and then I'll revert back to being a shut-in.

The doctors here in the UK have a scheme which provides free access to 6 sessions of either counselling or CBT. I have used this service a few times, and it has been inadequate.
Also I don't take the SSRI medication because the side-effects make me groggy and dull my mind.

Anyway, my main issue is that anxiety destroys job/life opportunities.

A situation at work might trigger anxiety, which results in me taking increasing amounts of time off, which results in my being fired/quitting.
When at this point, I become completely apathetic and don't leave the house (apart from seeing relatives and buying essential items) for weeks/months on end on a sick-note (like the one I have right now).

In the UK, there is a LOT of pressure to find a job. This involves demoralizing situations such as the Work-related activity group, which I must attend in order to be eligible for benefits.
I don't want to be in this situation, and I'm sick of it.

A job working from home might well be the best solution, but what doing, and how would I go about that?

I enjoy writing fiction, but that's not going anywhere (I'm too spineless to even approach anybody about that anyway)

I've considered getting good at writing code and programming. That might be a promising path to venture down since I have a brother who will spam me with every resource I can ever need if i show an interest.
CG design is another valid option, but I don't see myself making a living from that.
Then there's the option of buying and selling goods and manufacturing hand crafted items for the purpose of sale.
I've done that kind of thing before and made a profit, but it is unreliable if your rent is due.
I considered going back to uni, seeing as though the SLC has branched out to granting loans for masters. It's a nice dream, but it would involve relocating away from family and an entire hell of anxiety related issues would spawn from that decision.

Special skills: theoretical and graphical problem solving, research

I've really not a head for finance. Money isn't something I yearn for particularly, but since it is a necessity, I'd certainly rather earn it doing something I actually enjoy.

But in the short-term, I know that when my sick-note expires, I will just have to take any job that I get accepted for (apart from phones and tills).

Ideas?
 

QuickTwist

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#2
Sounds like you are in a tough spot.

I would recommend talking to a therapist about this. This is exactly the kind of stuff I talk to my therapist about.
 

Cognisant

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#3
Write up a resume and distribute copies to every business nearby that's hiring part time and casual workers, get a job somewhere ASAP so you're not going into debt.

Not having a income would cause me a lot of anxiety :phear:
 
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#4
I relate. I can handle people normally but at jobs u have to be wise about everything. How u say this and that, how u dress, what u say to whom, etc. At the end I'm paranoid of everyone and everyone dislikes me.
Not always tho.
When I was working for a small publishing house my job and social life there were a dream. I was getting enough money and everyone around were super cool and friendly people. I could even fight with my boss and she would like me more after that.
And I was doing stuff I enjoyed.
But in big companies where every department is a squad and thin they have their mini groups of whispers. That's hell. I have been for one month without a job now. I came back home even tho I have some money saved. Thinking of spending it on a trip this summer tho.

On topic: I recommend you to keep sending CVs to everyone. Whatever the job is. It doesn't has to be your speciality. Just try to keep it broad. Then depending on how extreme your situation is decide if you take it or not. In my case I had an interview last week and those guys called me to say I was hired. But I thought of it and since it wasn't much money plus not fan of what they do I said no. I still have my family support.
Sure, I should be living on my own and married but shit is not like that for me. And sometimes it still causes me discomfort to think I cannot be fully independent. But i work with what I have and life hasn't been that extreme with me yet to show it my teeth. I have never been fired. I always made my decisions based on what I thought made sense.
Meanwhile you can do things to improve in your field of interests.
You can do the craft work you say.
You can try freelance websites for writing, you can teach kids some stuff.
You can go to university, retire to a mountain and live alone there. No matter what the excuse is. Produce, integrate, expand, fortify, strengthen your backbone. Hard work even in your room. The world keeps spinning it won't wait for you. Or when you decide to come back you will be scared as fuck.
 
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#5
I understand that your post might not be a perfect representation of your situation, Cogitant, but to me there is a pattern in your thinking.

You say "I want to do writing" but then you say you are too spineless to do it. You say you want to go to university but then there is that anxiety issue.

It's a cliché, but nothing will ever be easy. You will not live forever, so I say think about what you want to do, as opposed to what you don't want, and look at how the obstacles can be overcome. Also, don't take career advice from anyone. The majority of people are slaves, and assume you want to be one as well, so they give you prudent, practical advice on how to become one.

Obviously things like debt is a reality that has to be dealt with. This may or may not inform your decision in the short term. I am in a similar situation – I have student debt and shit like that, but I won't let that be the essential variable in my decisions.

You know, after I quit my current job, some of my family members, not unexpectedly, gave me questions like "but if not this job, then what?". Unfortunately it is hard to explain to people with that mindset that this question is quite bizarre. I said: a better question is – apart from that job, what is it that cannot be done? I can learn how to count cards and go to a casino. I can design a machine-learning algorithm that can predict horse races and become a professional gambler. I can come up with a way to implement neural networks to predict the stock market. Yes, I can even do less drastic stuff like going back to university to pursue a phd. We have the privilege of living in a world now where, if you have the right ideas, you can absolve yourself of the need to be a slave.
 

ummidk

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#6
Kinda sounds like something forcing you to be social would be best in the long run. Otherwise, get good at something you can do from home.
 

QuickTwist

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#7
Kinda sounds like something forcing you to be social would be best in the long run. Otherwise, get good at something you can do from home.
Except people do not just "get over" social anxiety. There is a specific kind of therapy that has to do with exposing you to your fears so you can get over them, but this is done by professionals, not just flooding yourself of your fears expecting they will magically go away.
 

ummidk

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#8
Except people do not just "get over" social anxiety. There is a specific kind of therapy that has to do with exposing you to your fears so you can get over them, but this is done by professionals, not just flooding yourself of your fears expecting they will magically go away.
You're not wrong, and I'm not one of these magic professionals.
 

QuickTwist

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#9
You're not wrong, and I'm not one of these magic professionals.
No offence, but you cannot begin to understand your ignorance here.

Having a mental illness myself and being surrounded by people who also have a mental illness on a regular basis, I do have somewhat of an understanding of the struggles some people face regarding this matter.

If it was as easy as flooding yourself of your fears, OP would have already have figured it out already and they wouldn't be making the post they made.

Therapy DOES help regardless of whatever biases you have from your own personal experiences or even worse, what you have read about it.

Clinical psychology is about teaching patients healthy coping mechanisms to deal with psychological conditions. Granted, some people are more receptive to therapy and some respond to it better than others. But regardless of this, it cannot hurt her chances to overcome certain barriers that one might have regarding their goals. At worst, OP talks to a therapist and learns something about themselves, at best, they find a good match with a therapist who can guide them to learn positive use of tools that can be used for the rest of their life. And that's without even talking about psychiatry.

7 months ago I was so depressed I couldn't enjoy a single thing about life. I had lows that made me so distraught that dreaded the thought of lying in bed to go to sleep because there would be a period of time where I was alone with my thoughts. The angst was so overpowering that I didn't care who would be affected by my death, I still wanted to die. Being alone with my thoughts before I slept was torturous. I had such psychological pain that I could not even cry. My therapist caught something based on what I said and suggested that I go to an intensive inpatient program to help me with my distress. I went through the whole program. It was 6.5 hours a day of straight therapy for 3 weeks. At the end of it it had such a dramatic effect on me that I actually started to feel regular emotions again. I could appreciate life for what it was and accept that I could be happy. From there I went to an outpatient program designed to help people through distressing times. I have made countless positive changes in my life since then. That's all without a single change to my medications.
 

Cogitant

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#10
Thanks for the feedback.
There is a financial issue, I might be able to hold the fort for a while, however some bills I can't afford to pay right now.

Sounds like you are in a tough spot.

I would recommend talking to a therapist about this. This is exactly the kind of stuff I talk to my therapist about.
I'm going to see someone on the 14th for a psychiatric assessment

Write up a resume and distribute copies to every business nearby that's hiring part time and casual workers, get a job somewhere ASAP so you're not going into debt.
I go to the job centre in my town, and look at jobs on offer. I can apply for them through this agency which cuts out a lot of bother

On topic: I recommend you to keep sending CVs to everyone. Whatever the job is. It doesn't has to be your speciality. Just try to keep it broad. Then depending on how extreme your situation is decide if you take it or not. In my case I had an interview last week and those guys called me to say I was hired. But I thought of it and since it wasn't much money plus not fan of what they do I said no. I still have my family support.
.
Yeh, not particularly bothered right now about what the job might be. I'm prepared to do a range of things. I need to get myself in that mindset first, get out of the house.
It's this bad:
I went to go out for a walk yesterday, got dressed, went downstairs (I live on the 4th floor) got to the front door, panicked, went back upstairs.

I understand that your post might not be a perfect representation of your situation, Cogitant
There are other facets, yes.
And other people (though not any more. Right now I only have my family really in my life and one friend I've had since school who I talk to mostly over skype)
+Don't worry I won't be made suddenly homeless or anything.
Also my parents help out which is embarrassing. That's not a good thing.

think about what you want to do, as opposed to what you don't want, and look at how the obstacles can be overcome. Also, don't take career advice from anyone. The majority of people are slaves, and assume you want to be one as well, so they give you prudent, practical advice on how to become one.
If I think about it, I'd prefer to investigate into/create things from my home and write about it.
I'm content as I am at the moment.
I'm perfectly content alone in my own space ;)
-I'm actually helping my brother with ideas for a project to do with scanning and infographics, as well as this creative writing that I do and all the research they involve.

Obvious point here is that it doesn't feed me or pay my rent, so I'll have to leave my cave pretty soon. I'd rather not.

I can come up with a way to implement neural networks to predict the stock market. Yes, I can even do less drastic stuff like going back to university to pursue a phd. We have the privilege of living in a world now where, if you have the right ideas, you can absolve yourself of the need to be a slave.
I wondered what you were looking into with those papers. My brother researched and coded for neural networking/flocking/Darwinian models for his AI masters.
Observing and understanding patterns in nature and their application in tech/society has always been of specific interest to me.

I also greatly prefer freedom of thought and action. :)

Except people do not just "get over" social anxiety. There is a specific kind of therapy that has to do with exposing you to your fears so you can get over them, but this is done by professionals, not just flooding yourself of your fears expecting they will magically go away.
Yep, this is my major malfunction.
I really, REALLY don't want to go out or deal with anyone.
I have had a recent knock-back in the last couple of weeks making me worse.

Like I mentioned, I have an appointment on the 14th, I'm hoping that I get something more than 6 sessions, but even if 6 sessions, it will be of value and might just be enough to get me out of the house.

I do have to get a job in the relatively near future because there are some things which could turn nasty if they aren't paid.
However, some other options have come to my attention from talking to my bro.

There is something in the UK called the 'Open University', where you can engage in university courses from home. I don't know how that works, but it might be of benefit for me to see what courses they have for offer.
That combined with a part time job could be a good solution.
 

ZenRaiden

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#11
Fix your anxiety. I fixed mine and my life is very different. Actually I didnt fix it I just had a mental break down in short and got meds that help me with anxiety.
That being said there are so many job opportunities that you can just about end up doing whatever you want. THe thing is that you need some skills for most of those job opportunities that pay well and are fun.
So first you need to find a source of information on what you want to learn whether that is some class to take or a book shelf in a library. THen learn learn learn do do do do do until you make it.
 

Cogitant

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#12
Sorry for the offload ^

I'm in a lot better position than a lot of people, I'm just too pessimistic for my own good at times.
Managed to get out and go for a walk today.
-I really needed it.
Put a lot of things into perspective, and had some ideas.

I'll figure it out.
It always figures out somehow :)
 

Cognisant

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#13
I go to the job centre in my town, and look at jobs on offer. I can apply for them through this agency which cuts out a lot of bother
The problem with such agencies is that employers know that the people applying through them are having a tough time getting a job which is often for a good reason, so they'll only hire you for jobs they know nobody else would be willing to do.
 

Cogitant

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#14
The problem with such agencies is that employers know that the people applying through them are having a tough time getting a job which is often for a good reason, so they'll only hire you for jobs they know nobody else would be willing to do.
I'm going there next on Wednesday anyway. I am in this Work related activity group. It's a government scheme to help support people who have illnesses or disabilities get back to work. They help you help yourself. It's not a bad thing it's just humiliating.
Feeling more positive about it now at least anyway.
Hopefully the process will be a short one, and I might get a job more suited to my needs. Will have to see how the cookie crumbles.

I'm looking to establish a long term 'career' too, I have some things in mind which could happen, we'll see.
I guess the immediate problem needs resolving first.
 

Cognisant

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#15
You need to be more assertive about this.

The longer you stay in this rut the harder it will be to get out and sooner or later things will change and you will desperately want out.
 
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#16
Try a different SSRI without those side effects? Sure almost all will have side effects but I'm sure there's one out there that has side effects that aren't as bad as your anxiety.
 

Green

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#17
if i were in this situation i would probs just get a job i hate and feel the social anxiety just to deal with the money situation. being homless is one of my big fears. I honestly dont think you should pursue a self-motivated interest like teaching yourself to code because you dont really come off as a self motivated person. maybe get the bad job and then try coding? that way when you come home you know that if you dont learn to code youll have to go back to the miserable job..
 

QuickTwist

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#18
if i were in this situation i would probs just get a job i hate and feel the social anxiety just to deal with the money situation. being homless is one of my big fears. I honestly dont think you should pursue a self-motivated interest like teaching yourself to code because you dont really come off as a self motivated person. maybe get the bad job and then try coding? that way when you come home you know that if you dont learn to code youll have to go back to the miserable job..
Yeah, you don't understand at all.
 

QuickTwist

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#19
I'm going there next on Wednesday anyway. I am in this Work related activity group. It's a government scheme to help support people who have illnesses or disabilities get back to work. They help you help yourself. It's not a bad thing it's just humiliating.
Feeling more positive about it now at least anyway.
Hopefully the process will be a short one, and I might get a job more suited to my needs. Will have to see how the cookie crumbles.

I'm looking to establish a long term 'career' too, I have some things in mind which could happen, we'll see.
I guess the immediate problem needs resolving first.
How did that go?
 

QuickTwist

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#20
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#21
Warning: bad advice

For any anxiety related problems, I always suggest taking the path of most resistance. If that is, for you, committing to your masters degree, then go and do that.

I should not have done my masters degree, due to my crippling anxiety issues. But I ended up doing it anyway. Even ended up taking on the hardest version of it (2 year program, crammed into one year). It was brutal. There were more than a few breakdowns. But since putting myself through that and coming out the other end, my life has taken a 180. Since then, I'm unflappable - I can't even recall any anxiety issues since.

That's why I recommend the path of most resistance. It really does grant you a thicker skin for these things.
 

redbaron

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#22
lift weights
read books
do gardening

study something, work part time

the rest will work itself out eventually
 

Cogitant

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#23
I have more long-term counselling arranged now. So that's great.
And it's not CBT.
The counsellor whom I've started seeing specializes in 'Walking Therapy', which is a great idea, since it gets me outside of the house. The sessions are outdoor based.

For any anxiety related problems, I always suggest taking the path of most resistance. If that is, for you, committing to your masters degree, then go and do that.
Although I see the benefits of jumping in at the deep-end, realistically, the solution for me might be the middle way.
I've been in touch with the Open University, an organization which provides part-time study mostly from home.
My current study might be compatible with some of their master's programs. My UCAS points certainly are at any rate. The only problem is that the variety of subjects they offer is rather limited.
I've arranged to speak with somebody sometime tomorrow, it's not yet too late to apply for a course starting in October.

lift weights
read books
do gardening

study something, work part time

the rest will work itself out eventually
I now own a gym pass, that's a start.
I read plenty of books.
Don't have a garden, though I do own a number of sprawling houseplants ;)

Studying might be a reality now.
Work still not sorted, but looking better from a health perspective anyhow.

Other Stuff:
My life has been a bit strange the past couple of weeks.
My mother has decided they are downsizing property since she is disabled and is having difficulty managing a big house, and possibly her current property is going to be given to my brother and I.
This is a major consideration for me right now, it is likely, although not yet concrete, and if so, no idea when.
This arrangement would change everything however.
 

Kuu

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#24
The counsellor whom I've started seeing specializes in 'Walking Therapy', which is a great idea, since it gets me outside of the house. The sessions are outdoor based.
That's actually quite genius.

My mother has decided they are downsizing property since she is disabled and is having difficulty managing a big house, and possibly her current property is going to be given to my brother and I.
Becoming a rentier could provide you with a steady stream of money to cover most if not all of your needs if you are spartan.

CG design is another valid option, but I don't see myself making a living from that.
Why not? Do you have skills already or its just an idea?
 
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