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Combating work overload and mental health...

dovah1024

dovah1024

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Dec 7, 2020
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Michigan, USA
The past couple months at work have been incredibly overwhelming and taxing on my mental health. I am usually so good with finding ways to decompartmentalize from work and cope with stress. I love my job and what I do, my supervisors and office staff are wonderful, but my place of employment has a bureaucratic structure that has been incredibly toxic as of late. I feel stuck, hopeless, and worn out. I feel like we have a target on our back or a spotlight constantly aimed at us with no control whatsoever to respond. I think that's what I struggle with the most: I do not have control, and I feel like I'm spiraling. Venting doesn't even help anymore, it only makes me feel tired and discouraged. This isn't healthy, and I'm not interested in leaving my employment because I truly love what I do - but it's been very hard to focus and stay motivated when I feel like I'm being constantly trampled by people outside of our department.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for here, if I'm being honest. It's been weeks of talking, venting, deep breathing, and crying. I've challenged my thoughts, used my circle of control, validated and received validation. Mindfulness helps to an extent, until I return to my office and reality rips me back out of it. I've been having panic attacks again. Therapy and medication have not been helping much. I feel like I'm talking in circles, walking in circles with no clear path. I know I can't always have control, but this in particular has been extremely difficult to tolerate. I'm not sure what to do.
 
Z

Zoe1

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hi dovah I can relate to that

would you like to be more specific about the kind of work you do
it might make it easier to help

:grouphug:
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Michigan, USA
hi dovah I can relate to that

would you like to be more specific about the kind of work you do
it might make it easier to help

:grouphug:
Hello Zoe! I work in an education setting if that helps; my office works directly with students.
 
Z

Zoe1

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hi dovah thanks

so probably the decisions you're not consulted about
come from the government

do they not give you any opportunities at all
to give feedback ?
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

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Messages
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Location
Michigan, USA
hi dovah thanks

so probably the decisions you're not consulted about
come from the government

do they not give you any opportunities at all
to give feedback ?
The situation is complicated, and with privacy laws I'm not sure how much I feel comfortable disclosing, but something pretty serious happened unrelated to our office. Unfortunately, our office is being used as somewhat of a scapegoat I guess to take the blame off of upper admin (not government admin, but admin of the system I work for).

Anyways, we have not been included in any discussions to clarify or collaborate on these changes. There is a ton of damaging things being done and said, and we have no outlets for correcting any of it. We are severely understaffed as it is, which is our primary barrier, but admin is glossing over this and piling on extra responsibilities that we don't have the capacity to complete (and we are not getting paid to do) so it has been extremely overwhelming. I'm struggling most with feeling powerless and burnt out.

I hope this makes sense. I wish I could disclose more specifically but I want to be careful.
 
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Zoe1

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sounds like our social services over here
there is a high turnover of staff leaving actually
it seems they are presented with impossible workloads

if you have mental health issues yourself
it might not be the best place for you ?
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Michigan, USA
sounds like our social services over here
there is a high turnover of staff leaving actually
it seems they are presented with impossible workloads

if you have mental health issues yourself
it might not be the best place for you ?
My mental health has honestly been manageable up until recently with these conflicts. I have been working this position for about two years and truly love what I do. I think I feel discouraged because of how much I put into what I do that it feels incredibly invalidating to have the integrity of the office I work for thrown into question. Especially if the allegations aren't correct and the changes being made aren't realistic.
 
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Zoe1

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yes that sounds awful
its good you are expressing your feelings about it
do you have good friends you can phone and offload to
keep talking and writing about it
and at some point you might have an insight
as to how you can help the situation

:grouphug:
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Michigan, USA
yes that sounds awful
its good you are expressing your feelings about it
do you have good friends you can phone and offload to
keep talking and writing about it
and at some point you might have an insight
as to how you can help the situation

:grouphug:
Thank you! I have a friend in a similar field that I have been using for support, as well as my husband. It definitely helps to vent at times, though I sometimes feel like a broken record on repeat. Seems like every day I go into the office something new is piled on! But thank you for your response <3 It is definitely appreciated! I think 2020 is hitting all of us, so the burnout this year has been extra tough.
 
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Zoe1

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thank you yes, I'm actually a client at the moment
under mental health, but I've tried to involve myself in the changes
and sometimes with a bit of success actually !
but mostly I feel powerless most of the time
but I keep the hope alive and get insights from time to time
I also have an advocate

which leads me to ask if you have some kind of a union ?
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Michigan, USA
thank you yes, I'm actually a client at the moment
under mental health, but I've tried to involve myself in the changes
and sometimes with a bit of success actually !
but mostly I feel powerless most of the time
but I keep the hope alive and get insights from time to time
I also have an advocate

which leads me to ask if you have some kind of a union ?
I have been working with a therapist on this as well thankfully! Even just to talk about feeling stuck and powerless. I am not part of a union, and my position does not offer that opportunity unfortunately. I have been working directly with my supervisors for an internal office plan, but anything outside of our office is beyond our control, even though we have been trying! I at least feel unified that my supervisors are experiencing this with me, rather than me experiencing this alone. We are all equally frustrated and burnt out.
 
Z

Zoe1

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yes I know what you mean
when the supervisors are suffering as well
the people running our wellbeing hub are in that position
having to implement management decisions
that they might not agree with

in this case turning the support hub
into a back to work scheme !
the ethos was coming across pretty strongly
but my advocate and I were able to fight this
and they are now being more sympathetic to support needs

the decision came from people who are out of touch with the shop floor

do you keep a diary of events in one book ?
sometimes that can help you to find a chink in the wall
 
dovah1024

dovah1024

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Michigan, USA
yes I know what you mean
when the supervisors are suffering as well
the people running our wellbeing hub are in that position
having to implement management decisions
that they might not agree with

in this case turning the support hub
into a back to work scheme !
the ethos was coming across pretty strongly
but my advocate and I were able to fight this
and they are now being more sympathetic to support needs

the decision came from people who are out of touch with the shop floor

do you keep a diary of events in one book ?
sometimes that can help you to find a chink in the wall
I have not considered keeping a diary of events specific to this situation - that's a really great suggestion. Thank you!

That is so awesome that you were able to work with an advocate and fight something that you all needed. I think that is so important that all voices are included and heard, though I wish that fighting to attain the opportunity wasn't necessary.

I think I will go back and flesh out some of these events and see if this helps us any, I really appreciate your feedback <3
 
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