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Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: 5 Aug 2014
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 82
Location: Syracuse, NY

21 Feb 2020, 7:09 pm

I currently work in a call center, despite previous jobs in this sector proving to be horrible for my mental health and physical wellbeing. My college degree has not panned out in the way I had hoped, so I went back into the field out of desperation.

However, the stress is on an unmanageable level. I have suffered from an unknown psychogenic non-epileptic seizure disorder (pseudoseizures) for years, and this year, they have gotten much worse than before. I am currently taking anxiety medication to combat it, but it has had no effect so far. Work towards a diagnosis is slow, and it turns out that I may also suffer from Tourette's, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and OCD, in addition to what is most certainly High-Functioning ASD.

The stress from work has exacerbated my seizures, and I have them daily now. A few weeks ago, I had one so bad at work that they called an ambulance. While the workplace is not hostile and the employees/employers are friendly, the work is very fast-paced (hundreds of outbound calls an hour), and there's a revolving schedule that changes every 5 weeks, to my eternal horror (I do not take change well).

This has had a physical toll on my body, most seriously in developing sleep-maintenance insomnia: no matter when I go to bed, I wake up at or around 10pm and cannot fall back asleep until midnight. For clarification, I work 10 hour shifts from 4am to 2pm, and try to wake up around 3am to get to work on time. I average as much as 4 hours of sleep a night, or as little as an hour, and this has happened every worknight for the past three weeks.

There is a silver lining of sorts, being that a couple of friends will be moving in with me in a few months, and that should allow me to downgrade to a part-time job of some kind. However, I am having serious doubts that I will even last that long, and have already used up all of my PTO sick time.

I feel stuck, like if I continue to work I'll work to death, but if I quit my job, I won't be able to support myself and will die of starvation or homelessness. My parents won't take me back in, and I have no friends or family nearby that I can depend on for support.


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Joined: 9 Feb 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,160
Location: California

23 Feb 2020, 7:47 pm

You are in the United States, so you will not die of starvation. You can get food stamps.

I see also that you are in the state of NY. I believe NY has a "right to shelter" law, such that any homeless person who wants to come into a shelter has a right to do so. That might help with homelessness.

I have been homeless; it is not necessarily terrible. If the job is killing you, maybe you should quit now and live on whatever you have (and unemployment if you can get it) until your friends move in (if that's not too far in the future). You can also try applying for General Assistance, which you might be able to get for a long time if your doctor rights a note saying that your disability makes you unemployable.

You might also try asking your employer whether you can work fewer hours. It might help to mention the medical emergencies you've had at your job.

Assume nothing; question everything.
DX Central Auditory Processing Deficit
+ Hyperacusis


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Joined: 19 Nov 2017
Age: 66
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,432

23 Feb 2020, 9:17 pm

I can really sympathize with the feeling that my work is killing me. If I weren't self-employed so that I can arrange my schedule and rest myself, I am sure I would be in much worse shape. I am also trying to last until either the state puts me out of business or when I can reduce to half time. I am trying to make it until July.

There are a number of anti-anxiety meds. If the one you're on now isn't working, ask your doctor if you can increase the dose or try a different medication.

Sleep and rest are super-important as I am sure you are aware. I would guess you can't get to sleep because your anxiety is so high. At least that's what happens to me. Putting on music or a comforting movie can help.

I don't know about your state, but in my state it takes a long time to get food stamps, weeks or even months. Food pantries can be helpful. In my state the big grocery stores send day old bread to a variety of places and these are free for the taking.

Do you have any savings to see you through until your friends move in?

Eyes that watch the morning star
usually shine brighter,
Arms held out to dark they say,
usually hold tighter.

Threnody, Dorothy Parker
as modified by David Tamulovich