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I'd like advise on how to manage my stress (management and avoidance, actually).

I'm 21 and have suffered on and off from depression and anxiety since I was about 17. I have sought medical help on several occassions but have generally suffered with 'actually I feel ok' syndrome as soon as I get in a medical professional's door. I feel embarrassed to make a fuss- especially as I know all the local Doctors (I work in a local Pharmacy). Last year my Dr did some bloods to rule out any physical problems and a year or two before that I also underwent 6 weeks of CBT (once weekly). Since this time I've managed with lots of exercise and a general lifestyle overhall. I have visited the doctors but a few times to talk about anxiety/depression but ended up chickening out and talking about other minor ailments instead (they must think I'm very odd).

I work full time and have had a lot of stress from work recently. We're understaffed and the company isn't doing well so we're not getting anything to cover sickness (which they don't pay for), holidays or jury service (we've had one FT member of staff out for over 10 weeks).
I'm the Supervisor so I can't call all the shots, but all the odd jobs are left to me. I'm months behind most of my work because I spend all my time dealing with compaints, loose ends, etc, but have no one to delegate to because everyone else is in either the same position, or is new and not fully trained (and I'm behind on attempting to train them, too!).
I'm going to college in September (assuming Student Finance grant me a bursary for being an 'adult') and am hoping to have saved up enough money to be able to leave my job and take something up on a part time basis I will enjoy more rather than just going part time where I am. My job is incredibly unfufulling and something which I've just ended up being stuck with, as it was my first job and there are not many opportunities in my area.  

I believe the above is my main stressor, but more recently my dog has been unwell. If you aren't a 'dog person' then perhaps it is hard to understand, but my dog has been a real therapy aid to me over the years and I love him so much. I cry just looking at him, as I know he hasn't got long left (he has cancer, and is very elderly). I have no idea how I'll cope when he's gone. I try to enjoy my time with him but inevitably I often think about it. I especially have trouble at night and find it difficult to sleep.

The result of the above is that I am no longer able to enjoy my normal past times. I am a children's sport coach and welfare officer at a local club on a voluntary basis and also compete. I like to train 6-12 hours a week depending. To stay fit I must train at least once a day usually. If I don't do this I tend to get very down, especially as I am very insecure about my weight and appearance. I am usually (but not always) tired (as in, ready to go to bed or could fall asleep within 10 minutes) after about 8-10 hours of waking and exercise is becoming more and more difficult. I don't know if this is just mental. I have also noticed I've been having a lot more stomach upsets, etc, since being stressed although this may well be because my diet has taken such a back seat.

I was considering visiting the Doctor's to be signed off work for a few days (or however long is standard?) but as my company will no longer pay for such absences and I can't afford to be off I haven't bothered. I've come close to walking out on seveal occassions and am worried that if it comes to this, I will not have a reference to show for my 5 years of hard work (and it seems awfully unfair on my colleagues who I get on with well). I am now having to take breaks to cry at work, and trying to cover this up is making me even more worried.

Finally, I feel I am no longer able to keep going with my boyfriend of 2 years. I love him just as much as I always have but we can't afford to live together, and I rarely have the energy or inclination to see him. I know that he thinks I want to exercise before him (and is hurt by this) but the truth is that if all I do is work and then see him, I will come to resent him. I don't see the point in seeing him for an hour in the evening only for me to cry for the entire duration, or ignore him. I find it very difficult to get out of the selfish and stressed/depressed mindset to enjoy his company fully (that is not to say this is always the case). I have also lost all interest in sex and any intimacy, which is he hurt by. It has recently come to light that we're on different pages with regard to having children, too. I've always wanted them (as has he) but I'm now worried that the stress will mean I am not stable enough to give a child a normal life as I obviously do not respond well to it.

Sorry for this being so long. Even if no one can respond I think writing it all down has helped.
1 Responses
225237 tn?1333142599
I would try to get into therapy and see if it will help and maybe even try couple therapy if you want to see if it can work.  Stress is an awful thing to dea with but you will be able to work trhrough it :)
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Arlington, WA
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