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Old 03-09-2018, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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People with depression/anxiety experience help!

My best friend has anxiety and depression.

She is has terrible coworkers and managers that she's been having problems with for years. Including things like drawing a picture on her sandwich she brought for lunch, eating her lunch, racist comments to her and to customers, the list goes on.

Recently she found out that a coworker (one that she's butted heads with in the past) has been taking pictures of her at work (using the company tablet) in an effort to get her fired.

Now she's scared that she's gonna get fired and about to give herself a panic attack.

I have no idea how to be a good friend in this situation. I can't relate to her emotions right now cause they are so outside of my reality.

This is a shitty job. Not a career. The only thing she gets out of the job is a paycheck. Not even a good one. She is smart and capable and could easily find another job that is better than this one.

There is literally no logical reason for her to be so worked up about maybe possibly getting fired.

But I know I'm not supposed to say any of that cause that's not helpful. So what do I say when my friend calls me worked up over something like this?
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I had my share of depression and anxiety in the past.

Great news for your friend! Her depression is pretty caused or at last worsened by something identifiable.
The shitty job.
Maybe she doesn't believe she can get a better one, but she must try.
Make a list of things together that are important at her new job. ( how far to drive max, how much money at least...)
And then, look for a new one.
You could do it once together, because maybe she is stuck in the depression and can't find a place to start. Don't quit the job until there is a new one.
Take one afternoon, make the list and write applications.
That's a great start.
Doing this, you will maybe find out how she feels, if she is afraid of rejection, why she couldn't do it for herself. Sometimes changing something seems as big as a mountain. Or even starting the change.
Tell her how qualified she is for lots of jobs.

And now it's on her.
Maybe this was enough to kick start new hope.
If not, there is therapy, there are meds.
But try a real change at first. She must quit, or her depression will get worse.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Getting her to mentally get passed the "omg I'm gonna get fired" *starts panic attack* part feels impossible.

Me: You hate this job
Her: I have bills to pay. I'm gonna cry. I feel like I'm gonna throw up.
Me: You don't have many bills. (she lives with her parent) You can find a better job.
Her: omg I'm gonna get fired. I've been crying all day.

She has medication from a medical doctor but I made her promise to see a therapist.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good work! Medication is a crutch to get you to a point where you can actually deal with your problems (not saying it's a bad thing, it saved my life. But it won't get you out of depression alone).

Sometimes you just need someone to listen to you. Unless she actually asks you what to do, you don't need to offer advice. My mum does this and it stresses me out more. But hearing someone say that what you're going through is shit makes you feel less crazy.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mermaid View Post

There is literally no logical reason for her to be so worked up about maybe possibly getting fired.

But I know I'm not supposed to say any of that cause that's not helpful. So what do I say when my friend calls me worked up over something like this?
You're right...when someone is in that kind of panic, they're in an emotional state of mind not a rational one. You generally can't reason someone out of a panic attack or "fix it" in the moment. You can listen, let her know that you care, and empathize. In calmer moments, you can tell her you think she'd be happier working somewhere else and ask if there's anything you can help with or talk through with her.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What reason could they have for firing her?

I know you said she's butted heads with people, but does she push back against the bullying or sit there and absorb it? Best advice would be to go to HR and put in formal complaints about all the people giving her shit. In theory, they're meant to be impartial and have your back in situations like this.

Next step would be a tribunal. I don't know too much about American employment law, but here's the first thing that came up when I googled it: Basically the law should protect her right to work and not be discriminated against. Whether she's doing anything specific to 'provoke' this behaviour is irrelevant, it's still discrimination.

I don't care how close the person tormenting her is to the management, they won't be able to protect one another once a potential lawsuit raises its head. Even if your friend is going to leave there eventually, it's a matter of principle to give these pricks a rough ride on her way out of the door. Plus, regaining her dignity will do wonders for her self-confidence as and when she does decide to move on.
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