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Horrible Job Anxiety


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#1 afraidtolive

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 09:53 PM

Hello,

I would like to know what people with severe anxiety/phobia/depression do to make a living? The simple THOUGHT of getting a job scares me so much that I get anxiety attacks. I've never held a "real" job before, as I'm fresh out of college. I recently had a bad experience trying to work and it lasted two and a half weeks before I broke down and had anxiety attacks and had to quit. I don't understand what's wrong with me. How did I get through college without this problem? How can I fix this? I'm very scared that I won't be able to work and support myself. I think I may have social anxiety mixed in with my GAD and Dysthymic Disorder. I have an extreme fear of failing, which prevents me from even attempting anything...I don't know what brought this on. I don't know what to do to move forward. Please, if anyone has had this problem before, I need to know how to get past this. Do you work from home? Do you work part-time? How do you deal with your extreme anxiety while at work? I'm so confused and afraid that this is going to affect the rest of my life. Please help!
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#2 MaryPoppins

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:25 PM

I have the same struggles with social anxiety disorder, GAD/panic disorder, mood disorder and a learning disability on top of that just to make my life even more enjoyable. For most of my life I've been either underemployed or unemployed. I've been on social assistance and when I was working part-time I got to keep most of my work wages in addition to what I was getting for benefits.. that was ok and I had enough money then that I didn't have to stress out so much.

My previous job was working at a group home for residents with mental illness. I didn't have any social anxiety or anxiety whatsoever doing that job because I feel comfortable around those who have mental illness whereas I don't feel that way around "normal" people.. besides that I was able to relate to the residents on most levels which made me good at my job. I've had some other jobs in my life but none of those have worked out for more than a month.

I just started a new job this week and I'm horrible at it. I just don't understand how to do anything and make mistakes that no other person would make. I try so hard at everything I do but I still fail and get accused of just not trying hard enough.

If you're getting anxiety attacks just thinking about getting a job then you should maybe talk to your doctor?? I don't really know what you should do but to me that sounds a bit excessive.

#3 afraidtolive

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 11:26 AM

Hi MaryPoppins,

Yes, I agree that my fear of a job is excessive. I think it's turning into a phobia, and I'm not sure how to stop it. I'm trying to get help but my appointments are still weeks out. I don't know who to go to for help. I'm in a period of major depression right now and my thinking is so negative it's making me physically sick. I'm scared that this fear won't go away and I won't be able to support myself. I want to get counseling, but the crisis center I've been to keeps referring me to an outside agency and my appointment isn't until the 18th. I need help before then. I just don't know what to do. :(
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#4 Violet31

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:03 PM

Hi afraidtolive,

There are good self-books on phobia and fear who could point you in the right direction. "Feel the Fear and do it anyway" by Susan Jeffers is quite good.

Its actually common for people fresh out of University or college to be afraid of the job market. I was very much afraid, but overcame it. Partly because I love my chosen profession so much.

If youre seriously anxious because of working, by all means get medical help. I think depression is distorting your fear of earning a living and it would be wise to go into therapy. Dont try to do everything at once. Have your goals small to begin with.
When you´re going through hell, keep going.
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When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

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Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
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#5 MaryPoppins

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:09 PM

Are you taking a medication specifically for anxiety? I know I'm not right now and that's part of the problem. I've have panic attacks continuously every day I've been at work.. I know how awful it is and I can totally understand the reasons for quitting doing anything whether a job or an activity that causes anxiety attacks.. but to be honest I'm pretty sure that giving into the anxiety by running away from the things that scare you only makes the anxiety worse. I'm not suggesting that you should get carried away with challenging yourself and get overwhelmed, but take small steps that are manageable for you.

#6 afraidtolive

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:55 PM

Thanks Violet, I'll look into some self-help books.

MaryPoppins, I have been on Wellbutrin for about four weeks now and I'm not feeling much different than before. I'm also on BuSpar, but I really don't think it's doing anything for me. I have Ativan for 'emergencies,' but I feel it is the only thing that helps and I can't take it regularly...I don't know what to do. And yes, I think running away makes the anxiety worse, but I also simply hated the phlebotomy job. I can't keep quitting jobs though, I need something stable and manageable. I think part of my depression is coming from the fact that I went to college for a specific job and am finding out I don't really like it. I don't know what to do with my life now. I feel hopeless and lost and on top of everything I'm afraid of getting a job due to anxiety. I feel like I won't be mentally stable. I feel like such a wreck right now and the added stress of a job might send me to the hospital, although sitting home doing nothing is almost equally as stressful. I wish I knew how to get out of this.
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#7 Violet31

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:09 PM

You may be right, maybe you dont like the career you studied for. That happens a lot. I would check different careers and see what is out there.

I think you would benefit from therapy. In my country we have job centers for people who havent worked for some time or people with phobia. They have courses on assertiveness and self-esteem and gently help people to start small, but ultimately find the job that is good for you. You shouldnt force yourself out on the job market while youre feeling this way. It could result it worse depression.

Can you take a few months off on disability while you work on your anxiety, assertiveness maybe and find out what you really like to do? Then start part time. I think youre overwhelmed because youre in conflict with yourself. Try to resolve your conflicts with a therapist and check out assertiveness courses. Take your time and dont set yourself too big a goal. Easy does it and one thing at a time.
When you´re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#8 afraidtolive

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:02 PM

Hi Violet,

I think you're right about being in conflict with myself. I feel very disappointed and sad because now I have a loan to pay back and I still don't have a job. I do have a few months before my loan payments are due and I am fortunate enough to be living rent-free for the moment. I am trying to get into therapy, but my appointment isn't until the 18th. I really do need to work on my assertiveness/self-esteem, but I don't know if we have job centers like that or not--I'll have to look into it. I'll definitely take your advice and take my time in resolving my issues and keeping my goals small...I do feel incredibly overwhelmed at the moment, like I don't know which direction to go in. It will all work itself out in time, I know, but right now I have a negative pattern of thinking which is holding me back. I try to be hopeful, then the bad thoughts return and I feel hopeless again. I think it will take a mixture of therapy and the right meds to curb this anxiety, and some self-esteem would probably work wonders. I'm going to make myself some small goals and work towards them while I try to beat this monster in my head! Thank you so much for your support and advice, it really helps to know I'm not a lost cause. :)
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#9 MaryPoppins

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:51 PM

I just have a few thoughts on the Wellbutrin you're taking. I take Wellbutrin too but mainly went on it to help with addictions (it does wonders in that area!!) It's a great antidepressant medication for some people but from what I understand as well as my own experience, it does have a tendancy to worsen anxiety.

If you're finding that Wellbutrin and these other meds you're on are of no use to you then you might want to talk to your doctor about switching to a better medication for you. Don't feel obligated to take just whatever is prescribed to you, with medications sometimes it's really a trial and error thing.. you might have to try a few medications until you find the right combination.

I wish you luck finding a job you enjoy, I like Violet's idea to start off part-time. If you can do that then you should have more downtime to relax as well as look after yourself. That is just as much important as anything else.



#10 afraidtolive

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:35 AM

MaryPoppins,

Yes, I have heard that Wellbutrin can increase anxiety...I mainly wanted to try it because it has no sexual side effects and no increased appetite. However, if my anxiety is being worsened by it I will definitely want to try something else...What are good antidepressants that treat both anxiety and depression? I've only tried Citalopram (Celexa) and Wellbutrin so far. I really need to get this anxiety under control, it's so out of hand and everything seems like the end of the world right now. :(
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#11 Violet31

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:40 PM

Hi Violet,

I think you're right about being in conflict with myself. I feel very disappointed and sad because now I have a loan to pay back and I still don't have a job. I do have a few months before my loan payments are due and I am fortunate enough to be living rent-free for the moment. I am trying to get into therapy, but my appointment isn't until the 18th. I really do need to work on my assertiveness/self-esteem, but I don't know if we have job centers like that or not--I'll have to look into it. I'll definitely take your advice and take my time in resolving my issues and keeping my goals small...I do feel incredibly overwhelmed at the moment, like I don't know which direction to go in. It will all work itself out in time, I know, but right now I have a negative pattern of thinking which is holding me back. I try to be hopeful, then the bad thoughts return and I feel hopeless again. I think it will take a mixture of therapy and the right meds to curb this anxiety, and some self-esteem would probably work wonders. I'm going to make myself some small goals and work towards them while I try to beat this monster in my head! Thank you so much for your support and advice, it really helps to know I'm not a lost cause. :)


Im glad my advice was of some help to you. Dont worry, youre not a lost cause. Not at all. In fact, I think you have plenty of things going for you, I just think you need to center your thoughts and have a clearer vision. Dont worry, it will come.

How about holding these thoughts for a while? Just let them be. Sometimes bad thoughts just go when the stress is over. Bad thoughts tend to haunt us when were overwhelmed. The trick is to take out the stress by taking a small action with a clear directive. Like deciding to take on a part time job until you will decide on your career.

Youre lucky to live rent free at the moment, so there will be no problem paying off that loan. Dont let the loan get you down, you have plenty of time to decide on what you want to do in life and pay it in full.

I had a similar dilemma when I graduated. I finally took on a part time job as a journalist and gradually worked my way up to where I am today.
When you´re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#12 WorkingTowardsaBetterLife

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 04:50 PM

Some of my mental health problems have been exacerbated by being unemployed. I need something productive to do that makes good money, and is challenging.

#13 afraidtolive

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:06 PM

Hi Violet,

What started all of this was my failure at the phlebotomy job. I took the job because there wasn't a lab position open at the time and hoped I would get my foot in the door. Now that I have quit on them, I feel like I screwed myself from ever working there again, and it's the only hospital in town. In addition to that, I'm second-guessing whether I'd even like the lab job once I got it. Now that I've graduated, I expected that people with my degree would be in high demand (this is what we were told) and to find out we're not due to the economy was a huge shock. I feel like I have to start back at the bottom of the ladder with everyone else and like my college was a waste. All of this has sent me into an episode of Major Depression, which I am struggling to pull out of. And now that I have a fear of working, that just complicates things even more. I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm having trouble adjusting to the "real world." Everything about having a job and needing to be responsible causes me great anxiety. Maybe I'm afraid of having a panic attack in another workplace, but whatever is at the root of my fear, I need to learn how to control it. I think starting small with a part-time job will be a good first move for me. I need to rebuild my confidence, because I have none at the moment.

Danielsaun, I understand what you're saying. I feel afraid to get a job, yet I feel worthless not having one. Being unemployed gives me more time to dwell on my problems, I think. I think a part-time job would at least offer me a distraction and help me with my loan payments.
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#14 Violet31

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:33 PM

I think depression is magnifying these thoughts about having lost all chances at that hospital. Then despair takes over because of the internal conflicts. You need to break the cycle of thoughts.

However, I know the feeling and its really bad. I work in a different field in films and TV, but I lost both my job at the TV station and my teaching job at the University in the crash of 2008. I got my TV station job back but not the University job, but I applied for a teaching position in the Academy of Arts and got it part time with my TV job. Ive made mistakes in my jobs, but I was always accepted back.

I feel this is fear coming from a reasonable angle, this is a very bad econmic situation, but it will pass. You are conflicted, so you magnify the problem. Im sure you will get a job in the lab if you apply for it, but dont attempt anything major until you have this fear under control.

Continue with your medication. Celexa is excellant for phobias, but you have to be on the right dose. It can take some time until youre balanced. CBT would be of use to you and some relaxation techniques combined with exercise.

Stop thinking about what you think you ought to do. Just begin at the beginning, work out some light action plan and stick to it. Your fear will then most likely evaporate.

Remember that feelings are not facts.

Edited by Violet31, 05 April 2011 - 06:45 PM.

When you´re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#15 afraidtolive

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:23 AM

Thanks Violet. :)

I've been doing some research and I think I actually have Ergophobia. "Ergophobia also called Ergasiophobia, is an abnormal and persistent fear or phobia of work, finding work or functioning, ergophobia may also be a subset of either social phobia or performance anxiety. Sufferers of ergophobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such fear of failing at assigned tasks, fear of speaking before groups at work (both of which are types of performance anxiety), or fear of socializing with co-workers (a type of social phobia)." Part of my fear is not being mentally stable enough to keep a job, and also fear of failure and feeling "trapped." I've been depressed most of my life (Dysthymic Disorder with intermittent episodes of Major Depressive Disorder) and I have this fear that I'll get a job and not like it, and not being able to quit will make me even more depressed. I just want to find happiness in life, and at this point I feel like I'll never get my depression and fear under control. I think part of my fear is stemming from my panic attack at my last job, and part of it is coming from my family's criticism of me going to college and telling me I need to get a "real job" over and over, like I was worthless if I didn't have a job. I think I associated their miserable attitudes with working and I never want to end up like them. I don't now, that's just what I think has caused this fear. I know I need to get a job soon though, and starting with something easy is probably the best thing I can do. It will relieve my loan stress, which is consuming me right now. I just hope to be truly happy one day...I don't want to suffer with this forever.

Edited by Trace, 08 April 2011 - 05:35 AM.
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"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#16 LeAnn1188

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:52 PM

MaryPoppins,

Yes, I have heard that Wellbutrin can increase anxiety...I mainly wanted to try it because it has no sexual side effects and no increased appetite. However, if my anxiety is being worsened by it I will definitely want to try something else...What are good antidepressants that treat both anxiety and depression? I've only tried Citalopram (Celexa) and Wellbutrin so far. I really need to get this anxiety under control, it's so out of hand and everything seems like the end of the world right now. :(


Remeron has done WONDERS for me. I still have my job/leaving the house with anyone anxiety but not that panic attacks.

#17 afraidtolive

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:29 PM


MaryPoppins,

Yes, I have heard that Wellbutrin can increase anxiety...I mainly wanted to try it because it has no sexual side effects and no increased appetite. However, if my anxiety is being worsened by it I will definitely want to try something else...What are good antidepressants that treat both anxiety and depression? I've only tried Citalopram (Celexa) and Wellbutrin so far. I really need to get this anxiety under control, it's so out of hand and everything seems like the end of the world right now. :(


Remeron has done WONDERS for me. I still have my job/leaving the house with anyone anxiety but not that panic attacks.


I've been doing some research on Remeron, and it seems to me that most people have bad side effects from it (weight gain, nightmares). What has your experience been?
"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#18 DangerDanger

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:35 PM

I agree that a part-time job may help your situation. Think of part-time jobs that may not be as demanding or stressful, but still get you a paycheck and out of the house. Perhaps a job like a library clerk or a hotel receptionist. You're not going to get rich, but at this point I think a job like that may help you gain confidence. It will help to show you that some of your fears are probably unfounded and may ease your anxiety, so that you are able to find a job in your field later when you feel that you are ready. Going this route may also be helpful in that you won't feel as much depression or anxiety if you have to leave abruptly. Maybe a feeling of "no strings" will help you get going.

As for your loan stress, is it possible for you to seek deferment? I know I had the option to when my income was not matching my payments. You might also want to look into a different repayment schedule if possible. Sometimes, you can pay less now and make higher payments in the future when you are more likely to be established in your field.

For what it's worth, I had a deep depression and anxiety of social situations a few years ago and got a job at a library. It was simple work, and for the most part enjoyable and low-stress. This job saved my life. It may not have been a big money maker, and I may not have advanced in any career, but it gave me confidence that I sorely needed to overcome my anxiety.

#19 sadeyes58

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 06:57 PM

I agree, part-time to start is a good idea. Get your foot in the door. Alleviate your fear/anxiety. Make some money to pay off some debt. Build-up your confidence and the rest should be up-hill from there! I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I've been in my field for many years. I love the field and I love my work but I can't handle the stress any more. I've been working full-time for many years. I'm on Pristiq and Buspar but it doesn't seem to be enough. The stress and rage just boils up in me. I actually get chest pains! I'm thinking it's time for me to go part-time too. Maybe jobs are just more stressful than they used to be? With the economy the way it is, employes are asking more out of their employees so they can hire fewer employees. More work...same pay. That's what's happening to me where I am. I am only one person and can only do the job of one person. I tend to have a Type A personality also so I expect alot of myself in my job. If that's how you are too, you may be getting yourself overwhelmed due to that. (Just a thought...been there and done that too!) If that's the case, a little experience, i.e. part-time work should also alleviate your fear without that overwhelming feeling. Anyway...GOOD LUCK!!!

#20 afraidtolive

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:08 PM

DangerDanger, thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I am probably eligible to defer my loans and change my repayment schedule, so I will look into that. I desperately need to rebuild my confidence, so the part-time 'simple' job may be a good way to do that. My lack of work experience makes me feel inadequate and unprepared for the "real world," and I think that adds a lot of stress. I've been in college for over 5 years and this major life change is extremely stressful, especially since I don't know where or what I really want to be.

Sadeyes58, I think you are absolutely right about the economy and employers demanding more of their employees. And yes, I do feel like I HAVE to succeed at everything I do, and when I don't....I feel like such a failure. Now that I have two college degrees I feel like I should have smooth sailing, but the reality of the economy and the fact that college nowadays is really equivalent to what a high school diploma used to be, it's just a major wake up call that I wasn't expecting. I feel like I worked so hard for nothing. It's just hard to come to terms with what's going on in the world right now and it's scary not knowing how I'm going to make it. Now I am also afraid I'll suffer anxiety attacks at any place I work and I don't know how to deal with them in a work environment.

As far as your situation goes, I do think that you should go part-time if your job is stressing you out so much. You definitely don't want to start getting health problems due to the stress. Just think of it maybe as easing into retirement after your years of hard work. :)

Edited by afraidtolive, 10 April 2011 - 10:11 PM.

"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."

#21 Violet31

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 07:04 PM

Hi afraidtolive,

I think youre already gaining confidence and seeing that there are different option out there for you.

I think you got some excellent advice. Deferring the loan is not a problem. Ive been doing that since Icelands crash in 2008. Dont worry about it.

Taking a job as a library clerk or something similar is spot on. You will gain confidence for sure.

Another thing is practizing relaxation by using yoga, Tai Chi or something similar. Its excellent for confidence. Start simple, check youtube for free lessons.
When you´re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor Frankl

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre


Use adversity      Declare Independence 

Violet :rose:

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#22 someone2012

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

I seriously understand because its exactly the way i feel too :verysad3: . Its hard to find someone with the same conidtion. If you want you can message me and we can talk about the same thing we are dealing with etc. Hope to hear from you.

#23 Pjfog

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:16 AM

Hi ,
Take it day by day,deal with problems in hand.My depression has lifted but now my anxiety has kicked in as ive been off work for months.So from past experience of anxiety wrecking my life i am now taking a small dose of xanax in the morning.i have used it to great effect in the past to get me "moving" again and to get past that anxious feeling.I find that it helps with my appetite and this goes when im anxious.In the past i have found once back in the swing of things i can just taper off the xanax.My advice to you is that you need to elimate the anxiety somewhat before you can get on with your life.Dont be afraid to utilise medication until you get back your mojo.




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