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I Think I Have Ergophobia

ergophobia work jobs sexism

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#1 sgspacemonkey

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:04 AM

Hi, I’m new to these forums and I decided to join up as since this year started I’ve been really struggling to pick myself back up again and my bf suggested that maybe finding somewhere I can be open about my problems could help. I haven’t spoken to any professionals about my problems, or been diagnosed as I usually try to confide in my friends and family, and it often does the trick, but I’ve hit an all new time low recently and it feels like the only way to get out of it is to climb a mountain and to put myself through hell.

I’ve always been a shy person and always had confidence issues. I had a lot of bullying issues throughout school, and even after that I continued to get issues in college (from both students and teachers.) I’m a female games programmer so a good deal of these issues were to do with sexism. Back then I had more of a fighting attitude though and I managed to get through it and have since gotten myself a 1st class degree in games development (I'm 22 years old.) During the first few years of this I managed to make lots of friends and was really confident to put myself out there, but for some reason in the last couple of years of my university course I started to go down-hill again.

Now I’ve left university and I’m not coping well with life outside of academia. I think the passion I have for my work really helps me because it gives me something to focus on and look forward to. I’ve had a couple of bad job experiences and I think that maybe these have contributed to making my problems worse. The first time I was left on my own without any proper introductions. I had nothing to do, so most of my time was spent sat around not being engaged, which made me feel really ill. I gave it a month with no improvement so I left; a decision that was hard for me because I was going against what other people wanted for me. My second job should have been my dream job and I was really excited about getting it, but again I found myself twiddling my thumbs to pass the time by and I just couldn’t cope. Leaving that job was heart breaking for me and I’ve been suffering ever since. I didn’t stick this one out for very long at all, and I know that if I’d waited a bit longer it might have gotten better. A lot of people keep telling me now that I should learn to just persevere and put up with it, and that it’s normal to hate having a job, but it’s not as simple as dealing with a mild discomfort.

When I’m committed to something like a job I find myself feeling on edge all the time. When I’m there I’m counting down the hours until I can leave, and when I’m not there I’m dreading the time that I have to be back there (and this prevents me from being able to focus any spare time I do have on my own game development projects.) I found dinner times to be the worse because having to drag myself back there afterwards would put me in tears. It makes me that miserable that I will then stop eating and sleeping properly and exhaustion starts to kick in. It’s like this feeling where I feel trapped with no escape. I also feel petrified of failure, but right now I feel like a failure for not being able to cope with what other people seem to breeze through. It’s made even harder by the fact that other people don’t try to understand this sort of thing. I try talking about it and all I get is, ‘that’s life, it’s tough and you should just persevere,’ or they’ll snap at me for being upset. Sometimes they will even say they wish I’d never done games development, or blame my interest in programming for the cause of my problems; making me feel like my life is a complete waste. I know that a majority of life is about earning a living, but it makes me feel like I don’t have anything to look forward to anymore because all life is going to be is moaning about the next time I have to go into work. Unfortunately money doesn’t motivate me to work; but I pursued my passion in games so that I would have a much deeper reason to go in.

On top of all this it’s upsetting because I’m worried about driving my bf away with this, my financial future and the fact that I’m throwing away everything I’ve worked so hard to get. I have an opportunity now to attempt an enterprise scheme to set up my own indie games company which is the only thing giving me any hope at the moment, but it’s incredibly risky and might not work out. In that case I’ve no idea what I’m going to do because the only option is then to get a job, to which I will admit to thinking that death is the only viable escape (I’m not suicidal or self harming though; I’m too cowardly and logical to actually go that far.) The other reason why I think I’m not able to snap out of it this time around is that deep down a part of me doesn’t want to fight it because if it pushes me to do something extreme, people might take my fears seriously for a change and it could give me justification for my behaviour of not dealing with the workplace like other people do; and maybe that would make me feel like less of a failure.

I just don’t know what to do anymore, and all people seem to suggest is to not think so negatively; and even though they’re right it’s not as if I can just flick a switch and make it all go away. Everyone says I’m brilliant at what I do, and I really want to make a go at monetizing my own games, but If I don’t get over this feeling it’s going to ruin my chances. I need to have the confidence to sell my games online and in person, but the only way to get that seems to be to put myself through the discomfort of just simply doing it. The problem with this is that, if it works out then great, but if something goes wrong then it will just make me even worse. This is another reason I am scared of attempting another job, because of the risk that it will also fail and drive me even further down the road of depression. I hate being an adult and I miss the person I use to be.

#2 HRiddle

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:51 AM

The other reason why I think I’m not able to snap out of it this time around is that deep down a part of me doesn’t want to fight it because if it pushes me to do something extreme, people might take my fears seriously for a change and it could give me justification for my behaviour of not dealing with the workplace like other people do; and maybe that would make me feel like less of a failure.


THIS. I could have written this! It is exactly how I feel right now...It is not good, I know, and it makes me increasingly more self-destructive (and I do carry it out to a certain degree), but I am so desperate to be forgiven (in an abstract sense) that I feel like I could do anything right now to let people know how painful it has been, and how I really don't mean to be so irresponsible and lazy. I also understand your feeling that death seems like the only escape, even though you are not really suicidal.

But you are obviously a VERY talented person. To work in a male-dominated field with a lot of sexism is very difficult, and being depressed on top of that is simply terrible, but you managed to get your dream job and made such great achievements, and at such a young age. Trust me, not many people could do that, even if they want to. You should be very proud of yourself! You have a thousand reasons to be confident, so don't let the present hardship get in the way. I think it is time to see a professional--doctor, therapist, etc. Having support from family is great, but it doesn't have the objectivity needed to solve some deeper psychological problems. Those who love you the most can't always offer you the help you really need, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to have an extra support, right? Take care.
"How can I sleep, when I don't know whether I live or dream?
How can I weep, when I don't know if the pain I feel is real?"

#3 Sheepwoman

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:32 PM

As a suggestion, read any of the FAQ sheets we have on depression. If you can rtelate or see in yourself, 3 or more symptoms, it's best to seek out professional help. Consider fear of leaving your house as one example.

Give yourself credit for entering a male-dominated field. You sound like you have more than enough talent and skill to be equal (possibly higher) than your male counterparts. BTW, I also hate it when there's not a lot or nothing to do at work. When that happened, I made up something to keep me occupied in case my manager dropped by my cubical (sometimes quite often) during the course of the day. Those "dull" days created a bit of anxiety as I was a lead person who everyone in the office came to when they had a problem with a project or client.
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

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#4 LibraryLady

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:22 PM

I agree with the other posters! It's hard to have a job where there is not much to do!

I also agree with Sheepwoman that now may be the time to go for professional help. You have done fantastically well on your own, but I think you are to the point where you need a helping hand. We all do!

I did not go for help for many, many years. I am 56 now and didn't seek help until I was 50 years old. I had been depressed and anxious my entire life. I think I was born with it! I had a very difficult childhood because of my Dad, and my depression and anxiety made it even worse. I think in the 6th grade I had a nervous breakdown. All undiagnoised.

Please go see a dr and therapist! You are right at the beginning of your adult life and the world is your oyster! Don't do what I did and suffer for so long!!!!
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Diagnosis: Depression; General Anxiety Disorder; Eating Disorder - Binging

Meds I've tried: Welbutrin; Cymbalta; Xanex
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Other issues: Rheumatoid Arthritis, diagnosed at age 35 (I'm 57 now); three bulging discs in lower spine; very overweight; severe allergies; migraine headaches all the time.


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#5 HurricaneUpper

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:03 AM

This mirrors a lot of how I feel. I

It's horrible and I don't think I can cope with this interview today. I feel that the best outcome for me would be to (somehow) try my best, and still be declined.





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