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    • flatulantyounggoat
    • By flatulantyounggoat 7th Jul 18, 1:43 PM
    • 14Posts
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    flatulantyounggoat
    Psychologically damaged?
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:43 PM
    Psychologically damaged? 7th Jul 18 at 1:43 PM
    I think I need to an outside opinion on how the hell I can face up to a pretty outright embarrassing issue that I literally have no idea how to address. It's wrecking my career and scuttling jobs....

    To keep this condensed, I work in a high tech industry. Full of smart, educated people and I'm supposed to be one of them. However, I often appear anything but. In fact, I can seem down right stupid. Normally the trigger of this is when I'm verbally asked to do something by a superior, think bosses execs, MD's, high end colleague etc. When being asked to do even very simple things in my technical niche directly by these individuals, I tend to just lock up. I simply cannot absorb the words they're telling me, it's as if they're talking in a foreign language. The harder I try, the worse it is. My short term memory / ability to retain goes to pot. The down ward spiral is that the worse it gets, I appear more and more mentally subnormal.

    It's come to the point where I have to take notes to take in the simplest of instructions. Even when I'm not dealing with someone in the heat of the moment, the affect of the self doubt is causing a massive drop in my efficiency, too. So I have to endlessly re-check work I've done for fear of making very simplistic mistakes. I do this multiple times (even emails) for small issues that expose me as error prone and incompetent. So any 5 minute email becomes a 35 minute email.

    This issue has cost me jobs, and each time it's taken a massive knock out of me. I'm tempted to raise this raise this with HR at my current job under the guise of a head injury effecting my ability to listen, but I'm hesitant as I've only recently started and I don't want draw any further attention to myself. I think there's a very high possibility I suffer from an anxiety disorder combined with ADHD.

    This is eating me up, and making me loathe myself.
    Last edited by flatulantyounggoat; 07-07-2018 at 1:50 PM.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 7th Jul 18, 1:50 PM
    • 6,088 Posts
    • 12,941 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:50 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jul 18, 1:50 PM
    Firstly I would say if you dont have a head injury which causes this not to lie about it, but to be honest and say you simply struggle to retain verbal instructions and prefer written communication that you can refer to at a later date. There will be a lot of bosses who would love the opportunity to not have to talk to staff directly!

    Dont make up a fake injury, there!!!8217;s no need
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 7th Jul 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,481 Posts
    • 1,444 Thanks
    xapprenticex
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 2:19 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jul 18, 2:19 PM
    Superiors cause you to have anxiety, pretty normal, ive had people approach me at my desk trembling, just because of my position i assume, and no doubt ive done the same in the past.

    i think CBT may help in your case but if you dont tackle it, it wont go away and you cant lie about a head injury for the rest of your life. As its only triggered with certain people under certain conditions, id say forget about the ADHD angle.


    Start doing something about it.
    • coffeehound
    • By coffeehound 7th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    • 1,550 Posts
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    coffeehound
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jul 18, 2:31 PM
    It does sound like you may be suffering from social anxiety or similar. Therapies and/or medication like beta-blockers apparently work for some. Overall though it might be better to look for a job or working environment where you don't feel so stressed. Does your area of expertise lend itself to home working, for example?
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 7th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    • 16,945 Posts
    • 10,076 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    I think I need to an outside opinion on how the hell I can face up to a pretty outright embarrassing issue that I literally have no idea how to address. It's wrecking my career and scuttling jobs....

    To keep this condensed, I work in a high tech industry. Full of smart, educated people and I'm supposed to be one of them. However, I often appear anything but. In fact, I can seem down right stupid. Normally the trigger of this is when I'm verbally asked to do something by a superior, think bosses execs, MD's, high end colleague etc. When being asked to do even very simple things in my technical niche directly by these individuals, I tend to just lock up. I simply cannot absorb the words they're telling me, it's as if they're talking in a foreign language. The harder I try, the worse it is. My short term memory / ability to retain goes to pot. The down ward spiral is that the worse it gets, I appear more and more mentally subnormal.

    It's come to the point where I have to take notes to take in the simplest of instructions. Even when I'm not dealing with someone in the heat of the moment, the affect of the self doubt is causing a massive drop in my efficiency, too. So I have to endlessly re-check work I've done for fear of making very simplistic mistakes. I do this multiple times (even emails) for small issues that expose me as error prone and incompetent. So any 5 minute email becomes a 35 minute email.

    This issue has cost me jobs, and each time it's taken a massive knock out of me. I'm tempted to raise this raise this with HR at my current job under the guise of a head injury effecting my ability to listen, but I'm hesitant as I've only recently started and I don't want draw any further attention to myself. I think there's a very high possibility I suffer from an anxiety disorder combined with ADHD.

    This is eating me up, and making me loathe myself.
    Originally posted by flatulantyounggoat
    All of those symptoms are certainly signs of stress and could quite possibly depression related.

    I would urge you to go see your doctor. I had similar some 10 years ago to the point where i thought i must have a brain tumor. All of what you're describing and it even got to the point where i couldnt "read" what was on a screen. The words were there but i couldnt absorb them. Couldnt remember things, couldnt remember doing things.

    It turned out in my case to be depression - fairly typical in men at around 35-45 years old.

    I'd get it checked out professionally. Could simply be you need help with stress and anxiety or it may be helped / resolved by medication.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 7th Jul 18, 4:17 PM
    • 3,465 Posts
    • 6,693 Thanks
    Smodlet
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 4:17 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 18, 4:17 PM
    No practical suggestions but please remember, whatever someone's job title is, they are just a person, same as you. There are those who think they are a higher form of life because they may have a higher salary; they are wrong. For all you know, some at least may be absolutely useless at the things you find easy. They might even be a little intimidated by your superior technical knowledge and come across as abrupt because of that.

    Please consider the suggestions made already and try them out. What do you have to lose? Just remember, no-one is confident when they start out; you have to fake it until you make it. We all have to do things which scare us. Believe in yourself and let us know how you get on, OK?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • StaffieTerrier
    • By StaffieTerrier 7th Jul 18, 5:02 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 547 Thanks
    StaffieTerrier
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 5:02 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 18, 5:02 PM
    It's worth speaking to your Dr. There is help available out there.

    Do you have a good relationship with your line manager? Would you be able to explain it to them? I manage someone with social anxiety and we've developed coping mechanisms for them to deal with the problems you describe.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 7th Jul 18, 10:50 PM
    • 2,022 Posts
    • 3,011 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:50 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 18, 10:50 PM
    I would see if you can be referred to you local speech and language department (some allow self referral, some via a GP) wholl be able to assess you to see if you have difficulties processing spoken language. Its something I would want to rule out before looking at other possible causes and remedies.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 7th Jul 18, 11:19 PM
    • 744 Posts
    • 508 Thanks
    Dox
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 11:19 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 18, 11:19 PM
    Have you always had difficulties in processing speech, or is this something which has only recently become an issue? How old are you?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Jul 18, 4:21 PM
    • 10,783 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    I can understand written instructions more quickly and clearly than verbal ones
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 8th Jul 18, 4:54 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Armorica
    Aspergers can coincide with ADHD and drive anxiety
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 8th Jul 18, 5:24 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 875 Thanks
    Brynsam
    Aspergers can coincide with ADHD and drive anxiety
    Originally posted by Armorica
    Where's the evidence OP has either? Speculative 'diagnoses' based on so little information may not be the most helpful approach.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 8th Jul 18, 5:40 PM
    • 1,961 Posts
    • 2,584 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    I can understand written instructions more quickly and clearly than verbal ones
    Originally posted by lincroft1710

    There's also the point that the people giving verbal instructions may not be as clear as when they have to formulate it in writing, when they are likely to take more care and even re-read before sending.


    If you have anxiety you are unlikely to query any lack of clarity, and I'm willing to bet we have all been at both ends of this process of giving and receiving unclear instructions. Bear that in mind, and it might help a little bit.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Jul 18, 7:08 PM
    • 10,783 Posts
    • 9,055 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    There's also the point that the people giving verbal instructions may not be as clear as when they have to formulate it in writing, when they are likely to take more care and even re-read before sending.


    If you have anxiety you are unlikely to query any lack of clarity, and I'm willing to bet we have all been at both ends of this process of giving and receiving unclear instructions. Bear that in mind, and it might help a little bit.
    Originally posted by silverwhistle
    I don't know if your second paragraph is intended for me or the OP. If me I have no anxiety and first noticed that verbal instructions were less easy to follow was well over 40 years ago
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 8th Jul 18, 7:54 PM
    • 2,022 Posts
    • 3,011 Thanks
    shortcrust
    I think for everyone without reading difficulties a complex instruction is going to be easier to follow from text than from speech. Speech is ephemeral, text persists. You can read at your own pace, you don't have to focus on remembering lots of information, and you can re-read (and re-read and re-read...). It sounds like the OP's experience goes beyond that.

    I'm a speech and language therapist (I work with kids rather than adults) and I'll repeat my advice to get a referral to your local adult service. They'll be able to see whether you do have a problem with language processing and look at where the breakdown is (e.g. verbal memory, attention, processing speed, difficulties when instructions are given out of sequence). They'll give advice on things that you and others can do to help, and probably a report that you can show employers. If there isn't a problem with language processing then it's time to think about other factors such as anxiety or stress.
    Last edited by shortcrust; 08-07-2018 at 8:02 PM.
    • Armorica
    • By Armorica 8th Jul 18, 10:56 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Armorica
    Where's the evidence OP has either? Speculative 'diagnoses' based on so little information may not be the most helpful approach.
    Originally posted by Brynsam
    Anxiety is pretty obvious from the post.

    Aspergers is simply one of a number of possible diagnoses - it's not a speculative one, merely a possible one. (Bearing in mind the OP already feels ADHD is likely)

    The OP may want to consider reading a book on aspergers and seeing if it fits. In particular things that would fit with aspergers would include
    - OP claims smart, educated, high tech
    - Poor short term memory
    - Difficultly with quick processing of verbal information

    (I couldnt spot anything in the original post that really suggests ADHD, and anxiety can be a symptom where aspergers in the root cause)

    The situation the OP describes is a common career path for individuals with aspergers.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I amm not saying it IS. I am saying it MIGHT be, and is just ONE of MANY possibilities.
    • flatulantyounggoat
    • By flatulantyounggoat 8th Jul 18, 11:57 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    flatulantyounggoat
    Thanks for the informative, non critical responses...just to clarify, early 30's. First realized I had this complex during my first serious office job (3 years ago) and it goes back to a position where I had a negative experience with one particular boss. When she sat next to me, mind went to pot. Ultimately I consistently projected very badly and was asked to leave. She wasnt a bad person, but when I had her nearby things could get very tense and my brain seized up. It's particularly bad when I feel like I'm being judged or there's any sceptasim against me. I must emphasize this. Being judged and scrutinized in the work place is total normal I just seem to handle it extremely badly. I'm obsessively paranoid about seeming incompetent especially in front of seniority. To those below me I'm just a normal guy and visa versa.

    It's interesting anxiety about medical problems was mentioned. I've had bouts some extreme of finding things wrong with myself and convincing myself I have a terminal illness.

    Night sweats back in the winter - leukemia. Always corosponded with nightmares. Ended getting blood tests and was normal. Back pain numbness after a gym injury. Metastatic lung cancer. Weight loss - undiagnosed cancer. Years back I had obsessive concerns that my moles were melomas. The list goes on, seriously. I know it's irrational too. Every time I feel my back, head etc anywhere on me really I find a bump or something....it's pathetic and insults those who are genuinely illl. I apologise to them sincerely.

    I have looked up Asperger's extensively, and I just can't quite line up myself against it. I do have a family member with genuinely diagnosed ADHD, however. We've always had similar struggles at school, too. If you met me on the street I'd seem like a completely normal guy.

    Just hope I can recover my confidence a bit this week, feels like a big feigning act on my behalf. I'll try and get to my GP, though with the state of the NhS and lack of mental health resources I think I might be shafted on that one.
    Last edited by flatulantyounggoat; 09-07-2018 at 12:04 AM.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 9th Jul 18, 10:36 AM
    • 3,465 Posts
    • 6,693 Thanks
    Smodlet
    I bet many of us have had... People whose job title implied they were somehow our superiors who made us feel like that, Mr. Goat. I still find I cannot type when someone, anyone including my lovely OH, is breathing down my neck. For some reason the message from the brain cell to the fingers goes haywire. The rest of the time, I am fine. It's just a thing.

    Some people actually enjoy being watched while they work but I think they tend to be the kind of people who enjoy being the centre of attention in any situation. That is so not me.

    There have been some great suggestions on here, I think, especially from someone who is a speech and language therapist. Please just remember you are every bit as good as anyone else, no matter who they think they are and you would not be employed if you were not considered valuable to the business.

    Perhaps you could try this: Hold your head up, look 'em straight in the eye and say something like, "Would you like to put that in an email for me? It will save time in the long run as I won't have to keep disturbing you to check what you said. I can't really be expected to remember all that unless it is written down; could you?"

    Edit as you think fit and remember you are no longer in the same space as that woman who made you feel inadequate... You do know no-one can do that to you without your permission, right? HTH and have faith in you.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Elinore
    • By Elinore 10th Jul 18, 10:57 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 356 Thanks
    Elinore
    Many years ago i was absolutely convinced i was an idiot at work and they were going to find me out. I obsessed, i thought i was ill, not unsimilar to what you mentioned.

    I became clumsy because i was overthinking everything that made me seem more of a dolt. I just couldn't process anything as my brain was full of the noise from my self doubt, agonising second guessing and negative thoughts - there was no space for anything else.

    I went to see a good friend of mine who was in the clinical field and she basically told me i was suffering from imposter syndrome, i was depressed and stressed.

    I left the job a few days later - took some time out, did some mindfulness courses and CBT retrained, I am happy and productive in a different field entirely. I still get a stress reaction if similar circumstances come up , but it is rare now i have some distance and clarity i acknowledge it and work through it.

    Though your circumstances are not quite the same I just thought i would let you know that getting help may change things for the better.

    *just to clarify i wasn't an idiot at all. My work was exemplary - i just couldn't see it at the time. Slowly millimeter by millimeter my stressy, master manipulator, work shy, but at the same time a micromanaging boss just managed to stoke the flames of some deep flaw in me. It lit my brain up with negative energy like it was buzzing neon sign bright with anxious energy and made me utterly consume myself with gnawing self doubt.
    Last edited by Elinore; 10-07-2018 at 11:30 PM.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 11th Jul 18, 5:24 PM
    • 3,465 Posts
    • 6,693 Thanks
    Smodlet
    i wasn't an idiot at all. My work was exemplary - i just couldn't see it at the time. Slowly millimeter by millimeter my stressy, master manipulator, work shy, but at the same time a micromanaging boss just managed to stoke the flames of some deep flaw in me. It lit my brain up with negative energy like it was buzzing neon sign bright with anxious energy and made me utterly consume myself with gnawing self doubt.
    Originally posted by Elinore

    My experience exactly and, the more bullies there are all telling you the same BS, that you are no good, the more you believe it. It can indeed get to the point where, if someone praises your work you flat out don't believe them. You think they have an agenda.

    Had I only known then what I know now... Where's my T.A.R.D.I.S.?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
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