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failing at work from severe cog, and our office culture creates massive anxiety

  • By globetrotter

    I have cogfog,which is made more severe in the climate of fear that permeates my (famous) workplace, the anxiety assassinates my information retention skills, which makes me unable to excel, or even do a decent job. It didn’t used to be like this. I don’t want to launch into an “I used to be” song, but yeah, I had elite verbal and retention skills. Now, I can’t do a job that is a veritable paint-by-numbers. It doesn’t help that the culture of fear at work makes a problem I already have, worse, which in turn strengthens my fear. Vicious circle.
    I am now applying for STD, for the second time in 3+ years. How do I go back, when the job itself is exacerbating me? I am currently not “out” at work, and I don’t think they will be willing to find an accommodation for me, in the form of another position. I think they will claim that my restrictions make me unable to fulfill the requirements of (any) role.

    I’d appreciate any thoughts, personal experiences, advice.

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  • By Jessica

    I see your post is from April, but I am just now navigating my way through this site. I am in the same issue with my job. It is really stressful and I am about to start day one of STD tomorrow actually. I have such anxiety and fear about work performance every single day, especially because of the environment not being remotely MS friendly. Lots of cubicles + people who don’t understand = an array of problems for this MSer. There are never any periods of calm or quiet to do my work, and if you ask for such, which I have, you are treated like an outcast. I don’t want to go on LTD bc I am only 34, but I feel like my job is making my MS worse.I also have terrible cog fog, especially in the mornings. My cog fog was much better and I could fulfill my job duties if I still took adderall, but I quit taking it a few weeks ago. Even in small doses, It makes my spasticity and anxiety uncontrollable. The Americans with Disabilites Act is supposed to protect people like us, but I think it depends on the culture of the workplace (and how far one is willing to go to get their needs met). When I asked for a quieter space to sit, I went through a week of emotional meetings and was moved literally 6 feet from my old cube – not even far enough to make a difference in the noise level. Based on how I was treated afterwards, It was as if I had asked for my own office or a special building just for me – I just asked for a less noisy place to do my work. I feel hopeless and don’t want to NOT work. I went to college and also got my Masters degree and have significant student loan debt. But as an accountant, I need to be able to concentrate. That can’t be done in the environment I have to work in. How has your situation changed or worked out since your post in April? I am also looking for advice.

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  • By Mach3Damsel

    I am surprised more people haven’t commented on this. I’m new to the forum as of today, and found this topic very relevant. Most of my issues are cognitive, but I do have the advantage of my own office where I can close the door. However, the culture is very negative in general, and I’m slipping into depression and the anxiety is growing. I hate it.

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    • By ShelbyComito Keymaster

      Thank you for joining in this discussion @mach3damsel! I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through at work, and I’m glad you found this conversation helpful. As you can see, there are others who are going through similar experiences and you are not alone here. Thank you for sharing and please continue to do so anytime. We’ll be thinking of you! Warmest wishes, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net

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  • By globetrotter

    Hi all, I’m the OP, with an update:

    My STD runs out in a few weeks, and I have to return to work; I have run out of money, and when the STD runs out, so does my health insurance. I don’t know that I have the ability to do the job I left, the physical or mental stamina.
    My depression is crushing, I have no joy, a lot of worry, and am listless, constantly. My home is filthy, and my self esteem is flatlined. Psychiatrist has no medication suggestions, and therapist suggests “doing what I know needs to be done”, as if it were just that easy.
    I have to surrender my cat, because I can’t keep up with her mess physically, and am too depressed to take care of her.
    I have no good news, no good information to share.

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  • By Jessica

    @ Globetrotter, I am so very sorry you are feeling so low. I have found that listening to Joel Osteen online or watching his videos uplifts my spirits when nothing else can. Also, I think there are a few MS helplines out there such as MS Friends. I am praying for you! And I am praying for all of us battling this disease!!

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