All of us experience stress and we all have different ways to deal with it and the strain it can put on our bodies. Some of us may use stress to motivate us but when it begins to feel overwhelming, stress can really alter our mental state. Stress can cause anxiety, depression, burnout and much more. Katy works for an electrical wholesaler and had been with the company for several years. Katy approached the Electrical Industries Charity for mental health support as she was struggling to cope with a diagnosis of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder can manifest itself in different ways, but Katy was struggling with intense feelings of panic, intrusive thoughts, lack of focus, profuse sweating, and sleep disruption. Katy enjoyed work because it gave her a routine. For a lot of us routine can be a massive source of comfort and stability and when things upset our norm it can be difficult to cope. When the pandemic forced Katy to begin working from home her stress and anxiety became exacerbated as her normal routine had disappeared. The pandemic meant 49.5% of workers began to work from home and this change to the normal can feel really disorientating. The stress of a new routine coupled with Katy’s anxiety disorder meant her symptoms were worsening. During the pandemic, the Electrical Industries Charity provided 1,406 grants to those struggling with mental health and/or in need of financial assistance. Of the one in three mental health cases the charity support 76% are living with anxiety and/or depression, like Katy.
Katy’s anxiety spiralled out of control. She began to catastrophize, and negative thoughts clouded her mind all the time meaning focusing on work became even more difficult. Her stress levels grew as she found coping with day-to-day life more difficult and was unable to escape her anxiety through a normal work routine. Katy reached out to the Electrical Industries Charity when she was close to breaking point. The charity assigned Katy a welfare caseworker from the team who sourced and funded a local therapist to provide therapy virtually. During these sessions Katy developed coping strategies to manage her anxiety and learned how to better cope with changing circumstances. Katy received 12 sessions of therapy and her Electrical Industries Charity caseworker stayed in regular contact with her. Katy’s caseworker helped to support her transition to home working and liaised with her workplace to ensure Katy had the right tools and resources to effectively do her role from home. Katy felt more in control after this and began to enjoy working from home and its benefits. Since finishing her therapy sessions Katy is enjoying a combination of working from home and in office working. Katy is fully committed to the therapy techniques and has applied them to her daily life. Katy feels empowered and better equipped to cope in what would have been anxiety triggering situations for her.
The support of the Electrical Industries Charity has meant Katy is now feeling fulfilled and less anxious with an optimistic outlook on what the rest of the year has in store despite its ever-changing circumstances.
If you need support to manage stress or anxiety, then please contact the welfare team on 0800 652 1618.