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Anxiety about the future

I hope it’s okay to start another thread. This felt like a different issue to my last thread. 


I’m really struggling with a lot of anxiety about the future, and it feels like it’s getting closer and closer with no solutions in place. I’m frustrated because nobody seems to take it seriously and it feels like the issues are just getting worse. 


Basically my issue is that on clinical placements and in class I have a hard time functioning (and I anticipate that this won’t magically stop when I’m working). I struggle with sensory issues, with being around people and communicating, with fatigue. It’s hard to think clearly. I am constantly anxious, hypervigilant, I have panic attacks or meltdown things where I dissociate or can’t stop crying. It makes my SH issues, disordered eating, and suicidal thoughts a lot worse. 

I’m currently studying nursing and my plan when I graduate next year is to get a full time job in a hospital and move out of home. The moving out of home part is non negotiable - living with family exacerbates my mental health stuff badly. I’m getting increasingly concerned that I won’t be able to cope with a full time nursing job. I’m also worried I won’t have enough money to move out and that I’m going to struggle to find work because I don’t have many referees (as I haven’t ever worked a real job before). I’m trying to solve the money issue by selling things on etsy but I’m a bit ocd about the internet and I’m finding it really hard to keep my anxiety in check enough to actually sell things. 


Whenever I bring it up with anybody, they just tell me it’ll be easier once I start working properly, I’m better than I think I am, it’s going to be fine so don’t worry. Anytime I suggest I might have to work part time or that I’ll need disability accomodations, I get shut down and told I’m fine. I’m not fine. Even if I work really hard at recovery, there are parts of my illness that will never go away. Ignoring them isn’t a solution. 


I feel like my future is going to be hopeless and miserable. I’m at a point where I genuinely hope that I have a mental breakdown and get hospitalised for months just so I can put off working beyond the point of burnout. 



Re: Anxiety about the future

Hi @DruidChild,


Thank you for being so open with us about how you are feeling- I think this was a good decision to start a new thread to talk about future stress Heart I hear what you are saying- it can feel real daunting planning for the future, deciding on what career options work for you, and negotiating housing/accommodation and independence. In fact, at ReachOut the research we have been doing in the community with young people suggests that worries about the future are one of the biggest concerns for young people that cause a large amount of stress Heart 


It sounds like you are carrying a lot, and feeling a bit uncertain about how the future will look for you with work, is this correct? One thing I can see from your post is that you have given your options a lot of thought, including weighing up part time versus full time work. In other posts, you have mentioned seeing a psychologist and a GP. Have you spoken to your support network about these thoughts? Have they offered any support around options and pathways for you?


I can hear how much pain thinking about the future is causing you right now Heart I do want to check, are you able to stay safe today? The community is here for you when you need to speak to other young people who understand what you are feeling right now Heart

Re: Anxiety about the future

That’s definitely true @Jess1-RO, most young people I know are really worried about stuff like jobs and housing and in my experience a lot of us have to live in places or with people that’s bad for our mental health because we can’t afford to go anywhere else. 


Yeah that’s pretty much it. I have thought about a lot of options and I know there are things like disability employment services and I could get accomodations at work, the problem is that I know it’s harder to get employed when you need stuff like that. My psych/gp etc are the ones telling me not to worry, it’s fine, I’m high functioning and stuff. Because I have bpd I feel like people don’t really...believe what I say about what I need or want.  


Yep I’m safe, when I say hopeless I kind of mean more resigned to living with illness and unhappiness, I’m not super suicidal atm. 

Re: Anxiety about the future

Hi @DruidChild thanks for confirming you are safe Heart I'm sorry to hear how you're feeling and it's definitely hard when finances are an issue and we are living with people that have a bad affect on our mental health. Thinking about the future can certainly be overwhelming at times. What are you doing to look after yourself tonight? 

Re: Anxiety about the future

Very overwhelming @Lan-RO. Because my mind’s been racing a lot, which can get pretty unbearable at times, I’ve been trying a new strategy where I think about my favourite characters and I start at the beginning and think about what their life is like and their favourite foods and stuff. It really helps me slow down and calm down. And I’m trying to write down a proper sleep hygiene schedule so that might help in the future. 

Re: Anxiety about the future

Hey there @DruidChild,


That sounds like an interesting strategy. Fictional characters can often have a special place in our hearts and imagining what their lives may be like "behind" the book or screen can be a wonderful way of focusing on something else and slowing down. I'm glad that you've been finding it helpful Smiley Happy


Writing down a sleep schedule sounds like a great idea. Sleep is so important and can often affect how we feel throughout the entire day. ReachOut has a great article on how to get a good night's sleep over here, we also had a Getting Real on Sleep Hygiene that may also have some ideas. What do you think?



I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!


Re: Anxiety about the future

Hey @DruidChild Heart


Struggling to find the words but I'm really really sorry things are so hard and I think you've been really strong.


I also have worries about my capacity to actually work in the field I'm studying when I graduate, it's scary Smiley Sad


Just wanted to voice my support that full time definitely isn't the only valid option or necessarily the best one. The disability accommodations also sound like a good option to think about.


Not sure if this helps but my sister works as a casual nurse (a couple of years out) in a hospital and she really likes it and can comfortably rent a small house she likes. Everyone's context is different but thought it might help hearing it can work out OK?


Have you considered contexts other than hospital to be a nurse in? Like being a school nurse or somewhere else that might be less urgent/ big/ busy/ have more normal hours?


I hope you feel better soon Heart

Re: Anxiety about the future

For me, the future is full of possibility. The way I see it, there are challenges but the process of going through them creates a sense of achievement even if we can't see it at the time. It's possible to have joy too- especially if you learn to laugh in the face of challenges. It gives you space to breathe. 


Future unknowns can be daunting to face without a space to voice concerns but you've made a plan of how you'd like things to look which means there's a part of you that believes things will improve for the better. Hold onto that. Believe in yourself. You haven't got this far without caring about something and remember, a lot can change in a year.


One last thought: Have you considered working in a GP's clinic part time @DruidChild?  Your tutors would have  suggestions If you are up to asking them. Nurses are always in demand. You'll find something to suit you. 





Re: Anxiety about the future

@Jay-RO thanks, yeah I’ve used fiction to help me escape my whole life so I find it very helpful! Thanks for the links, I’m lucky to know a lot about sleep hygiene from groups in hospital Smiley Happy 


@Anonymous Your post made me feel a lot better, especially what you told me about your sister, so thank you Heart What are you studying atm? 

Yes, I think working in a different context is definitely a good idea! I’ve been thinking about nursing homes because they’re already designed to be sensory friendly and calm for patients with dementia. I also really like your suggestion of GP offices @Shadow

Although right now I desperately want to run away and get a job picking fruit on a farm in Scotland or something Smiley Tongue


Thanks so much for your post @Shadow! I think what you’ve said is a really positive and healthy outlook on things Heart Smiley Happy 


Is it bad that I want to disengage completely from mental health care? The public system has caused me so much trauma and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore. If I had a part time job that worked for me and safe housing I would be able to take care of myself. I don’t need hours of therapy every week. They’re just trying to teach me to follow their rules of how people should be. I kind of just want to be left alone. 


Re: Anxiety about the future

Feelings are neutral. It's our perception of them that make them good or bad. Feeling like disengaging is understandable. Health care settings are tough to work in as you know and if you've experienced any form of trauma as a patient and not had space to work through it, it's easy to think you'll never make it in a health career. Yet you survived such experiences and the skills learnt enable you to help others cope with such experiencs of their own. What that looks like is up to you but you know what works for you. Take those ideas and use them to help others. Prolonged trauma caused by miscommunication around quality of life and values is not something that is talked about much and it should be. Feel free to disregard this but have you thought of writing a blog or guide of how you want things to look? You write very well. 


I'm grateful you brought this up. It's an important topic.