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Chest Pains / Anxiety / Stress / Bereavement

Guest Anonymous

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Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate the kind advice. 

I think what really adds more stress is my work environment and the amount of work I have. I tried discussing my workload with a colleague in a confidential chat to get advice on how I can approach it. This colleague also lost their dad many years ago and I thought they would understand where I come from. Instead, I was met with a "we all have problems", so I shut down even more. 

My employer hasn't been supportive and I'm not asking them for anything, but I'm at an impasse where I think I cannot cope with my workload anymore. Management is used to me working over and backwards 10-12 hours a day on the regular to absorb the unreasonable workload, but I can't do it anymore. I'm just being told to get on with it.

Helping my mother with the paperwork is not what is causing me stress. The stress is derived from my workplace and the grief, combined with the fact I barely have time for myself. 

I keep telling myself to just keep moving along, but some days are hard. I work from the office twice a week and every single time I set a foot there, I cry. I've no close work colleague, no friends, no partner, not much support really. I see a therapist once every two weeks, but it's not enough. 

My dad died unexpectedly of a heart attack at 64, hence my concerns. His siblings and mother also died rather young (in their 60s). 

Sometimes I just zone out whether I'm at work or walking down the street. I simply disconnect and stare blankly thinking of how things were flipped upside down overnight. I can't tolerate people talking about their "mundane" problems (i.e. work problems or day to day problems). I find my tolerance has completely vanished. 

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I saw my psychologist twice a week and my psychiatrist once a week when I was at a crisis point. And I went on meds. I couldn't function and that wasn't acceptable to me. It helped tremendously.

Colleagues are not a good choice to discuss problems with, as you found. In my experience they ALWAYS tell others what you discussed even if they swear they won't.

I think asking your doctor to refer you for additional help might be a good idea. Also, please be sure to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. This is important even if it seems like it isn't. And avoid alcohol and drugs such as marijuana. Those are depressants. And some form of exercise such as walks is also very helpful.

I hope you're feeling better soon.

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Thank you.

I don't smoke or drink, so at least, there's that. I got for walks at lunch time, but I find the crowd to be giving me more anxiety than anything else really.

As far as talking to colleagues, I don't care if they went ahead and told people about me struggling to cope with grief and my workload. It's the least of my concerns and there is no shame in it. I wasn't mopping about my grief, I was talking about my workload management. We're human and I'm having a human experience. It's the "we all have problems" that got to me, but I'm fine now. I see people's true colors. People think once you're back from your one week compassionate leave, you're already back to normal which is not true. 

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I hear you I was back to work 4 days after my dad died in 2020. I worked 12 hours a day. I went back to work 3 days after my step dad died in November. Now I work less days but the days are just as long. 

I would book a meeting with your boss and ask for more time off or a reduced workload. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

I hear you I was back to work 4 days after my dad died in 2020. I worked 12 hours a day. I went back to work 3 days after my step dad died in November. Now I work less days but the days are just as long. 

I would book a meeting with your boss and ask for more time off or a reduced workload. 

I thought of this but I don't want them to think I'm "milking it". It's been 4 months. I took two weeks of sick leave in February due to the stress and that was it.

I could really do with reduced hours, but I know it will just end up me getting even more stressed because they will force me to get my regular workload done in less hours. Reduced workload won't work because I already have co-workers dumping their work on me because they want to go on leave and when I advised I couldn't handle their work on top of mine, I was told to get on with it. 

I'm really at an impasse because no one really wants to understand. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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Hi Ruede,


This is so tough. You are in choppy seas at the moment trying to stay afloat. Lots of stress can cause heart problems, high blood pressure - let alone intense grief.


I would keep looking for a different job as a high priority like you are. It was cold and heartless, the way your co-worker responded. The world moves on whether we are having a good time or a terrible time. Money talks and our jobs, at the end of the day, don’t care much how we feel. People want results, companies want results. It’s harsh and heavy to take even when we are normal and healthy and everything is running smoothly. Life is often intense and terrible and extremely unfair. I know this makes your situation no better, but, I suppose this is part of being human and on the hamster wheel. 

You need to be able to ease any extra burdens you have at the moment - like work for example. You are doing the right thing finding a new job.


I’m not sure how you are set financially. Sometimes taking a lower role with less responsibility can relieve stress. But, if you have to pay a large mortgage or other debts a lesser pay cheque can bring on additional stress also. 

It’a a real tough call my friend. You need someone you know, family or friend, really in your corner at this time. Do you have any siblings? Cousins? Anyone you can reach out to who would understand? Maybe a support group online or forum for bereavement and grief may be of great help to you at the moment. Other people with the same current experience? Sometimes it is easier to open up and talk too a stranger who isn’t going to judge you? If you do a quick Google search I am sure there are plenty of places you could post and chat to others going through the same thing. 

Try to get as much sleep and rest as you can squeeze in. Take care of yourself as best you can. 

What helps you feel better? Do you have any easy hobbies that don’t take up too much of your time or effort? Like painting, or writing, or yoga, or going for walks listening to music or a pod cast? Going for a drive? Re-decorating, organising? Reading? Hot baths with lavender Epsom salts? Cooking, trying new dishes? Anything that might help take your mind off your grief or reduce panic? Take your mind off work? 

I realise this seems trivial and silly in your time of pain, but sometimes just being able to let go and forget, for even half an hour, when you are in a time of turmoil, can mean a lot. 

I really do think having some support outside of therapy would make a world of difference to you, and a new job with better working hours and less strain will help reduce your stress.


You can write here anytime if you ever need anyone to listen. You can get through this - just a few changes! Keep going, you have already come this far.


All the best,



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