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I just turned thirty and I'm holding down my first job. I started at 29. It's a family business and I'm in the accounting dept.

It's a small business in new york. Here's the issue: it stresses my out VERY MUCH.

It's a service business and it is seasonal - swimming pools. My position, primarily, is to collect payments, issue bills, and perform those kinds of functions. Since we are a small company, I have to handle the phone calls too.

That's where the problem starts. A big part of my life has suffered from anxiety and stress. I have a minor speech problem - I sound fine - but when stress is elevated, I tend to sound breathy, hoarse, mumble my words or just sound very nervous all together.
It's getting to the point that when I hang up, I tend to still physically tremble (my hands), and my whole body feels very tense and unrelaxed. I noticed that I'm also getting some back pains on my left sides, making me think I might suffer pneumothorax in the future, being that my mother suffered it twice (both due to anxiety herself; which had me always thinking why, since she has always been a housewife but a persistent worrier.)

The problem on the phone is so serious that I tend to incorrectly write down name and numbers, when I could put my hand to the fire to prove that I hear them exactly the way I write them...for instance I may "hear" "Parlenti" when the name is "Polensi." I am so upset by this and it has now shown to me that I am overly stressing myself because of it.

Having the customers yelling and being dmanding is an obvious reason that stresses me, but I cannot believe myself when 70 - 80 percent of the time I get it wrong. I have figured the accent plays a role, but English is English.

Can anyone help me deal with this? How can I relax? I am lucky that I wont get fired, but I do not do it on purpose and my family really understands.

I stick to the accounting, but sometimes I'm forced to answer phones. I do sometimes tell myself to "force" myself to answer more phones and reach some sort of familarization with it, but I relapse and when I do, it causes stress. How can I deal?





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