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Stress 'is top cause of workplace sickness'
Old 10-05-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Stress 'is top cause of workplace sickness'

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Stress has become the most common reason for a worker being signed off long-term sick, a report reveals today. Experts said the psychological condition had become so widespread that it was the '21st century equivalent of the Black Death'. Stress has even eclipsed stroke, heart attack, cancer and back problems, according to the report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Stress: 'Top cause of workplace sickness' is dubbed 'Black Death of 21st century' | Mail Online

I really think this article does not exaggerate the problem. After ER I was shocked to find out how much more stressed I had been while working than I had thought. I have been peeling off layers of stress for almost two years now and while I am mostly done with that, still I would not have thought I was that stressed. Stress was affecting my health and happiness and I really do feel that I made it to ER just in time.

For those who are close to ER and unsure of when to pull the trigger, this might be a serious consideration.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:32 PM   #2
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Totally believe it. I feel sick every time I feel like I have to put up with another round of corporate BS -- especially these days when there are so few other options available if you aren't financially ready to FIRE.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Totally believe it. I feel sick every time I feel like I have to put up with another round of corporate BS -- especially these days when there are so few other options available if you aren't financially ready to FIRE.
Exactly, and for those (precious few) who get the weekends off, how about Sunday afternoons, trying to get ready to face the Monday morning BS, meetings, political maneuvering? It's enough to make a person sick from the stress.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:39 PM   #4
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WR2, your post just made my day. I never thought about it. For the last several years all I have thought about is I got to keep my health insurance. What good is that insurance if I die on the job or have a stroke. I would never be able to enjoy life like I should be able to. I am like many others my age. I have not saved quite enough to live a lifestyle I want. I have stayed awake at night thinking how it would be to be free with no work worries. Some think I am crazy because they tell me I have a dream job. I ask them do they want it they tell me that no nothing about the job but if they did yep they would take it. I think you have helped me make up my mind. I turn 65 in 9 months. Not sure I can make it that long. I may turn in my notice this week. THANKS for you post. oldtrig
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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WR2, your post just made my day. I never thought about it. For the last several years all I have thought about is I got to keep my health insurance. What good is that insurance if I die on the job or have a stroke. I would never be able to enjoy life like I should be able to. I am like many others my age. I have not saved quite enough to live a lifestyle I want. I have stayed awake at night thinking how it would be to be free with no work worries. Some think I am crazy because they tell me I have a dream job. I ask them do they want it they tell me that no nothing about the job but if they did yep they would take it. I think you have helped me make up my mind. I turn 65 in 9 months. Not sure I can make it that long. I may turn in my notice this week. THANKS for you post. oldtrig
That's exciting! I am so happy for you. If you can make it financially (so that lack of money is not a worry), I think you will find that the stress is a lot less and that you feel better physically too.

I had a dream job, too. It's just that it was still work, and still stressful for me.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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I had a dream job, too. It's just that it was still work, and still stressful for me.
And no matter how much you may like the work itself when you get to do it, the bottom line at the end of the day is that it comes with all the other infuriating, political and bureaucratic BS that comes with a "job".

And even if I like doing something doesn't mean I like being expected to do when I think it would take a week at a reasonable pace but they NEED it by "close of business" tomorrow because "it's sooooooo urgent" and apparently the business will crumble if they don't get it then...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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And no matter how much you may like the work itself when you get to do it, the bottom line at the end of the day is that it comes with all the other infuriating, political and bureaucratic BS that comes with a "job".
Exactly! I had my dream job - - one that completely matched my qualifications and experience, and allowed me to do the kind of work that I loved. But no matter how great the work, the politics, back-stabbing, and the rest make a dream job just a job.

You sound like you work where I worked. I know you didn't, but we are on the same wavelength on this one.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:51 PM   #8
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I know stress was going to kill me (literally) if I did not leave.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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I know stress was going to kill me (literally) if I did not leave.
It probably would have, for both of us. In retrospect, I am sure that it affected my health.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
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I was at the point when I retired that if I had to spend one more day there I would have cut my throat. Stress is a tough thing to deal with.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:57 PM   #11
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I was at the point when I retired that if I had to spend one more day there I would have cut my throat. Stress is a tough thing to deal with.
I'm glad you retired when you did, then! Sounds like you had more than enough stress at your job, too.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:40 PM   #12
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Still remember distinctly the last few months of work; I wake up dreading the commute and hating the prospect of another day in the office.

In fact, for the few weeks before deciding finally to quit for good, I was telling myself "just one more day" every morning.

Now, in my 6th month of ER, I have absolutely no regrets. Sure, I have no paycheck, no health coverage, no building up SS. No office lunches and parties.

But, I now wake up mornings knowing there's no commute, no deadlines to meet, no meetings to rush to, no customer or internal problems to resolve, no subordinate issues to worry about.

Only need to decide if I want to take a walk, go to the pool, ride the bike, or simply make a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. Then, later in the morning, figure out what to eat for lunch, and whether to putter around the garden, take a nap, or go and stroll in the mall.

Yep, no stress now. I sometimes wonder why I didn't start this earlier.
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:58 PM   #13
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It has been almost a year and a half since I went from a very full time job to working very part time (same place). It is really only now that I see how much stress I was under for years and how it affected me.

About 20 years ago, I started having frequent respiratory infections and sore throats. I would have one every few months that would cause me to miss work. I think my boss at times thought I was just taking the day off and wasn't really that sick. But, I really was. I kept trying to cure it and nothing seemed to help. It seemed like I was a wimp to get sick so often, but there it was. I started exercising to try to take better care of myself. But I found that inevitably after I would exercise for a few weeks I would immediately get sick. I got to the point where I quit exercising as it just made things worse.

Anyway, work became more and more stressful during the past few years. In the immediate months before I went to a part time schedule I was working very long hours -- almost 300 one month. I was mentally and physically exhausted and with a husband and 3 kids I felt I had no time for anything.

So, what is it like almost 18 months later?

I realized the other day that I've been sick only a very few days during that time. Only once was I sick for more than 1 day. A few times when I've felt a sore throat coming on, it just sort of fizzled out without me really getting sick. In the past, I would have been really sick for 2 or 3 days. I've lost 37 pounds as well and feel so much more relaxed.

I do still work part time and don't mind the work. But, whenever I'm asked if I want to come back full time (which I have an open invitation to do) I always say no.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:03 AM   #14
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My job was O.K. for for many years.Then the company went private.My new manager was a sociopath.A demon.I am not being dramatic.After five years I reached my financial goal but payed a price with stress.Been gone 3 years. After a year and a half company outsourced department.Half the good people were gone because of this lowlife.He was shown the door.Karma?
Anyway I don"t travel the world or own a vineyard in E.R. but am very happy with what I got.Thread is right on.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:34 AM   #15
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Wow- this really hits home. As much as I like my work, I believe the stress of the job is slowly killing me. W2R's point about Sundays is so true. I don't remember the last good night's sleep I've had going into a Monday. And the strange thing is that I don't dread going to work... but there's no getting it out of my head. One of my greatest fears is that I'll eventually be able to retire but won't be healthy enough to enjoy myself the way I want.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:43 AM   #16
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I believe it too. There was more than one day in the early '80's when going through the "burnout phase" that I took a mental health day to just laze around.

DW too, was highly stressed at work, having headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain, and going to see a chiropractor about every six weeks or so. Since she left her job she hasn't had those issues. This works for me too since I'd rather be married to an unemployed but relaxed and happy DW than an employed but stressed-out DW.

Even now I see others around me stressed about stuff at work but it doesn't bother me, sort of like turbulent water in stream flowing past a rock. But this rock is FIRED and if I'm not there I have some other ideas to try out.

So I guess it's all in the attitude.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:53 AM   #17
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Stress does affect the immune system. It may also affect cancer progression.
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About 20 years ago, I started having frequent respiratory infections and sore throats.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:57 AM   #18
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Ok, I agree with all above that stress has become a part of life. the challenge is the majority of individuals can't retire.......too young, too broke, too many family responsibilities. I have a saying, "you are the boss of yourself", Others can add stress, you have the choice on how to accept or reject it.

this is like the bottle is half full or half empty......your choice but individuals pleased with a half full bottle most likely are happier than those worried over the half empty bottle. My Mother, God bless her soul used to tell me, "I worried about not having any shoes until I met the person with no feet". She was a depression baby and was thankful with much less that we expect today.

Now, I am under a lot of stress. What do I do? I read a good book in the evenings, play with my dog, and consider myself so lucky when I think about my health, my family and the money I have in the bank. Stress? Yup, do I feel stressful, nope. In the mornings, thinking about work I spend an hour on the treadmill. Exercise wakes me up, lets me think about solutions to the day's stressful problems and off to work I go.

Many of the folks on this blog can leave.....congratulations......you have that option and have earned that opportunity.....someday I hope to do the same. For those of you that don't, I direct my message.........control your stress and don't let it ruin your health!
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:25 AM   #19
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This could be the ignorance of youth, but when a job gets as stressful as people describe, isn't it time to move on? A new boss or company can provide a healthy working environment.

I've always been surprised how little whatever I was working on matters once I change companies. Knowing that makes it much easier for me to stay calm during turbulent times.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:29 AM   #20
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This could be the ignorance of youth, but when a job gets as stressful as people describe, isn't it time to move on? A new boss or company can provide a healthy working environment.

I've always been surprised how little whatever I was working on matters once I change companies. Knowing that makes it much easier for me to stay calm during turbulent times.
Moving or changing jobs often helps but is much easier said than done. Late 40's, kids in local school, social network, etc. If changing jobs involves moving it means change for everyone in the family.

I always felt US companies were keenly aware of how few alternatives really exist for middle age employees, and exploit that by dumping the most stressful tasks and jobs on them, along with the message: do it or you’re gone. This is an inevitable consequence of a business culture where a few employees achieve a financial reward on a scale never seen before.
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