Functioning. This word has shaped the life of Mrs. B. From an early age she was a „working“ child. That meant for them to always do it all right and just not to make any mistakes.
Especially later in professional life, this was a good feature at first glance. She worked very reliably and was not too bad to take work from colleagues as well. But that did not only meet with positive feedback. On the contrary, mistakes suddenly crept into her work that she could not explain. She quickly realized that some colleagues thought of her as a danger rather than a help.
At that time Mrs. B. was a victim of bullying, which she did not perceive herself. For her, all the mistakes were her own fault, which is why she only hung on to her work. Due to pregnancy and subsequent parental leave, the acute, stressful situation of working life was no longer present for the moment, but the first consequences were quickly recognizable. Abdominal pain only at the thought of work and constant colds. Certainly, these are not symptoms that are taken too seriously these days. In retrospect, however, these were already the first warning signs for Mrs. B.
Everyday life suddenly became much more strenuous and more and more restrictions were added. A sense of fear crept in and obvious things such as shopping were only possible with great overcoming. Leaving the apartment alone caused anxiety in Mrs. B. An isolation began, which of course was also noticed by the friends and the partner. But instead of understanding came more and more allegations. Nobody understood what was wrong with her. At that time full of zest for life and always on the mat, she lacked any energy at that time. More and more often she was labeled lazy and arrogant by her circle. Then came the first panic attacks with symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, and deafness in arms and legs. A series of investigations followed, but no doctor found a physical cause. It was said that she was perfectly healthy.
The confidence in the doctors and in himself disappeared quickly, and the fear of leaving home filled out all day long. Only in the worst case, she went out. Most of the time she spent staring at a blank wall, hoping the day would pass quickly. It all took place within 10 years. Again and again, Mrs. B. could get up and „work“, but then came the complete collapse. A tremor that seized the whole body, so that a sole running was no longer possible. Her children had to support her so she could go to the bathroom. Seeing her children crying for worry, she took the initiative for the first time. The same evening she came to the acute care unit of psychiatry.
Searching out of this dilemma, I found that often the perpetrators are the employers squeezing the employee down to the last. Or the career-oriented colleagues sawing the chair and all those actually do nothing for the prevention. But on the contrary. Who falls ill gets kicked out under threadbare reasons. Finished. Problem solved.
Now, however, there are companies that have already understood that this leaves can cause a huge potential loss of manpower and experience. In search of a service provider, which could help these companies to coach their employees accordingly, to prevent such failures, or to reintegrate already concerned employees back into the world of work, we found Conny Mohr and her company ETAIN.
During my research on this topic, I asked sufferers, therapists and family members of those affected people which questions a sufferer would have to answer with yes and put together this small catalog of common statements. So, if you can answer YES to more than half of the questions below, you should seriously consider and rethink your life-work balance.
- I have to have my desk empty in the evening. If I know that there is something unfinished, I can’t relax.
- The opinion of my supervisor is very important to me. I need their recognition and work hard every day.
- If my boss looks at me like that, I can’t just go home ?!
- I feel guilty towards my spouse because I find so little time for him. But the work is easy now.
- With a bit more over time, I can do that, with the extra cost for my daughter’s country school home. I want to make it possible for her because I always had to put up with myself as a child.
- Maybe we have underestimated the cost of the new family house. But now we have to go through it. Hopefully, nothing runs bad.
- My colleague needs me – she has so overloaded with her work. I like doing that.
- I’m so inattentive right now. This mistake should not have happened. What’s wrong with me?
- Leisure? You are joking. I have a job, husband children and household. Free time is something for millionaires.
- When I had the last time some hours for myself? Good question – I do not remember.
- My friends are mad at me because I keep canceling meetings. But the job has priority because …
- My wife gets our third child. That was not planned. Yeah, well, I can do it somehow. There is a managing position to be filled at the company. I’ll try to get it.
- In the evening I’m pretty done – but to fall in sleep lasts hours.
- Nobody should know that I am running on my last reserves. Nobody!
- I need my few glasses of wine in the evening to calm down. I need this.
- I often feel overwhelmed in my job. But I need this source of income. How else can my life(standards) continue?
- I wish I could cancel this job. Impossible. I can’t because …
- I’ve been sick for weeks. I’m recovering only slowly. What’s wrong with me?
- I noticed a rash/hair loss – is that from stress?
- Every time on vacation, I’ll be sick in the first few days!
- I’m afraid my colleague will bully me while I’m on holiday. Maybe I should only take one week.
Have you recognized yourself? More than 50%? Then stay cool for a while and take a deep breath. Let us think together about what is needed now to be done.
First, it needs clarifying discussions with the closest confidants.
- Explain to your partner how things are going and how you feel. Talk about to parents friends and children, too.
- Let others help you.
- Delegate certain tasks to third parties.
- Define your dream job and then the actual state of your working world. Is that really what you want to do until retirement?
- Which professional alternatives are there?
- How open is your employer’s response to your request for a time out, sabbatical year?
- Is it possible to reduce the weekly working hours?
- Talk to your family doctor about help and find out what services your health insurance could pay if you request a health cure in a clinic.
- Spend more time with yourself and start to have some hobbies again.
- Have courage for the gap. No one can expect you to be perfect.
- Before you „crash“ your environment has to accept that now everyone has to support you with the daily tasks.
- Search the Internet for self-help groups.
- And if all else fails – quit your job and start over again.
Conny Mohr, the owner of ETAIN corporate health, knows this all. She was affected by herself in the past. Today, together with her networkers, she ist helping small and medium-sized companies efficiently counteract the problem of „mental stress“. The networkers of ETAIN corporate health quickly realized that mental stress disorders are common. Among entrepreneurs and executives. Exactly these the people who carry a lot of responsibility, but also have enormous potential.
We all notice every day that life is getting faster and faster and people get forced to do more and more tasks. And nobody can really stand up to it permanently. Therefore, it can not be denied that mental illness represents a huge cost factor for companies. More and more often in the media reporting about „burn-out“ disease, but this is not a separate disease, more a syndrome.
Nevertheless, one recognizes the significance of the burden on those who are affected and also for the companies, that this is usually catastrophic. On the one hand, executives fall out long-term or retire completely from working life, on the other hand, knowledge is lost, which can not usually be easily replaced. The damage in the economy is so enormous and yet the topic is still seen as a taboo.
Conny Mohr would like to change this with ETAIN corporate health. The special thing is that the team of educators and lecturers around Ms. Mohr consists of former victims, who take themselves as an example. The way into the disease, but also go out on his own. Together with therapeutic professionals they have worked up the topic and offer a complete offer for companies and their employees. The main problem for companies is vague of the topic and the usually very individual solutions. Previous offers have been more limited and rather makeshift and do not face the actual possibilities, but provide only gray theory.
ETAIN has set itself the task of providing companies with „all-round“ support:
Personnel, safety officers and, of course, the managing directors themselves, from the legally required risk documentation through informal lectures and prevention seminars to reintegration assistance, transitional therapy, and long-term aftercare support.
When asked what makes the work of ETAIN so special and equally constructive, the owner replies: „Openness, transparency, and support on both sides are essential in the subject of mental stress. There is never only one solution. That’s why I’m so glad to have so many brave people with hearts and minds in my team. This enables an industry crossing and effective work. Our concept is both, employee and employer-friendly. That’s the only way to actually achieve something. “
If you want to know more about the network, you can inform yourself on the website www.etain-corporate-health.de or contact directly for free advice.
*This editorial was published already in 2017. Because of its actuality, we translated it now into English for our readers.