The constant pressure of hitting sales targets can take its toll on anyone, but for Will, the excessive nature of his sales role triggered severe anxiety and panic disorder. However, it wasn’t just him who was affected…
Will: I started working for a large car dealer and, like anyone else, I was excited about my new challenge and had high hopes. I had also recently started seeing my girlfriend Pammy, so life was good.
But it wasn’t long before I realised there was an excessive focus on hitting sales targets and, as I was new, it was something I struggled with. I also have Dyslexia, which didn’t help, but the company knew about that and still offered me the job. Work quickly became a struggle, and the thought of going in each day filled me with fear. I couldn’t escape that feeling either, and within a couple of months I had gone from being positive to living with the symptoms of anxiety and depression on a daily basis.
Pammy: When Will got ill very suddenly with panic disorder and anxiety, I felt very alone and really worried about him. I suffered with anxiety and panic attacks myself over ten years ago and I can remember how hard it was before I got help, so I knew exactly what Will was going through. I was trying desperately to find some support for him and was frantically researching charities that could help.
Will: I knew something wasn’t right and, after 6 months, I had to find a way out, for Pammy’s sake as well as mine. I went to my GP and, after talking it through, it was clear that work was causing my severe anxiety. I was given medication but it made me feel very strange, almost like I was high, so eventually I had to take time off work. It was around that time that Pammy had done some research online and had found Ben.
Pammy: As Will was really suffering, I contacted Ben’s helpline on his behalf and spoke to Graham. I felt like I had someone in my corner at last! Will’s GP is lovely and supportive but we were limited by the support available through the NHS.
Will: After Pammy contacted the helpline, I spoke to Graham and it was extremely positive. We live in a rural area, so it wasn’t easy to find a match for counselling, but Graham found someone and, within a month, I had my first appointment with them.
Pammy: Graham was brilliant – he worked tirelessly to find a counsellor to take on Will’s case. It was such a relief for me as I couldn’t bear to see Will suffer anymore. Graham was always so understanding and gave us regular updates throughout the process.
Will: Since I started seeing the counsellor I have certainly improved and my mood is more positive. I was still affected by the thought of returning to work, so I decided not to go back. It was a chance to start afresh and, although it will take a while, I’m slowly getting better. I still have the support of my GP, the help I receive from Ben and my wonderful partner Pammy.
Pammy: It’s a long journey with any severe mental health condition and I’d be lying if I said Will was cured. This said, having the support of Ben and being able to access professional help when he’s needed it most has been a godsend. I honestly can’t thank the charity enough, frankly I just don’t know what I would have done without the team at Ben.
Talk to us…
If you’re suffering from anxiety and you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, please get in touch. You don’t have to suffer in silence, we are here for you.
You can call us, chat with us online or send us an email. And, you can find out more about anxiety, including tips to cope with it, by returning to our Anxiety pages.