• Quote of the Day
    "I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time."
    Anna Freud, posted by Daniel

Hunter

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So I've been a web designer for 20 years making good money and loved my career. I was in a serious car crash was off work for 2 years but when I came back instantly I went back to doing web design.

Now 2 years ago my mental health crashed. My PTSD got worse and I was fired because my employer did not understand or care about my PTSD. Now that my mental health is somewhat better I want to go back to work. I went to an interview yesterday and was asked as part of the interview I had to design a basic website. The HR person told me they were impressed with my resume and were impressed with some of the websites that I had designed. I felt like I had the job already. It was going to be an excellent salary with a pension and paid benefits. Yet when I sat down at the computer I was totally lost. I had no clue as to what to do. I left the interview in tears. I am not sure what caused this to happen. I asked my therapist and he says he wasn't sure but maybe I had to relearn it. This really upsets and angers me. Any ideas are greatly appreciated and welcome. I am just lost.
 

gooblax

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The first thing that comes to mind for me is performance anxiety for the interview. If you were to start creating a website right now in your own home with no one watching, do you know where to start?

Mental blanks can happen even when everything else is otherwise going OK - for example when I used to perform piano in front of people I found that the moment I started thinking about what I was doing, I'd lose all the muscle memory and start making heaps of mistakes and would struggle to recover as if I'd never been able to play the song.

It might be a more extreme version for something you haven't been regularly practicing since you stopped working. Perhaps rather than needing to "relearn" it all, if you start learning a bit it might all come back fairly quickly once you get started, like re-energising the brain pathways that you used to use all the time.
 

Daniel

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For me, the most motivating way to brush up on something -- at least in a very thorough, detailed way -- is to teach/write/blog about it.
 
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David Baxter

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As I just said on our conversation:

I'm not sure, @Hunter, but my guess would be that it's anxiety and stress (or performance anxiety) caused by your traumatic history. You are put on the spot and told to "produce" right there and then. I think many would find that stressful. That's why I wondered about setting yourself up as an entrepreneur where you would be able to work more to your own schedule and take into account your good days and bad days.
 
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