Do you fully recover from stress/anxiety?


[09] Warrior
I left a high-pressure job due to stress and anxiety a couple of years ago. I am now working happily in less stress filled role at another company. Recently I was offered a better-paid job but one that has the potential to be fairly full-on.
These days I am feeling great but I don’t know if I am now more susceptible to anxiety and I really don’t want a return to the old days.
So, after stress/anxiety health problems do you ever fully recover, or are you now always more prone to future problems?


[13] Hero
Hmm... good question. I have anxiety but my experience is quite different from yours. I've had it since I was 10 years old, and it went undiagnosed and unmedicated until I was 26. Even though, through therapy and a prescription I am much better now, mine has never truly gone away; it can flare up and I need to be aware and manage it.

But like I said, my experience with anxiety is vastly different from yours, in which you just had a temporary experience with it. I am not a medical professional, but I am guessing that anxiety may possibly return under certain circumstances again.

That's not to discourage you from pursuing a promotion at work, though! I think you should talk to your doctor about coping methods and/or a prescription if it ends up being necessary. Seeing a therapist or doing something like cognitive behavioral therapy can really help some people manage their mental health. Plus options like that help prepare you for managing your anxiety if ANYTHING happens in life that causes you trouble, beyond a career move.

I hope my post may be helpful to you! I feel like I could only supply some wishy washy anecdotal stuff...


[13] Hero
I think the most honest response would be "it depends". Many people will relapse back into anxiety if untreated and some will not, regardless of not being treated at all. Also, there are several distinct anxiety disorders (e.g. panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder) that differ in terms of how likely a relapse is with/without proper treatment. The evidence differs between mental health problems as to whether psychotherapy (mostly CBT for anxiety), medication or a combination of the two is the most promising approach with the least risk of relapse. According to evidence regarding social anxiety disorder for example, the improvements seem to stabilize and even continue growing AFTER psychotherapy/initial recovery (probably because people are more likely to keep generalising and extending their insights and changes in behaviour/cognitions to other interactions and areas in their lives).

Having suffered from social anxiety disorder for almost all of my teenage years and some remaining problems in my twenties (and not having received any treatment whatsoever), I've been fully recovered for over a decade now. I have had extensive CBT training, though, and was lucky to have made similar or the same experiences I would have made in therapy (which I totally should have given a try). While "sore spots" remain that sometimes remind me of how bad it was back then, personally I can say:
It does. get. better.

And aside from my personal experience, that's how clients describe the process of improvement as well. Treatment definitely enhances the likelihood of a sustainable recovery.

One of the basic ideas of cognitive behavioural therapy is that what makes you anxious probably is not exclusively found in your workplace (or any other relevant circumstances respectively), but is based on what you make of it mentally and how you react to that. If that has not intrinsically changed after leaving your former job, you might carry it to the next, more stressful or demanding job and risk a relapse. But that's not necessarily a given either.

Whatever kind of anxiety you've experienced and are afraid of going back to, maybe you can find more answers here, for example:

I hope this helps! Best of luck and take care!
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[08] Mercenary
I think you can recover but it often needs a big change to how you live your life. About 10 years ago I was in a relatively well-paid, relatively stressful job I hated, a bit of spare cash each month but not much spare time… then I was made redundant and I haven’t looked back. Self-employed, working from home, no stress, and loads of time to ride my bike or go for a run or walk (usually a walk!) The daffs and crocuses are popping their heads up now around here 🙂

Slave less, live more.


[14] Master
So, after stress/anxiety health problems do you ever fully recover, or are you now always more prone to future problems?
You're always gonna have problems. That's just life. If you're afraid to fail, you're afraid to live life.

Problems are just trials that force you to either adapt or perish. Much like playing SCVI. Either you take time to figure out how to beat Mitsurugi, or continue to lose.

No one will help you if won't help yourself. It's always been a choice how much problems you want in your life. How you manage them is up to you.