I was reading through some pages I googled about symptoms of PTSD, and a couple of things really caught my attention.

One of them was that people with PTSD tend to have a very high stress reaction, meaning that certain situations cause us tremendous stress, much more than is healthy or reasonable.

Another one was that we tend to be very low in ambition and have an exceptionally difficult time being successful in our careers, for whatever reason.

These are two major issues that I have. Sometimes I feel like I overreact to one of my engineers because he's so unbelievably annoying (it's literally like working for "rainman"). Whenever something goes wrong (which is just part of the game when you are in Research & Development), he wastes SO much time waving his hands around, face turning red, and shamelessly going over the setup and instructions making sure that I am aware that I am wrong and the fault is mine. This causes me unmanagable amounts of stress.

I am fine with a mistake being mine, it's his reaction that I can't handle. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact the his bizzare behavior reminds me of my schizophrenic father. I have asked him sooo many times to stop wasting time with blame, but I usually end up yelling at him (which is okay in R&D, believe it or not).

My point here is that I think these two symptoms of PTSD might be related in my case. My extreme stress reaction is preventing me from advancing. I think I have become (over a period of 25 years, that is) afraid of stress, and afraid of taking on bigger responsibilities because of the stress associated with it. My superiors really frighten me, I'm always afraid I'm doing something wrong and I'm going to be let go (like spending time on MS at work!). Just kidding about that last remark. I see PhD chemists and engineers playing solitaire, surfing and even napping at their desks all the time. Honestly, I don't really think trying to heal myself so that I can be more successful in my career goals would be frowned upon, but I'm sure that limiting the amount of time I spend doing this each day would be appreciated.

Anybody have any words of wisdom? (Unwise words and humor are welcome too)



Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.