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Old 22-08-2014, 02:42 AM   #1
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17 and not in school or work

I dont feel deserving of being able to post here but Im selfish and am going to do it anyway.

Im 17 and have been out of school since last November when I left 6th form because of crippling anxiety. I dont really feel ready for work despite looking at various options periodically, and I doubt I can get back in to -or handle- college.

I feel like Im virtually unemployable because of the amount of anxiety I face and how I brim on the verge of tears from any stress or criticism. Im extremely avoidant of things and not proud of it. I've tried to have a look for various options but the thought of having to write a CV makes me cry, I have no talents or good qualities whatsoever. Nothing.

Basically I just dont know what to do. I dont think I can claim benefits at 17 and I dont think I want to anyway, I dont want to waste peoples money. Im not even ill enough anyway. I should be able to work. I should be capable. I am capable.

Does anybody have any ideas or resources as to what I could do, or just anything?

- Holly

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Old 22-08-2014, 04:28 AM   #2
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You are just as deserving of support as anyone else, so I am glad that you posted here. Are you receiving any support for your anxiety? I know it's hard when the anxiety gets that bad that it makes it difficult to do things but it is possible to work through this anxiety and get your life back. It will be hard but with the right support you will be able to.

Your not failure for not being able to do school or work at the moment, but try remember it won't be forever you can get back on track. Also don't rush into anything, maybe start off small by even volunteering for an hour a week. Also here is a link on anxiety, that also has some helpful tips. Take care
Kat xxx

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Old 22-08-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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Have you considered distance learning?
I think you probably need to talk to a careers advisor, used to be Connexions, but I think they got broken up.
Also are you under adult mental health services? They often have employability departments that work on supporting you into a place where you are ready to work. My CMHT also runs a recovery college where you can do courses in small groups that are about learning to manage your mental health and some are specifically about work or education

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination

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Old 24-08-2014, 01:06 AM   #4
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To answer both of your questions, I'm still under CAMHS (as opposed to adult MH services) and am receiving well, what should be weekly appointments. The therapist I'm seeing though can only offer appointments on Mondays and thats very difficult so 1/2 times my parents refuse to take me. (And Im not confident enough to make my way on a bus.)

I know there used to be Connexions so it's just my luck that they were given the boot now when I need them! I don't know any careers advice services or how to go about distance learning at all.

Any links to relevant websites would be wonderful!

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Old 24-08-2014, 08:26 AM   #5
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Hi Neko, i would say from your post that at this moment in time your really not ready for employment or education. you need tiem to focus on being able to manage/overcome your anxiety before you would truely benefit from employment etc.

i know connexions as a service has pritty much gone now ( i was a youth worker for them some years back now), if you have a local youth service (either run by the council or 3rd sector) they may be able to offer you some guidance and support.

you mentioned that you see a therapist through CAMHS could they also offer you a support worker who would help you break down your social anxiety so that your able to get around more independantly. They'd probable start by meeting you at home and say take you for coffee in town or a walk in the part then build you up to beign able to meet them in town (ie travel on your own).

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Old 24-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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Hey Holly, I think we may have spoken briefly before? Anyway:

Originally Posted by Neko View Post
I have no talents or good qualities whatsoever. Nothing.
Rubbish! That is not true of anyone. If you had a friend in your position right now re work/school, would you believe them if they said that there is nothing good about them? You can't hate yourself because of an anxiety problem, it's not fair on yourself and it'll only hinder you. I'm not saying, 'Snap out of it,' because I know it's not that easy, but you have to love yourself. One day you will learn to, I'm sure. And that's when confidence will return.

Somebody else said you are just as deserving as anyone else regarding support, and I'd like to just agree with that. It seems you're stuck in a rut because you're not confident enough to go and get a job/do voluntary work/go back to school which is crushing your confidence even more. Is it worth going to the doctor to see if you can get some more support? Maybe join a support group? You don't have to talk at those kind of things until you're absolutely ready.

If you were incapable of working because of a physical illness I'm sure you wouldn't beat yourself up this much. It's not fair on yourself. Do you have siblings/friends you can go out with some time, just for whatever you feel up for, and take little steps? Like going for coffee in town on a regular basis, then when you're ready, meet them at the coffee shop having travelled alone there.

I think if you're feeling this anxious, work and school are the last things you need to be concentrating on. In my eyes, you need to try to get some support with your MH, then getting the strength to get a job will fall into place a bit easier.

Sorry this is rambly, but I'm leaving hugs and hope you are doing OK.

For you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. That is of course the miracle of life.
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Old 24-08-2014, 11:01 PM   #7
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Holly, you've always struck me as intelligent and articulate from when I've talked to you on here.

Someone mentioned long distance learning, perhaps you could try the Open University? I'm not sure how old you have to be to do that, mind you.

Sorry I don't have much more advice for you, but wanted to add those two things.

Take care.

It goes to show, that no matter how bad things get for me, there is still always one thing which brings me happiness. I must cling to this for it is the making of me, the beginning of my resurgance and the fightback epitomised. I will defeat my demons.

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Old 24-08-2014, 11:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gracious View Post

I think if you're feeling this anxious, work and school are the last things you need to be concentrating on. In my eyes, you need to try to get some support with your MH, then getting the strength to get a job will fall into place a bit easier.
Holly you deserve help as much as anyone else! More support than some people on here.

I'm 17 and just failed all my A levels and feel like a total failure but I'm trying to learn to overcome it. I feel like I'm no good and useless but it's not true. Not for anyone, not for me and especially not for you!

Have you considered being home schooled? Is there no way your parents could receive work for you to do so you have that little extra to put on your cv? not only that it will take your mind off things for a short period while you work and it could even help you feel a little more confident knowing you're capable of doing a specific subject which I know you are.

Maybe try contacting someone from connections? I know everyone is saying they're pretty much gone which they are but there is always a career advisor available in schools so there is a way to contact one, even google one.

Like this quote says, you're probably better off getting more support and help on your MH first, that way you can start to build up your confidence and get your life better for you.

I'm not much help, i realise that but I hope this helps a little and you feel better soon!

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Old 26-08-2014, 01:58 AM   #9
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Thankyou for the sweet and kind messages, Im tired and sad and don't really have the capacity to reply individually but I'm just going to chip in a few little bits that are standing out to me at this moment.

1. I'll definitely talk to my therapist about this next time I see her, we are working on my anxieties but we're doing so very slowly. (Starting with one of my specific phobias to build up confidence first.) I suppose I feel upset that I'm taking so long to recover.

2. I feel very validated that you said school/work should be the last thing on my mind, so thankyou. But it's just difficult because I feel very useless not doing anything. Also my Dad who I see on the weekends is unaware of my MH difficulty and so is very pushy on me to get a job. I think even if he knew he'd be the same way because he's not very good at understanding illnesses.

I just dont know how long it'll be before I feel able to get a job. I also want to move out as soon as possible because my home life is not very good right now and is actually worsening.

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Old 26-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #10
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Hi again, just noticed that you mentioned you'd like to move out. there are supportive communities you could maybe try moving to, these would hopefully provide you with a place to live and support to be able to overcome your anxieties as well as support you with education etc.

i hope things move forward a little quicker for you but remember to give yourself time to make the changes that you want to

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Old 27-08-2014, 12:24 AM   #11
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You could look into ics learn, my distance learning college

Have you ever confused a dream with life? Or stolen something when you have the cash? Have you ever been blue? Or thought your train moving while sitting still? Maybe I was just crazy. Maybe it was the 60's. Or maybe I was just a girl... interrupted.
I know what it's like to want to die. How it hurts to smile. How you try to fit in but you can't. How you hurt yourself on the outside to try to kill the thing on the inside. I tried groups, didn't work out just made my depression a lot worse.

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Old 29-08-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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Yh it could be bad experiences what could of made u like that in the first place. Alot of young people your age who's 17 don't know what they wanna do. Your not on ur own as there's people to help.

Have u spoken to anyone about this? Good if u do. I know it feels like u havent done anything and ur lost cuz one thing happened to the next etc but its not always good in life for us to see that's how.

I don't know what u would like to do but if u don't know what u wanna do there are people to help as I said and can support u. I don't know the reason why u left school early and went college and didn't go well but u know now what's happened. You want to do something. You know.

You seen a doctor about anything particular or? You don't I don't think. Could of been more to the situation thats all.

Not sure what to do. College was one u mentioned about. Could be that u go college and find out what u wanna do. Start up a course in functional skills or anything what ur interested in with anything what help u in a career there and can take u on that to find out. When did u say starting college?

You have any friends or family u can talk to? Friends might know what it going through cuz they maybe in the same boat or has a job and could give u advice. Family is good two. Yh

There is a website u can go on called Careers Advice Service where they can help u look into ur options and see what u wanna do. There's an online test u can take what shows where ur skills and qualities lye. Other advice about cvs, cover letters, application forms and interview techniques are there. Go on the website and speak to someone by web chat or ring the number if ur in the UK.

Help u with a cv and covering letter for work and that will make u get jobs. If you go onto careers advice service or u can family or friends to help you. Applying for them is good first of all. You can go onto job websites like, Universal Job Match which is run by the Job Centre, and Are the ones.

Feeling down about everything is hard and if u have no one to talk to ur not on ur own. You can talk to someone. Smaritians are good as its a service what deals with people who are worried about anything or feeling low and need someone to talk to. Only u to call them for that. speaking to doctor is good two. The same thing what ur going through. Help you to.

What do u think?

Everyone is here if u wanna talk as they are nice and wanna help and u know u talk to anyone. The mods would help two. It's ok. Yh

I know theres something there for everyone. I know it's you two. Thats it. Need to know what u are gonna do.

I'm here if u wanna talk to

Stay Strong

JusC x

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Old 29-08-2014, 11:38 PM   #13
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Hey there Holly.

I want to say I agree 100% with what Chloe and phoenix_M said. You should firstly focus on yourself, and then start thinking of school/work. It will be much easier for you once you feel better MH wise.

I know it can be quite frustrating when recovery seems to be moving slowly and is taking a while. Unfortunately, that's how it is way to often... Just think that it will be worth it. + its better to focus on a specific issue in particular for a while, especially if its something that's affecting you a lot. Also, I am very sorry your situation at home isn't great...that sort of thing can hinder your progress...I hope things get better for you soon. If moving out is really what you want and think is best, then I hope you find a place to stay once you're 18.

Also, I have a bit of advice, though this might be my personal opinion. I think that once your anxiety isn't that bad and you feel ready, you should continue your education. Because as Salazar said you also struck me as an intelligent person, and I think that a job that requires more qualifications etc would suit you better. I'm not trying to push this thing, just saying what I think would suit you. The choice will be yours anyway, and you still have plenty of time to think.about it.

Lastly, I know that recovery is hard, and that anxiety isn't that easy to overcome, but you are capable to beat it . Just go one step at a time and don't let your home situation get to you too much. Here if you ever want to talk or need any help x

Stay strong X


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Old 30-08-2014, 03:41 PM   #14
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Yh I didnt know that u had problems going on at home due to your wellbeing etc and thats what's effecting u to start up anything. I'm sorry. Your not on ur own. I didnt know u were experiencing this as much.

You should focus on urself first and know there's help out there then thinking about going to college again or finding a job. You need to be ok to do that. You don't seem to be but its good that uur still in education. What is it u wanna do?

Are u getting help for ur illness? You shouldn't be on ur own. I know u got ur family and friends there who are there to help. Seeing the doctor again might make u feel better and know what they can do. The anxiety and panicking all the time seems to be the issue and its good u got help for it. Need more support I think.

Ive gone through the same kind of thing u are going through. I don't suffer with anxiety but it's more of depression and worry. That's what it is. Did u say u suffer from depression two ? I'm getting help for it and I see the doctor and have been supportive. Seen someone for three years and and got better. That's what made difference. You know.

The help you get from someone won't suit everyone as u need to know what will make u feel better. Could be talking to someone one to one, joining a group or going to workshops are all suggestions. What suits u.

What u doing for money and where ur living? You said there's problems going on at home. Don't feel alone cuz u can talk to anyone who can help and u know there's people on here who u can talk to. The Smaritians are good people to talk to as they listen to people about this sort of thing for guidence and can be there for u when u need it if u dont have anyone to talk to. You heard of them?

Don't worry about anything else. Focus on u. I thought u had the anxiety under control now but I was wrong so I'm sorry. Depends wether u can cope now. That's more important see.

Your friend Witch is right. Got a good friend there that's what matters is to have someone there for u. Putting urself first is fine. Don't want to upset anyone from doing that but u won't be as ur not well at the moment. I know u will be soon. It's good that u got help and that should be better for u.

Haven't let urself down or anyone down. It's one of those things. Need time for the best outcome in future. I tell that from what u said u havent done much with ur life but u are 17 and alot of seventeen year olds don't know what to do. With ur friends u should ask them about what worrying u and they will be there to support u. I'm sure ur friends will understand. No one is their own best all the time. Think about that.

In time u should still look for work or college etc when ur ready. Though getting better is most important right now. Alot of people think that ur a nice girl and is lovely all the time. Looking at that will make u feel better cuz it's true. You will start knowing that u are. About this said can help with ur confidence, self esteem and what u think. Maybe joining a support group or class u like can take ur mind of things that ur not alone.

Remember what help u get may not suit everyone. There are other options out there. there's always someone to talk to whenever. Having things u like doing is another less worried situation to think about. The little moments of having time for u, spending time with friends and family, meeting new people and talking to people on here like this is what different.

You got The Smartians who u can talk whenever u need someone, got ur family and friends, people on here two for help and ur doctor who u are seeing about ur anxiety. Again I don't know the main course to why u have this anxiety but talking to ur doctor and getting help is what u need. You need it to be supportive to u and if it isn't u need to bring this up to them as this is their job.

Finding out more about ur options to with after studying u can get help from this organisation who I know who is called The Careers Advice Service who csn go through ur options with u when ur ready. Calling them or visting ur local branch is all steps u able to take.

What do u think?

You seem like a really nice person who deserves a chance and I know u will get something in the end what u wanna do in ur life and I know u want to have a job. That will happen. Getting the help and knowing people are there for u does count.

Knowing what everyone has said are really nice comments. That's true and u know it. Think about that. Ok

I'm here if u wanna talk also so dont forget that. Your a nice person. I think u are. You can talk to anyone on here to help u.

Talk Soon

JusC x

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