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Does work hinder or help PTSD?

overfished

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My abusive husband passed away 8 months ago. I've been diagnosed with PTSD and complicated grief. I have anxiety and insomnia, panic attacks, OCD and depression. I feel immense pressure to go back to work, from my family and from within myself. I'm worried going back to work will cause me more stress and slow my healing. How do I know when I'm ready to go back to work? The thought fills me with dred, but I know I'll have to work again eventually. The added stress worries me, and having to wake up early after an overwhelming night of crying/nightmares/anxiety is also something I'm worried about.
 
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Depends on a lot of things. Shitty jobs and shitty people certainly won’t help. Kind people who enjoy their work can help to distract. Most jobs will be somewhere in the middle—some good days some bad. The trick is finding one with more good days.

Can you start with volunteering? That way you can leave quickly if needed and people who do it tend to be passionate about the work.
 
I second volunteering. And doing it part time: hours that suit your sleep pattern and when you have the most energy in the day.

A toxic work culture is so stressful. I think a lot of resilience is needed to manage that and it takes a lot of energy trying to manage. So returning to your old job might be too hard?
 
I second volunteering. And doing it part time: hours that suit your sleep pattern and when you have the most energy in the day.

A toxic work culture is so stressful. I think a lot of resilience is needed to manage that and it takes a lot of energy trying to manage. So returning to your old job might be too hard?
I agree. It's extremely toxic, and I was always stressed working there. I guess I was thinking about going back there because it's easy. I don't need to re-interview or look for something else. But the anxiety in my stomach just thinking about it makes me sick.
 
It can do both. I had to quit a job at some point, because just being there was such a massive trigger for me, at that stage.
But then again, if I hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have known what to start working on for real.

Trust your gut. If the dread is so overwhelming that it completely sabotages your daily living/self-care, then it ain't worth it.
It can however be a tremendous gift to contribute, it gives self-worth. And purpose.

Basically, there is no right or wrong.
 
as an entrepreneur i don't have much insight on the stresses of holding a job.

as a recovering child prostitute who is still recovering at age 69 and as a mother who lost a beloved son 3.5 years ago, i earnestly believe it helps to stay busy. yes, i need to take the time to feel and process all that, but too much time on my hands leads to brooding, escalation, self-loathing and a host of other psycho snot knots.
 
I guess I was thinking about going back there because it's easy. I don't need to re-interview or look for something else. But the anxiety in my stomach just thinking about it makes me sick.
There’s the rub. The question doesn’t seem to be “does work help”? It seems to be “does the shitty, toxic place” help?

I changed careers during my recovery. Started again from scratch volunteering to get some work experience in an industry that I loooove working in. That very definitely helped.

It wasn’t the easy route. Recovery rarely is.
 
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