Dont want to duplicate - but my coding anxiety is keeping me from getting a job

I may be duplicating, but I feel I also just want to get thoughts out right now and talk to anyone.

My career has been killed due to a bad company, overwork, panic attacks, and mainly anxiety. Its been a mix. I had anxiety way before this, but due to things, its just gotten worse and worse. My confidence is at a low.

I have developed an intense anxiety around coding anything. Even if I try to just start something, I freeze up. Its kept me from so many potential jobs that I could have liked.

And I desperately need a job. I want to be a good programmer and employee. I want it so bad. Yet, my panic and avoidance are causing major pains. I’ve also been trying to find a company that will be understanding that not every day will be a good day for me. That just a little bit of understanding can go a long way. I freeze up for challenges and technical interviews. I’ve failed technical interviews.

I am on medication, but I don’t know how much it is helping. I’ve been trying to find a new therapist for CBT. I just feel so lost and beaten down.

Thanks everyone

Can’t do much about waffles, but certainly, I will tell you, perpetually-escalating freezing can be a sign of you telling you something… perpetually going unheard.

Don’t get me wrong, don’t rush this, this likely has nothing to do with you loving (ie happy/satisfied from) coding or how good you are at it — if you felt it once, you very much are it.

The thing about listening to your rational self, it often gets lost amid less-irrational or at least incomplete thoughts that can emotionally elicit you to keep working them until they yield a solution which they do not have.

Some usual culprits:

  • … I must or else … seemingly becoming the more important thought to be had
  • … I can’t because… seemingly feeling like an actual question to be answered
  • … I won’t unless… seemingly distracting with presumptuous bartering

In all likelihood, listening to yourself being something you were forced to omit at some point along the road in order to keep pushing through.

My (own personal) recommendations:

  1. Revisit your thoughts on… code=earning=good (separate concerns)
  2. Code what you want, until you want to code what you need (break it down)
  3. Consider not “the solution to your problem” but problems to which you can/have solutions (reframe the narrative)
  4. Reflect on the importance of your forced (bittersweet… but also enlightening) journey of self-discovery (accept the wins)

Thank you so much for this thought out reply!!

It honestly is pretty eye opening for me, and you hit the nail on the head with a couple things. Pushing through some bad past employer / work situations definitely has played a role in my ‘freezing’, but reframing my thinking from focusing on ‘must get a job = coding self worth’ to maybe getting my love of coding back first because the job may follow. OR at least I’ll be able to sit down and think through problems again with a better perspective.

I’m seeing a new therapist on Monday, so I’ll mention this. It’ll be helpful on the road ahead.

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For what it’s worth, I was lucky enough to be stuck in it (and obviously equally unfortunate) to realize that as they say, the only way out it is through :slight_smile:

I know that probably the last thing you wanted to hear, but also likely what you very much feel you need, is some advice sounding like the bulletproof solution.

It will present itself, when you are ready to see it, and all you have to do is put in the right effort (not the effort others say is right from their perspective on things), and those who live it will know more than anyone else, no matter how well educated or qualified in their field.