NHS website. Generalised anxiety disorder in adults. 2023. (accessed 14 March 2023)

Don't ignore the warning signs: take action on stress

23 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 6

As the deadline for this editorial approached, I found myself in one of the most challenging situations of my life. I have not led a life sheltered from challenges and have pushed myself to achieve – both physically, running marathons and ultra-marathons of up to 50 miles, and mentally, completing a Master of Science with a distinction in Applied Health Studies. I have been published and have presented, nationally and internationally, and hold positions of responsibility as the Clinical Lead for a stoma care and prescriptions service, the Chair of the Association of Stoma Care Nurses UK (ASCN UK) and the Clinical Trustee for Colostomy UK. Just 2 months ago I was singing, dancing, precariously walking on stage in high heels and generally making a fool of myself in the name of entertainment with the local hospital pantomime society.

I share this to demonstrate the stark contrast between then and now. Three weeks ago my world collapsed. I was given a piece of information at work that was simple enough for any manager to deal with; a straightforward set of actions required to remedy a situation that had arisen. But I did nothing with this information. Nothing. It's not that I got caught up with something else and it slipped my mind; it just did not occur to me that I should do anything with the information. Fortunately, I was not the only one to receive the information so all of the appropriate actions were taken. But when I realised, I was broken.

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