Amanda The nervous new driver

Amanda is 34 years old and has recently re-entered the workforce after her youngest child has started school. Amanda is enjoying the school bus run, loves dealing with the kids on the bus but is a little nervous of the 2-way radio, fearful that she may say the wrong thing and embarrass herself.

After passing probation Amanda was asked to help with a charter for a school athletics carnival. Whilst waiting for pick up, Amanda didn’t move to the appropriate pick-up point and was approached via the 2-way from the other driver. Amanda attempted to respond on the 2-way however, she was busy focusing on the fear of saying something wrong, so she didn’t listen to what the instructions were. As a result, she failed to move. The other driver got out of the bus and came and gave her the instructions.

That night, Amanda found it hard to sleep as she was angry with herself for not responding on the 2-way. Over the next two weeks Amanda played the scene over and over in her head and every time the 2-way would make a sound her heart rate would increase. She started to be nervous about doing the wrong thing whilst driving or doing anything new away from work.

Amanda didn’t tell anyone of her nervousness/anxiety. She stopped enjoying the runs and resigned from her role stating that she found it hard with her kids. Her increased heart rate didn’t stop when she quit work. She started to worry she would make mistakes constantly and to deal with it she gradually stopped trying new things.

Amanda has anxiety.

Anxiety is our body’s response to danger. It is normal. For Amanda, even when the original cause of her fear has gone (the 2 way) her increased heart rate and feelings of failure haven’t gone away. They are present now without any particular reason or cause. Anxiety can look different for everyone but can include:

Anxiety Physical Symptoms

  • Pounding / racing heart
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Sweating
  • Muscle tension, tightness or clenching of the jaw
  • Shoulders
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath or feelings of suffocation or tightness across the chest

Anxiety Emotional Symptoms

  • Feelings of dread / apprehensive / powerless
  • Constant worry that you are going to make a mistake
  • Feeling of hopelessness and failure
  • Feeling in danger or nervous for no real reason
  • A racing mind, playing the scene over and over in your head
  • Difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to think.
  • Irritability and edginess
  • Absentmindedness/memory problems
  • Fear of losing control
  • Avoidance of activities and or people

There are different types of anxiety, and everyone’s experience is a little different – to learn more about the types and treatments for anxiety, please click on our anxiety fact sheet.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Click on the links below to learn more on how you can seek help and support.

It sounds a bit like me – I AM Amanda

It sounds like someone I know – I KNOW Amanda

It sounds like someone in my team – I MANAGE Amanda

Living with a mental health condition looks different for everyone.
Click on the profiles below to understand what experiencing mental health issues might look like in your workplace, and how to get help.