Brenda Constantly in chaos

Brenda is in her 40’s and has worked in the front office for the past 5 years and has taken on extra tasks in the office including answering the phone due to staff shortages during and post COVID. Brenda is the front-line response to complaints from the public regarding services and is finding it difficult to stay calm on the phone and listen to their abuse.

Brenda has feelings of dread most mornings and calls in sick and spends the day in bed. She has used all her sick leave and is now asking for her annual leave to be used. Brenda is constantly tired, is putting on weight and has increased her alcohol consumption.

Brenda’s colleagues report that she is “all over the place” and never gets anything done even though she is running around busy all the time

Brenda has depression and anxiety.

Anxiety and Depression are different conditions, but they commonly occur together. Everyone’s experience and presentation are different, but some common physical and emotional symptoms are:

Anxiety & Depression Physical Symptoms

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Pounding/racing heart
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Sweating
  • Muscle tension
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath or feelings of suffocation
  • Tiredness or loss of energy
  • Changes in sleep patterns (trouble sleeping or sleeping too much)
  • Weight fluctuations (either up or down)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Backpain/headaches/joint or limb pain
  • Digestion problems or belly pain
  • Slowing of physical movements
  • Inability to sit still, pacing or handwringing.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family

Anxiety & Depression Emotional Symptoms

  • Feelings of dread/apprehensive/powerless
  • Constant worry that something bad is going to happen.
  • Feeling in danger
  • A racing mind Difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to think.
  • Irritability and edginess
  • Absentmindedness/memory problems
  • Fear of losing control
  • Avoidance
  • Feeling sad or persistent (greater than 2 weeks) low mood
  • Feeling numb, empty, or overwhelmed
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Loss of interest of pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Taking unnecessary risks
  • Thinking about death or suicide

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


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

It sounds a bit like me – I AM Brenda

It sounds like someone I know – I KNOW Brenda

It sounds like someone in my team – I MANAGE Brenda

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.