Even just thinking about flying creates anxiety, and I exhibit all the other symptoms that are associated with this..

5 years ago, my life was less stressful however now I'm giving many more responsibilities and am afraid I may be having a nervous breakdown.

I've considered going to EAP, HR, or even to management, but I need a non-stress inducing way of removing travel from my job requirements. I'm afraid of losing my job if I say anything.

All of this fear is compounded by me taking a masters class, working 80 hour weeks, and taking care of my mom in the remaining hours of the day. It's all very draining and has no option for downtime.

I have negotiated to work from home occasionally to manage pre-existing stresses, however, this additional requirement is pushing me over the breaking point.

I have to fly 8 hours to attend meetings that don't really add value (in my mind) to our real business priorities.

What can I do? Taking drugs of any sort is not an option since I choose to live a sober life.

  • Related, not a dupe: How can I tell my boss I don't feel comfortable driving?
    – David K
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 16:23
  • 29
    This sounds like a job for a therapist. See one ASAP. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 16:26
  • 8
    I'm not sure how the factors you describe relate directly to anxiety related to flying specifically (death, crashing, etc...) - seems more like you are just stressed and don't want to travel. If you really DO have a psychological fear re: flying itself - do you equate legally prescribed medication = 'drugs' and non-sobriety? There is a legitimate place for anti-anxiety medication in consultation w/ your doctor. Most people wouldn't consider taking doctor prescribed meds as not being sober.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 16:47
  • 4
    And just for semantics sake, one definition of 'sober' is calm, rational, serious, and sensible. An irrational fear is none of those things - so maybe consider your choices from a holistic level as well :) (in other words, one could argue this fear is the exact opposite of a sober mindset)
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 16:49
  • 6
    Nobody should be working 80 hours a week. It just is not sustainable.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 0:12

3 Answers 3


Go see a mental health professional now.

If your company has EAP, those are usually confidential, meaning they will not tell your employer anything about your visit. If you don't have that find a therapist or go to your doctor.

I can think of all sorts of things to say about your lifestyle, but as a random person on the internet with no training or expertize, I'm not going to. This is a job for a professional.


Does this job require flight? When you signed on to the job did you KNOW there would be flight required (and was it in your contract)? If not, then a doctor's note/psychologist note should suffice. I have a note to my company regarding using headphones/headsets at work due to an auditory disphonia.

As for your fear, get thee to a therapist as soon as possible. They can and do help, it's their job! I have one for my other issues, and it's a great deal of help and has helped to ease my work stress a considerable amount. Check with your insurance and see what kind of counseling you can get.

Keep your chin up!


Ask yourself whether or not the exhaustive work you are doing is worth the penalties that it brings about to your personal health.

Then plan a session with your emplyer where you describe your health/stress problems associated with the flying and that you wish to work at home.

Either he will be happy you came to him and accept your minimum needs since he cares about you* or he will assure you that he will continue to neglect you further in which case you know what to do: stop immediately and start anew.

If what you are doing does not bring you happiness, then continuing it longer will only bring you more what it already brought you.

*) good employers do care for their emplyees since staff is also their investment they want to protect.

  • Can anybody comment why the content in my answer was downvoted four times? If my advice and my time is so not valued (literally) then I shall be wiser to spend my time elsewhere, where it is valued. Especially a reply from the original poster @TLDR would be welcome. Thanks and all the best.
    – Sam
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 14:17

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