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Kara Warr
May 9, 2017 - 10:00am

Surviving high stress in the workplace

Kara is a member of Quartet’s Ambassador Program - a select group of individuals who share in Quartet's mission. Ambassadors help surface the needs, motivations and mindset of patients, and also provide valuable ongoing feedback on Quartet's products and services.

Kara is a digital marketing professional and former broadcast journalist living in Philadelphia, PA. Kara currently blogs about her experience to help others feel less alone in dealing with their mental and physical health issues.

Here is Kara’s story:

Depression isn't ever something that's easy to talk about, especially in my family. So when an eating disorder also turned into a depression and anxiety disorder, I did everything I could to keep it a secret - until it exploded.

I'm a former news producer and depression forced me to leave my high stress job in television. I also developed an eating disorder at this time, as a way to cope with stress and increase my sense of control.

In news, the expectations are high. Working holidays, odd hours and long days when there is breaking news. In a job where every day is a new and unique disaster, there's very little you can individually control. The feeling of needing to be able to control something in my life led me to develop bulimia nervosa. I couldn't do anything about a bad day at work, but I felt I could do something about the food I felt guilty for eating. This should have been when I got help, but it wasn't.

Eventually the pressures of my job started to become too much. I took a job in Philadelphia thinking the new environment would do me some good. I was wrong. I started working overnight hours, and my eating disorder completely took over. I began suffering from migraines, and I was losing my hair. I became clinically depressed. I kept it from my family because I didn't want them to be ashamed of me. But in the fall of 2015, I realized if I didn't get help I wouldn't survive. I then started seeing a therapist who had a great relationship with a primary care physician who was very knowledgeable about mental health. With help from both of them I finally opted to go on medical leave from my job, and six months later, I left for good.

I was lucky to have a physician and therapist who work closely together, and it made a huge difference in my life. I think it's important that mental health is understood and supported by health professionals, not just in May but all year-round.