Similar Posts

90 Comments

  1. HI Stephan,
    Your article really impressed me. I think your whole site covers a brilliant theme and looking at job opportunities for PTSD sufferers is so worthwhile. I noticed you mentioned that interaction with pets can assist in helping with some of the symptoms. I just read today that the national health service (NHS) in the UK has identified that pets actually save the public health system billions, due to the positive impacts they have on the health of the nation. I love that you have provided some examples of actual jobs that might suit sufferers – sometimes the hardest part of finding a job is wondering what to actually do, so great idea here. Do you know any PTSD sufferers? I only ask because you seem really in tune with what they might be facing.
    Mara

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Hi Mara, thanks for commenting! No, I can’t say I personally know anyone who suffers from PTSD but I’ve read and seen enough to know that it’s a serious problem afflicting many in the United States and elsewhere. I noticed a photo of you and (presumably) your dog in your Gravatar profile. Have you experienced health benefits since being a dog owner?

      1. I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I would really like to bond with a dog, but animal therapy doesn’t work for all of us. Cats and dogs tend to stress me. I can deal with them for only very short periods. I can’t handle their natural odors (which I have an acute sense of), their sounds, and especially cleaning after them (it grosses me out). I would freak out if one tried to lick me. On the other hand, I like chickens and ducks. Their poop doesn’t bother me as much.

          1. Thanks for your response. We are considering fish. They tend to have a calming effect.

  2. Mark Grundy says:

    This article was powerful!
    I have known family and friends to suffered from PTSD and it is sometimes very difficult to keep motivated.

    I love how this article is positive and focuses on getting on top and conquering it! I think I will reccomend the making money online method to these people, it seems to be the job that has least stress attached to it, which is very inportant!

    Mark

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for commenting. What ways have your family and friends who suffered from PTSD kept motivated?

  3. Derek Marshall says:

    HI there,

    Great site. I am disabled physically and there are a lot of jobs that I can’t do. I think that it is great that you have taken the care and consideration to think of people who are mentally disabled, especially as quite often most people would nt consider PTSD or indeed depression to be a disability.

    Kudos and karma for listing jobs to be avoided and jobs that may be ideal for sufferers.

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Thanks for commenting Derek! Yes, “disabled” certainly doesn’t just mean physically disabled!

  4. Hi Stephan,
    I must say I’m glad that I found your site. I’m currently on disability with a diagnosis of PTSD from child abuse. I got triggered at work repeatedly which worsened my symptoms. I had been holding on to the pain for so long that I just couldn’t do it anymore.
    One job that I wouldn’t recommend to someone with PTSD is a job in the pharmaceutical industry. The work is very stressful, high-paced, and involves cognitive agility that many with PTSD will struggle with.

    1. Stephan Zev says:

      Hi Ian, thanks for commenting! I’m sorry to hear about your PTSD but hopefully you’ll start to feel better now that you’re out of your stressful working situation. Apart from being high-paced, I just read the other day that the pharmaceutical profession will become obsolete with the advent of robots so there’s another reason why it’s good you got out of it when you did.

    2. Hi Ian,

      I have been struggling with my PTSD from childhood and have been unemployed because of it for many years. Can I ask how you got on disability for child abuse induced PTSD? I would appreciate the help.

      Thank you

  5. Richard A. Washburn says:

    I just got fired from my job. My boss’ suggested that I seek counceling for PTSD. I have to take odds with you about truck driving. While it is a job that is lonely, you are exposed to people everywhere and like social media, there’s a “detachment” from the people you work for. Twenty years as a long-haul truck driver kept me from having any kind of a social life at all, it left me no time for myself, and for the amount you work, the pay is poor. I don’t know why I took an office job after going to college for welding, but now I’m left wondering if there’s anything I can do.

    1. Hi Richard, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your job. Based on your comment, you obviously know what truck driving is really like and your insightful words will help guide other readers of this article. Have you ever thought about trying to make money online? If you have any questions about it, feel free to drop me a line. All the best to you!

      1. Hi Stephan,

        I suffer with PTSD and would LOVE some suggestions on how to make money online. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

        Thank you,

        Megan

        1. Hi Megan, I believe the best way to get started making money online is via affiliate marketing which is what I’ve been doing for the past few years. I can show you the ropes by joining me for free HERE.

  6. Hello Stephan.

    I am at a loss as what to do with my life. I suffered childhood sexual abuse. Ever since then others have sensed my vulnerability and mercilessly bullied and beat me up. I tried to defend myself and I was always punished for it. No one had my back. With the long string of failures behind me, such as not having a Job for 8 years has really dropped my self esteem into the gutter. Nothing seems to go right for me and I can’t seem to get up. I feel like giving up. Everything is gone wrong and everyone is blaming me. They don’t/can’t know what it’s like. I’m at the end of my rope. I just want to have something go right for a change. I’m sorry about the.venting but it’s getting desperate over here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Darren, wow, you’ve certainly been through a lot and I appreciate you confiding in me. First of all, are you a religious? Because religion and a strong relationship with God can make a huge difference to one’s life. Also, are you seeing a good therapist? Because that can certainly make a positive difference too.

      I’m not a huge fan of most self-help books because they don’t get at the root of the problem which is the subconscious mind. No amount of self-help will do much good if your subconscious isn’t on board. But there’s one book I’ve been using in my own life which is starting to make a difference and that’s What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter. I’d look into that.

      Another thing, have you heard about EDMR? While I haven’t done this type of therapy myself, I’ve heard it’s remarkably effective for people who’ve experienced traumas such as yourself. In fact, if I were in your shoes, I’d probably try this first as it can yield the quickest results. You can find one in your local area here.

      I hope that’s of some help and if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      Wishing you all the best, Stephan

  7. Raven Noctem says:

    Hello, Stephan. I searched safe work environments for people with PTSD and discovered this article. I found it helpful, but am wondering if you might have some advice for my situation.

    I’m currently enrolled in the culinary program at my college because I enjoy cooking. I’ve been working in the kitchen at a winery for a couple months now, and this past week was horrible. The owner created a very unprofessional and stressful work environment. This past weekend, I got injured and when I explained to him what happened, he proceeded to mock me. (He was also very drunk, per usual.) I ended up freaking out and had to leave. I had already put in a two weeks notice earlier that day and am debating finishing out my two weeks. This situation has me debating whether or not I can pursue a cooking career now because of the high stress and possibility of working with unsavory people on top of that. I’d like to think that a more professional restaurant set up would be possible for me, but I’m so unsure now.

    On top of that, I don’t have health insurance and am unsure as to how to find good help for my condition. I was going to therapy two months ago, but haven’t heard back from my counselor on setting up any more appointments. I’m feeling very lost right now and very limited. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Raven, thanks for commenting. From what I understand, the culinary business is highly stressful and thus particularly bad for someone suffering with PTSD. Having said that, there are some culinary careers less stressful than others. For instance, according to this Reddit thread, catering might be a good choice. All the best!

  8. Hi Stephan,
    I’m trying to find a job best suited for me, seeing as every part time job I ever had, I got fired from or quit because I couldn’t handle it, or do it right. I have had ptsd for most of my life and currently have no health insurance. I’m stuck between a rock and hard place. I have no money, no education, and no hope. Please help.

    1. Hi Kelly, that’s a tough situation for sure. I think the best option for someone like you who can’t handle work environments at all is to find a way to work online. I always recommend affiliate marketing which is what I do and teach but the training costs money and it takes time to get things going. In the meantime, I’d look into other ways to make quick cash online and I’ve written several articles about this topic which you can access HERE and HERE. Let me know if you other questions. Hope that helps!

  9. I am a recent retired Disabled Veteran of 21 years with severe combat related PTSD and other physical issues. I have 4 Master’s Degrees, 2 Bachelors Degrees and an Associates degree. I currently work as a civilian with the Dept of Army. I am an HR Specialist dealing with disciplinary actions on employees and labor unions. It is highly stressful and hostile work at times and I should not be doing this type of work. I have been managing to get by for a few years now, but it is really starting to bother me. It is hard to walk away from a well paying job though.

    1. Thank you for your service Scott. Yes, your job does sound stressful indeed but at least the pay is good. Honestly, I think the best job for people with conditions like PTSD and social anxiety is working online in some capacity. If you need help in this arena, just holler. Best of luck to you…

      1. Hi Stephan, I have also been diagnosed with PTSD and work in an aftercare program at an elementary school. It is very stressful at times and I am considering other work. What kind of things are available online?

        1. Hi Becky, I have a bunch of posts dedicated to this topic which you can access HERE and HERE. Hope that helps!

      2. Hi Stephen,
        Just wondering if you can help me out with the online at home work. I have a great paying job and a lot of triggers and stress at work. I have been in therapy for four years due to one trauma after another. I’m really want to get away from my high stress job. Cant sleep at night feel like I’m having heart issues, which I’m not I was just checked out. My heart is fine.

  10. Marnee Beckman says:

    I found my solace working at the Y. It’s not about the pay, I enjoy working well below my pay grade. I frequently use the phrase “that’s above my pay grade” to remove myself from stressful situations. It’s about being active and being around both seniors and kids during the day when the environment is carefree and not too busy. The Y has worked with me to avoid my triggers, and been flexible when I need to remove myself. I went from being there in the worst moments of peoples lives day in and day out to being surrounded by happy people striving to better themselves and their community.

      1. That is what I need. Cause I too was there for others at their worst and now just want to help happy people do better at what they already do.

  11. Stephan, when I got home from VN, I got an education in electro-mechanical drafting. I could do it, so I liked it. didn’t work out. people drive me crazy. so I went out into the housing tracts and went to work for free for a day to learn one phase of the dry wall trade. it can be hard work, but it keeps your physical side busy, keeps a guy in shape, and after a bit, the quality of your work will keep you going. I had multiple years of 14 legit jobs. but I was busy, employed and basically happy. I had a family and I could provide for them. I never went looking for a job, I always asked for work. there is a difference. hanging out with a crew, you can look around at what skill you might want to get into next. times change, there are no more housing tracts, but people still need walls patched, ceilings scraped off, room additions etc. anytime somebody gave me any crap, I quit and went to the next job. my ptsd raged, but I was able to make a living and raised my family. even now, I’ve been retired for 17 yrs, the skill set is still with me and if I need a few extra bucks, I can always find work with some of the guys i used to worked with.

    1. Great story Barrie, thanks for chiming in and I’m glad things have worked out for you!

  12. I have not been diagnosed but I believe that I have PTSD from a bad childhood. I got into the paralegal profession a year ago. I got a well-paying job but I was fired due in part to the PTSD. I started to eat junk food all the time. The high number of people stressed me out. I liked the office environment and the tasks that I did such as data input. But my employer said that I was too slow when in my mind, I was making sure that I made no mistakes. It was also hard that the way to do tasks changed multiple times a month. I don’t know what career I should have now. Any advice?

    1. Hi Melaina, I’m sorry the paralegal profession hasn’t worked out for you. I’d imagine that would be high stress a lot of the time. I’ve listed several jobs on this page which might be worth your consideration. Alternatively, you could try a home-based job and I can help you in this regard. Hope that helps!

  13. Hi Stephan,

    I have just been diagnosed with PTSD within the past month and a half due to a sexual assault that occurred 5 years ago. I have also been previously diagnosed with depression and most recently Cyclothymia which is a form of bipolar disorder (I have a family history of mental disorders)

    I’ve always had difficulty with work and most recently my job in a call centre is proving more and more difficult. I hate offices, the amount of people in there and the stress of the job. They’ve put me on to doing emails for 2 months but I know that once this period is over I will go back to calls and my performance will drop drastically and I won’t be able to cope.

    I’ve even began to start wondering if I should be working at all due to the severity of my mental handicaps. Coping with both the PTSD and the Cyclothymia is becoming increasingly difficult as I’m battling my trauma emotions and my erratic mood swings from the latter disorder. However, the thought of struggling with money is a stressor in itself which makes things just as bad.

    I do like the idea of working with animals as I love them and I’m not trusting or tolerant of other people.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated whenever you have the time.

    I frequently am off work due to inability to cope with life, triggers etc and I attend therapy once a week and usually find myself too mentally exhausted to work after my session.

    I’m at a loss and I know I need to change my job as this one does not suit me at all and I’ve had a read of your article and I’m stuck completely for ideas.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this!

    1. Hi Hannah, I understand why you’d want to get away from you office environment. Working with pets is a great alternative! If you’re business-minded, you could start your own pet sitting or pet grooming business. Or what about working at an animal shelter? Hope that helps and let me know if you have further questions. All the best…

      1. Thank you for all the time you have invested, this is great information! I feel so alone most days. I was diagnosed with cronic PTSD in October 2017. We have a dog and her barking triggers my PTSD. I can’t handle excessive noise, different frequencies really overwhelm me and I feel like running away. I wear ear plugs to church and to my daughters sports games-sometimes at the movie theaters. If volumes like the TV, kids and my husband gets to be too much I request that they turn down the volume please. Sucks but it is what it is. I’ve thought about working as a pet sitter or doggy daycare however this option wouldn’t be good for someone like myself. It truly would exacerbate my PTSD. Just wanted to put that out there. Anyone else struggle in this area?

    2. Hi Hannah 🙂

      How did you receive your diagnosis? I have ADD and have suspected C-PTSD and/or cyclothymia. There’s so much overlap though, so it’s hard to get a clear picture of what it could be.

  14. Zach Mehoff says:

    If people knew what I had to deal with on a minute to minute basis they would kill themselves just from the knowledge. The one thing I know for a fact is that PTSD/CPTSD is merely trapped fight/flight energy. Get all of the energy out by letting go and allowing the body to shake (neurogenic tremor) and you will make it to the other side. I once completed this entire process which took 16 years to get to the bottom of and heal, alone in isolation; and I make it out literally living the first day of my life since the age of 14 (I was 37). Then, out of nowhere, I get traumatized again by something worse — now I am close to finishing this one off — I’ve been in the second prison, all alone, for four years, in murderous hell. I’d say in about 6 months the job will be complete. The key in not getting retraumatized is avoiding dependency of any kind, and at all cost; even your life — because that’s exactly what dependency (systemic or otherwise) starts taking the minute you compromise your personal liberty — it starts taking your soul.

    Best.

    1. Thank you for sharing Zach. That’s great you’ve been able to get to the root of the problem and overcome it. I wish you the best this second time around and hopefully it won’t take as long! 🙂

  15. I am a Portuguese woman in her mid 30’s, who lost her career due to others’ mistakes and most likely due to the crisis in the Portuguese economy and labour market. I loved my job and had a nice salary, but it’s completely impossible to go back or find anything similar. I am graduated from university but it didn’t work out, like many other Portuguese. I struggled a lot to succeed but in the end never did. Because of this I developed deep major depression, anxiety and PTSD to the point of wanting to die. Portugal is hideous concerning jobs, underpaid and extremely precarious, not even allowing you to survive on your own. I work sometimes in night clubs as a security guard or barmaid but the stress is unimaginable, but it’s the only way to get decent pay for my low-income family to survive. I am stuck in life, I lived abroad and suffered deep homesickness. I wish I could go back to an office job or as a receptionist in a calm environment, but it’s impossible and painful to find. I am tired, desperate, and hopeless. Every time I think of struggling again it triggers a deep, unbearable despair, anxiety and panic in me.

    1. Hi Catarina, I’m so sorry life has been so hard for you for so long. Have you sought out counseling in the meantime? A good therapist may be able to help you get through this difficult time. Have you given any thought to trying to making a living online?

  16. I cringed at the librarian suggestion. It may sound like a cute career, but nothing triggered my PTSD worse than working as a librarian. Most people don’t really understand what the profession is like until they see it from the inside. It’s nothing like the romanticized stuff you see on TV.

    For some reason librarianship attracts narcissistic personalities. I’ve never encountered so much gossip, hateful work interactions, and stressful busy-work/non-work. The profession is dying (yeah, I know there are always trying to convince people otherwise, but it really is dying), and that leads librarians to constantly inflate their own egos just to feel relevant and push each other down as they scramble for the available work that will make them look the most useful. Horrible competitiveness going on all the time.

    Add to this a condescending approach to customer service, people stuck in their old fashioned ways, and meetings for the sake of having meetings, and it’s truly toxic.

    Please scratch that career from your list. I know a few others with PTSD who ran screaming from the profession. I don’t want to see any other PTSD sufferers invest in a Library Science masters degree only to be horribly triggered on the job. There may be some libraries that have healthy work environments, but I’ve yet to encounter one. My therapist and I both agree that getting out of that profession was the best thing I ever did. And I’m not the first ex-librarian she’s seen.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve added an ‘Update’ to my post regarding your request. All the best to you…

  17. I disagree with warehouse jobs. I’ve held a few warehouse jobs in my time and found them to be terrible for me. A fast-paced environment combined with a strict productivity schedule and lots of loud noise from forklifts driving by and blaring intercom announcements every 5 minutes made it a very high energy atmosphere. I couldn’t keep up with all the demands and eventually got fired. So I disagree with the warehouse recommendation. Day or night, it doesn’t really matter.

    1. Yeah warehouse jobs are no good! Military veteran with PTSD. Schedules are too strict, hours are long, no off days.

      1. I am currently on my lunch break at a warehouse job. Please avoid this line of work if you are trying to recover from PTSD!! (Complex PTSD in my case.)

        Constant loud noise, unnatural lighting, I drive a forklift and am responsible for the lives of other people who are often distracted and not looking where they are going. If I hit somebody, that’s it. The potential consequences keep me up at night. Doesn’t matter if they are negligent — I hold the license and am responsible if an accident happens.

        Constantly being forced to perform illegal movements of stock, highly dangerous work environment, absolute responsibility… I brought up the fact that I have been forced to work in a manner which is illegal and ultimately will come down on me in the case of an incident, not to mention the potential for having to live with the consequences, and had it handballed right back at me. Wrap the pallets tighter.

        Management are focused on one thing, in all of the warehouses I’ve worked at- profit. Every single one, no regard for human life. The higher ups willingly force us to do morally questionable things so THEY can make their bonus at the end of the year. We get minimum wage.

        This is, alongside hospitality, the worst industry I’ve worked in yet. I’m applying for other, more suitable roles, but even that process if made difficult by how intensely activated I am when I get home. Every day I dissociate after leaving the warehouse hecause I have just soent 8 hours keyed up fretting over not killing the spuds on the floor, looking at their phone and walking right in front of my vehicle etc. This creates a trap situation in which the level of exhaustion I am experiencing makes it VERY DIFFICULT to find other work.

        If my experience can make just one person healing from trauma reconsider employment in that sector, I will feel vindicated.

  18. Rosetta Johnston/Hawkins says:

    I am mentoring a young man (37) who has lived on the streets since he was a teenager. He has had jobs throughout the years. He was a good employee, until his un-diagnosis-ed PTSD caused issues.

    Presently he is off the streets and in a stable environment. He has been diagnosis-ed with Celtics, and since he has stopped eating gluten his health has improved dramatically including his mental health. He has applied for his medical cannabis card.

    In applying for a job he is unsure how to explain his lack of employment. While on the streets he did volunteer work for various organizations that help the homeless.

    I do not know how to guide him. As you have said most online resumes kick him out right away. I thought applying online, and then going to the store and give his application with a cover letter to the manager. So much is missed when we don’t deal with each other face to face. Sigh…

    The employees at the store has told him that he should came work for “them” as he would be “perfect.” Whole foods is the employer he is interested in working for….

    Help! I would appreciate any advise you can offer.

    Thanks,
    Rosetta

    1. Boy, that’s a tough one. My advice would be to attend job fairs and any other networking opportunities face-to-face. Making human connections is key to landing a job in this day and age. As far as I know, Whole Foods does partake in some job fairs. Best of luck!

      1. Judy Carter says:

        I have lost 2 jobs due to my short memory issues. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and OCD due to being sexually molested and raped at the age of 10yrs by my brother. Then teenage yrs turned to physical abuse. I have not worked in 7 yrs. I have nightmares a lot don’t get much sleep. Tried a lot. I am have taken 4 different medications. Now I am on my 5th prescription. Just tired of it all. I will need to move out by the end of April, no later than June from the place I am now staying at. I have never been homeless ever in my life. My psychiatrist said I would not do well at that kind of place due to PTSD and nightmares. I really need a part time job that isn’t so challenging for me. Need prayers please.

        1. Hi Judy,
          I am not a medical provider and am not giving advice but Prazosin is used for high blood pressure, it’s off label use is for nightmares. It does help me even though I have low blood pressure (no side effects as long as I don’t have to get up at night), you could with your psychiatrist.
          I do have issues with short-term memory, stressed out by the customer service jobs or disrespect of colleagues even when not directed at me. I am considering applying for SS Disability.
          I did apply for a waterer position but again, you have to be physically fit to pick up 50 lbs plants…
          I also crochet and want to concentrate on it as a side income.

  19. 10…. Sheppard….mountain air…nothin’ but sheep….

  20. I lost my job today. Third winter in a row I’ve lost a job. I can’t hold anything down for more than a year. I’m not on disability but do have PTSD. I am so sick of trying to start over. I’m a single mom there’s so much pressure 🙁

    1. Jenny I am in the same boat. I cant hold down a job because I am hyper vigilant and I act out when triggered. I was laid off last week. I just got another job today but my stress levels are through the roof already.

      I don’t know what to do either. I am lucky to be covered by wcb because it was work related but to stay home seems like a sentence. To go to work is a sentence. I want to be alone and that is a sentence. Plus I need to get paid because I have a high paying job.

      It is so hard to describe what is happening to me. So I understand your work situation completely. You are not alone.

  21. I have civilian PTSD. And through out the years jobs have been temporary. No matter what it is. It depends on the symptoms or triggers for that day. But I’ve been working at a call center and it’s promising because I’m on the phone. In a booth and not having to be bothered. I’m looking into doing this at home. Might work.

  22. I have been diagnosed with PTSD from an abusive relationship over a decade ago (verbal, physical, mental, emotional).. after, I made tons of bad decisions and ended up not caring much about anything, including myself. It took losing someone very special (him breaking up with me and leaving) for me to completely open my eyes and focus on finally healing. I work at a property management company and I have had to handle phone calls of people (homeowners) cursing me out and threatening me.. and it really sets me off. I work with maybe 5 men (all gentle souls) and am not threatened by them at all. However, I find my job extremely stressful due to the nature of the calls. Although, it has helped me develop a thicker skin and be more assertive with boundaries. To think of me starting over somewhere new stresses me out too. I’ll have to basically “size up” all the men and stay away from the ones I don’t feel safe around. It sucks.. but I have to find a job I’ll be ok in. This list is really good. Animals and children are so loving and protective!! Makes me feel good ????

    1. Thanks for chiming in Marie and I hope you find a job/career path that isn’t as stressful as the one you’re currently in. Good luck!

  23. I have PTSD from bullying in school and from a job I had 10 years ago. I’d love to work with plants again or proofread documents, but these jobs are either A) non-existent or B) experience, experience, experience. I wish I could find a job where I don’t freak out, but it’s just not going to happen. I slipped through the cracks.

  24. Hey there, thank you for the article.
    I was diagnosed with PTSD this Winter from rape 2 1/2 years prior, as well as another “incident” that triggered the flashbacks and memories.
    Like many, I cannot hold down a job, and even filed for short term disability but was denied.
    I do enjoy cleaning jobs, as there’s little to no human interaction, and it’s at a steady pace, as well as working with animals.
    Until then, working online may seem like the only option for me..

  25. Hello Stephan,

    Thanks for the article. What do you think about working in human resources for someone who suffered from childhood trauma? I don’t like working with large numbers of people or very noisy environments, but working alone for long periods of time makes me feel afraid. I find working within groups of people (maybe a combination of working alone and with others) who work together respectfully is best. I do like to feel like I am being efficient. Thank you, I look forward to a reply.

    1. Hi Roberta, I’d stay away from HR as it can be quite stressful, which this article makes clear. A regular office job, while certainly not optimal, would still be better in this respect.

      1. Hi Roberta,
        I’ve made a career in HR and only recently realized, through therapy, how counter productive it is for someone with PTSD. I’m triggered almost daily. HR is commonly associated with complaints = high stress, high gossip/drama and TONS of human interaction (usually negative). It is also responsible for enforcing company policies and procedures often implying strictness and inflexibility not just with employees but as a whole. Please stay far, far away from HR if any of this causes you anxiety. Best wishes finding what works for you!

  26. I am a PTSD sufferer; Army Iraq War veteran with over 16 years of service. Since I left military service I have had challenges trying to retain a job as a result of my physical and psychological injuries. My background intelligence and security. My hope after leaving service was to work in the Homeland security industry and I did as a defense contractor after I left the military but the job was so triggering due to the fact that I had to teach anti-terrorism and counterterrorism operations.

    My nightmares became more extreme, I became distant, never liked to socialize, and got more depressed. When I realized what the job was doing to me I had to resign and moved from the environment to relocate and take advantage of education benefits to just go to school. I completed bachelor’s in justice security and a master’s in criminology but wanted to apply my education by working in the law enforcement industry.

    When I started applying to either be a police officer or work as a civil service within the law enforcement industry such as, intelligence analyst, criminalist, crime scene investigator, I could not meet the requirements to pass the physical or psychological testing. Most of the physical fitness-related testing involved running, jumping etc. Therefore, my combat related injuries precluded me from ever pursuing the career path I wanted.

    So I tried security job positions and those jobs were stressful. I went from one security enforcement job to the next over the years that I wasn’t finding happiness and I was stressed due to the exhausting work schedule. I was starting to lose hope, resigned from security enforcement finally decided to seek help from the wounded warrior project. The program was able to place me with another security job that was only part-time and I was feeling a little hope because I was not so stressed and then the company shut down. So I was again without employment.

    When the scandal from the wounded warriors project involvement in misusing donations was made public by the media, I pulled out of the program due to the fact I was disappointed to learn that donations were being misused and decided to utilize employment services through the VA.

    The VA denied me the use of using services because the counselors within vocational rehab felt my disabilities were not adaptable to obtain employment and I didn’t like the advice I was given. I wanted to prove the VA wrong that I am adaptable to maintaining employment. So I applied to other security enforcement jobs from corrections to airport security and found myself not getting anywhere — always stress and triggered to a point where I was feeling distressed.

    Finally, I just gave up and quit my last job I had and decided I was just not cut out to work in today’s work force. So I was out of work for close to six months. Tried even getting into work-from-home jobs like internet marketing and I wasn’t successful at that because the job paid pennies unless you had a billion followers through social media to tag your links and decided to job hunt again instead because my cost living expenses were increasing and I needed work.

    So I applied to work for a senior care provider position and was hired. I have only been in the job for a little over a month. There are stressors I experience because I am being judged as to why someone with an extensive background in intelligence security with a master’s degree in forensics eluding to working a minimum wage job as a care provider? Well now I am having second thoughts all because of a comment about my background was made just makes me feel like I am cutting myself short. It’s hard, trying to find your place in the world after serving as long as I did for our nation, it’s really hard.

    1. Wow, thank you for your service and sharing your difficult work history. I’m sure many PTSD sufferers who read this comment will be able to relate to many of your experiences. I hope you’re now closer to finding a job that suits you. In regards to internet marketing, you don’t need a “billion followers through social media” or anything close to that. In fact, you can make a reasonable income without having any social presence at all. There are many ways to make an income online and it sounds as if you stumbled upon one that just wasn’t a good fit. You might try something like freelance writing, dropshipping, or what I can help you with, affiliate marketing. I hope that helps and best of luck to you!

      1. Thank you, Yes tried the affiliate marketing, but I didn’t feel as though I was getting anywhere. Might need to review some training videos about affiliate marketing just to see what I may have been doing wrong that caused me to not be so successful at it. I do appreciate the advice. Thank you

        1. You bet, and if you do need help to point you in the right direction, don’t hesitate to ask. All the best…

          1. I’m a journalist with PTSD.. Freelance writing is Incredibly stressful, hard to break into and doesn’t pay much. It also by necessity reqiures political maneuvering, a social media presence and the ability to withstand a harsh editorial process. So, nope. I am going to have to quit and I’m hoping I can find something less triggering that I can make a living at.

        2. Carla Johnson says:

          Try to get help from mental health organization. Turning point I one here. They will
          Give you an assessment and help you with coping skills.
          Your parents are patient now, which is wonderful. I have been a single mom since I was 26 and my daughter I was just like you but it started around 19 for her. I put her to work when she was 14 and she did fine from 14 to 19. Now she will be 35 this year I just turned 54 and my patience has run out and it’s not a very good living condition for either one of us right now. I pray she gets help soon you can get out on her own. And my advice to you is to search for any and everybody that can give you help now so you will not still be at your parents house in your thirties

    2. I am a veteran who, prior to joining the marines and later getting PTSD and CFS/ME at 100% service-connected, got police reserve training and security jobs. I am also a female minority, and a short one at that. Once I was honorably discharged, I found it incredibly hard to work jobs that were below my intelligence; I did not want to waste my intelligence when I could use it to make a good impact in society.

      There are incredible losses that ensue after experiencing trauma and post-traumatic symptoms, such as career, task, and purpose loss. These losses are existential in nature and require a personal (you) change in purpose that parallels your skill set and makes good use of your intelligence. It is a misnomer to believe that those with PTSD must succumb to jobs below their skill set or intelligence, and therefore below what salaries they deserve.

      It is unlawful for any organization to discriminate, though it happens more frequently than society would like to admit. Some persons have been able to manage their PTS symptoms as lawyers, doctors, desk analysts, researchers (you need a PhD for these positions), anthropologists, scientists, etc. If you were to apply for PHD programs after finding a research mentor in criminology, for instance, you can apply with only having completed a bachelor’s degree to criminology PHD programs and ask the VA again for vocational rehab to fund this.

      Further, most PHD programs offer tuition wavers and a stipend, so you could potentially attend for free with graduate assistantships. A PhD in criminology sounds like a better fit since you have the intelligence and background experience. Getting tenure might be challenging in the academy, but the government can then hire you as a researcher with minimal security clearance.

      You will not be able to carry a firearm, but your intelligence will serve in the analytic field, where you could publish your research findings and be part of an integral team. I would not limit your opportunities just because of the stigma placed on PTSD. There is heterogeneity among PTSD symptoms, so not all persons will have the same issues with job-related stress.

      Research is not that stressful as law enforcement or lawyer work, but it is challenging enough to keep you interested. There are many forms of stress, which include the kind of stress you get when you work a job that is beneath you. The jobs listed here in this article only address the atmosphere. The list here does NOT address the talents and intelligence of those who could otherwise find accommodations for their training and work in a field they love and that maximizes their potential. The list presented here is severely limiting.

    3. I can relate to your story. I too am a combat vet. I served in Iraq in the triangle of death and lost many allies and friends both on and off the battlefield. I specialized in telecommunications and I worked as a driver, gunner, dismount, and team leader while deployed.

      When I returned home I was plagued by nightmares and suicidal thoughts. After a few months I checked myself into the VA and was diagnosed with chronic PTSD, TBI, suicidal thoughts and ideation and was placed on a multitude of medications.

      I tried various jobs and settled on security. For the first few years I did it all. Nightclubs and bars were great at first, but after a few years the loud noises and constant human interaction began to weigh on me and the PTSD became worse to the point where I made a failed attempt on my life. I stopped doing high interaction jobs and now do Security at a small hotel overnight. I get full benefits. It’s quiet and I rarely have to interact with guests so it’s perfect.

      When I returned I had a hard time driving so I had a motorcycle for a number of years as it was less stressful than driving a car and it wasn’t strange for me to avoid what I interpreted as possible bombs on the road.

  27. I suffer from PTSD from a rollover injury in 2013 where I almost lost my hand and life due to blood loss. I was in accounting prior to the accident and now I am back in accounting (need the money) and it is so stressful!!!!! Some days I do not know if I am going to make it. I am in equine psychotherapy but had to recently quit due to a new job and not able to go. I really want to get out of accounting but do not have skills for anything else. I have been doing accounting for almost 30 years. Really hard on me now.
    any suggestions?

    1. Hi Doreen, besides this article, have a look at these series of posts HERE and HERE. Hope that helps!

  28. Wyatt Melton says:

    I believe that I am suffering from PTSD like symptoms from playing football. I recently resigned from my position in an accounting office because of the stress and symptoms. I also wanted to get some time off for a short trip and spend time with my fiance. I have been feeling better and want to go back to work now after a month and a half, but I’m not sure where to start looking. I don’t want to get into a similar situation as before, but I’m not sure what would be the best option.

  29. Hi! I’m 17 and I’m about to turn 18 in a couple weeks yet I have never had a job. I suffer from PTSD. One of my biggest things is anxiety, especially social anxiety. I really want to find a job! I feel bad because I haven’t had a job yet and I’m older, and people make fun of me for it and think I’m just “living off my parents” and “lazy.” That’s not the case at all. I don’t mind working, I really don’t, I just have SO MUCH ANXIETY. My anxiety is worse when I have to be really social or when I am put into unfamiliar situations or have to do something new (change). I liked the working in the nursery idea because babies don’t give me anxiety. Also the night shift ideas sound nice (I’m a really big night time person) although I don’t know if my parents would be down. People also tease me cuz I don’t drive yet, but I’m worried I might space out and end up hurting me or someone else. And I’m wondering how open I can be with employers about my disability? Someone told me once that I shouldn’t tell them because they’d be less likely to hire me. I want a job so I can pay for my OWN things and be more independent. My parents are very understanding and patient with me though because they understand (I have 5 other siblings with disabilities of their own, we are all adopted). But I would love to hear your thoughts/opinions/suggestions! 🙂

  30. Hi Stephan,
    I was recently diagnosed with PTSD after the death of my infant son a little over a year ago. But I have been battling with PTSD for much longer, since 2006 when I was robbed at gunpoint while closing up at a pet shop for the night.

    I managed to finish obtaining an associates degree in Journalism that I never used. I live in a smallish town where creative types don’t seem to flourish and my favorite things are to write and draw.

    I’ve bounced around many jobs over the years, mostly clerical things and never held a job for longer than 4 years. During this time I noticed that I get distracted, have difficulty multitasking and feel easily overwhelmed, especially in loud settings.

    Since losing my baby I held down two temp positions that I enjoyed for their straightforward nature and lack of pressure. But they have since ended. I landed a great clerical job but it had me stuck on the phone from the beginning until the end of day. It only took me four days to burn out from that and my mind was pleading with me not to return.

    Now I’m hoping to get short-term unemployment but I feel so unsure about what I can handle anymore. I would love something where I can work from home, especially doing research, writing or simple data entry.

    I also wanted to mention that I was a vet assistant for a long time and you get alot more human interaction than one would first think. Looking back on it, that was probably the most stressful job I’ve ever had because there literally are lives that depend on your focus and judgment.

    1. Hi Summer, thanks for your comment. You’ve certainly endured a lot and I can only imagine how hard all of this has been for you. Since you clearly have writing ability, have you given any thought to copywriting? I’m not sure if dealing with clients as a freelancer would be too stressful for you, but it’s definitely one of the more lucrative ways to make a living as a writer from home.

      1. She should check out Upworks website for freelancing. She can choose which jobs she wants and they offer writing assignments and drawing.

    2. Hi Summer,

      I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012 after the death of my infant son. I, like you, also suffered from PTSD before his death. I also was robbed at gunpoint in 2009. It was two men that held me down with a gun pointed in my face. I became frantic and tried grabbing the gun away from them. Anyway, I didn’t realize the impact that experience had on me until my son died. It was like a landslide and I’ve been disabled since. Nightmares and anxiety out of nowhere some days.

      I did go back to school and took medical billing/coding classes.. I chose a career that I can do from home as home is the only place I feel comfortable. I also worked as a vet tech when I was younger and I quit my job because the contact is more people oriented than animals. I love animals and they give me the peace I crave. People not so much. Being an introvert doesn’t help either.

      I just wanted to reach out to you as your story is so similar to mine. Slowly my PTSD is becoming manageable but only if I stay within my zone.

  31. SnailTrails says:

    First and foremost, Thank You to those who put others over your own discomfort. Had you only known, right? Take the what you can use, mediate the rest …

    Survivors are clearly a very intelligent and experienced group of people. Sometimes, stepping back and starting smaller isn’t a bad thing. Start small with something like Private investigation where you can work at your own speed, and work up as you become more comfortable? Maybe your ‘real life experiences’ can count towards anything your book smarts can’t. Maybe you’re really good at recognizing patterns or irregularities. Depending on where you live, maybe you can work with larger city groups. Make what you know useful. When it’s used to make life better, it’s a great way to balance the noises in our heads.

    More people than you might think can relate. Violence of any kind isn’t gentle. Not all are honest about it or have experienced the sheer enormity of what others see. The trauma our defenders suffer is extreme, but part of the problem is that it’s treated as something you can just forget. As if it’s possible to scrub your brain of those images. Anything residual becomes seen as abnormality in behavior. Society foolishly believes that someone can UNsee horrible things, and remain the same.

    As an older, unmarried, childless woman from an extended military family (used to rage, violence, alcoholism, and shell-shock), some might see my opinions as worthless, but kindness is never worthless. My family always knew that others might simply not be comfortable with something at any given time, we adapted. We compromised for what was important to all in order to feel SAFE. For us, if we always expected others to meet our demands, how could we ever expect others to do differently. By doing such, we surrounded ourselves with others that understood us and supported us. Mostly. Some days even the simplest kindness can make a huge difference.

    To be clear, I’m on this page for my own reasons. I’ve suffered multiple traumas beginning at a very young age. So I’m not speaking without experience. Despite having some smarts, I have never held a job for longer than 4 years. I wasn’t a soldier, just a loud child, so my pain wasn’t a priority. There were more important fires to put out. Pain is pain, regardless of the implement used to inflict it. I know that with damage comes guilt in many forms. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve thinking. Just remember that you CAN say no, or that you need some time to duck out. Treat your pain the way you’d treat a child’s, and be okay with giving yourself what you need. Just don’t be an ass. Heh You’ve given others plenty! Tend to your own BooBoos for a change, and don’t feel guilty. Some just will never understand.

    Once you find your place, you’ll blow ’em away. For now, be okay with a side kick position.

    Best,
    ~Snail

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I needed to read this today.

  32. Hello,

    I worked in the medical field for many years. I was recently diagnosed with treatment resistant depression and PTSD. I also have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, etc.. I did very well for several years, but my current relationship has thrown me back into what my childhood was like, horrible, unpredictable, violent, abusive, and I have not been able to hold a job for the last 5 years. I currently have STD, but wondering if I should apply for disability benefits? I was accepted into a graduate program after my diagnoses. I am excited, but afraid at the same time. Afraid of taking on the debt, the headache of more studying. I am 50 and just thought my life would/should be more settled. It is far from that.

    1. Hello S! I can totally relate to your post. I wish you well. =) Joe

    2. Yes, apply. and go on with plans. This will back you up and kep you from extra trauma that’s financial-based–though living on DIB is not easy. You cannot rent a place AND have a car. So yes find what is least stressful. I say this but I am still searching. . .today it occured to me to become a librarian. You need the medical insurance, and a safety net, to not live in continuous anxiety.as you search for your next career path. Best of luck during this Spring Equinox! All things new.

  33. Just diagnosed with C-PTSD and going on disability, scared about what I will do for income in the near future as this can’t go on forever. The fears about work, how will I eat, pay rent, insurance, meds, let alone where can I work again if I can. The worry is effecting my ability to try to heal now. I’m not afraid to downsize, I’m afraid I will end up homeless.

    1. I’m afraid of being homeless. Im 30 years old and have a degree in a field I despise and have had over 40 jobs. I fear my PTSD will make me end up in a grave in the not so distant future.

      1. Don’t give up. I’ve been there, and it gets better. It comes in waves for me. I keep seeking out help–therapy, groups, friends, spirituality.. It all helps, Sometimes it gets worse, but overall it’s 2 steps forward, 1 step back.

    2. I was harassed and discriminated against for nearly 3 years. It finally got so bad I couldn’t go back to work, I couldn’t keep up with the doctors, I went homeless with a 3 year old… all because I got pregnant and because I saw the father of my newborn child dying on the ground from gunshot wounds… now the second job is avoiding my PTO questions because I wanted to take paid time off to manage the symptoms that came flooding back… I slept throughout my shift and my manager is saying I never gave him medical records but I did tell him multiple times why I need to take my PTO… but they let another worker go on vacation and I tried to tough it out for months and now I’m so ashamed and hopeless and I don’t know what to do. It’s so hard… Is this gonna leave our family homeless again? It’s just awful.

    3. Undiagnosed C-PTSD sufferer here (long-term mental abuse situation that I thought I had resolved 10 years back). I’ve been out of work for 3 years. I have a degree in a good field, but I just can’t move forward. I want to learn new skills but my attention isn’t there. I tried to send out resumes but I mess them up every time as I spend all day just trying to perfect one – I’m frozen.

      I’ve been living on my savings and what little loans I was able to take out before my severance ended. I refuse to go on public assistance.

      I’m out of time, out of money and out of luck. It’s kind of sad that I couldn’t ask my family for help out of fear of being scolded, brought down and admonished.

Comments are closed.