How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am obsessing over a problem at work. It has the potential

This answer was rated:

I am obsessing over a problem at work. It has the potential to get me fired, or I could be overvaluing it's importance. I think about it constantly and haven't been able to stop. There is nothing I can do to change the situation and it may not ever become a real problem; but the potential is there. I still have not fully recovered from a layoff in 2003 emotionally, and I am fully restored to where I was financially in 2003; and given today's economy, I am terrified. What can I do to calm down? Am I looking at this issue realistically? I'm losing sleep over this, and it is affecting my driving and behavior at work. Thanks for any light you can shed on this!

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Can you tell me a bit more about the situation you are dealing with?

Thank you,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What I would consider to be a HIPAA violation from a year ago. It was unintentional and occurred in relation to my job in Hospital IT. I was suspended without pay for 3 days, but I didn't tell them the whole story. I uploaded patient info to two cloud services a year ago in order to get my job done. They only know about one, and not the other. They could find out about the 2nd. Both occurred on the same day. This happened a year ago. I'm obsessing about it.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like that because the potential is there, you are worried about this being exposed for a reason. And that is ok. It shows that you are concerned about being honest and that you find your job very important.

You are feeling as you are for a reason so how you feel is normal. It is going to be very difficult for you to put this behind you in any way because it is so present for you. It is an unresolved issue. Ruminating over an unresolved issue is your mind's way of telling you that you need to pay attention to something. By dealing with this situation, you can eliminate the feelings you have around it.

The best way to help yourself is to confront what happened. It may not be pleasant, but to try to ignore it may make you feel worse. You may always be waiting for the other shoe to drop and that puts you on edge, not a good place to be.

If you have an attorney, you may want to talk with them about the legal issues around your job first. The next step is to see if someone in Human Resources might see you for a confidential meeting. You can let them know that you have a second file you are concerned about. Emphasize that this was a mistake and that you learned from it. Offer to accept any reprimand that you have to, but make it clear that you love your job and that this has been hurtful to you as well. And be sure to focus on the fact that this was a mistake.

By doing this, you will alleviate your guilt and get the issue out in the open. The results may not be pleasant, but it will clear your mind regardless.

You may also want to consider taking a look for a new job just in case. Having a back up plan to address the possibility will help ease your mind.

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it very much. I hope your situation works out for you. If I can help again in any way, please let me know.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I spoke with my lawyer. He said to look for a new job. Not so easy in today's economy. But you're right, I do take my job very seriously and I am a very honest person. I'm thinking about talking with HR and what you said. I logged into LinkedIn and changed a few things. Even doing that helped me to feel a little better.

I also like the company I work for and the people I work with. Losing this job would mean a lot to me--more than just the money.

Maybe I'll get to keep it yet.

Thanks again, Kate.



Hi Gabe,

The economy is not good and I understand your feelings about trying to find a new job. But having it as a backup plan is going to make what you need to do in your present job a bit easier so you have a good plan. Hopefully, your current employer will work with you and help you put this behind you.

My best to you,