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Janni developed tinnitus from stress: ”I just want to do well”

Janni Mønster's body reacted physically after being hit by stress. Time, a compassionate manager and good colleagues made all the difference for her to return to her job as a bank adviser.

3. Jun 2024
4 min
English / Dansk
Janni Mønster's body reacted physically to the mental pressure she experienced. Foto: Private

For a long time, Janni Mønster was unable to get out of bed.

"I suffered severe flu symptoms, headaches and tinnitus," explains the 39-year-old bank adviser from Jyske Bank.

It turned out later that she was suffering from stress, and that her body was reacting physically to the mental pressure that was wearing her down.

And Janni Mønster is not the only one. A survey on well-being conducted by Finansforbundet shows that one in five financial sector employees are at risk of developing health-threatening stress. 

A new way of working changed everything

Things started to go downhill for Janni Mønster two years ago when her employer introduced a different way of working to her and her colleagues.

At the time, she couldn’t quite tell exactly what was wrong.

"I wasn't happy about going to work. I met with my manager almost every month, but I didn’t understand and couldn’t explain why I disliked the new way of doing things.”

She is all the wiser now because she has since been assessed and now knows she has autism and ADHD.

"I didn't know at the time that I like tasks that are concrete. Before, we were responsible for our own cases only, but the change meant that we had to manage the cases of others too. That’s when things started to become vague. Before, we could control the tasks that we were assigned," explains Janni Mønster.

(Artiklen fortsætter efter boksen)
“That’s characteristic of the people working in the financial sector. We are very conscientious, and we just want to help and service our customers well.”
- Janni Mønster, Bank Adviser, Jyske Bank

A stressful stage in her life

Especially the 30-39-year-olds feel stressed often or all the time, shows a survey on well-being of Finansforbundet.

 And Janni Mønster agrees that being at this particular life stage has had an impact on her situation.

"We have many obligations and a lot on our plate at this age," she says. 

In her particular case, it also had a big impact that she was under pressure by house renovations and a daughter who was not thriving at school at the time.

"And there’s no denying that the norm in society is for both partners in a relationship work to full-time. But I wonder if that’s ideal," says Janni Mønster.

She has always felt a great responsibility towards her work and her customers. 

"I just want to do well. I think that’s characteristic of the people working in the financial sector. We are very conscientious, and we just want to help and service our customers well," she explains.

It takes time

A year or so passed after Janni Mønster’s job tasks changed and she had to take stress-related sick leave.

In the three weeks preceding her sick leave, she felt physically unwell, but fought through the days and came in to work.

Until it was finally too much. She was on sick leave for three months before she slowly started her return to work. At first, she put in a few hours every other day. She has since slowly increased the hours.

"Whenever I feel the recurrence of physical symptoms, I back out. And my employer has accepted that," she says, explaining that she is still on part-time sick leave. 

She is happy to have an employer who has given her time, but at the same time, she is also happy that she has checked in with herself and said no when things become too much.

"I've backed out as I've decided that I don’t want to take a fall again. I know people who are so mentally shattered that returning to work is impossible, and I don't want that. I’d much rather take things slow. I feel that it’s the right thing for me," says Janni Mønster.

Tasks have changed

Her tasks have also changed since being diagnosed with autism and ADHD.

"They have been good at meeting my need for concrete tasks after I found out what’s at stake," she explains. 

At the same time, she has nothing but praise for her colleagues who have caught her in just the right way.

"I've been in regular contact with them. They have sent me cake and written to me. And they have been great to support me in this process. They notice when I'm under pressure and say stop on my behalf," says Janni Mønster.

She also has a piece of good advice for managers who will be receiving employees coming back from stress-related leave:
“It’s important to give them time. It takes more time than you think”.

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