The past two weeks have been up and down with my health anxiety-wise.
Last Monday night I had fallen asleep early and had forgotten to take my anxiety medication, so all day Tuesday I was experiencing slight withdrawal symptoms like nausea, headaches, and feeling “out of it”. I chocked it all up to having the flu and called in sick to work that day.
Later that night when I went to take my pills, I realised I hadn’t taken my pills Monday night, and it all slid in to place. I was so happy I wasn’t sick, but I never want to experience those symptoms of withdrawal again.
I never knew a person could experience withdrawal of prescription medication as soon as 24 hours from the last dose until I researched it a while ago.
Worse, around 11:30PM Tuesday night I experienced the worst anxiety attack I have ever had in my entire life. (The worst before this was when I was about 18-19 and had to take my first trip on a plane, now that was an experience!)
I was settling in to bed, but then the phone rang. Earlier that evening there was fighting going on in my household that included my brother and his fiancée, and it really made everyone involved upset.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and when my brother called at around 11:30, it started. I started worrying about the earlier drama, and my body started shaking. Cold chills crept along my entire body, and I could feel the muscles in my arms, legs and stomach spasm uncontrollably. I almost cried, I was so scared of the attack.
It didn’t stop. I tried deep breathing or focusing on something else, but nothing worked. I was exhausted mentally and physically. My attack continued until about 5:30AM the next morning. I was able to nod off from exhaustion a few times during the night, but when I woke up I started shaking again. I did not expect it would last that long, and I was afraid it wouldn’t stop and that I would have had to go to the hospital.
Once it finally stopped, I called in to work once again (my job entitles me being focused, on the computer and taking calls). I was so tired I knew I wouldn’t be able to work. After I curled up in bed and didn’t wake up until almost 2PM.
The next day, I went to work fine, but I felt cautious, still wary of my anxiety. But I was able to finish the work day fine.
For some reason, Friday was a very tough day for me. I was at my desk and I felt like I was being closed in on and thoughts like, “I can’t leave, I can’t escape” started filling my head and I felt a little shaky. So I went to the bathroom and texted my mom. (I find the bathroom to be a comforting place for me when I’m not at home…)
I later came out and talked to my supervisor and explained what was going on and how I felt. She was super understanding and said that if I wanted I could take my break early, or take a minute to write my thoughts down, or go for a walk, or even call the EAP (Employee Assistance Program, they offer online/over the phone counselling for free through my work).
I’m just super grateful I have a job that offers these resources for someone like me. I’m afraid my anxiety has some setbacks right now and it reminds me from when I was in high school and was anxious until about lunch time. I just need to learn some coping mechanisms that will help deal with my anxiety at work. Any suggestions?