“I was afraid that if someone became sick, I would have another bad anxiety attack. ”
I had all the typical life stressors of a married working mom. One spring I had a birth control device implanted that apparently threw my hormones and mental well-being out of whack. I switched to part-time work that summer because it allowed for a bit more rest and less stress. But when I returned to work full-time in the fall, I began having odd flashes of fear. And when people around me felt sick, I did, too.
These incidents were brief, but I knew they weren’t normal. I started to worry more about my family becoming sick. I recognized that my fear was irrational and this concerned me. One October day my husband reported that he had an upset stomach. I was completely overcome with fear, worry, and anxiety. I felt sick to my stomach and couldn’t eat.
I sought help immediately and I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, or GAD. I began taking medications, started counseling right away, and went to my mom for support. I was afraid to be alone, I wanted to stay in bed, and I remember wanting to go to the hospital because I felt so completely helpless and overwhelmed. I always had someone with me. I was unable to work. I had the birth control device removed, and within two weeks I m