Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The self-defeating paralysis of anxiety

For the past nine months, I’ve been paralyzed by anxiety. I don’t know what brought it on or why it won’t go away. I’ve got plenty to worry about—foremost, a homesick child abroad and elderly parents on the precipice—but no actual emergencies. Yet I lurch from dead sleep to waking dread. And the fear flares anew throughout the day with sickening frequency. 

The phone rings, and my stomach drops for fear it’s bad news from my parents. An e-mail clangs into my inbox (I must change that chime), and I can’t bring myself to click on it for fear it’s bad news from my daughter. 

Any small thing that happens sends me into a swivet of what-ifs. A typo at work, and I envision a lawsuit. Failure to call a friend, and I imagine she’s suicidal. 

It just doesn’t stop. So two weeks ago, I asked my doctor for some antianxiety meds. She prescribed Zoloft. But now I’m anxious about taking them. I’ve read there may be a connection between SSRIs and breast cancer. I’ve heard Zoloft is hard to kick. Maybe I can cheer up on my own.

Make it stop.

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