What began as a heavy feeling in my chest and a rapid heartbeat, became my anxiety’s worst trigger. On my first visit to the ER and an ECG later, I was diagnosed with anxiety-induced tachycardia, a rapid, irregular heartbeat for a prolonged period.
For this, I was prescribed 10-days worth of what I believe were neuro-suppressants aimed at reducing brain activity, enabling me to ‘worry less’. That was when it all began.
Being a hypersensitive kid (I don’t think I am one anymore, but let’s just call me that), knowing about my tachycardia made me worry even more. As days passed, I unconsciously began to notice every small activity in my body, particularly my chest.
A small thud, a little pain, the slightest of things would lead me towards googling the symptoms. And Google would do what it always does best, either diagnose me with some sort of cancer or predict that I might have a heart attack.
The Moment It Started Getting Worse
Fast forward one month, and my body-analysis game was getting worse. By now I knew the names of scores of diseases that I might have had or I believed I did have. Unfortunately, that is when my antisocial phase decided to make a comeback. This resulted in me disconnecting almost completely from my family and my 5-college-friends.
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Having blown all my high-school friendships till now, I found myself in the constant loop of wanting to reach out for help but not wanting to pressurise people with my childish whims in the meantime. The result? Scores of sleepless nights and a conviction that I will either have a heart attack or a stroke sooner or later.
What Did I Decide to Do About This?
You made it here not expecting something brave. You are certainly correct. I decided to do nothing about it until one day I had to. Amidst all that, the onset of the monsoon left me suffering from viral fever for three days. This was one of the weakest points I had felt in my life, physically and mentally.
The day I finally recovered from it, a person I knew succumbed to pancreatic cancer. That very night, I had a severe panic attack. It began as an absurd dream of some green light leaving my body and me interpreting it as my soul leaving my body. Yes, it was that bad.
The next thing I knew, I felt my chest getting heavy and was begging my dad to take me to the hospital at 2:30 AM in the morning. He tried to assure me for a good hour, but nothing seemed to help. He was on the verge of crying and was getting ready, all while shouting at me, making me panic even more.
The next thing he did was put on an oximeter and measure my oxygen levels. The moment my eyes physically saw the digits were fine, my heart rate slowly became normal. All this while, I knew I was breathing fine. It was my panic attack that got the worst of me.
The following day, a visit to the ER was made once again and one more ECG later, I was told that I was fine and was given another 10-day dosage of neuro-suppressants and a ton load of advice on healthy living. Honestly speaking, all I needed was a tight hug and I did give my dad one that night before sleeping.
The following days were spent in random bursts of crying and finally confronting my dad that I needed counselling. He agreed to it without any questions and I honestly feel this has been my biggest success till now.
This wasn’t meant to be some inspirational story. I am still struggling with anxiety issues as I write this. There are still parts of this that remain untold, but all I want to say is that please reach out. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
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Sources- Blogger’s Personal Experience
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The post is tagged under- heavy feeling in my chest, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, palpitations, heart attack, health anxiety, something is wrong with me, nightmares, absurd dreams, brain stroke, disconnecting from family and friends, college, high school, monsoons, seasonal flu, hypersensitivity, ECG, hospitals, neuro suppressants, counselling, brown families, Indian families, mental health, toxicity, reaching out for help, body-analysis, mental health stigma, social anxiety, antisocial phases of life, heart problems, body aches
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