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Anxiety-Related Illness: Worried Sick

A shooting pain permeates throughout your chest. You feel weak. Your breathing turns heavy—perspiration kicks in. Your mind races, fearing the worst possible outcomes. It only makes it worse. 

It goes away after a few minutes but returns later that night. Fingers going numb, you grab your phone and start scouring the web for answers to your medical anomaly. What did you eat that day? Are you having a reaction to something? Are you having a heart attack? 

WebMD says you are. Though other sources say it could be a stroke or some rare lung disease that only affects a handful of people each year. Either way you’ve already started writing up your will and planning your goodbyes. 

You reach out to your doctor. What they say confuses you—after countless tests and far too many nodes taped to your body, they say you are simply having an anxiety attack. You tell them to run the tests again. You repeat your symptoms in great detail and show them what WebMD told you. 

They assure you that you aren’t going to die. They tell you that they’ve seen this before—they’ve seen it quite a lot actually. It’s just anxiety they say to you again. You feel relieved. Your mind at ease with the realization that you no longer have to finish that will. 

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