Does panic disorder substantially limit one or more major life activity…like, say, attending or being productive at work? Did you know that you can request accommodations from your employer to help you do your job effectively?
College: cheap fiberboard shelves, neon clothes hangers, drawstring laundry bags, and extra-long bed sheets. And futons — crisp and clean futons that, by the end of the school year, will reek of days-old beer and mildew. Oh, and stress. And anxiety. And panic.
You may know the feeling. You feel a migraine coming on, and you’ve got a pill in your pocket that can save you from the pain, the sensitivity to light, and the sick stomach. Of course, that pill — that miracle pill, really — is going to make you lightheaded. Or jittery. Or drowsy and all fatigue-y.
If fatigue, sleepiness, and the jitters have a proven history of making you panic, do you still take the miracle pill?
Panic attacks aren’t quite as thrilling to examine under a microscope as snowflakes. But if you suffer from them, some close investigation can provide you with new insights about the way your body and mind work (and work together).
The other week, I finally bought some light-blocking curtains for the bedroom. (“Helps reduce stress and improve sleep!” boasted the plastic package.) Glad to finally have a dark room to retreat to, I drew the curtains shut. Save the light of the alarm clock, I was in near complete darkness. Ahhhh. Perfect.
For about five seconds or so.
I should have known that math teachers don’t have a high tolerance for lumberjack humor — or creativity in general. Precision is valued; humor…is not.
The parade of “success” quotes made me anxious — and made me want to sneak into the classroom early in the morning to erase the board and write up some witty quote about failure.
I was half convinced that my brain and my heart had temporarily switched locations. My newly-transplanted heart, I imagined, had gotten cozy behind my right eye and it stabbed my optic nerve with each beat. Put simply, migraines aren’t just painful — they can be scary.