I was 12,000 feet above ground, going full speed when someone pushed me out of the airplane. I started free-falling toward the ground when I realized I didn’t have a parachute on. I was going to plummet toward the ground to my death. My heart was pounding out of my chest, skipping a beat every few seconds, and my face felt like fire. I was shaking so intensely that I thought I was going to throw up.

Then I snapped out of it.

No, I wasn’t really falling out of a plane. It was all in my head.

But this vision was as vivid and painful as touching fire.

I had other all-consuming thoughts like this too, for a period of a few months. I would imagine that I was standing in the middle of the road, frozen so that I couldn’t move, ready for any car to trample over me at any moment.

I would imagine falling out of a moving vehicle on the freeway.

I would imagine being strapped to the railroad tracks, while a train was moving toward me full speed.

These thoughts lasted for a few months and were the result of taking a new anti-depressant. Sometimes, the side effects of a medication can make things worse. In my case, that’s what happened.

The moment I stopped taking the medication, things got better. My excruciating anxiety subsided, and I stopped having these terrifying visions of falling out of a plane with no parachute or being run over by a vehicle.

I still have generalized anxiety, but this was something I have never experienced before. This was the most terrifying and painful anxiety of my life.

Not all anxiety is like this, and there are different types of anxiety. All anxiety can be treated. If you’re experiencing anxiety, there may be a treatment or solution out there for you. Reach out to a counselor or doctor for help or look for a solution that is right for you.