Over the past few weeks, I've noticed a dramatic increase in anxiety with myself. It is usually very situationally specific, but then turns quickly into a near panic attack. Luckily, my coping skills are enough to keep it at bay without becoming full-blown panic, but the sensations are unpleasant to say the least.
I first noticed it last Friday when C was driving us home from a work event during a torrential rain. We were leaving downtown at the same time as a sporting event was getting done, so traffic was bad. The rain was horrendous. My breaks need fixed soon, and I could only focus on this and then having flashbacks to the accident I was in a few weeks ago, which also occurred in a mildly rainy and traffic situation. I made it home by only looking out the side window (so I couldn't see the break lights) and holding on to cars' door handle so hard that my hands were sore the next day.
I had a similar reaction when C was driving me to the airport yesterday. Again, it was during rush-hour and the there was a slight drizzle. I couldn't even maintain a conversation. I should probably mention that C is a very capable driver and I have never been in an accident with him.
Then, last night, I was watching the news and saw the Obama speech and the subsequent commentary on Isis. I began to panic that a) we will be raising a daughter in what is seeming like an especially unstable time in our global history**, and b) I have to fly back home in two days and there are a lot of talks about the possibility of attacks here. Then I began to get immensely panicky that I was in a hotel by myself and desperately wanted to C here to comfort me. Needless to say, it was not my best night of sleep.
I have read that anxiety can be increased during pregnancy. One of my friends actually began taking an SSRI due to significant and unmanageable anxiety. I didn't fully appreciate this until now. Currently, my anxiety is very specific and controlled. I plan to continue monitoring this closely and take action if it starts to generalize or become impairing. In the meanwhile, I'm chalking this up to another lovely symptom of harboring a life.
**As an aside, I have heard that parenthood makes you view world events from a more personal standpoint and I have been questioning my increased sensitivity to the many global crises. I feel like I need a reality check - Is this an especially unstable time or am I being extra-sensitive and forgetting about the similar events in our recent history???