It was the most surreal (and frightening) experience of my life.
There I was, sitting on the weight room floor. Hyperventilating. Watching the floor swing from side to side. Lights suddenly blindingly bright. Scared.
I was having a panic attack.
It all began the previous afternoon. Feeling like my social anxiety had gotten out of hand, I showed up for my appointment at the campus clinic looking for help.
I rattled off my symptoms to the doctor — the sweats, tremors, racing heart, negative thoughts, all occurring in social encounters.
I had diagnosed myself with Social Anxiety Disorder. My doctor agreed.
He pulled a pad out of his pocket and wrote a prescription for Prozac.
For some reason, Prozac sounded a little extreme. I had done my research on its side effects and it was the last thing I thought the doc would recommend. I just wanted something to calm me down in social settings and to push me out of what had been a fairly prolonged episode of depression.
In fact, one of my favorite football players openly used another drug, Paxil, for his social anxiety. It seemed to be working for him. That’s what I wanted.
But the doctor insisted. Prozac it was.