I’ve always heard the phrase “stress can kill,” but never really understood it till the beginning of 2020. It all started with an interview at my local SPCA. I was just finishing up my certification as a veterinary assistant and was searching for work. I got a call for an interview and was both excited and extremely nervous. I was panicking and overwhelmed with anxiety, I hadn’t had too many interviews before this one. A couple days before I was suppose to go in, I was hit with severe diarrhea. I passed it off as nerves, it happens to everyone. However, with each passing day, the pain in my lower abdomen grew stronger and I had to rush to the bathroom a lot. Fast forward a couple of weeks, I didn’t get the job and I couldn’t stray too far from the bathroom. There was one point where I recorded going to the restroom twenty times in one day and was severally dehydrated. I ended up visiting my primary doctor, University Medical Care, the ER, and two gastroenterologists. I had internal bleeding and inflammation. My immune system was down and even though I was lucky enough not to get COVID-19, I did end up getting an upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, and a sinus infection over the five months I was sick. I was never treated for this undiagnosed GI issue, but it’s possible that some antibiotics I took for my respiratory infections may have helped my GI as well. I’m sort of better now, with occasional flare-ups. Though my point here is that because of my unchecked stress, I’ll have to deal with this damage for the rest of my life. I’m not sure if it could have been prevented, unless maybe my anxiety had been diagnosed when I was little; because this is what happens after years of the human body being on high alert stress and anxiety. Don’t wait till it’s too late to get help with your stress/anxiety like me, get help before your emotions literally tear you apart from the inside out.

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