This is my first time posting here but I have been lurking for a while. As like some of you, I have a fear of rabies. It started when I was around 10 after a wilderness awareness lesson at camp. From that point on to about my senior year in high school, I had a debilitating fear of contracting rabies. I started on SSRIs which helped greatly for the next 10 years.
Recently, I have had multiple new stressors in my life which have caused my fear to escalate once again. Seemingly benign situations are now causing extreme panic, such as finding a scratch or cut on my body that I have no idea of where it came from. My latest issue is that I was outside in the middle of the day unloading things from my trunk. As I was bending over, I felt something hit me in the back of my neck/upper back area. I looked around and saw nothing but sticks and the pollen stuff that is falling off the trees. Having a fear of rabies, I instantly thought that it was a bat that flew into me. Panic set in as I had my girlfriend inspect my hair and neck. Of course nothing was found. I convinced myself that I was fine but I couldn't get the thought out of my head. Two days later, I experienced shoulder, back and neck pain, which I know are symptoms. This caused my anxiety to spiral out of control. Soon my throat tightened up and I no longer felt like eating or even drinking. It's been about 5 days up to this point and it's affecting my quality of sleep and life.
With school starting up again soon, I can't keep worrying about this, yet I can't get the "what if" out of my mind. I'm embarrassed to go back to my doctor since I feel like I'm being ridiculous. I ended up scheduling an appointment with a company that handles traveler's medicine to get the prophylactic shots, which start Tuesday. It's making me feel more at ease, however if these are in fact symptoms, it's already too late. I appreciate everyone taking the time to read my novel and any support would be very helpful!