Recently I started having panic attacks, and it's interesting because I did not have panic attacks when I studied abroad in Hungary and was kicked out by my roommate once she learned of my American nationality. I also (surprisingly) did not have panic attacks when I found out I had ovarian cancer at the age of 23—which included a year of grueling surgery, chemotherapy, recovery, and uncertainty for the future. I started having panic attacks when my work environment became unbearable.
My first panic attack came when the seriously understaffed production company I worked for began requiring an average of 60 hours of overtime a month, often paying me weeks and sometimes months late. I was overworked, underpaid, behind on bills, physically exhausted, and suffering from work-related injuries—all the while while striving to enjoy every moment of life after overcoming a cancer diagnosis. Others at my company were also experiencing heart palpitations, weight gain, insomnia, and even aggressive psoriasis from the overload of work and lack of financial instability.