150 Things Besides Donald Trump That Gave Us Panic Attacks in 2017

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

In 2015, 40 things gave us panic attacks. In 2016, that number doubled to 80. But this year, Bobby, Ellie, and Joanna, the most anxious triad in the Jezebel universe, did not struggle even a little bit to recall 150 unique, non-Trump-related things that gave us bouts of sustained panic. Congratulations to us.


Stay tuned for next year, when the length of this list will either balloon to 500, or shrink to zero, because we have died in one of the many tragic scenarios outlined below.

  1. What if my landlord is poisoning me? Our water was brown one day.
  2. Will I get cancer from the cell phone towers installed on my roof?
  3. What if the telecommunications companies have been lying to us about the impact of cell phone towers and all of my roommates get cancer?
  4. What if I’m the only one in my apartment to get cancer because I don’t exercise as much as everyone else does?
  5. Will I get hand tumors from holding my phone all the time?
  6. Will the Wi-Fi extender I bought on cyber Monday just give me cancer FASTER?
  7. What if something apocalyptic happens and everyone is running to safety but I can’t keep up because I have bad knees?
  8. Can my plants feel it when I forget to water them? Like am I slowly torturing them? And they’re screaming and screaming for water but my human ears cannot hear?
  9. Are trees on NYC streets lonely, because they are stuck in these little isolated squares and can’t live in their family pods like they are supposed to? Are trees on streets like animals in zoos?
  10. Is everyone lying when they say they like my bangs?
  11. For the past year I’ve woken up at 4 a.m. basically every night. Why 4 a.m.? Is my body sending me a signal that 4 a.m. means something?
  12. Will I wake up at 4 a.m. one night and witness a bomb dropping and I’ll have no one to tell?
  13. What if I wake up at 4 a.m. one night and then it stays 4 a.m. forever?
  14. Do you ever drive at night and think you’re in Hell and will be just driving at night forever and thinking you’re going somewhere but you never get there?
  15. I can’t see very well in the dark, and whenever I drive at night in remote highway situations I am certain that I will drive off the road so to compensate I drive at 40 mph and get honked at, and I get increasingly upset and hurt, because who are they to judge me?
  16. Did some of the shattered glass from the jar I just broke while making a salad get into the salad and should I remake the salad just in case?
  17. Is the mold on the baseboards of my new apartment an indicator of mold BEHIND THE WALLS?
  18. Should I buy a mold test?
  19. Am I collecting these mold samples correctly?
  20. Did I put enough postage on this envelope of mold samples?
  21. Is this mold test company legit?
  22. What will I do is the results come back positive for toxic mold?
  23. Is the toxic mold going to kill me?
  24. If it doesn’t kill me, will my landlord pay to have it removed?
  25. Will this potential toxic mold make me go broke?
  26. Will I ever retire?
  27. Am I going to get hit by a car at that one intersection of my neighborhood where no one ever stops?
  28. Am I going to fall backwards on this escalator and knock 5 people down with me and we all die of head injuries?
  29. Joanna told me about an all-natural face product she uses. I don’t have any natural face products. Will I die from this?
  30. Are we simply covered in toxins from head to toe?
  31. Does my cat resent me for sending him to live in Kentucky with his grandparents? Or is he grateful and doesn’t miss me at all because it’s more fun there? I can’t tell which is worse?
  32. Does my cat love my mother more than he loves me?
  33. Will my cat get eaten by a hawk?
  34. What if the aliens turn off our simulation before I achieve self-actualization and find true love?
  35. Are my birth control pills giving me cancer?
  36. If I go off my birth control pills, will I become covered in acne from head to toe like the other two times I tried to go off my birth control pills?
  37. Has Yasmin trapped me forever? Like, when is a good time to have terrible acne?
  38. In the 2002 film The Sweetest Thing, Cameron Diaz plays a 28-year-old and in one scene she does a thing where she lifts her arms to make her boobs perkier and says “22,” then drops her arms and says “28.” 22, 28, 22, 28. I can do that too now.
  39. Will my boobs just get lower and lower and lower and lower and never stop?
  40. Will my hypothetical husband judge me if I get minor plastic surgery after hypothetically bearing children?
  41. Will I judge myself?
  42. Has blogging permanently destroyed my body?
  43. Is that thing I heard about popping zits in your T-zone potentially giving you a brain infection real?
  44. Will people come to my funeral?
  45. Whose funerals will I go to?
  46. How many people I love will die before me?
  47. Did I buy my friends a wedding gift?
  48. Oh god is it too late to buy my friends a wedding gift?
  49. Will I ever buy a house?
  50. Should I sell out to buy a house?
  51. If I eventually buy a house, will it get blown up in a nuclear attack?
  52. Why bother buying property if it’s just going to be blown up in a nuclear attack, or get swept to sea when the climate changes in 10 years, or when Brooklyn breaks off Long Island and floats away?
  53. Should I be on Zoloft again?
  54. If I start Zoloft will I gain 20 lbs as I did?
  55. Which is more upsetting: my constant existential dread, or what I’d feel like 20 lbs heavier?
  56. Should I keep seeing my expensive therapist or save money to buy a house?
  57. Is saving money even worth it anymore?
  58. Should I have bought bitcoins in 2012?
  59. What are we saving for? Shouldn’t we live today like it is our last?
  60. Will I accidentally strangle myself by keeping one headphone in while sleeping?
  61. Am I getting enough sleep?
  62. Will I be hooked on sleeping pills in my 60s?
  63. Am I infertile?
  64. Will I wait too long to have children?
  65. Should I even have children because think of the fear I have and then think of how much more pronounced and immediate their fear will be and wouldn’t it be cruel to subject someone that doesn’t even exist to that?
  66. Is it even ethical to have children these days?
  67. If I have children, will they just inherit a massive horde of swirling anxiety and vague Jewish trauma that renders them incapable of dealing with the death of planet earth?
  68. At this point I am too old to be a pop star even if I tried my hardest.
  69. Will anyone be around to care of me when I’m dying?
  70. Is the best thing about children having caretakers when you’re dying?
  71. Did I choose the right job/career?
  72. Will I ever know?
  73. Are the people on Instagram I follow out of jealousy—the ones I assume are probably secretly miserable—actually happy?
  74. Are those vegan wellness warrior people actually happier than the rest of us?
  75. Is anyone happy?
  76. Is there such a thing as a “good life”?
  77. Should I have been a singer-songwriter?
  78. Am I so self-involved that singer-songwriter is honestly the only appropriate career path for me?
  79. Am I secretly a genius at something but will never discover what it is?
  80. What if I have an incredible capacity for like, Arabic?
  81. Should I have started The Good Place instead of just rewatching old episodes of The Golden Girls?
  82. Do you remember that thing about being conscious for a few minutes after you die?
  83. What the fuck???
  84. Help?
  85. Will I become haggard before my time?
  86. Are the New York City air pollutants causing me to become prematurely haggard?
  87. Is that also why I have had nonstop post-nasal drip for 4 years?
  88. Should I go to the doctor?
  89. Do I go to the doctor too often?
  90. Will I need adult braces?
  91. Will I ever become “well-spoken”?
  92. Do I sound so, so dumb all the time?
  93. Did my college Ritalin addiction permanently ruin my attention span and capacity for self-discipline?
  94. Does my barista think it’s weird that I always order the exact same thing?
  95. Will I die in a car accident even though one of the greatest things about living in New York City is not needing a car?
  96. Is it too late to improve my lifestyle and did the first 20ish years of my life sort of set the date of my eventual death in stone?
  97. Am I checking my blood pressure correctly with the monitor I bought on Amazon or am I misreading it and will my high blood pressure eventually lead to early death?
  98. Is the cancer that runs in my family—breast and kidney and colorectal—a death sentence for me?
  99. Will I die of a disease like 1-2 years before it becomes 100% treatable?
  100. Is the multiverse theory in which your conscious self lives to very old age real and are there infinite alternate realities in which I died at various other ages?
  101. Does that particular multiverse theory mean that I’m going to outlive everyone I love and attend all their funerals?
  102. Will San Junipero exist when we are of dying age (I know that is every age)?
  103. Will I choose it?
  104. Will it be awful and I will only think of all my dead relatives who didn’t get it?
  105. Are you ever at a bar and having fun and think: All these people will die?
  106. What if even a single glass of red wine a day will give me either cancer or Alzheimer’s?
  107. What if, when I’m dying, I end up saying awful things to people I love and they think I hated them but it’s really just the result of a fucked up dying brain?
  108. Will everyone I love (in a friendly way) realize that I care about them? Am I nice enough to people? Does everyone know how special and important they are to me?
  109. Am I in fact a really bad and selfish person?
  110. What if everyone has to move to Mars because of a nuke apocalypse or worldwide nonstop wildfires and I am like, NO, I LOVE EARTH AND WILL DIE HERE! But everyone is gone and I die alone?
  111. What if we get flung out into space from a meteor but don’t die in time and then are like “Fack we are in space?” But then you die shortly after?
  112. Will my cats run away?
  113. Will my cats die soon?
  114. Will I be OK when my cats die?
  115. Will I slip on the ice this winter and crack my head open and die in the hospital before anyone comes by to say their goodbyes?
  116. What if I experience a health emergency and this guy I am seeing rushes to the hospital (would he??) and then I look gross and sweaty and my lips are cracked and I’m babbling and he is like, “yikes...”
  117. Is my mom calling in the middle of the day because someone’s dead?
  118. Is my dad calling in the middle of the day because someone’s dead?
  119. Is my sister calling in the middle of the day because someone’s dead?
  120. Is my brother calling in the middle of the day because someone’s dead?
  121. Does everyone think I am making up my gluten and dairy intolerances for attention?
  122. Should I get a hypnotist?
  123. What if when my cats die I am so upset that I can’t return to work for weeks? Will anyone have sympathy or will they say, “buck up?”
  124. How much sugar is too much sugar and can we really trust anything the FDA tells us?
  125. Should I cut sugar out of my diet completely?
  126. Did I completely embarrass myself last time I was drunk even though I’m 99% certain all I did was talk about a dumb movie for 10 minutes too long?
  127. Am I good enough at conversation or am I a selfish conversationalist who only talks about himself?
  128. Am I asking this person about their day enough?
  129. Am I a terrible interviewer?
  130. Every major joint in my body pops. How bad is that, really?
  131. Am I doing my monthly self exam correctly or am I doing it wrong and is a tumor growing that I haven’t been able to feel?
  132. Did my mom reheating leftovers in the microwave when I was a little kid seep BPA into my food and will that be the cause of my eventual cancer diagnosis?
  133. Will this be my last Christmas?
  134. Will this be my last New Year’s Eve?
  135. David Cassidy’s last words were “so much wasted time” and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that.
  136. Steve Jobs’s last words were “Oh god, Oh god, Oh god,” and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about THAT! And he died a long time ago, comparatively.
  137. What if god is real lmao???????
  138. What if I die and God is like “surprise bitch!” and he sends me to literal hell.
  139. Yeah we would all definitely go to hell immediately should God exist and be Christian like they say?
  140. In college I read Dante’s Inferno, and now I don’t really believe it, but I also don’t not believe it?
  141. When I think about the Port Authority guy who tried to blow people up sometimes I’m like, “Uhhhhhhh we should all be talking about how close this was to happening.”
  142. Like some days I’m fully convinced I will die in a terrorist attack. Like 60% certain. 70%! New York is a TARGET, folks. There’s no way around it!!! We are SITTING FUCKING DUCKS.
  143. Should I dance more? It seems so freeing but embarrasses me.
  144. Do people think my life is sad because I don’t post on Instagram very often?
  145. Do people think about me?
  146. I don’t think I would be able to think clearly or demonstrate leadership qualities in the event of a disaster or mass shooting. Because one time when I was a camp counselor at age 19 a porch collapsed while my campers were on it and I started sobbing and sprinted for help and almost threw up and it wasn’t actually a very big deal, I really overreacted.
  147. I have been having repeated dreams about planes crashing into New York City. Like, falling from the sky—not even being hijacked. Over and over I wake up after witnessing several planes just fall into buildings and hearing the sounds of the city screaming.
  148. Will the concussion I got in a 2008 car accident give me CTE?
  149. What do my parents regret?
  150. Will I be able to get horny for an elderly person when I too am elderly?

Staff Writer, Jezebel | Man

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

Senior Editor, Jezebel


Wife on Mars... Could Spit in the Eyes of Fools

Celebrity bloggers - they’re just like us!

This list sounds like what I call my squirrel brain: when I wake up at 4am (yes, me too) and I just cannot stop the anxious thoughts swirling like a hamster running on a wheel. So much of it is cat health related, Mr Mars health related, mom health related, pop in law health related (man, getting older sucks!), will I still have a job, and so much else most of which is completely beyond my control. Medication helps somewhat, but nothing can stop once my squirrel brain gets going.

TLDR, I’m right there with you at 4 am!