In a still-developing story out of Portland, ME, woman with anxiety Andrea Belenky has had the Sunday Scaries, or the anticipatory dread of returning to the work week after a weekend, since Tuesday.
“Monday I was just getting thrown back into the week, but once Tuesday came around, that uneasy feeling came creeping in that soon it would be Wednesday, then Thursday, and then, of course, Friday, and then it would be the glorious weekend, but that weekend would go by so quickly and before I knew it, it would be Monday again,” says Belenky. “It was horrible.”
It’s not the first time Belenky has experienced an unusually prolonged Sunday Scary.
“I had the week off between Christmas and New Year’s this year, which was great, I’m very lucky,” Belenky says. “But I did spend the whole time starting the evening of the 25th in a low-grade panic over the fact that it would eventually end, and I would have to go back to regular life, and also how I might have to have a root canal one day, which wasn’t strictly related but still very disconcerting.”
However, Belenky maintains feeling dread about returning to work next week while only at the beginning of her current workweek is not especially disruptive or unmanageable.
“Honestly, it’s good for me to just be anxious about how I’ll feel on a Sunday five days away,” Belenky says. “It’s better than being anxious about the fact that I’ll die someday, or about all the things I’ll have to do in the future like moving, childbirth, navigating public transport in Italy should I ever go there. Huh, I guess I’m sort of in a constant state of dreading death but also life. Anyway, I’m good!”
But despite Belenky’s claims of not minding her all-week Sunday Scaries, some experts challenge her position.
“A lot of people will feel some anxiety on a Sunday evening about starting a work or school week,” says psychotherapist Dr. Eva Lopez. “But for people with an anxiety disorder, Sunday Scaries are more just a small part of Life Scaries.”
“I can speak freely about this because Andrea isn’t my patient,” Dr. Lopez adds. “But if she isn’t in therapy already, she should definitely call my office. I’m am out of network.”