I'm glad someone was with you that day. You did well by going home and taking precautions.
Anxiety is a serious illness. I had it. For years I was the "nervous type, on edge" then wham, following a workplace incident I had a huge panic attack. From then on I had therapy and meds for about 2 years, I then set about fixing my anxiety forever- it took a long time- 22 years but was worth the routine I had developed.
Medication is sometimes needed as we cannot overcome it without them and therapy. We also underestimate it until it's too late. Prevention is better than cure.
Side effects from meds is more a case of getting the right one for you. I tried 12 medications and all but the last one had side effects then once the last one came along I've been taking it ever since....9 years. I wont ever go off it because I know how it is when I am, terrible.
Read the first post in these threads-
Recovery takes some commitment. Doing exercises every night prior to sleeping will help you sleep also and eventually your anxiety will go away. It's worth every effort to do these actions.
I hope you feel better soon.