I was diagnosed as having persistent afib a couple of months ago, but I think it's been persistent for about at least six months.
I have noticed an irregular heart beat, which would pass, several times over the past few years. When I mentioned this to my GP he put it down to my anxiety (suffered from for about 11 years) but it was never irregular when he checked.
Before that though, I used to have bouts of what I thought were panic attacks. They wouldn't come very often, once every few months or so, but my heart would just start beating fast and hard - it felt like it was trying to beat it's way out of my chest and was actually visible to anyone who looked at my chest at the time! Again I told my GP about these episodes, but because he never actually observed one, coupled with my anxiety, I don't think I was taken seriously!
Do these episodes sound like they could be afib related?
Just to add, I haven't had an episode of the later now for almost four years.