Newly diagnosed with afib after 3 visits to the ER. 27 years old

My world has definitely flip upside down 3 weeks ago and I can't help but to feel depressed. I've been put on flecainide 50mg x2 and metropolol 12.5 mil a day. I can't help but to feel severe anxiety I feel as if my whole body is in constantly trembling and I've been feeling a lot of panic attacks because I have constant fear that I'm going to die. If anyone can please give me some advice to cope and what is my future going t look like? Will I ever feel normal again? :/

22 Replies

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  • So sorry that you are going through this. It is early days, and they may need to get your medication right. It is possible your condition can be treated with ablation but it is hard to know from what you've described. Tell the doctor as soon as you can how you feel, and find an electrophysiologist cardiologist. I hope you feel better soon!

  • i know exactly how you feel i was diagnosed 2 years ago. my symptoms of af have reduced quite a bit by change in lifestyle and being proactive in getting the condition under control

  • I can understand your feelings of depression and anxiety following your recent AF diagnosis. It is a lot to take in. Please be reassured that AF is not life threatening. There is a lot of very good and useful information on the AF Association website and the more you find out about AF, its treatments etc, the more you are armed with what is going on with your heart. Please try and keep calm as anxiety and stress does not help. Not easy I know as I am a person who suffers anxiety and panic attacks but do try it will help. There are so many great people on this forum who will support you - you are not alone. I do hope you will feel more able to cope soon. Life goes on and you will cope even if you feel it won't at the moment.

    With best wishes

    Carol

  • It does get better but make it a priority to put in place a number of things which relax you, talk to the medics until your drugs are right and research (incl here) until you feel you know the condition.

    It is by no means easy but be persistent regardless of how it looks and feels.

  • Yes you will feel normal again. Your meds look sensible. Try and get a bit of Valium out of them for the anxiety. You won't need much because Metroplolol increases the effect of the Valium. Don't take it for long. Valium is a perfectly good drug for short term anxiety it's just everybody started taking it in handfuls for a long time and got addicted: duh. Really in my (non medical) opinion you are on the best stuff. I entered this world at about your age, bit of panic, bit of what I now know to be flutter. Then 3 epidodes of Afib in 40 years. Now 73. I carry your meds as pill - in -pocket. Oh yes, get some magnesium oil and use it copiously on the skin. Chest and temples particularly. I know you feel like you are going to die and want to but go slow on more procedures like ablation. I'm sure they are good but in my view you need to delay a headlong rush into more therapy. YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.

  • Hi there , we've all been in exactly the same place as you are now , I'm a year down the line and one ablation , I still feel panicky sometimes about the whole situation , It was this time last year when mine kicked off several times in a short period several stays in hospital just out the blue , I try to push it to the back of my mind now and try not to take my pulse too often , easier said than done ,I've tried to carry on regardless , as soon as you get the meds sorted and things settle a bit you'll feel a bit better , hope you feel better soon

    Cheers Paul

  • Yes you will be okay, I went into a-fib about 8 years ago for the first time.and panic and anxiety started. First, believe me I know first hand it's easier said then done but you have to try and relax,do deep muscle relaxation,reduce stress, watch caffeine, hydrate. Although they were never able to tell me the cause of my a fib, I found that stress and anxiety can definitely add to it and cause you to go in it more frequently. You have to try and stay calm and breathe through the panic and anxiety attacks I really have to tell yourself that you felt these panic attacks before and you will be ok. As for the afib you need to definitely keep in communication with your cardiologist and electrophysiologist sometimes they can control it under the medications. After eight years of failing antiarrhythmics, I just had the ablation done last week. The doctor says it was a successful surgery although we have to give it a 3-month healing period. You will be ok it's just a matter of finding the right regimens for your afib staying calm and relaxed when you go into the a-fib it will pass quicker, and just remind yourself that night of the 8:50 to panic anxiety is going to hurt you you are not going to die you are safe keep reminding yourself that. I wish you lots of good luck and better days ahead you can always find me on here to chat.

  • We none of us find it easy at first to absorb the fact that we have a heart problem, but AF is just a peculiarity with the heart's electrics, very treatable and not very fatal. So many of us are now so much better (physically and mentally) than we were when first diagnosed. So I'd agree with all of the above and say your future is bright, you may have to look after your heart and live in a healthy way which is no bad thing, and yes, you will feel normal again, but with a measure of triumph at having overcome this tedious affliction that we share.

  • Hi I'm 33 and just diagnosed in the last 3 weeks too. They still aren't sure if mine is a temporary thing as I have had myocarditis which may have caused the afib, or it may have revealed a problem already there. I'm seeing a cardiologist next week to see if it's sorted itself on medication (I'm sure it hasn't) or if they are going to try cardioversion.

    I also suffer from anxiety but fortunately not with medical issues, but I can get an idea what you are feeling.

    Hopefully we'll both be living more normally again soon.

  • It will take time to adjust. We have all been there. Looking back, my episodes of AF are a lot milder now I don't get panic attacks quite so much when AF kicks in, I finally gave into anti depressants. Had 3 weeks on diazapam and I'm now on Sertraline and it's made so much difference to me. When I go into AF now I make sure I'm sitting down and I repeat "it's not life threatening" over and over. It's not normally life threatening but it feels like it is. xxxx

  • You will feel better. It's the fear that you will die - after all it's your heart - you have to believe AF does not kill you. Most of us on this site have been where you are and we are still here, adjusting but still enjoying life.

    Keep in touch.

  • Sorry to here. I was diagnosed 3 months ago and I'm 36. Started taking metropolis then they added flecainide 50mg. After changing cardiologist they increased the flecainide to 100 mg dropped the metropolol and started verapomil. With metropolol I could not even get out of bed now I'm more active. Going for ablation next week. Keep positive it will work out fine ask to change to verapomil.

  • I really feel for you. I'm in a similar position in wondering if I will ever feel normal again. I haven't had to go to A&E, and am only on Warfarin and beta blockers at the moment, which don't do anything to stop fib, just calm it down. Still very disruptive and depressing, though. My life feels ruined for ever.

    I support what others are saying about finding out about the condition and doing what you can to improve your general health. I've lost a couple of stone and am now at a good weight. I've improved my diet a hell of a lot. Avoided caffeine anyway and didn't smoke or drink. Doing a lot of walking. Supplements are worth looking into.

    I try to focus on what can be done. Though there are no perfect solutions, first stop seems to be the drugs which, as far as I can tell, seem to work for most people (?!). By staying healthy, you minimise the chances of the AF overcoming the drugs and progressing from intermittent to permanent. This could be a permanent solution, assuming you get on OK with the drugs.

    However, like me, this could mean you end up on these powerful drugs for a very long time. So an ablation is certainly worth considering as it can potentially allow you to come off the drugs. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to work, though, more than 5-10 years with current techniques. It is a relatively new operation and has progressed a lot since about 2000 (plenty of info online).

    So, question is, for me at least, is it worth sticking with the drugs in the hope ablation techniques improve, or go straight for the ablation asap (assuming you can get the NHS to agree to that)? I've seen both views on this forum. And there's always the hope of new drugs/procedures in the future.

    Best wishes at this difficult time.

  • Hi there , I've read a lot of people who have made life changes and use supplements to control there af , it's a personal choice as to wether to go for ablation or have a lifetime on drugs , for me I didn't like the thought of taking these drugs the rest of my life not knowing what they could do to me , we're all different and it needs serious thought as to what you'll do only you can decide that , keep well Paul

  • As everyone will tel you AF is not life threatening - coping with those wobbly moments is bit hard. You become far more aware of internal blips . It is an uphiill climb and can be a struggle somedays - but you can get on top of it . it will level for you and am sure you will learn to cope. That feeling of panic will subside .

    I do find the different ideas that medics have of treating the problem is confusing. I find checking out and writing posts on this forum a tremendous help

    There is a lot to learn and no question is too trivial - you are not alone.

    .

  • Yes you will feel normal again I started af 3years ago and for first 2 years only had a couple of episodes per year but they are more frequent now but only last no more than 15 mins each time it visits me!!

    The worst part for me is the chest pain feels like my lungs are reacting to the fast irregular heart beats. How many of you out there get similar pains in chest/lungs?

    I know you will be feeling as if it's the end of enjoying life but this feeling WILL pass and as you talk on here with others and learn more about af you will smile again but you have to try to remain positive.good luck I'm sure I'll see more of your posts future.

  • Hi just sending big hugs to you and also the others who are newly diagnosed and to say you are not alone in this.

    I have just been diagnosed and I completely understand how you feel. I cried for days and didn't get out of bed when I was first diagnosed, my HR was 168 in a&e and luckily I went back to normal just before the shock. I was in A&E again last week and Flecainide sorted me out. I have had 9, 12-24 hour incidents since September all with crazy heart rates of 140plus and I am still here and hopefully I may have found a tablet that works, Flecainide as a pill in the pocket.

    This is horrible and scary and I can only say keep coming on here and research as much as possible. I was so scared to leave the house after last weeks dramas, but my pal took me to Morrisons on Sunday and within a few minutes I had forgotten about AF (too busy buying cream buns and cursing at ignorant shoppers!!). I really enjoyed getting out, even if only for an hour or so, then came home to worry again but not as much.

    Don't let this ruin your life, I am in the same boat as you and I am determined not to let it rule mine!! I am still scared and I know it will happen again, but I am trying to be as prepared as possible, writing everything down for the professionals and eliminating possible triggers, researching the options and of course driving everyone on here crazy asking the same questions over and over again!

    I have posted quite a lot on here so please look back on my posts as I will have asked lots of things you may be thinking about and please get in touch if I can help x x x

    Sara xxxxxxxxxx

  • Also a key thing is to listen to your body - it is not just me saying that but also my consultant EP. I have learnt the hard way too often just trying to go on and not going for a rest / sleep / relaxation. I then wake up feeling much more refreshed.

    Tiredness can make AF worse whether persistent (like mine) or paroxsymal. Today was a good example where I went to bed and around 1.00pm and slept for a couple of hours because I was absolutely shattered because I ended up walking almost double this morning as dog legged it from the meadow into the adjacent farmer's field and had a great time.

  • How are you coping now Sara

    Rich

  • Aw, don't worry. We've all been there, as you can see. it gets much easier and less panic inducing as you learn more and chat to us on this forum. I can't tell you what a difference these af ers have made to my attitude and knowledge about af. I have been made aware of what I need, and on at least two occasions have persuaded my gp and even a consultant to change/modify my drugs. All due to superb advice from folk in the forum. I feel so much better and can manage my af without too much trouble. JanR

  • Yes your fear will settle down in time. Once you take your meds you should be okay. Discuss this fear with your doctor, They are the only people who can reassure you.

  • I really want to sincerely thank everyone who replied. I have a little more faith that I'll feel back to my old self once again. It's hard to accept but there's nothing we can do. I'm sure everyone will continue to hear from me as I've never even heard of this condition till I was diagnosed and have so many questions. Thank you all again well wishes to everyone.

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