Any luck with psych meds?

Hi everyone,

I recently posted about the anxiety I've been experiencing. I think my first episode in September triggered some sort of panic disorder, because now anytime I feel ANY weird sensation near my heart I start to have a panic attack. Last night I had one because I was going to have to speak in front of 5 people. I felt my heart rate go up and immediately started freaking out in my head, "you're going to trigger afib, you're going to trigger afib!" I really don't want to be scared of being scared anymore. Had anyone had any success with psych meds? I'm still trying to figure out the right kind for me. I just feel like I need something to turn down the volume.



19 Replies

  • One of the simplest things I learned from someone on this site was breathing exercises.Breathe in to 5 and breathe out to 8 .Do it a few times to feel a little relaxed.I have a very serious problem with hyperacusis...a long story.....and this is one of the few things that helps .It is no magic bullet but might help you while you are investigating other things.

  • Thank you! You're right, deep breathing does help. I always forget that!:)

  • Yes it is a great help I take 4 deep breaths a minimum 4 times a day and often more when I think about it.

  • It's 7:11 if you can manage it - but 5:8 is also good!

  • It is a good thing to try to tackle the anxiety that often brings on AF. Many psych meds have the side effect of an irregular heartbeat, so that route can be counter productive. Learning things like mindfulness meditation, yoga, and various stress reduction techniques have all positives and no negatives. That said, the substrate for AF exists in your heart so managing the anxiety is not a cure, but it definitely can be helpful, plus you will feel better. Spending time outdoors and exercise are also great for helping to stay calm and not be fearful. Nature is wonderful for turning down the volume. Be well, Tomas!

  • Thank you so much! I have an appointment to go see a naturopathic doctor next month. I'm going to see about alternative medication for both anxiety and afib. I know I have it in me to beat this or at least not let it run my life, It's just going to take some time to really believe it.

  • Probably the most important sentence my EP has always said at every visit is, "Live your life". Seriously, do not let this run your world. Make healthier choices, breathe deeply, and keep moving! You can do this.

  • That's wonderful advice. Thank you for taking the time to reply on here. It's so helpful.

  • Agreed Grandma, Nature is a winner and has its own slower pulse!

  • Mindful meditation helps me - it can be as simple as downloading the Headspace app on your iPhone and setting aside 15-20 minutes everyday

  • I love headspace!! I should open up that app again!

  • I have found that mindfulness meditations have made me much more likely to be mindful in every situation, being present, breathing slowly, and that has made a great impact on my sense of well being. It has taken a lot of practice, but it's just one more way I have learned to live differently in a way that supports wellness.

  • The 7:11 breathing originated by the founders of this organisation who took a very original approach to treating anxiety.

    Have a look at this site - some excellent, free resources. I used to recommend their book on Anxiety to a lot of my clients. I think it has been superseded now.

    Sound like you have a very active and imaginative brain CBT may also help you with the thoughts but Human Givens Approach looks at many contributing factors.

  • Thank you for your response. I have a psychologist that does CBT, but we really haven't gotten into it much. I think I would respond really well to it. Yeah, my brain is VERY imaginative, and I could easily convince myself that I'm going crazy or that I'm in afib when I'm not.

  • I take fluoxetine which just helps take off the stress and anxiety. It won't stop you worrying about everything but somehow it is all easier to cope with. Ask you doctor. Don't let him give you citalopram although it calms you down it makes you very flat and we don't need that. I am much happier again now since restarting the fluox.

  • This is all I want, is to be able to cope with the anxiety better. :(

  • If you are taking anti coagulants be careful of herbal remedies. I know you shouldn't take St Johns wort with apixaban and have been told that herbal remedies are not tested as part of the drug trials to see if there are interactions.

  • Thomas,

    I'm very much with you on this one. I have suffered anxiety all my life and although I was fine after the initial diagnosis of AF, the anxiety has crept up on me and I have now overly sensitive to every sensation in my body. Previously, I have been on Prozac (Fluoxetine) before AF , and though not pleasant they do help. However I believe there is a contradiction in my current medication. I have started swimming again as exercise has helped in the past and also started Yoga.

    I like, you just want to turn down the volume and find some peace.

    Good luck


  • Hi Stuart,

    Thanks for sharing. It's helpful to read that you share my experience. It's so weird, after my first and only (so far) afib episode, I was so crazy anxious, and then something happened in October that felt like hope. I was like, "you know what afib? Bring it on!" I started exercising, and drinking a little bit of coffee again. I felt like I was going to be ok. Then, something switched in November. I started having panic attacks more frequently, and I even had to cancel a trip to go see my family on the other side of the U.S. because I was scared of panicking. Since then, It's been a roller coaster ride. I feel way more scared than I did at first, and I've had such a hard time shaking it off. I feel like exercise really helps. Maybe I'll try out swimming like you!

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