Why am I so conscious of my heart? - AF Association

AF Association

20,711 members25,390 posts

Why am I so conscious of my heart?


When I was diagnosed, after just one event, I had already had a TIA. Before that, I never felt anything untoward with my heart, even though I'm told I did have AF. Now however I'm conscious of every single missed/ectopic beat, every single run of AF, (ok, can't miss that), every hiccup that my heart does.

I think I'm like this because having a 7day monitor 4 years ago, having to write down anything you notice and the time, I can't stop how!! I wonder if CBT would help. Bit fed up with my state of mind about it actually. If only I wasn't so intolerant to meds. I may find managing it easier.

Am I the only one?

8 Replies

Hi Slipware, you are far from the only one. Anxiety and being conscious of our hearts seems to be part and parcel of coping with af sadly. CBT may be useful certainly worth a try as is Mindfulness and breathing techniques.

Have a word with your GP they should be able to refer you for CBT or suggest other techniques. I have been seeing a clinical psychologist specialising in health issues and managing them. Found her really helpful.

Take care, you will find a way to deal with it.

You are certainly not the only one! I had what I now know was PAF for 6 or 7 years before it was diagnosed. Although the episodes were difficult to deal with prior to diagnosis, once I knew 'it is my heart!!', my anxiety levels shot up and the episodes, jumps and bumps became something major.

I cope as best I can with serious, daily slow breathing, relaxation and my mantra - this too shall pass. I still keep a mental eye on my heart though. ☹️

I noticed you said earlier that you are in permanent AF, so those 'runs' might be something else, or maybe AF with more attitude than usual? It may be that your heart is really acting up more than before, not just that you are supersensitive. Whatever it is very hard to get used to so as long as you don't feel ill with it then some help would be good but 'ill' is the important word, then you should assume it is your body not your mind at fault!

Hidden in reply to Buffafly

My gp says permanent, but I feel it's still PAF. As I can feel I have a fair amount of normal sinus rhythm. I think he thought that because at the moment, a full 30 seconds, I may have had arrhythmia. I have a monitor fitted soon.

Buffafly in reply to Hidden

GPs are not known for their knowledge about arrhythmias! The monitor should give a much better idea of what is going on.

No it's very normal and yes CBT will help. I speak from experience I got that obsessed with my heart I struggled to leave the house with the anxiety. I have just completed counselling which included CBT and the change is remarkable. It becomes a habit and you need techniques in place to break it. You can get it on the NHS.

Hidden in reply to Richard75

Thank you. I'm going to book. I think I need it. As I had a TIA I have other issues and it may help all round. It's comforting to know it's not just me.

I am always aware of my hear beating, particularly in bed at night, but even just sat on the sofa relaxing, watching tv. Don't know why, maybe us AF sufferers are just more aware, I ask my hubby sometimes if he is aware of his, he says no. I don't let it worry me though. I just get on with my life, no point worrying 😊

You may also like...