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AF Association
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Living with afib sucks

I hate this moster...afib sucks. I feel that my problem has me hostage. I'm afraid to go out. I always feel scared. Please make this go away. I dont know what to do. Can any help.

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Afib really affects me mentally. I try to stay busy with life...work, hobbies, etc. I saw a therapist and it really helped me, maybe give that a shot.

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I will thank you


Probably not much consolation ogallardo, but most of us have been there. For me, the turning point was being referred to a cardiologist who had specific knowledge and experience in arrhythmias (Electrophysiologist). Generally, fear comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding and unless you take steps to find out everything you can (from reliable sources) about AF, the fear will remain with you. The problem in the UK is that referrals can take considerable time so if possible, consider a private consultation. The cost should be less than £300, but any tests (ECG/Echocardiogram) will increase this significantly so be aware. You will also find an enormous amount of helpful information on the AF Association webpage.

If we are honest, most of us fear premature death, but the evidence indicates that people do not die from AF but it is important to get it under control and be anticoagulated if necessary. Unfortunately, we are unable to make it go away, but we may be able to help you get it under control. Hope this helps.......


We can’t make the AF go away but many of us have managed to make our fear of it go away - but that means taking action in helping oneself to manage the stress such as learning breathing techniques or taking up Mindfulness or asking for a referral to CBT from your GP.

Others find distraction through hobbies really helps as when you are focussed on something you really enjoy your body produces endorphins which counter the stress hormones.

There are many, many anxious people here who will understand and offer help and support as they have been in your position - and come through the other side. My GP was very stern with me when I went into the ‘What if’s’. What if I have AF whilst I’m driving on the motorway? I asked - ‘You stop and call 999’ was his reply and then said I mustn’t be held hostage by my ‘what if’s’. I thought about it and decided it was a choice I had to make - find a way to manage it or be held hostage.

What stops you going out? I’ve had AF in the most ridiculous situations - and nothing worse than having to sit still and rest until the episode ended happened. Once or twice I have had to call 999 - taken to hospital where I was monitored for a couple of hours and then sent home. Sometimes I am able to continue regardless - it’s only when my heart rate increases and I feel faint I can’t. Whether or not you can function will depend upon how symptomatic you are and often how symptomatic you are, is in relation to how stressed you get when episode happens. Unfortunately anxiety and AF are bedfellows,

Are you newly diagnosed? How often does your AF happen? How long do the episodes last? Have you seen anyone other than your GP? How long have you had AF for? Any other illness. All will be relevant in relation to how it makes you feel.

Learn as much as you can about AF, read some of the the other threads and keep blogging about your experience as it all really helps.

Very best wishes CD.


Cannot add to the excellent advice above,except to say,have you a partner or close friend who you could explain how you feel when you have AF,and worried you are?someone to talk to,or to accompany you at first might help you to recover your confidence.

You don't say how you are being treated.Have you been referred to a consultant?if you are being treated with medications meanwhile,there are some that work better,or worse,on some people.Often there are choices doctors can make if the drug aren't doing their job.

Hope you feel a little better in your confidence soon.This is a great site to come to.


Hi there. I am new to AF & felt exactly like you. Firstly this site has helped me enormously. Just knowing others with AF are there & to offer such good support is invaluable. You don't feel so much alone because I don't know anyone with AF. Never been heard of in my family ever. Secondly I went for a course of CBT & they showed me that you have to get rid of the unhelpful negative thoughts. Believe me it's not easy & I am still working hard on it but my anxiety has reduced greatly. I know now that anxiety is a massive trigger so it makes complete sense to reduce it. Living in a state of constant fight or flight is so draining. If I can do it so can you my friend. Good luck 👍


Hi (-:

You may be able to. I did by having a Maze Procedure. Investigate this option



What is it about AF that scares you? Are you generally an anxious person? You said you have had AF for at least 6 months. What do the doctors say about your AF?


I had those very same feelings, horrible. Ive had PAF almost 3 yr, so it’s not the big scary monster it was in the beginning. Learn ways to relax yourself and take small steps in going out. Your confidence will slowly improve. It takes time and believe it will get better. Anxiety is not your friend. Hang in there, you can do this💜


Hi. Although I personally don’t have AF, my husband does and this site is my daily sanctuary to find answers to questions before I’ve even thought of them! My husband like yourself feels like he doesn’t want to go far. We walk, socialise with friends but my daughter suggested taking a Christmas trip to Germany and my husband told me on the side he doesn’t feel confident because as it was mentioned above ‘what if’s’ . He is worried he will have an episode on the plane or just generally feel unwell whilst there and stresses it will spoil our time. I so feel for all of you as it is such a curse of a thing and watching someone daily one minute being reasonable to out of no where being wiped out is stressful and I feel helpless. With the driving issue, he hasn’t driven for a year now as doesn’t feel confident that an episode will strike and he won’t be able to get to a ‘safe place’. Had his HGV licence taken away on the understanding that he has to be 3 months clear following a successful procedure. Sadly 3 failed cardioversions and being put on the dreaded drug back in May. Consultant won’t now see him until next Feb to then consider an ablation and heart scan 😩 wants him to loose weight. 6ft 2, 18 stone, he doesn’t look out of place but bless he’s cutting out bread and bits, eats a good diet anyway, but the excercise is limited to walking as anything else just takes its toll. Does anyone feel that the meds slow down weight loss?

I say live each day at a time and if your feeling a good spell happening, embrace and make happy memories. Do you all agree you’ve gotta have a sense of humour to get through the madness if it all. Love to you all xxxxx


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