Other Heart Problems or Anxiety?

I am 19 years old and was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse with mild regurgitation when I was about 5 years old. I was terrified of having a heart attack or dying suddenly even as a child I would be terrified to fall asleep because of heart palpitations. I experienced my 1st panic attack in 2012 I had no idea what was happening I thought I was having a heart attack but after a few minutes I noticed I was fine again. I experienced them randomly not often just every couple of months I learned to deal with it. Then last month in september i was in my psychology class when he started talking about heart attacks and strokes I all of a sudden couldnt breathe & could feel a panic attack coming on. I debated leaving but I would be awkward leaving the class. I went home & still felt weird I thought I was going to have a stroke. For that full week I had anxiety & fear of having a stroke. The next week I was fearful of having a tumor. I went to the ER they did a cat scan & came back my fear was relieved. Then i thought I had diabetes & every condition out there. I went to the cardiologist for a check up & to tell him about my recent symptoms which are now chest pain, and a "thump" or "flip-flop" feeling in my chest. He did an echocardiogram of my heart & did not discuss this "thump" feeling with me. It would come and go randomly. He put me on a medication for the first time in my life called atenolol. Its supposed to treat chest pain/anxiety in the heart. Its been 4 weeks & I am still experiencing chest pain as I always have. I have had these "thump" feelings in my chest for a week straight every single day 85% of the day. They are starting to worry me & becoming a concern I fear I may have a heart attack due to clogged arteries. I have read the symptoms of people with clogged arteries and they sound very much like mine. I live in fear every day all day scared that i will have a heart attack. I go to the cardiologist in 2 days to tell him my experience with the medicine he has put me on. Does anyone think I'm having health anxiety or do you believe I have clogged/blocked arteries? Thanks for your support ;(

7 Replies

  • Hey ...... I have the same promblems will had but yea I'm not a doctor but diffenetly anxiety can cause that trust me anxiety has done so much more with me but now it's pretty calm ......excersise and good sleep and a good diet is really good for anxiety

  • I have had this all my life,probably 40 years and it is definitely anxiety, it is very difficult to tell you to try and relax because it is very real and disturbing, i have flip flops of my heart every day, somedays better but always there! You are too young to have a stroke or heart attack so do not worry. i have health phobia too but i eat healthy ,do not drink alcohol or smoke, i am 67 now!

  • I can`t understand why they never mentioned fixing your problem with an operation when the condition was first diagnosed. It would have saved you years of misery.

  • Hey there,

    Trust your cardiologist. They know their stuff, and they know your medical history and the context of your symptoms. I've found that searching the internet for health information is a massive anxiety trigger. The thing with online symptom checkers, is that a LOT of conditions have the same set of symptoms, and its really, really easy to convince yourself that you have a whole list of different ailments. It also makes you more aware of the sensations in your body, which just reinforces your fears.

    Your mitral valve prolapse could easily have triggered health anxiety. At least some of your symptoms could be caused by, or worsened by, anxiety. Just check out the variety of physical feelings that anxiety can cause: anxietycentre.com/anxiety-s...

    Be honest when you go and see the cardiologist and tell him about your fears, ask him to explain to you exactly what your condition is and how it affects you, and what to expect.

    I hope your mind manages to settle a little soon

    Emma xx

  • i say it's anxiety. I've been under a cardiologist care for 4 years now and they are still telling me that my heart is extremely healthy, however, I have palpitations everyday with racing heart rates, EVERYDAY but I've done every heart test known to man and every test keep coming back fine. I believe that although you have a heart condition that it's the anxiety that you are experiencing. Best wishes to you!

  • I too have what they call missed beats everyday I had them every 4 to 5 beats and then a miss, horrible feeling but Doctor said they are harmless. I too have health phobia and at the moment it is carotid artery blockages I am worried about because I am off balanced all the time and have strange attacks where my ears start ringing and my equilibrium starts playing up

    I fully understand

    hugs Helen

  • Are you still worried about the artery blockages? I went to the cardiologist yesterday and he did not say anything about my echocardiogram. I told him about the flip-flop feeling in my chest and he says it can be caused by my condition but should fade over time. It hasnt faded & I am still worried about the artery blockages :( I don't know what to do anymore I cannot keep going back to the cardiologist & er for them to tell me im fine :(

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