Fear of heart attack

I am 64 and live with a fear of heart attack. I read the symptoms for women and I have them all ... a lot. I finally went to my physician and told her it was something that I was afraid of (that was some years back.) She said "Lets just get rid of that right now" and sent me for an EKG and stress test. Everything came back fine. My ongoing problem is that I have pain in my chest a lot. I get pain in the middle of my back, my neck ... you get the picture. All the symptoms of a woman having a heart attack. I become so filled with anxiety. My breasts hurt, my breast bone hurts ... I try to calm down. Even when I seem to get past the anxiety the pain is still there and the anxiety takes off again. I feel like I am being held hostage by fear. I almost always seem to have gas and burping seems to help a little bit. Anyone else out there having the same problems? I feel like I need to go to the ER to have it checked out but if I went every time I felt like this I might as well live there. I actually did go once - the pain I was having was very severe. They found nothing and were unable to tell me anything. They sent me home and told me to take Tylenol. I feel like such a fool. I so wish I could beat all this fear and pain. The anxiety is something I try to live with, as is the pain. Right now I am not doing a very good job.

12 Replies

  • Have they investigate the fact that sometimes chest pain is muscular, I begin to think my heart os going to stop when I have a lot of Palpitations, so I understand you panic. Although anxiety can cause chest pain, still think along the lines of investigate an alternative source of the pain, there are many organs in this region, you may have acid reflux, you may have indigestion, there's loads of things that can cause the pain you described. Consider you had your heart monitored under stress I would take that as a very good sign that your heart is healthy. Back to the possibility of muscular pain, can you increase or decrease the pain by changing your posture? If so then it is definitely not your heart.

  • Thank you so much for your insight. The pain does decrease by changing my posture or position. It does not go away completely but it less. It sure does help to have feedback from others.

  • Hi I am 63yr old female and have suffered panic/anxiety for nearly forty years . My main problem health anxiety with the dear of heart attack. I had the 24hour tape on which showed ectopic beats. I have been prescribed Bisoprolol to take if palpitations become a problem. But i am afraid to take them . My heart sensations feel all over the place. I am always aware of my heart and probably getting indigestion and gas mixed up with heart palps . I have been referred to the gym as heath referral by my Gp . I always have aspirin at hand . My CBT therapist said i should not do this but I still can't discard them. A tip was if heart feels irregular put face in cold water for ten minutes. Probably drown lol x

  • Whoops sorry that should be ten seconds not minutes lol x

  • Thank you for your response. 10 second in cold water would certainly be distracting and maybe break the anxiety response. I never would have thought of that. I am not familiar with ectopic beats...I will look that up. I want to say thank you again to you and everyone that has responded to me. I have never had anyone that I could talk to about the issues that I have other than a doctor. I am truly grateful ... you all touch my heart so much.

  • I am 63yrs over many years I've struggled with pains in my chest and breast bone arms neck pain etc I'm the same wondering (heart attack) I looked my bras is the bone giving me pain sounds very silly but it did help, had I picked anything heavy up a couple of days before, as I live on my own I tend to do things that a man should do, always a couple of days later I have my pains back even a couple of bags of shopping one in each hand gives me pains now, it may sound very silly but STOP think about the oddments we do around the house.. X x x x

  • I also have problems if I lift anything ... or stretch / twist funny. I also do many things that I probably should not, but I don't have a choice because I am alone also. I do seem to have problems with bras ... those with wires do make the problem worse I think. Thank you for your thoughts....I am very appreciative.

  • Just a thought.. I had a tiny hernia the size of a grain of rice in my chest a few years ago. I also thought it might be my heart before finding out what caused the chest pain. If they havent been able to find anything wrong with you take it as a good and positive sign and try not focusing on it anymore.

  • I try to distract myself whenever I have an attack ... sometimes I am successful, sometimes not so much. Deep breathing and EFT have helped a little but just talking it out - wow, what a great gift. Thanks for your response.

  • Iv`e had the same fear since I was 15. because my mother developed angina at the age of 42. They do keep telling people that it`s hereditary. Iv`e had numerous test done because of my family history, including a stress test & an echocardiogram, all clear. I can`t help but hate my mother for putting me through all this worry!

  • My mom died from heart complications and it was very hard to take. I was in my 20's though...you were so much younger. Then a few years ago my husband died from a heart attack - it really hit me hard. A real nightmare which has been ongoing because my beautiful dog Lilly collapsed and died a few months ago from a heart attack. I don't think there is any wonder that I am upset and get so anxious when I have chest pain. Life is so tough sometimes. I don't know how people are able to NOT have anxiety problems. I try very hard to be tough but fear sure takes me down sometimes. Thanks for responding and sharing your story. It helps me to feel a little bit safer knowing that other people have these issues to.

  • Wow no wonder you have so many fears what you have bern through with family members and your dog what u have to do is try and think postive and meditate and try apps for relaxation. I also found that posting on here makes me feel so much better because you have people who understands what your going through take care of yourself.

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