Health Anxiety

I was released from the hospital today. I have been seen in the ER 3 times in a month for heart palpitations, I've worn a 24hr monitor and seen a cardiologist. On Thursday my pcp admitted me for dehydration, fatigue, heart palpitations, and blood pressure. After exams and monitoring I was told I'm suffering from anxiety and panic. I totally agree and looking back I probably have dealt with it on and off for years but it has escalated over the last month and I'm now being treated but it is my first night home and I'm still very anxious and feel that I'm having heart problems. 

13 Replies

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  • Hi Beth1982,  anxiety can certainly make you feel like you are having heart problems. Actually it affects your whole body.   Suffering from anxiety and panic is a hard diagnosis to accept because it feels like something you can't really put your hand on. I'm glad you were treated and tested for your symptoms.  The first night home from the hospital is always an anxious time after having 24 hour care available to you.  You will be okay, by tomorrow you will slip right back into the comfort and security of your own bed knowing that help is only a phone call away.  Make sure you hydrate, that in itself will also help with the palps as well.  I wish you well Beth.  The forum will be here to support you as well as answer any questions you might have.  Take care  x

  • I was in the hospital for 3 nights and 4 days. Even though I wore a heart monitor the entire time, I still would not sleep because I was afraid I would die. I've never had anxiety or panic on this level. It's consumed me for over a week. I'm so afraid I'll never be myself again. 

  • Hi Beth,  you say you weren't diagnosed with any heart ailment.  Were you given medication to start on  while in the  hospital?  It sounds like your doctor did a thorough exam of what was going on.  Are you feeling physically uncomfortable since being home or more emotionally?   x

  • I have been diagnosed with pvcs and Pacs in the past. My cardiologist didn't feel they required treatment. Over the last 4 days in the hospital no pvcs were detected. My bp runs low on its own and now I'm weirded out about that as well. I feel so anxious over my heart, I can't tell if it's my heart or anxiety of my heart. 

  • Hi Beth,  since you have a cardiologist attending  you, I would trust in what he say that anxiety is what you have. Some years ago I was in the ER with Pacs.  They  watched me closely for a couple hours when I asked if I could have a Xanax.  Within 20 min of taking the Xanax my heart went back to normal.  It proved what anxiety can do.  I hope you try to get some sleep tonight.  Rest is important for both your body and your mind.  I hope tomorrow proves to be a better day for you.  Keep us updated on how you are doing please.   x

  • Thank you,  my cardio prescribed a beta blocker to help but it only made me more anxious because my blood pressure would dip low. The hospital stopped the beta blocker after a few days. All of this makes me so anxious, I don't know what to do. 

  • Hi Beth,  I was in your same position at one time.  It takes some trial and error to find the right drug that will control the palps and your anxiety but not lower your blood pressure.  (Taking into consideration anything else you may be on.)   Beta Blockers are used for anxiety at times but not without the side effect of lowering your blood pressure and making you feel weird, fatigued and in turn making your anxiety level increase. (that's not by the medication but by our fear of what's happening to us.)  Between your cardiologist and GP they will come upon a medication that will help you with the anxiety w/o causing ill effects.  Meantime, use or learn the relaxation techniques most of us use that will safely calm down your mind and body reducing the anxiety. Beth, I wish you well.   Hugs, Agora1

  • Hi.  I read your post and just want to tell you that I too have PVC's and have had them for 25 years that I can remember.  I am 45 now and I can remember having them at 18, so at least 27 years actually.  And I still get them to this day.  I likewise have wound up in the emergency room several times, wore the 24 hour Haltor monitor as well as another tracking device.  Now, I didn't realize years ago that the palps( which to me feel like skipped heart beats) were such a major part of my anxiety.  In fact, I don't know if that creates my anxiety or my anxiety create the beats.  There are times I am literally tuned in to every single heart beat for hours at a time which is very stressful.  My  finger is on my pulse on my neck and it sucks.  I have learned to think of them like hiccups; that's what a doctor told me to do, and I try to ignore them as best I can, but still annoying. 

    NOW, lack of sleep for a couple days will DEFINITELY increase the palps if you are having them now.  So please try to get a good night's sleep.  Also, there are months at a time I go without feeling a skipped beat or thinking much about it, which is def. something that calms me down because I know it's an episode that will pass, whether it's a day or a week.  

    I wanted to let you know you are not alone and I'd be happy to talk to you as much as needed.   Talk soon.

  • I like the hiccup analogy.  Thank you.  Usually when I get one it triggers more...

  • Thank you. I am so use to feeling my heartbeat that when I don't feel it, I panic! I'm reaching for my neck or my wrist. This is consuming my life. I never imagined feeling this way. It's so bizarre to "think" that my heart being calm also brings me anxiety. 

  • Yep been there! Sucks that anxiety has to create these symptoms with our heart. Realize though your heart is fine and it's actually your brain causing this. Your brain is sending you into a fight or flight response. Your adrenal glands are being told to produce stress hormones and boom your heart starts pounding. Don't be scared. If your heart starts pounding, let it! Stomp out the fear. So what if it pounds a million beats a second. It can handle it. Your heart could beat that fast for days without letting up and you'd be OK. Realize it is only going to do that for 20 min. Like a light workout. I have been through 2 extreme anxiety cycles in my life surrounding the heart. I thought I was dying and my heart was fine. I became obsessed and it actually caused more panic attacks. It wasn't until I shrunk the fear and Learned what was causing it that it stopped. You can also read my post post on treatments that helped me. I also take a small dose of lexapro and I haven't had a single panic attack since. And I was having them on a regular basis for months.

    You'll get through this! Again it stems from the mind not the heart. Your heart is actually healthy and responding to the chemicals it's being given. So take comfort in that. People don't die of heart failure from panic attacks! And you don't read how their hearts just stop from panic attacks. It just doesn't happen! You would have shown problems I. Your test if you had anything to worry about. God Bless!

  • Thank you, I actually started a low dose of Lexapro while in the hospital. It's like I need reassurance 100 times a day. Anytime my heart feels a little fast or theirs a small flutter, I just know the Drs missed something and I'm going to die with complications from my heart. It is absolutely miserable. I'm hoping to be myself again soon. Thank you 

  • Beth, I just saw this now that you are on Lexapro.   I am on it as well and for me is a good medication w/o it lowering blood pressure.  I'm sure a cardiologist did not miss anything.  Now you will need to work on lowering your anxiety through therapy or other techniques.  Once your heart palps are under control, you will start feeling more like yourself again.  Take care.  x

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