Anxiety

Hi all,

I was rushed to hospital 2 months ago with a racing heart (180bpm), was let go everything was fine, I have had a few visits to a&e since then with the same problem. Often after eating (indigestion,heartburn) or due to chest pain/ body pain. My cardiologist says everything is absolutely fine and it appears I am suffering with Anxiety related to my visit to a&e. I now seem to have accepted that my heart is fine and have no trouble after eating and don't seem to be getting any chest pains anymore. However, now I cannot help but think that there is something/everything else wrong with me, yesterday I had a pain in my side which I assumed was my lung, other day I had back pain I assumed was kidney, and any little headache I think that I have a brain tumour. I am now taken Fluoxetine which I am a week into and it is still happening. I woke up this morning with just a little cold, but I now believe this is the latest illness that is going to kill me. Any little pain or movement in my body I believe is another fault and my body is slowly giving up on me. I have also started seeing a therapist. Can anyone else relate? Any advice would be much appreciated!

31 Replies

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  • i can totally relate to all of it. Hang in there......just keep telling yourself that you are fine. It is difficult to believe that anxiety can cause all these symptoms, but we know that it can get nasty. For me the symptoms keep alternating between the heart and the brain :)..

  • Thank you for the reply. It is a lot more reassuring hearing this from someone who is experiencing the same problems as I am as opposed to my friends and family who keep saying "it's all in your head" don't worry, when not worrying is an impossibility!!

  • Hi Sandy

    Yes I can relate to your symptoms 100%, my problems also started in pretty much a similar way, I too used to think the worsed about every sensation or symptoms, I did improve with time and acceptance although I'm not too good at moment, sadly I've slipped into the fear of my thoughts, but working on it as best I can. Ive been on fluoxetine for a long time now, they do take a few weeks to kick in though so try and give it time, once they do kick in you should start to feel alittle better in mood, but the anxiety/panic you describe is not uncommon in health anxiety and you will need to learn how to allow these feelings/symptoms to come and go, let time pass and allow the sensation to pass, your not alone, its not easy but its possible to recover, stay strong xx

  • Hi Suzie,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I had a really good day yesterday but then this morning I had a really tight chest and the more I thought about it the tighter it got, I also seem to get everything that someone else gets I get myself. My friend mentioned grinding teeth and kidney stone pain (which i've had before) and ever since then my kidneys have been painful and i've been grinding my teeth, seems silly when you look at it like that. It's a shame you are not too good at the moment, I hope you get better again soon. No one understands how bad it is until they've had it.

  • Well sandy, take comfort in knowing your certainly not alone with the symptoms/feelings/fears etc, stay strong, and remember that recovery is not impossible xx

  • Sandy, I could have written this myself. Do hang in there, everything becomes clearer and more calm. I have all of what you mentioned and more. I have been seeing a hypnotherapist who has done Hypnotherapy with NLP and Emotional Freedom as well as some other things. It has helped me immensely after only 3 sessions when I never thought that would be possible. I do need to keep going for 'top-ups' as it's easy go on your merry way when you finally feel better. For me it was invaluable.

    Be assured that A&E are thorough. I got all of the problems after eating that you mentioned and it came in bouts. As my thinking became clearer it started to subside. You subconsciously become anxious to eat, thinking your heart will race which then gives you a racing heart!

    A good hypnotherapist will give you plenty of tools to use outside of their office too so you can help yourself when they are not around. Good luck x

  • I should have mentioned I do have full blown health anxiety and am working to make it less intense. I have been to CBT too which can help greatly in breaking a negative thought process. It's taken some deep digging to realise where mine stems from.

    I was quite reassured to learn that your subconscious makes a decision approx half a second before you know anything about it. When you fall into these loops of anxiety that you can no longer control a third party is needed to help you break the chain. Your subconscious is possibly now producing this flight reaction before you really realise it, hence the worst case scenario response.

    I do feel for you, you aren't alone and can get through it.

  • I do think that may be the stage I am at, health anxiety. But my therapist also said it could be trauma related. I just keep thinking in my head about an alternative illness, I'm a walking miracle if my diagnosis was correct! I had bloods and ecg's two weeks ago, do the blood tests show up everything? that thought keeps going through my mind! thank you very much for your response!

  • Hi Sandy. Trauma can be a huge precursor to health anxiety, almost like PTSD, so a traumatic medical experience can certainly trigger it off. It depends on what they tested, I.e. General or specifics. You are entitled to look at a copy of your blood test results. You can ask to see them at the GP (there might be an admin charge to print them) but the best thing to do would be to ask a GP to go through them with you if you wanted. The worst thing you could would be to get a copy yourself and then google the results, it will only stoke the fear. One of the first steps to this is cutting out Googling medical issues, if that is one of the things you do, as I did. So obvious and simple but what a difference.

  • Hi Chloececilia,

    I remember the triage telling me my heart kidney and liver was fine, but you just tell yourself that all these aches and pains are something more serious, like a life threatening illness. Never have I experienced anything like this in my life. Before this happened, you forget you even have vital organs etc - these thoughts never enter your mind, now its all I think of 24/7. I like googling my symptom to see it can be related to anxiety but sometimes it does more damage than it does good I supoose.

  • Definitely with you on that one Sandy. I do long for the day I can brush off a headache as a headache again and not something that will kill me, I'm getting there though and so you will you.

    It's an odd thing; initially googling seems comforting and reassuring but I can promise you that it is like petrol on a fire when you are dealing with health anxiety. I did all sorts like obsessively measure my heart rate on apps, I deleted all of them and stopped googling - not that I am not tempted sometimes - but I can't do it to myself anymore.

    For me health anxiety seemed like it came into my life with a bang overnight, when in reality it was creeping up on me with all its subtlety.

    There are a series of self-help books called 'Overcoming...' I bought the one for health anxiety and can recommend that too.

  • You've been such a help Chloececilia. Family and friends are helpful but you can't beat talking to someone that knows exactly what you are going through. That headache comment is exactly right, I cant wait to go to the doctors again for tonsillitis as opposed to throat cancer! Even when my mind is relaxed I seem to have sensations in my body which is what worries me I, as it is supposed to be the mind that is doing this to me yet I still get them. I've heard a lot of good things about Barry Mcdonagh and just brought his book "DARE". I believe that targets panic attacks which I am rarely getting anymore, just 24/7 anxiety at the minute. I will try the other book you mentioned as well. Thanks so much.

  • So glad I can help Sandy because anxiety can be very isolating and lonely, it shouldn't be! We need to end the stigma, but that's a whole other story! :)

    It took me such a long time to accept the physical manifestations of anxiety and that that's what they were. I would often get them when I wasn't actively thinking about something health related or anxiety-inducing and therein starts the loop again.

    I was able to lessen the sensations in my body by doing yoga. The thought of getting on the mat and completing a work out is daunting but it has been a little miracle for me. After a session my body feels at peace and not vibrating all over constantly.

    Check out yoga for anxiety/before bed by 'Yoga with Adriene' on YouTube.

    Be well!

  • What has happened in your past that justifies thinking (what has taught you to think) this way?

  • I'm not sure, before my trip to hospital these sensations I'm getting would of just been brushed off, but now I feel like I am more vulnerable or exposed to these illness. I just can't seem to brush it off at the minute. This afternoon I have had a niggling chest tightness/numbness, I'm still alive and well though, but I can't seem to fathom that now.

  • When you can identify your initial sensitising event, it will release you from some of the emotion of your condition. There will be something in your past e.g. you or a relative has had a medical "scare" or trauma. That convinced you to be on the alert and believe that your symptom is more than it is.

  • Oh sorry, one night my heart rate went up to 180 bpm, which made me go to hospital in an ambulance. Since then this has happened a couple of times which I have been told are nothing other than panic attacks as my heart is perfectly fine, now I'm not so worried about the heart I am concentrating on my health as a whole and every new ache or pain I assume is something serious when it is probably (hopefully) nothing.

  • What were you anxious/stressed about before your heart rate went up to 180?

  • Nothing really, I was generally quite a relaxed person.

  • Unless you actually have an underlying medical condition, it's unusual for your heart to be racing like that. So prior to 2 months ago there was no previous panic attacks, no medical traumas in your family or with close friends?

    Perhaps you don't register your anxiety (you suppress it) if you are saying that you are a relaxed person. Something will have triggered your tachycardia.

  • It was after I had returned from a night out so I believe alcohol and nicotine triggered it. As it happened two weeks later to that aswell. But since then it's happened without the involvement of alcohol and nicotine. I haven't drunk in two months since that happened. But now it's not so much palpatations it's chest pains, body aches everywhere, pretty much every anxiety symptom. I've now had

  • What happened on that night out re alcohol and nicotine? Did you have any issues with these substances before the night out e.g. fear of losing control, harming yourself?

  • I have never had any issue before, the most serious illness I'd had previously was kidney stones and even that didn't worry me, just got them removed. I've never worried about my health at all, until now.

  • I can relate! I constantly think something is wrong with me. Just like you said I get a headache and I think the worst. If I get pains in my sides I think whatever it is might possibly kill me. I know how you feel. Trust me. I have been dealing with some health issues with my stomach and being constipated. (Sorry). But ever since then every little think I feel in my stomach I start freaking out to the point where I make myself sick! I haven't had an appetite because im afraid to eat because of the problems im dealing with. Im afraid eating will make it worse! I have been in and out of the doctors office several times plus the Er. I just start freaking out about everything when it comes to my stomach. And its because it has consumed me. It is always racing in my mind. I think something is wrong all the time and then my brain sends signals through out my body and I get pain because I think something is wrong.

  • It's terrible isn't it. Mine was the heart but now it's everything else. Just think the body is generally failing me. I keep telling myself that if it was serious. It would of got me by now. But it's very hard to believe that when you have these constant sensations. Just need to think prior to this happening a twinge or pain in the body wouldn't of even registered in my head.

  • Yes it is terrible and very hard to deal with. I don't even like being alone because I am so terrified something will happen to me. And then it even makes it worse when I start to feel better about something I think well what if this happens tomorrow or what if I wake up tomorrow and its 10 times worse. Just so scary and it sucks living in fear like this. I have a lot of family support right now and I am so greatful for it

  • I am 20 years old and my grand parents are always making sure im okay.. I lived with them. But they make sure that I am not here by myself. My boyfriend gets very upset with me and I know he only does is because he doesn't understand what im going through. He has never dealt with anything like this or has ever been around anyone like this. And it has gotten way worse over the past couple weeks

  • It's terrible Rissa. I'm only 24 myself. I constantly have some sort of alement that I'm worrying about. I've had a lot of support too which I couldn't of done this without. I just want someone to say 'X' is wrong with you let's treat it.

  • Yes. Answers would be nice

  • Hello Sandy I don't suffer with health anxiety but I hope it gives you comfort that there are so many others that do and can truly understand the misery of it

    I was rushed into hospital with chest pains and I do have a heart condition so please try and put your mind at rest that you are fine as they have told you

    I hope you can stop worrying and accept its just this rotten anxiety nothing more

    You take good care oh and never ever Google symptoms its will frighten you to death xx

  • Hi Cat,

    Thanks for replying. Yes, these forums have made me realise I'm not alone. When I hear of people like you it makes me feel selfish as I've been told I am fine. I hope yours is nothing serious and you live a long and prosperous life!

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