Pain under sternum in chest

I had some bad heartburn a few weeks ago which I think was a result of not eating and feeling anxious a lot. With a death of my dear mom in law I really lost my appetite and my anxiety got pretty bad. Then my doc put me on Prozac which really put me over the I stopped it. But I think it too contributed to my tummy troubles. Now, weeks later, I still feel pretty bad chest pain that goes to my back too. A little burping heartburn, but more of a heavy feeling in my chest. Anyone get this heavy chest feeling, lump in the chest, pain in the chest, radiating back pain from anxiety or, of course, am I dying?

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6 Replies

  • Well sunny it is probably anxiety but any responsible person would tell you to see a doctor. The lump and the pain yes, but I've not personally experienced a heaviness. The Prudent thing would be to see a doctor, get it over with, write each and every one of your questions down before you go, and then you will feel much much better.

  • Also, I'm sorry about your mom in law. It's a difficult situation that can intensify a lot of feelings.

  • Nope, you're not dying. Chest pain and tension is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. We get so tense that we start to ache. If you can get yourself to start taking walks, practice deep breathing, and some meditation it will help tremendously. I recommend the app called Headspace. Easy meditation for the beginner and on. Check out

  • Hello SunnyG, so sorry to hear that your beloved mother in law passed. It is horrible when someone we love leaves us and we feel very very sad. I remember vividly when my mother passed. She was ill for over 15 months and holding down a full time job, children finally took its toll and I finally went to the doctors. She said to me that culturally it was not doing me any favours. The English "stiff upper lip" and getting through no matter what bottles up tension and it needs to be released. "Cry" she said "Cry whenever you need to". And it was like a dam bursting for me.

    Go to the doctors, check yourself out but it very much sounds like pent up sorry and tablets do not help you let it go. They mask the pain. Let it go SunnyG, your allowed to feel anguish. Let it go and you can then start to feel better and remember all the good times you had with your mother in law.


  • I 100% agree the sorrow & sadness can cause all sorts of anxiety which leads to you feeling worsening I know from experience try relaxation & allow yourself to cry 😭.


  • Sorry about your loss sunnyg. I have the exact same feelings. The pain is so excruciating in my back that it is unbearable at times. I thought i was dying too. I explained it to my doctor. He said that you have a muscle below your sternum and when you become anxious (in some) that muscle tightens up (and in your back) which causes that radiating pain. I sometimes take a muscle relaxer. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. But it seems like it is happening more frequently now. I am still going to follow up with PCP just to be sure. I think you should too!! I'll keep you and everyone else in my prayers always!!!

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