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Anxiety Support
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Convinced myself I have heart problems

I'm new here. 21 year old male, as a high school athlete, never had issues. My father and I have a harmless cardiac arrhythmia that occasionally (once a week) causes our heart to skip beats, sometimes for 5 or 10 seconds at a time. All my life I have been fine, but for the last three months or so, I have begun to have unbelievable anxiety with debilitating panic attacks about once every two weeks. I am convinced there is a problem with my heart. It's completely irrational, as I worked out every day since I started kindergarten, and have never had a serious problem with my heart. But as we all know, anxiety isn't rational. I need help. I am considering going to get medicated, as my mother and brother are, however, I would like to beat this on my own.

I get this empty feeling in my chest, then this rush to my head, then tunnel vision, then all-out panic attack until it subsides. I can't talk, can't think, and I feel drunk. I just need tips on how to get through these episodes, and how to accept what I am feeling and move on, attributing it to something besides a heart attack or possible sudden cardiac arrest.

Thanks if you made it this far,


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Learn mindfulness meditation and progressive muscular relaxation


I assume you have had your heart checked out by a cardiologist . If you have that should relieve your anxiety, if you haven't you should just to be on the safe side and to relieve your anxiety. It's better to know what you have to deal with than to let your imagination run wild. Trying to do this on your own is irrational, you are not qualified . After you get your answer repost because we know our way around anxiety here. Good luck , Pam


Hi wilbur96969, As I am understanding this, both you and your dad have a harmless cardiac arrhythmia but both your mom and brother are medicated. Do you all suffer from the same cardiac disorder? Might it be Mitral Valve Prolapse? That is a hereditary disorder of the heart which also goes along with producing anxiety with weird physical symptoms. Although not dangerous, it can be disruptive with our everyday life events. I would look into it further since it seems to be family acquired. Let us know what you decide.


I wasn't clear. They're medicated for general anxiety. However, I will give mitral valve prolapse a look to see if it's similar to what we have. I haven't discussed, in detail, with my father what it was called. He was just tested with a portable heart monitor for a week or so and it was determined it was non-life threatening (though they didn't provide any information on how to stop the panic inducing feeling that comes with it).

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Yes Wilbur, keep us updated. As long as you both are under a doctor's care, that is what is most important. So your mom and brother are on meds for Anxiety, hope it helps them. Once I was diagnosed with MVP, I was told that exercise was the best thing as well as having therapy and meds for the irrational episodes I would experience. I went into water aerobics 5 days a week which reversed those feelings. But don't recommend it without a doctor's approval. The exercise helped the heart palps and sensations but the anxiety attacks still broke through. It took time but eventually I got my life back once again and am doing well. I still use deep breathing, relaxation and acceptance each day to avoid any major events to break through.

Learning how to not worry about any impending cardiac events will help lower the anxiety level. You are young, the chances are slim. It sounds like having been an athlete in high school kept you in good shape. I hope your father's heart monitor test comes out okay. Take care.


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