Never thought I could get anxiety

So, I just found this site doing some homework on why my heart seems to race and flutter constantly. I've been dealing with anxiety over the course of probably 3 months now. I was the kind of guy that always thought I would never deal with anxiety, depression, etc. Been healthy all my life and lucky. 33 years old, happily married with a smart and beautiful 5 year old daughter.

Sorry to bounce around but I've heard that telling your story is a good way to release some anxiety and start the healing process so to speak. About a year ago I started getting some random chest pains. They were never gripping pains but enough to notice they are there and freak you out. I ignored them at first and attributed it to working out and maybe having a chest strain. They continued on for a month and that's when I started getting online and trying to self diagnose myself. Big mistake. Anybody that has searched chest pains knows what I'm talking about. Heart attack, heart failure, heart disease, etc. The possibilities are endless on WebMD. I instantly thought I was having a heart attack as I could feel my BPM skyrocketing. I took myself to the closest ER and they did the normal EKG and I was fine. They did find that I had higher than normal blood pressure. I believe it was in the 160/100 range. I did my follow up with my primary doctor and he put me on blood pressure medicine and attributed my chest pains to blood pressure. About 10 months went by and the pains were very rare. Which brings me to the last couple months...

The pains started coming back a little more often but this time they started being accompanied by shortness of breath and a quicker than normal heart beat, typically at night time. I've actually had the ambulance come once b/c I of the rapid heart beat, chest tightness, etc. They did the EKG and told me I was fine. Then about 1 month later at around 2am in the morning I woke up having a panic attack and drove myself to the ER. They did the typical EKG, chest X-Ray, drew blood, etc. Once again, cleared to go home, no signs of heart attack, bad heart, etc. I drove home around 8am and just kept telling myself everything is fine, everything is great, you're healthy but deep down it was hard to convince myself of this. A few days later I saw my doctor and he tried reasoning with me. The paramedics, the hospitals, they wouldn't let me go if they thought something was wrong with me. It's their obligation to make sure before releasing me. He kept telling me i'm fine, i'm good, etc. He then told me to make an appointment with a cardiologist and maybe that will ease my mind. I had my appointment back about 8 days ago. The doctor decided to put me on a 2 week heart monitor and ordered a stress test. I've had the monitor on for a few days and the stress test on Friday.

In the meantime I've had to go back and see the doctor b/c my issue waking up every night around 2am and struggling to go back to sleep b/c of my rapid heart beat. I've also added on certain times having my face heat up and my body feel like it's burning, small stabbing pains around my body, feeling like I need a deep breath and not being able to get it. I told my doctor this is literally breaking me and pretty much had a breakdown in his office. He told me everything that's going on im doing to myself. The stress test/heart monitor is for the cardiologist to cover his butt so he can tell me with 100% certainty my heart is fine and i'm OK. If they thought different he wouldn't have pushed my follow up appointment to the end of march. He put me on anti-anxiety medication (Lexapro) and told me i'd start feeling better after about 5 days. I tried it for a couple days and the third day in I literally felt like I wasn't myself anymore. I walked around in my backyard for about 30 minutes aimlessly with no thoughts and no emotions. At that point I decided to stop taking it and try to deal with my anxiety without any type of medication like that.

I have my good days and I have my bad days. I've decided to try and make an appointment with a psychiatrist and figure out how to balance everything out until I get my heart monitor and stress test results next month. Praying when I get my results and everything is good i'll start feeling better.

If you actually made it through my entire story thus far I really really appreciate you reading it. I felt like I needed an outlet to just let go. I truly sympathize with anyone dealing with anxiety and depression. I hope to have a happy ending and be able to share my story with anyone else that feels like it'll never end.

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  • hey buddy, my name is Zach and I am 22 years old. I too have a similar story, I woke up one night around 0130 with an extreme burning feeling in my upper left chest. I told my fiance that something was wrong and I needed to go to the hospital. Once I got there, they took my BP and it was 194/104 and they gave me a crap load of aspirin to lower my it and did the EKG and blood test for cardiac enzymes. All of it came back okay, they decided to do a chest X-Ray and it came back as some type of chest wall inflammation and they prescribed me Norco as a pain medicine for the chest pain etc. Well about three days later, I started getting lightheaded and felt all off balance. I went back to the ER and they said "well we have checked out your heart, whatever it is, I'm sure it wont kill you" So I made an appointment with my GP and he looked at me straight faced and said "whenever you go to an emergency room they will always rule these things as some kind of sinusitis, so I want to do an MRI just so I don't miss any brain tumors or anything really serious" that there alone scared the h*** out of me. I went home and cried for two days straight. I have a fiance, a five year old daughter and a two year old son. If something happened to me what would happen to them? From that point on I would worry and worry and worry constantly. The day came for the MRI and the hospital called me and said that I couldn't get the test done until I paid the 2,500 for the test. This pushed me over the edge. I was scared beyond anything I had ever felt. I remember going to work and telling my boss that I wasn't going to be in because I needed to get some answers. I went to the hospital ER In the neighboring county and went in there and explained to them everything that had went on just as I have to you. The doctor told me that he wasn't sure why my GP would want to jump to the worst possible conclusion and not work his way up the condition list. He said it was like someone coming in with a cough and him telling them you have lung cancer. He said sure its possible, but maybe a 1 in 100,000,000 chance of it being that. So he did a CT scan there and another EKG and blood test because my blood pressure was through the roof again and everything came back normal. He said that my sinuses were inflamed but more importantly my Eustachian tubes were really swollen and that is what was probably causing my lightheadedness. He assured me that there were no tumors nor abnormalities in my CT scan. He did tell me to find another Dr with a little better bed side manor. Bu ever since that night, I have been freaking out and overly aware of every little thing that happens in my body. I can feel my heartbeat in places I shouldn't normally be able to. I still get lightheaded or feeling somewhat dizzy but not nearly as much. They prescribed me valium for anxiety and amoxicillin for the sinusitis along with Claritin D for allergies. I also have a muscle relaxer now to help at night with the anxiety. I don't know what else to do. The constant fear is driving me nuts. I have heard from 4 different doctors that my CT was normal. That my EKG was fine. I'm at a loss as far as worrying. I hate the feeling and I hate myself for it. I mean I feel so helpless. When I feel a panic attack coming on, my eyes start to dart, I seem to aquire what they call "jelly legs" and I can feel my heart start to race. My scalp gets tight and my shoulders tense up. My hands start tingling and I don't want to be talked to. I don't want to be bothered. I'm not myself that's for sure. I know this wasn't much help, but just know that you're not alone. If you ever want to talk to have any questions feel free to email me @ zacharyking1994@gmail.com .

  • Hi Zach, I'm sorry for the bad experience you had with the doctor. It happened to me as well when I was in my twenties. I was told by a doctor who didn't even look at me that I had Cancer throughout my body. He handed me my file and said to get a good Oncologist. In the 2 weeks following, I said goodbye to all my favorite things in life only to find another doctor who said I had Fibromyalgia and Anxiety. From that time on, anxiety went into GAD. Finding the right doctor is an important part of getting better.

    Hang in there...

  • Sorry to read you got the anxiety bug. The first move the are always the roughest. Your story reminded me of my beginnings.

    Pretty confident guy, good wife, healthy kids, good job, then. Wham! Hello health anxiety.

    For me, it started with shortness of breath. Tests came back ok, so that led to heart concerns. What else could cause shortness of breath, right? Stress test and heart came back solid. I'm 33 with no histroy of family heart disease, of course it did.

    I found that the more tests I took the worse I felt. Kind of like a never ending treasure hunt. If it isn't whatever disease I googled, then it must be another. Keep digging!

    This led me to MS, Arthritis, Rhuematoid Arthritis, Lupus, Brain Tumors, Blood Disorders. Not exactly in that order though, I just keep drilling down the line towards more rare diseases. ALS, for instance, at my age is about a 1 in 1.4 million chance.

    I know it's absurd. But the really crazy thing is the symptoms I get. I actually manifest the freaking physical symptoms I read about when googling. I've caused myself to throw up, lose weight, have weakness, be clumsy, lightheaded, blurred vision, slurred speech, increased heart rate. So on and so on.

    I do have good patches, but I still have bad patches of time too. Right now I believe I have esophagus cancer. Which is a rare cancer in itself, but even rarer is only that 1% of diagnosed people are under 44 years old. So I know think I have a cancer which I stand a 1% chance of a 0.0001 chance of acquiring.

    Sound ridiculous? Sure does. But I can't swallow my food now and I feel like something is caught in my throats at all times. So dumb. I can't really convince myself otherwise at the current moment .

    My heart goes out to you man. I never imagined anxiety would ever hit me like this .

    I hope you find some peace soon.

  • Oh guys i feel for you. Anxiety is a response to stress and so often the stress is the anxiety! Paradox huh?! For a start stop googling symptoms. Second go see a psychologist. Download some meditations and give yourself a break!! If you dropped a brick on your toe and it hurt like crazy would you wonder for hours on end why it was hurting? Would you think and think and think about making it stop hurting? Would you drop the brick on it again just to see if it really WAS the brick that made it hurt? No of course you wouldn't! The brick is your anxiety. Stop dropping it on yourself. If the doctors have run all the tests and you are okay....then.........Happy days!!!! You're OKAY!! woohoo! I'm excited for you - your body is okay just a bit sensitised so go read Claire Weekes "self help for your nerves" and DARE by Barry McDonagh and "at last a life" by Paul David. These hold ALL the answers!!

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