Fixation on certain physical symptoms - Anxiety Support

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Fixation on certain physical symptoms


Has anyone ever fixated on a certain physical symptom they experience with anxiety or panic? I have fixated on my heart beat, I check it often for whatever reason. When I'm active it feels like it is beating faster and harder than it should. Yes of course your heart rate is going to increase by walking, lifting, working, etc. But now when it does I fixate on it and feel like something isn't right. This is a newer symptom for me, but it's been going on for a few months now.

37 Replies

Loveydovey0519, There was a time that I was totally fixated on my heart. I always had my fingers on my pulse. Held my breath going up steps. Fear of doing anything strenuous because the beat of a faster heart rate would scare me. Was afraid of using my heart too much. Irrational thinking on my part. It wasn't until my doctor convinced me that the heart was a muscle and needed to be used. That I was doing more harm by being idle trying to protect my heart from overwork. Like you, I didn't like the feeling I got with my heart when it started beating a little faster. Once I was able to rid myself of the fixation I had over it, it went away.

Any suggestions or tips on how you got over the fixation?

I'm sorry that I don't have some suggestions. As for myself, I got bored always checking my pulse and started skipping days further and further apart until I didn't need to anymore.

in reply to Agora1

wow exact same thing with me its crazy

I do the same thing. I try to work out as much as possible and I'm constantly checking my watch while I'm working out because it displays my heart rate. Even if I am sitting down relaxing, if I feel like my heart is beating faster than normal, I check it to make sure its normal. I don't know why I am so fixated on it but its not just mine I'm fixated on either. Last night I had my head on my husbands chest and I could feel & hear his heart beating and it freaked me out because I realized I was listening for abnormalities. I had to change positions so that I wasn't feeling his anymore.

Last September and a year leading up to that I worked out 4-5 days a week and did cardio 3 of those days for a good 30-40 minutes. Then hurt my shoulder, then had the setback and I couldn't imagine working out like I use too. My PCP set me up a stress echo and holter, but I believe he did that to ease my mind. As he knows I've had anxiety/panic for 10 years. Plus I've had 3 ecg's in the past 5 months and complete blood work twice. Everything checks out. Yet that fixation has just over taken me.

Same, all tests came back great

With anxiety when one symptom leave another weird symptom show up but dont fear it

You'd think after 10 years of this I would know or could do that. But this time around just can't seem to not worry. Can't shut the worry down.

I’m literally going through the same thing right now

Hi, I, too, get fixated with my pulse and often check it. Another thing that I worry about is my blood pressure. I check it every few weeks… The first time I take it, it's high and I know it's going to be high because I worry it's going to be high!! Then, with meditation and breathing, it comes down to a normal read. So I know I don't have high blood pressure but still, I worry about it… Just thinking the words 'blood pressure' makes my heart beat faster! This is since I was sent to A & E straight from my doctor's surgery with an abnormal ECG, chest pains and high blood pressure. But I didn't have anything seriously wrong with me, it was just due to extreme stress (work and family issues). Since then, I have felt really anxious about my health on and off. My main symptoms are butterflies in the chest/stomach, tight throat, heart beating fast. Walking and meditation help but I've made an appointment to be referred to a counsellor because this is taking over my life.

It's good to be able to share with others. Thank you for reading.

It's pretty much taken over my life for the past 1-2 months. I'm on medicine and go to therapy. Plus I've been to the ER about this. My doctor set me up for a stress test and holter monitor, I think more to ease my mind. As I've had 3 ecg's in 5 months, two complete blood panels, and yesterday is went I went to the doctor about these again. BP was 122/69 and pulse was 83. Didn't say anything bad about listening to my heart, also said the ecg looked fine. But still cannot get over this.

About 2 years ago I passed out in the car went to hospital had all the tests done showed nothing wrong,passed out again 2weeks ago same thing tests were fine.My cardiologist said I didn't need a him I was fine I still don't feel secure with that.Do you ever feel like you're going to faint?

in reply to Lotus4

Are you eating right having all your vitamins cause sometimes I feel that way n would usually have a cup of hot tea burp or pass wind and feel better in a few and then follow up with my vitamins and a meal cause I'm a teacher sometimes I don't get a chance to eat at schoolso on my way back home or to school after having no breakfast or lunch I would feel like fainting or feel impending doom

Yes I have the same fixation always checking my pulse and blood pressure. I have anxiety and depression it's awful to be that way I've taken my blood pressure until my arm will be sore.

How long have you been dealing with this fixation?

I guess it's just it's just anxiety and depression,do you take any medicine?

Could be OCD , maybe is time to change medication. Try to get distracted. When I'm get like that I listen to music.

I've thought about possibly being a bit OCD with that and a few other random things.

Seems to be a lot of people fixated in this. At least we all know that we aren't alone. I find that if I keep busy, I think about it a lot less.

Yeah I try to keep busy myself, but it creeps up on me like a bad dream.

My head will start to feel bad then start sweating it's just awful to be this way wondering what the next day will be like. I do have OCD. Right now I would love to have some good days I get so tired of trying to fight this it will wear you out I stay tired all the time I can remember use to you couldn't knock me down I was always doing something it's just an awful thing to happen to anyone. Keep in touch let me know how you're doing it helps to have someone to talk too.

I only experience it when I Walk up hills that's where I'm living. Lift my kid and walk long distances or when I get adrenaline rush from seeing arguments or people fighting. I would check the pressure and it would be OK

That sounds ALOT like adrenaline. Which is associated with anxiety. Your body is probably on an adrenaline cycle and producing/giving off too much adrenaline and it's not being used.

Yes, I find being busy and concentrating on other things help. After a while, I suddenly realise that actually the symptoms have abated. But as soon as I realise that I feel better, it starts again! It's so tiring… But so reassuring to find out that I'm not alone… So far, I've managed to avoid medication and I'm trying to keep it that way but it's not easy at times.

Where in United States are you from? I live in TN.

Yes, I fixated on my HR and it went up through the roof. For weeks on end my resting HR was lingering around 120.

I also fixate now on the feeling of passing out, it scares me so I fear it and think about it and the cycle is pretty constant.

Have you found a way yet to cope with your fixations? Mine come and go and are not constant.

The best way I cope is to see a doctor and have them test me out and if they say I'm good and they've given me a thorough look over, then it completely goes away for me. Except for the dizziness and I don't know why that won't leave yet. Like you said, it's not constant for me but for something I try to avoid, I sure look for it around every corner.

I was just reading the other day how, when we try to avoid something, it actually solidifies it and makes it that much more a part of our lives and that's because we're slaves to habits. So if we're a slave to habits, they might as well be good one. The only way to get rid of a bad one is to replace it with a good one.

I listened to a Tony Robins podcast the other day discussing the 6 basic human needs everyone has (they drive all we do) some are more important for others and probably one of mine is, certainty. I think that's where most of my problems come from.

I know this is an old post but wanted to respond anyway. I obsess about so many things. I constantly check my pulse, temperature, blood sugar, etc. initially it was to calm me down and convince myself I'm ok. That doesn't work anymore. I'm just always worried.

Yeah it gets to a point where we 'check' soooo much it actually does the opposite of calming us down. It makes us soo hyper aware of what is going on that it actually makes it worse. I still check my pulse from time to time but nothing like I used too!

This started happening to me two weeks ago if you find any answer s can u let me know.

When you go to check your pulse or feel yourself noticing your heart rate stop, take a deep breath and distract yourself. Anxiety can only be beaten if you ignore it.

Also your heart will feel harder and faster because you're focusing on it. Your brain will release adrenaline. It's a pretty vicious circle and you have to break the cycle.

Good luck xxx

I been obsessed with this depersonalization/derealization hell since it hit me 5 months ago... the one symptom that has me traumatized and I can't stop thinking about is that damn soul leaving body dream fake feel detachment hell! It's horrific and I wish for one day I will not think about it.. also I'm obsessed with this nightmare of a intense dream vision..... IT SUCKS!

Hi everyone,

I fixate on my feeling of balance and on my hearing (any ringing/buzzing sounds alarm me as I associate them with panic attacks as my hearing is usually elevated during this time). I also concentrate on my body temp. and feelings of nausea.

Recently I discovered an amazing book by a renowned author - Dr. Claire Weekes' "Hope And Help For Your Nerves." This book approaches particularly overcoming these strange physical sensations our body produces in a state of anxiety due to having an over-sensitized nervous system constantly pumping adrenaline. The cure involves changing our habits and old way of thinking and learning to accept the physical sensations and "float" through them until they pass.

Although I have not finished the book yet, I have been practising her advice for the past week and have had an increasely productive and less-stress free time. Last night I had a crisis moment and I felt like I had lost all hope with this method, but this morning upon reading further, I have realised where I have made key mistakes in my way of thinking and reacting to the physical feelings which in turn amplified them.

Everyone, I truly recommend giving this book a shot or googling online for an outline of the Dr. Claire Weekes approach to anxiety. Audible offers a free 30 day trial where the first audio book is free. You can listen to an hour an a half audibook by Dr. Weekes overviewing her book and its concepts. She reads almost directly from the book itself and has published more regarding anxiety and agoraphobia etc. Good luck everyone.

I had this many years ago when I suffered anxiety greatly. I had every heart test but everything was fine. I would fixate on my heart beat and of course it would start beating harder and then I'd get more anxious, repeat, repeat. I thought I was going to die. But it was OCD and anxiety that made me so fixated.

I began walking and meditating. Meditation is highly recommended. I'm also on both Zoloft and Wellbutrin.

Drinking made these symptoms worse!

I hope this helps some. I'm doing very well 20 years later.

But please try guided meditation and this will help you become more connected to your body and mind.

You're not alone by any means. All the best, Deb

Absolutely. In fact, this is the root of my anxiety. I've seen a cardiology and he has assured me that my heart is perfect. Those were his exact words. But I have an obsession with my heartbeat, I think because this odyssey began with a true panic attack and not an anxiety attack. There is a huge difference between a true panic attack and an anxiety attack. I thought I was dying!! I believe my anxiety is actually PTSD from the initial panic attack itself. The physical symptoms of a panic attack are so terrifyingly that it causes post traumatic stress disorder.

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