Anxiety Support

Cardiac Health Anxiety

Hi. Was wondering if others have severe anxiety over “health” issues. I have a deep fear of having a heart attack. Over the past decade I have had countless EKG’s, 3 nuclear stress tests, and a few week long monitors — not a to mention a few trips to the emergency room late at night. Every single time, my results say nothing is wrong. I just had an EKG and 2 week monitor done 5 months ago. I believe the doctors for a while, then plummet back down into the “I know there is something wrong with my heart” phase. This time I am having jaw and chest pains for the past month. I have convince myself that I have developed heart disease in the past 5 months, since my last test . I am stuck in an anxiety loop. I am constantly googling my symptoms— and of course they all say hear attack. I don’t want to go have more tests, I’ve already had so many. How do I overcome this irrational fear and believe the doctors? My heart stand tells me to accept death and move on. This makes it worse.

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Yes yes yes!!. I once ended up in a+e as I thought I was having a heart attack. Honestly I was decorating the tree and palpitations started, usually I have a good cough and they stop. This time they didn't and I couldn't get my breath. Then the pain started, in my arm, up into my jaw. I've never been to a+e...apart from when my son thought he was Spider-Man and attempted to climb down a drain...cough! I looked at my now ex husband and he said I'd gone white. My heart was now racing and palpitations on every other beat. He took me straight to the hospital. They hooked me up straight away to the ECG machine and took the first set of bloods. The ECG was fine. I wasn't convinced. She was asking(Dr) about my lifestyle and I do have an overly stressful job plus a child with special needs. I sleep 3 hours and don't sleep for days if I'm on call. She nodded and said "I can't be 100% until we take the 2nd blood test in 6 hours but I believe you've had a panic attack". Without swearing I said "wtflip" I hadn't had a panic attack for over a decade and I hadn't been low either. When the 2nd bloods came back clear...she sat down and explained once everything's ruled out....the symptoms from stress, can replicate that of a heart attack. They've seen it many times. Every test must be taken in order to do this tho and if it helps a referral to a cardiologist. I wasn't believing at this point btw that it wasn't my heart. I truly thought it was and they had missed it. Kariben you will get there. I know it's easy for me to say and it took me years to realise my heart is healthy. Because it's the one thing that keeps us alive...the fear of it stopping is very real. Sadly tho...your life will become consumed by the thought of death and a heart attack. There is no quick fix but if there isn't anything wrong medically with you're heart then I want you to focus on one thing. When the thought comes...have a pen and paper(little diary helps that you can pop in a bag or pocket) and write down exactly what you are feeling, where the discomfort is and what was happening either thought wise or physically prior to it occurring. When I say write...i mean write like your life depended on it(probably wrong use or words there sorry!) But focus...focus...focus. I want you to also pls try this. Make up a number of words you can remember and when the thoughts come...say them. Almost like a mantra ie "this is temporary, it will pass"" this is temporary, it will pass" think about you're breathing as I image it will be quick as mine was. Breathe in thro you're nose 2....3...4 and out thro you're mouth(slowly) 5...6...7...8 and repeat until you are calming. This all worked for me and it's been years since I've thought about my heart. It's paramount everything medical is ruled out first tho. I'm always around if you need a chat. Everyone on here is so supportive. J

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Really interesting post, Janieliza, sometimes we forget just how good anxiety is at mimicing genuine illness.

Kariben, if you didn't know it before you know it now, all those real life doctors give you better advice than Doctor Google who was struck off the books for misleading patients years ago. So just accept the symptoms for the time being, accept them for what they are: fakes and confidence tricksters that can do you no real harm. Accept them and you will lose your fear and it's your fear that's keeping your nerves sensitised and you anxious. Don't question your Doctors' diagnoses and test results, there are too many for them to all be wrong. They went to medical school for 5 years but you prefer your judgement to theirs'. How many years did you say you went to medical school?☺

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So true.

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Thank you so much!!

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I was going to add the same as Jeff1943 there kariben. Google....hmmm. I simply don't. There's enough fear on there to make you never leave the house. Saying that I do know of ppl who haven't got anything wrong with them UNTIL they Google a minor symptoms then 'bang' they have agoraphobia, a fungal nail infection with a side plate of nasal polyps🤢🤒. Doctors aren't always right but honestly, they know their stuff and it's better to listen and absorb better than not. I do hope we've been of some help to you. J

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Ok here goes my miserable story , 2016 December , I get a fluttering in chest , look up on Google , Then it all starts .......whole year spends in worry , despite of many tests , can't let go the fear of death , tried many ways and disappointed , but what I have learned is , only you know what *really* you are afraid of , maybe it is some irrational belief you are holding . Whenever I had episodes , I was convinced that I'm dying , but just remember , this has happened so many times that if I were to die I would have , but I'm still here . I still am struggling but it's better, my problem is that there is no professional near my area who can provide help with my anxiety , I'm now doing all myself

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Thank you for sharing. The doctors where I live ( California). Just want to give you meds. So I am working on it myself too.

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I'm from Britain and the medical care works abit different. We have the NHS(National Health Service) which is free(well most of it!) So we don't need insurance etc. We do have private clinics and doctors if one wants to ping themselves up a list. My best friend lives in Texas and she has various health issues and a recent lengthy stays in hosp has amounted to $110,000. The fear of death is frightening. The fear of the unknown. I didn't realise just how many people go thro this. Meds are the quick fix, this is my own personal opinion and experience. I took Prozac initially(1990s) and then was put on a different drug in 2001. I decided to do my own thing in 02 and came off the meds, trazadone was the worst and I suffered terribly. The docs were great and supported my decision as long as I kept to my therapy appointments. I struggled initially as psychologically the meds were my crutch but gradually I learned to deal with it myself. California? How wonderful. It's snowing here right now and -3 degrees. Brrrr

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