Anxiety Support
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Severe health anxiety

Hi, I'm new to this. 27year old female. 5 year history of health anxiety, constantly thinking I'm having a heart attack. Today was so bad ended up with an ambulance and when I now came to bed the pains there again. But paramedics says I'm fine and have me ecg and were supportive and left. I've had loads of CBT and currently in counselling. I'm currently trying homeopathy but in all honestly don't think it's working. Feel I have no other option but to start antidepressants but so worried of side effects and just don't know what else to do? Has anyone else had anything similar to this? Thanks in advance!

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I can relate to you so much, I called the ambulance 3 times I a row days apart and they all left reassuring me it's anxiety but I always think it's my heart. Even now every twitch or ache I always thing its got to do with my heart. Try visiting your GP and asking them to refer you to a cardiologist so they can check you out to see if there's anything wrong and if not at least you can have some peace of mind. Even if your GP says you're okay say your want to get checked for reassurance and just in case. Good luck and feel free to message me whenever you need someone relatable to talk to

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Thank you for replying, it's just so difficult living everyday petrified you're dying! Just awful, but hopefully we will all get better and live full happy lives!

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Trust me!!! It's like I'm waiting to die but I'm too afraid of that makes sense. I'm forgetting to live literally, I'm always worried it's frustrating.

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I could have written that word for word, I totally get It!

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People aged 27 are not allowed to have heart attacks, they are so rare at that age that it is pointless to worry. Your false worry about your heart is anxiety whispering in your ear. The pains in your chest are muscular tension brought on by fear and anxiety.

I suggest you stop trying to cure yourself of an condition you don't have (heart failure) and spend your time instead curing yourself of the condition you do have (anxiety disorder). No matter how hard you try you will never be able to cure yourself of an illness you don't have. I hope that makes sense.

So stop concerning yourself with the symptoms of anxiety and direct your attention to the anxiety itself.

You say you are worried by the side effects of meds. What side effects? Side effects mainly only exist in the imagination and expectation of people suffering from anxiety: anxiety about anti-anxiety meds is only another symptom of anxiety.

Meds can bring you respite which is important if your disorder is overwhelming and you have work or family responsibilities but they cannot cure you. So use the period of calm they bring to search for and to find methods of self help which will free you of fear and allow you to recover - you will find such methods discussed and described in the postings here.

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Thank you for this, I need to remember this when things are spiralling out of control

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Hi there, I think I know what you're going through -- I was in the emergency room just last week, suspecting a heart attack. They kept me overnight, ran a bunch of tests, and -- as is usually the case when I've gone to the e.r. -- everything was fine.

The thing I struggle with most having health anxiety is how to distinguish between symptoms of anxiety and symptoms of real illness. I hear time and time again how anxiety brings on the symptoms, but what are you supposed to think when symptoms come on when you're just sitting, relaxing, watching TV or something, not a care in the world at that moment? Or when you experience a symptom that can't possibly be caused by your brain, like coughing up blood? The "all in your head" line of thinking just doesn't track for me.

I think the advice from Tttt66 is sound. If you get a full cardiac workup, and everything is normal, then, if you're still having the same pains, at least you'll know it's likely not your heart.

I don't really have any good answers, but you're welcome to message me if you want to commiserate about living with health anxiety. Take care.

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Hat is the trouble, how do you know what's anxiety and what isn't. A constant battle with yourself! Thanks for your reply

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Coughing up blood is definately not anxiety and should be looked into. You're right to ask the question how you know if something is anxiety or for real. One way is to take a tranquilliser like diazepam or xanax if you have access to any. If the symptom goes it's anxiety, if it doesn't it could be organic.

As the saying goes: just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being followed☺

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Thank you all for taking the time to respond to me. It hits me from the second I open my eyes and I have a wonderful 1 year old who I am looking after everyday and I just feel like I'm not enjoying her and she must notice I'm upset all the time. I found CBT gave me some techniques to deal with the anxiety but when I'm having the pains and my adrenaline gets going I find it so hard to control. It's like the 99.9% of my brain knows it's anxiety but that niggling 0.01% is enough to send me into overdrive. It's got so bad at points I've felt I cannot go on anymore. So sorry to hear others have and are going through it too, it really is just the most terrible thing to live with. It's just finding ways of coping and ways to carry on and try and enjoy life! Thanks again, abbie x

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Hello. I was in a similar situation for years. So many tests and all normal. I don’t believe in homeopathy but that’s a personal opinion. Gp put me on sertraline last October. Horrendous side effects for 3 weeks. I was ready to give up. Went up to 100mg 3 weeks ago and I am back to my normal self. So relieved. No side effects when I upped the dosage. Initially, I was very reluctant to go on anto depressants because of the stigma. I am totally converted. I tried meditation, herbal supplements but I was more or less debilitated by anxiety. If I had known, I wouldn’t have waited so long. Good luck.

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I feel like I have no other option as it has completely taken over my life, it's the side effects and be if the sole carer for my little girl most of the time, it worries me if the side effects are bad? So glad to hear they have helped you, thanks for responding

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Not everyone suffer them. Start very slowly. If you are given sertraline, I would start with 25mg for 2 weeks before going up. Think about it this way. You are struggling now. You have nothing to lose. All the best

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Yes sertraline is what my doctor recommended when we last spoke. I find it hard to believe a tablet can stop the pains and the constant feelings of dying but I'm willing to try anything as it's taking over my life and is the worst it's been in the 5 years ive suffered. Thank you

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You’re welcome.

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I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. I started new medication 3 weeks ago and had start up side effects that where new to me. I thought I was having a heart attack for 2 straight weeks and ended up in the ER for a full work up one night because of chest pains, shortness of breath. I had a perfect ekg, ecg, and blood work. One week later and the meds have finally stabilized and I feel so much better. I’m not 100 percent yet but those pains did go away. I don’t care for taking medication either, but I’ve learned I need it to function.

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What is homeopathy? Xx

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