Anxiety Support
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I am New here, but previously have been a post stalker lol

Hi All,

This is my first post, Have spent some time reading up on other posts so decided to introduce myself.

I am 27 and have struggled with anxiety my whole life, had OCD as a child but this gradually got better. I have suffered with health anxiety for a long time now and I am currently undergoing investigations for palpitations and chest pain, I am really hoping this is just anxiety but my body feels like its more.

All started with a visit to A&E for chest pain in November, My D-Dimer was extremely high so a Blood clot on the lungs was suspected but ruled out after a CT scan and since that its all gone down hill. I am constantly diagnosing myself with these dangerous heart conditions such as Cardiomyopathy or Brugada syndrome. I always think the worst and my heart rate is like always beating over 100 BPM lately which I think is stress. I literally spend too much time googling heart conditions, the cardiologist I am under was like are you a training doctor lol, I thought no sir just a hypochondriac.

Take today for example I went for a cardiac stress test and When I walk in the room its 100 Beats per minute then as soon as the doctors come in and more it shoots up to 130 with fear, I am there picturing monkeys and beaches saying calm down but my body Is in overdrive. Then during my echocardiogram when I heard the heart beat I heard bubbles and thought OMG I must have a murmur.

I constantly fear for my loved ones, If my partner feels sick and tells me I start to feel sick, nauseated, bowels go weak and I fear the worst that he has sepsis, If he has a bit of chest pain I brace myself for CPR. If my mum has a cough I think it may be cancer, and find myself crying at the thought.

My anxiety is getting worse so I have signed up for Cognitive behavioural therapy .I just wanted to reach out to people who relate to this and can understand those mad feelings. I am thinking about pregnancy and I wonder how us anxiety sufferers cope with these situations, I kind of feel like I may be in the emergency department every time the baby kicks.

I know there are people on here worse of and I really feel terrible when Ii read how much suffering they go through, I am trying to fight my anxiety its not easy. xx

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Hello!

First of all you are not alone. My BP shoots up everytime I go to the doctor and she almost yells at me about it. She knows I suffer from anxiety and white coat syndrome. (they even give me rx for xanax!). I would recommend relaxation exercises. There are some great apps out there and really do work if you concentrate on what is being said. The one I like is "Stop Panic and Anxiety". In addition, I have found some relief with the Fisher Wallace device. It has two pads that you put on your head and adjust the waves by the device. I have found that after a couple of days I feel a bit calmer. However the best thing to do is to accept your feelings and sensations. Begin to understand this is part of who you are and this will make you understand that you just need to manage it. I currently take a bp pill for my bp and xanax as needed (sometimes I take a low dosage everyday for a few days and then nothing for a while). I am thankful for all the tools I have learned.

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Hi, Thanks for your reply there are some handy tips in there I may try especially the apps. I Think I am the same Its like your BP rises and in your mind you think No I don't feel that anxious but subconsciously you are. Thanks for your kind words.

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Also you may want to try "Calm" its a powder magnesium supplement and it works if you take it for a few days. I recommended it to a friend who is bi=polar and she loves it. I take it on and off again.

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That’s a lot of good info!!!

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Hiya maybe costochondritis,

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Hi Alan,

Funny you mention that as that's exactly what my GP suspects, I often get horrific chest pains all the way up to my collar bone especially when I turn or bend down and she mentioned this condition to me. She said the only help is anti inflammatory meds and physio, I suppose it would explain the raised D-Dimer.

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It’s very painful effects the nerves that come around your ribs I get swollen clavicle joints too,mimics heart problems but nothing shows on tests anxiety can exasperate it so chill out and rest up🧘‍♀️😊

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There's a simple test pain doctors do to check if its costochondritis, they press on a certain rib, if it hurts its costo, if it doesn't it isn't.

We thought my wife had costo but when the pain doctor did the rib pressing test it didn't hurt so he said it wasn't it.

A high percentage of people who present with non-cardiac chest pain have abdominal wall pain but doctors evidently are not too aware of that condition, they automatically think 'organs' are to blame.

Chevidaniels, as you've seen doctors and had a ct scan and other tests I think you must now accept that your heart is fine. The chest pain is likely to be muscular tension caused by anxiety if its not costochondritis. Incidentally, cocto usually clears up by itself.

When you have health anxiety as you do and lots of others here do it means that your nervous system has becone over-sensitised by too much stress, overwork, worry, disappointment, grieving, toxic relationships etc etc. When that happens our nerves tend to magnify or exaggerate everything ten fold. So a headache becomes a brain tumour, a few missed heartbeats become heart failure, a stomach complaint of no importance become stomach or bowel cancer. But of course they're nothing of the sort. We check it out on Doctor Google forgetting he was struck off the register years ago for misdiagnosing millions of illnesses!

So you're not going to die young, your heart is just reacting normally to stress. If the chest pain isn't costo then it's muscular tension caused by anxiety. Neither are life threatening conditions so you can relax.

What you're probably doing is reacting to all these fake illnesses with fear and so you're pumping out the fear and stress hormones that sensitive nerves thrive on. If you can turn off the tap your nervous system will recover in time and all your symptoms and exaggerated worries will disappear like the morning mist at sunrise.

So do follow up the probability of costochondritis but I reckon it's all down to high anxiety expressing itself as physical illness.

So simply accept the bad feelings and thoughts knowing that by accepting them you lose your fear of these symptoms which are caused solely by blips in your nervous system. Why be bullied by a blip?

So calm yourself, you are in no danger, you are going to live to be a hundred, just a bad attack of nerves which will pass so long as you stop obsessing about your health.

So better tell the undertaker to stand down, his services not needed for another 70 years at least, and cancel the wake (is that what you call it in the U.S.?).

I wish you a calm mind and early recovery.

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Hi Jeff,

Many thanks for your reply, you are correct google is defiantly not the best place to be looking and I am guilty of it. My mother often give me a lecture on how my generation are at the doctors surgery for anything and everything lol .

As for my cardiac tests I have not yet had the results and should get them soon, but I am hoping and thinking they will come back ok. I have been really stressed lately so I wonder if that's causing me to have a constant high heart rate.

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

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I would think you can be certain that's the reason for the high heart rate. Good luck with the results and when it's good news be sure to accept them.

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Your mom would probably lecture me!! Oh I miss my sweet mama!!

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Hi I have tietze syndrome which is basically chronic costochondritis and have visible red swelling on collarbone and sternum it’s a very painful condition costochondritis on its own will settle with rest cold compress helps ibuprofen helps but short term use as not good on the gut lining

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Hi Alan, sorry to hear of the severity of your tietze syndrome, will it resolve by itself eventually? Isn't there some anti inflamatory medication that will reduce the swelling?

I don't think my wife actually has costo, it started the day after she had a stenting procedure in 2006 and she remembers a bit of tugging going on, I think they dislocated something.

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Hello Chevidaniels, I’m 28 & I have suffered with Panic disorder for 10yrs now. I also have fast heartRate above 100bpm I was diagnosed with Tachycardia, I’m always in constant fear that My Body has an illness... I have had multiple EKG & CT Scans done to me... all came back Normal. I know exactly how you feel. I had D-Dimer Done and they also told me I might have a possible blood clot in my Lungs But When I got a CT done they found an old Granuloma(Scar) from Pneumonia I once had. And ever since then I’ve been constantly freakin myself out and diagnosing myself. I’m currently 8weeks Pregnant! And I have to be honest Anxiety doesn’t get any better for some people who suffer already with OCD and Panic disorder. Iam currently trying to Get it together without meds but I might have to go see a Therapist for this. It’s not easy coping with anxiety and being pregnant. But I hope you can find peace and consider pregnancy! Some people find it Motivating when pregnant they don’t let anxiety get to them for the baby sake. Unfortunately I wish I had that strength. Stay strong! Xoxo

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Hi There,

It's comforting to know we are not alone with this, sounds like you had very similar experiences to myself and I can really relate to the self diognosing I'm terrible with it. Congrats on dealing with this without meds I am doing the same I just got reffererd for cognitive behavioural therapy and you are doing the right thing in seeking help, sometimes it all just gets to much. I wish you all the best in your pregnancy you must be really excited for the journey ahead, I'm planning to start trying in the next year but if it happens in the meantime I guess it happens lol. I know what you mean about people having that strength when pregnant but I think I would be over anxious I think my laubor bag will be packed within the first month, I mean heck I may well book a hotel right next to a hospital a week before 😂. Thanks for your kind words X

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Hehe I know how that is! I get super anxious for everything especially now being pregnant. Booking a hotel by the hospital 🤣🤣🤣 that’s funny! Hope you get better with the behavioral therapy! GoodLuck to you xoxo 🙂

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I totally understands you. I used and still sometimes suffers from left arm shooting pain, chest pain and all of sort cardiac symptoms. Recently I went to ER with all sort of symptoms and they did me blood tests, x-rays and ecgs. Everything was cleared, nothing wrong. I do suffer from health anxiety and sometimes I diagnose my self that I have a disease or something like that(hypochondriac). As Jeff said, when we have health anxiety it means that our nervous system has become over-sensitised, mine because of over-thinking, googling symptoms, hears someone who had or knows someone who had a heart attack or something related. You need to accept that you have health anxiety, like I try to do and accept the symptoms, I know it's very hard but you shouldn't keep fighting them. Fighting = keeping the nervous system occupied, sensitised = keep going physical sensations. Like now example, I was taking a bath and all of sudden my mind turned out thinking when my work mate told me when his son, girlfriend had a sudden cardiac arrest when she was taking a bath. She was just 24. I started getting the symptoms but I guess it was the anxiety was messing with me. So I accepted them and they disappeared. Hope you keep going strong.

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Hi Kyle,

I am exactly the same no matter how many sets of bloods, ekg, X-rays they do I am never satisfied and convinced something has been missed, I am also like ok what if they missed a heart attack I need an ANGIOGRAM. I then think what the heck is wrong with me lol. Gosh that is scary cardiac arrest at 24, I can already guess the causes because like a hypochondriac I know like almost every cardiac related illness lol. I became super obsessed with the heart and kept watching stuff on YouTube about dilated cardiomyopathy, long QT and brugada syndrome and realised its getting out of hand. I completely agree you have to remember to fight it every day, remembering the headache isn't a bleed on the brain, the pain in the side of the chest isn't a collapsed lung, the pain in your leg isn't a DVT, the feeling sick isn't sepsis, the stomach ache isn't a burst appendix and the list could forever go on lol. I'm so glad your symptoms disappeared and if it worked for you then eventually once I face it it will work for me 😄

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Remember: you can't cure yourself of an illness you don't have no matter how hard you try.

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Very true Jeff because all those times I self diagnosed myself, if they were indeed real I would not be here well typing away 😊

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That’s true. I read that book. Hope and Help for your Nerves. Good advice in there.

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Hi Glenda,

I'm reading a fab book called how not to worry by Caroline Carr, always looking for recommendations on good books 🤓

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Hi chevidaniels!! I just read Hope and Help For Your Nerves by Claire Weeks and it’s good. I might read DARE next. And I just wrote the title to the book you mentioned down. Lol!! Knowledge is power!!!

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Hi Glenda,

I think I'm going to take your recommendation and have it as my next read, will let you know how I find it. Anxiety sufferers know the best books to help and share 🤓 Close to midnight here in London and I was due in bed 2 hours ago lol this app is a bit addictive. Goodnight

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Hope you sleep well!!

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Glendajean, many people read Claire Weekes' book 'Hope and help for your nerves' (also called 'Self help for your nerves' here in the U.K.) and they derive understanding and reassurance from it. Many stop there - but the true purpose of the book is complete recovery from anxiety in all its forms using the Acceptance method that she devised. That's the hard part, it takes practice and persistance but the end prize is worth it.

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Yes. I know it would take a lot of practice. I bookmarked some of the pages. Like one part where she says there is the initial feeling,or sensation and then the rest is how we react to it? I hope I interpreted that right.

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Yes Glendajean, she is saying don't react to first fear with second fear. Fear and the fear of fear is what keeps our nerves sensitised. If we can replace fear with acceptance for the time being it gives jangled nerves time to recover.

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That makes sense to me because I recognize that as what I have been doing. I never have thought that nerves could become “ill”. Like an ankle that has been sprained. But it makes a lot of sense. I also like when she says “let time pass and float”. Shes definitely given me some tools. Now just trying to incorporate them when I need them is the thing. I want to call EMS when it gets bad because my blood pressure gets so high but i hope I can start soothing myself instead.

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Weekes' method does take time and to begin with if we can accept the symptoms of anxiety for just a few minutes then we can build on that. This is called glimpsìng.

Floating can be hard to get your head round, it means to imagine you are being propelled forward by an invisible force, like you're floating on a cloud. Or switching on to automatic pilot. But it's helped lots of agoraphobics in particular to reclaim the great outdoors.

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I love your wisdom Jeff1943. Thank you.

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It's easy to talk the talk, walking the walk is a little more dufficult.

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Yeah. I know that’s right!!!

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Hi chevi and welcome. I’ve just joined recently myself. There are some really nice people on here who understand. 🙂x

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