Anxiety attack whilst running?: Hello, I was... - Anxiety Support

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Anxiety attack whilst running?

AnxiousPotato profile image

Hello, I was wondering if anyone has faced this sort of problem before and how they overcame it because I’ve rather reached a stumbling block!

I have a horrible anxiety disorder which I have been working on destroying for a couple of years now, and I’ve decided to try and do the couch to 5k programme, but I have found that whenever my heart rate exceeds a certain level, my body reacts and goes into panic attack mode - I can’t breathe, I feel dizzy and I feel like I’m having a heart attack (I will point out that these reactions far exceed what would be the expected effect of exercise on an unfit person, for clarification). It’s very annoying. It’s like my body has associated an elevated heart rate with a panic attack and so automatically ‘prepares for impact’.

Has anyone experienced something like this before? Or had any luck with ‘re-wiring’ their brain/body to not do this? Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

7 Replies

AnxiousPotato, it is always wise to have a doctor check you to be fit enough to

start exercising. Once it is determined to be the result of anxiety, then it may turn

to not breathing properly while doing strenuous exercise. While running your

body needs that oxygen that can only come from deep breathing, not holding your

breath and not shallow breathing. You also need to make sure you warm up slowly

and stretch before starting as well as cooling down after. Hydration is necessary after

working out. Hopefully you will get some answers from your doctor as well as approval

in starting this healthy regimen. Happy New Year! You're off to a good start. :) xx

Indigojoe profile image
Indigojoe in reply to Agora1

OR, sometimes when our hearts race, and we have medical anxiety, we immediately think something is wrong and we kick ourselves into anxiety with our assessment of the racing heart. IMHO

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Indigojoe

You've got that right Indigojoe :) xx

Happy New Year my friend.

That happened to me and I assumed it was out of control asthma but a specialist said I had developed a breathing pattern disorder . I have yet to get my breathing back to normal so avoid any kind of running. If you have what I have , it’s horrendous . There are books on amazon and it can be resolved.

Yes me. I left the gym in an ambulance a couple of years ago ( racing heart, breathless, dizziness) and i thought it was a heart attack. Long story short all my checks said i was fine so must have been a panic attack. For months after any time i felt my heart rate go up i had smaller panic or anxiety attacks and this coming from somebody who has always trained whether it'd be the gym or running or cycling. In the end i had to push through it because i needed to start cycling to work everyday so my brain got used to those sensations although my health anxiety and fear of having a heart attack has never gone away.

Unfortunately I deal with this same thing!! I thought I was the only one. usually working out helps peoples stress and anxiety. It's like my body thinks its a panic attack when my heart rate goes up.

I was FINE, until one day I was NOT. Active since HS. on a self defense team in College, etc Have never been able to get my HEAD back in the game. Dam

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