Heart Attack Anxiety : Does anyone here... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support
42,823 members44,377 posts

Heart Attack Anxiety

staywithme99
staywithme99
25 Replies

Does anyone here, notably women, who have anxiety around having a heart attack find themselves obsessively researching symptoms? At first, it was just reading a symptom thing where I learned female heart attack warnings are a lot like having literally anything else. Now I’ve found myself reading terrifying female heart attack survivor stories and worrying that my next bout of panic and intense anxiety or even the anxiety symptoms I have are actually cardiovascular problems I’m ignoring.

I’m a 20 year old female who’s healthy as far I know (my physical came back fine and I had a tonsil surgery in July where I was hooked up to a bunch of machines tracking my vitals and an EKG which were fine) and I’ve had anxiety symptoms like this for about two months. That means I’ve probably had a dozen heart attacks if that really was the case.

My physical symptoms are: chest pain (not under the left breast but more so around it that can be localized and reproduced if I touch it or massage it), tightness sometimes that makes it hard to breathe, left arm pain (can also be localized and massaged), back pain, cramps and muscle aches pretty much everywhere (abdomen, legs, shoulders, neck, ribs, hands) ocasional trouble sleeping, dizziness, irritability, inability to concentrate, etc.,

I’m pretty sure it’s just intense anxiety and also the pain is intensified by thinking about it and is a result of holding my body so tight all of the time. Can anyone atest to this? In my previous post i mentioned things I’m doing to help myself and am also going to seek out a chiropractor. I’m avoiding non-natural medicine :)

25 Replies
oldestnewest
hypercat54

Hi most people including women don't have heart attacks until they are in their 50's or older or have previous symptoms caused by a bad diet, lack of exercise, genetics etc. Also they may have other medical problems too. It would be very unusual for anyone of your age to suffer from heart problems. So stop googling and relax. x

1 like
Reply
Indigojoe

hypercat, not true about the age that heart attacks can come on in woman.

Please as much as you want to support anyone with symptoms there are NO RULES to actual medical problems and the onset of them.

WHen somebody has health anxiety, like " WE" DO........you have to get the tests so the docs can give you an ALL clear, then we can help someone deal with the symptoms or the beliefs, that cause the symptoms in the first place.

1 like
Reply
hypercat54

'Hi most people' I said this and it is true. It would be unusual for a woman at the age of 20 to have a heart attack. Unless you are saying it is as common for someone of this age? The stats don't bear you out I'm afraid.

I was trying to reassure the poster by telling her this so am happy with my reply.

1 like
Reply
staywithme99

I understand what both of you guys meant! I will say that I haven’t had ALL of the tests done; just a physical and the oxygen/pulse/EKG monitoring during my surgery. The rest I’m trusting as a matter of time and my parents reassuring me. I have 0 risk factors besides maybe not exercising enough and being stressed, but as I said, I feel as though I would’ve had one already if it was going to happen right now.

Reply
Indigojoe

I know that you were trying to re assure her.

I spent 25 years working in a hospital 4 in an ER. There are NO rules.

Your " heart" was in the right place and Stay " got it" . Truth be told.......there are no rules

Reply
CatIsMyCopilot

Yes, I absolutely researched this when I first started experiencing anxiety! It's a very understandable conclusion.

I even went to urgent care... Twice.

After that, I came to face that the symptoms were truly due to anxiety. I hadn't previously known how much affect the mind can have on the body, before developing problems with anxiety. Now I'm well versed unfortunately, heh.

1 like
Reply
staywithme99

It’s so challenging!! I feel like I’m going crazy lol

Reply
CatIsMyCopilot

Yeah, it's not fun :(

But you certainly aren't going crazy. Your brain is having a very understandable response to this. What you have to do now is train yourself to be disciplined and respond not as if you are in danger, but rather that you are just feeling discomfort (maybe a lot). What's good for discomfort is to just chill out and wait for it to pass. If you respond as if to danger, you'll only feel worse.

Not that this is an easy task. It will likely take lots of practice.

Reply
staywithme99

you’re right! I have a great support system and am taking active action and can already see an improvement :)

Reply
Indigojoe

gotta get outside for fresh air...........is there anyone who could use a hand in the area? Help with anything? The moment you get redirected you should feel better.

Reply
staywithme99

yes! college starts back up for me again soon so I’m looking forward to the distraction because it’s mainly really bad (or I think of it as bad) when I’m mostly alone with my thoughts or have slipped up and ended up researching waaay too much even tho I’ve read the same things over and over again, you know? when I’m working on things it’s easier to not mentally intensify anything

Reply
TrustnGod

Hello staywithme99. I feel like I’m reading my own story as I’m reading your post. I started having horrible anxiety and panic 3-4 months ago and it’s been horrible. I’ve convinced myself I’ve had so many heart attacks I’ve been to the ER/Urgent care so many times and I’ve had so much testing done and all of it leads right back to anxiety. I am low risk for a heart attack because I’m very healthy, I have low blood pressure, and I’m only 20 (like you!). But I still google every little feeling I have thinking it’s a heart attack or some other problem. I’ve read so many heart attack stories they just repeat and repeat in my mind daily. Since you haven’t had much testing, I would encourage you to visit your PCP/GP, tell them your symptoms and see what they would have to say. I’ve truthfully had chest pain since my 3rd year of high school (it just didn’t come with anxiety so I was never worried about it like I am now) and even when I told my PCP about it back then, she wanted me to be seen by a cardiologist just to make sure I was ok. I’m pretty sure it’s anxiety because you’re literally listing exactly what I feel every day but it doesn’t hurt just to get checked out.

Let us know how things pan out!

~Lia

Reply
staywithme99

Hey Lia! The woman who checked me out before my surgery asked me a bunch of questions about things like this and I was honest and even told her I was feeling anxious lately but she when she took a listen and things she wasn’t concerned! I also was checked out again right before surgery and the nurse told me I was the healthiest patient they’d see all day so I was feeling pretty good about it! It’s easy to pinpoint that the initial symptom (left arm pain as a result of a tweaked nerve) triggered me into anxious thinking (because I had just learned about heart attack signs) and then next thing you know I’m down a rabbit hole and getting all of the symptoms!! If you ever wanted to talk about things, my inbox is open! We can help each other :) my name is Meg 😇

1 like
Reply
Rosiemarie82

You almost answered yourself in your last paragraph. I had almost identical symptoms for several months (til I found the right meds), and still have them occasionally. My gp said everything (with my heart) was fine.... after 2 e.r. trips with full blood panel, ekg and chest xray. I wanted to believe him so much, but my brain had me convinced that every single day, I was about to have a heart attack. It really crippled my family life.

Two things, besides the right medication, helped me. I read on a post in here that if I were having heart "attacks" everyday for 2 months, I probably wouldn'tbe here to tell you about it. And then my most lovely, God sent aunt said to me "He will never take you, not even one second before it's your time to go".

I don't know how religious you are, butthat eased my mind more than anything. (Back story: my aunt lost her son when he was my age, he had complications of drug withdrawl when he was trying to fix his life. So when she said those words, I felt them, and feel that she believed what she was saying).

Enough about me, hope you find some relief/comfort!

1 like
Reply
staywithme99

I totally understand the first paragraph! it’s taken a toll on my relationships with my family and friends because of my paranoia as well. It’s so hard to retrain your brain out of something you believe so hard to be true! my mom is the one who keeps me from going to all of the doctors I obsessively think about going to to help me realize I’m okay and not to develop a quite expensive safety behavior so young, so I’m really working on that!

I also read that post! That’s how I feel too!! Like the intensity of my feelings would’ve sent me to my early grave a while ago and now it’s just all manifestations of symptom lists and survivor stories I’ve read! I am not that religious, but a connection with the “bigger picture” gets me by, where if I think about where I fit in I’m both inspired and realize that if I really were to go, it would not be without leaving a mark :)

Reply
mellowbunbun

I am also a 20 year old female and I can tell you this is something that I do. I research symptoms of things I'm experiencing and from what I can tell you it also tells me I have angina, heart attacks, stroke feelings but I know I never had a stroke and so on and so forth. I was doing that months ago and I still do it today. I would just like to say that if you stop researching and give it a few days, you'll just learn to forget it. I tend to relapse into my anxiety tendencies and want my questions to be answered but it's just something you have to learn to deal with. I'm a woman of faith too and yesterday during my church service, my pastor really talked about anxiety. I hadn't gone to church in a while because of my summer job, but let me tell you. That message seemed like it was for me because when you're usually on this bout of looking up your symptoms, you spiral out of control. It makes me feel like I'm crazy sometimes. I don't know if you're religious or not but I've just learned what I always knew. That I should give my worries to God and although my issues won't get solved right away, it provides some comfort that God is watching me and I know I won't die. And even if you aren't religious, knowing that despite everything, there is still hope, it's all worth fighting the fight no matter what.

Reply
staywithme99

That’s what I’m going to try to do! Stop researching! this one is so hard bc even if I’m not looking up heart attack symptoms it’s me just googling my symptoms and the word “anxiety” after it like that makes a difference in how I feel lol the only thing that makes me feel better is the fact that I haven’t had anything bad happen to me yet and don’t have any of the risk factors to make anything shady pop up, you know?

I’m so glad you have religion and feel that way! I hope you’re able to implement your feelings to alleviate the struggle :) I’m not religious but I am connecting to the spiritual world and coming to terms with where I fit in to the big picture. it helps me with both the fear of dying and dying itself just knowing that I didn’t exist for nothing!

1 like
Reply
mellowbunbun

Researching your symptoms definitely feeds fire to the flame. I don't want to be a hypocrite so I also need to do the same and listen to my own advice. If you haven't had anything bad happened to you, then you should continue moving forward knowing this because it's very helpful in making you feel better.

Thank you, I feel blessed that I was able to have religion in my life because I don't know what I would do without it. It's very helpful, it really is but it's so easy to be led astray and get back into the cycle of anxiety. I try my best to continue putting all my worries into my faith but it's a struggle ahah. It isn't easy but it's worth the fight. I'm glad that you're able to have something to hold onto as well! It can be difficult but with hope and understanding, that light in the tunnel definitely gets brighter.

Reply
staywithme99

I would agree with that 100%. these past few days I’ve found myself not googling and also logically deducing my feelings (that research really did pay off). I keep telling myself that through every work out, every night, every feeling, I’m somehow still here after two months not needing emergency care. I’d definitely be collapsed by now!

thank you for your kind words 💛 all of us have each other to help out and that’s so powerful! I hope all keeps improving for you, mellow :)

Reply
Cmoinjoco

I have been there so many times the past couple of months! I have had two ekgs in the past 6-7 months and they’ve all been normal, other than a slightly fast heart rate due to anxiety. I keep telling myself it’s JUST anxiety, but, it is hard to understand how anxiety can cause so many symptoms. I have to keep myself really busy and I find that it keeps my mind off of it for the most part. The worst times for me is my “down” time or when I’m going to bed.

1 like
Reply
staywithme99

it’s SO challenging to believe that especially when they’re all so strange!! my normal bouts of anxiety used to just include a fast heart rate, sweating, and I’d move on. now it’s like all of this but I know that my research hasn’t helped me and clearly my body wanted to tell me to self care and slow down and needed to force me to listen. listening!

Reply
dbeck128

I've actually went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. My blood pressure was raised, pains in my chest, I swore I couldn't breath, and I was faint and also pains in my shoulder and arm. I drove myself to the ER feeling like that. My heart was beating out of my chest!

I ended up being fine and it was a panic attack. I had blood drawn, an ultrasound of the abdomen, and also an EKG.

I've heard a lot of anxiety attacks feel like a heart attack. I never believed it until it happened to me. Now I know. And I hope you find some relief. just know you're not alone..

1 like
Reply
dbeck128
dbeck128
in reply to dbeck128

I would like to add I'm a 23 yo female. So that might make you feel a little better.

1 like
Reply
staywithme99

thank you!! that makes me feel so much better :) I’m really surprised I didn’t go to the ER actually but a little voice inside of my head told me it wasn’t worth the time. I’m so happy that’s all it was for you though.

1 like
Reply
ReeDiana

Hey

I am exactly in your boat, from my first anxiety attack in July since this present date I’ve been dealing with these depressing symptoms. (All that you’ve listened) I don’t get to the point of shortness of breath, thank God because I’ll probably go crazy.

When I think less of the symptoms and worries I feel a lot better. I always think when some symptom comes along “I hope I’m not having a heart.” “I hope I’m not gonna die today” I’ve been to my doctor a month ago, got an ECG, blood test and everything was fine. However, I have a increased heart rate since my first attack. It went down a bit since I’ve been trying to do better. My grandmother died so I don’t know how much progress I’m getting at this time.

Also, I suggest you just staying calm and doing something to take your mind off it. I’m healthy and always have been , I never had any any heart issues and I’m only 18. So I suggest you just stay calm, I know we can’t say “it’s impossible” because it’s not but I truly believe it just our anxiety.

Stay calm

1 like
Reply

You may also like...