Anxiety Support
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Left side of Chest.....Am I making myself worse??

Hi All,

I am a long term sufferer of Anxiety and think I have experienced most symptoms which I am usually quite good at shrugging off as anxiety effects.

Just before xmas I started to experience alot of aches and odd pains in my upper back and left side of my chest. I again put it down to anxiety and so did my therapist.

However, I am still experiencing these feelings. I cant really describe it but it is just under my left breast and under my armpit around my side slightly. It isn't a pain as such but I am aware of something not feeling right. The only way to describe it is almost like a nerve pain..a niggling unpleasant feeling. If i bend forward or move certain ways I feel it more. Also my upper back does ache all over and if i put my arms together behind by back it all feels bruised. I am so terrified of docs etc so haven't been. I think I am making myself worse by constantly thinking about what it might be, as soon as I wake up its on my mind. Therefore Im experiencing alot of dizzyness and balance problems which I have suffered on and off for years.

Can anyone relate to me or offer me any advice PLEASE?

7 Replies

Hi slj. It almost sounds like a swollen lymphnode (although I'm not a doctor!) I get a lot of pain under my armpit, left of chest etc and I get this if I've had an infection and my lymphnode is slightly swollen. It hurts to move my arms above my head or bend down. Or maybe you have pulled a muscle in your chest if you perhaps experience panic attacks at all? I find a have tonnes of aches and pains in random places after a bad attack.



I almost feel like I have run a marathon most days and even going to the loo seems such a task and my heart races. I cant explain the feeling. It is just under where the bra bone lies hence why I changed my bras to no wiring but it hasn't made a difference. I am keeping a hot water bottle on the area but it isn't really helping. I think i am making myself alot worse by worrying about what it is all the time. I just can't face the doctors, especially with being dizzy aswell.

If I press on the area firmly it feels tender but so does the other side? And ive also noticed if i press on my neck under my chin that feels tender aswell. I hate all this!


If you feel tender under your chin this almost definitely sounds like an infection of some sort. Have you had the cold or flu or anything recently? Their are glands under the chin also. Perhaps call the NHS helpline rather than go to the doctors? Looking into it you have glands in these areas:

Behind the ears

Under the jaw

Lower part of the back of the head



Have you had the uncomfortableness long? It's nothing to worry about although I know how it feels to not be able to stop thinking about something being worse than it is.



Thanks for your replies.

It started just before xmas when I was off work with slight ear pain and this chest sensation as well as being really drained. I spoke to my GP over the phone and he said it sounded like a viral infection which would clear on its own although he couldnt be sure because he hadnt seen me. As anxiety does it sent me into panic mode and i believe i made myself ten times worse by worrying about having to go to hosp etc. I ended up being at home until 3 weeks ago.

Last week I felt my anxiety become worse and i didnt feel well. I havent got a cold but i have felt like im getting one since Friday. But saying that, this chest thing has been going on since about December now.

Aswell as being under my breast i sometimes feel niggles that feel like they are in my breast aswell. Having bad health anxiety this has triggered all kinds of thoughts as you will guess!


I know I can imagine how the mind is kicking everything into gear with health anxiety. It's horrible. Perhaps it is just something underlying that maybe you need antibiotics for? In which case going to the doctors would be the best thing. What is it that is stopping you going? The fear of being told something bad and it escalating? Or just getting out of the house because you feel so unwell? Maybe if you went to see the doctor and they said it was all OK and just a basic infection you may come away feeling a little better? (although I know that is easier said than done) If it's been that long I would maybe push yourself to go, not because it is serious, purely because you are so uncomfortable and if they could clear it up it may make you feel much better and you could relax.

I hate health anxiety. Even when I get indigestion and it gives you that fluttery chest feeling I have a sudden moment of panic and think 'Oh my god my heart is stopping!', then it kicks in that I'm actually breathing and drinking a glass of wine so I'm OK! :) It's such a burden.


Yeh I agree, Health anxiety has got to be the worst ever! I used to be the total opposite to what I am now...outgoing, laid back, enjoyed life to the full. It really gets to me somedays but then when I think deeply I don't do enough to push myself because of how it makes me feel.

My phobia of doctors etc started when I had vertigo a few years back which is where all the anxiety has started from. My main fear is Fainting. Wherever I go or whatever I do I am always consious of my balance and of fainting...even around the house. I think this is because I do get off balance and dizzy and plus when I had the vertigo and went for blood tests I did pass out.

Ive always been abit squeamish but nothing like I am now..the thought of ending up in hospital absoloutely terrifies me and everyday I think about it. I cant seem to take my mind off myself even when I am occupied, its crazy.

This is why I think I am making myself alot worse than what is probably actually wrong but I dont know how I can stop the vicious circle. My GP prescribed me Citalopram last year and I took one and couldn't handle the side effects so stopped straight away.

I never imagined ending up like this! x


I was the same. I was quite a strong and confident person and illnesses never phased me, I would just push through them, so when all of a sudden I was panicking at an ache in my arm or something it was surreal.

Oh I see. That can't be nice to suffer from. It's really hard to stay strong when you feel so fragile. I always found that the more I pushed myself to do something I dreaded, the better I felt each time. I still felt ill but it felt good to feel slightly normal again.

I hope you feel better soon. x


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