Anxiety? : I had a heartattack in... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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I had a heartattack in January 90% blockage and had a stent... completed cardiac rehab and am on the last phase... however I've been experiencing pains which feel similar to the angina I apparently had before my attack (i didn't know it was angina, thiught I'd pulled a muscle)

Had anyone else suffered this or is it anxiety ... I'm terrified of another attack even though i now exercise and I gave up smoking ... I'm only 35...

Thank you in advance

40 Replies

If in doubt call for help, no one will criticise you for it. If you have tingling in either arm or your jaw then dial 999.

Emilee83 in reply to shopman

It doesn't really come and go to be honest ... its like a constant niggle and I've got my two kids with me :) not going a&e with them .... Don't like a&e anyway they sent me home after my heart attack saying it was a panic attack .....

shopman in reply to Emilee83

If worried then call 111. Have you been given a GTN spray or the small tablets that go under your tongue, if so have you tried either?

Emilee83 in reply to shopman

Yeah doesn't really have any affect so I'm bit sure it's cardiac... I'll give them a call ... just curious if it was just me ... makes a change from why me xx

shopman in reply to Emilee83

How you getting on now?

Emilee83 in reply to shopman

I'm ok it's just there all the time... Dr Google gets me in trouble so reluctant to search... I think last yime I looked I has fibromyalgia, GERD and call an ambulance ... funny thing is when I go to the gym as prescribed it goes completely??? Thank you for replying to me byvthe way... it's hard feeling alone sometimes x

I no that feeling

Kimberly07 in reply to Emilee83

I’ve just read shopman and his right my cardiac nurse always says like shopman IF IN DOUBT CHECK IT OUT that’s why I called 111 and as I said in other post they were brilliant x


I had something similar following my stents last November. I had and still do sometimes get a deep burning pain in the chest almost like a stitch sometimes which was similar to what I felt in the week leading up to my heart attack. The cardiologist assures me it's not cardiac pain as I would get it for hours at a low level and like you I tend to get it when I'm at rest. To me it felt like nerve damage/burning and I do wonder when they put the stents in if they damaged nerves. I also had a camera down which came back mild gastritis so could be down to that. It's very common for people to get chest pain post procedure but I don't think it's all down to anxiety. I too was told my heart attack was probably anxiety attack or gerd. Six hours after waiting in a and e, I complained I hadn't been seen despite being blue lighted in earlier. They eventually took bloods and confirmed HA. I was so annoyed. I'd been to a and e 3 times that week. If you're young and female (I was 42) they do not take you seriously.

If you exert yourself and it goes away it's fairly safe to say it's not angina. mine is worse when sitting and better once I'm warmed up into exercise.

I will add that the possibility of post traumatic stress could be playing a part, almost like you feel similar symptoms as before like your mind can't process what happened to you so you kind of relive it.

Whatever it is, know you're not alone. There's many ppl on here trying to figure it all out and you will get there just be patient.

Emilee83 in reply to Andie1975

Hi Andie Thanks for your reply, its almost exactly how i feel although my feelings and like a lump in my throat sensation across my chest but constantly.. My search history has been erased as my husband would go mad if he saw "Can angina last all day" in there :)

I did wonder if it could be gastro but i take meds for this each morning? I've left a message with my consultant though. Its funny how exercise makes it feel better, especially as I'm more of a Gin than Gym kinda girl....

I do hope you're feeling better, your post has insightful to say the least :) xx

Andie1975 in reply to Emilee83

Haha I think I have searched that same phrase in my time. I ended up getting no real answers as to what was causing mine however I see the positives in as much its kept me determined to lose weight stop smoking exercise and eat very healthy, give up drink etc. I did it all at once after my heart attack mainly out of fear, but so glad I've stuck with it as I know I'm getting healthier. The exercise, mainly walking is my lifeline. I always feel good after a long walk. I now walk to work and back. I was shamefully lazy before, I took the car everywhere.

By the way I took Lanzoprazole for my stomach for 4 months and it did nothing so I stopped them as they can prevent absorption of vitamins, something we need if we are to heal properly.

I'm sure you will feel better soon, distract yourself as much as possible and don't do what I did which was Google symptoms it honestly doesn't give any answers and always left me feeling worse. I found the pains would melt away a bit once I was really engrossed in something.

Take care

Andrea x

Emilee83 in reply to Andie1975

Thanks again Andrea... I haven't been as bad today ... although been dentist so mind was occupied on that.... felt anxious afterwards though... poor gums xx

Qualipop in reply to Andie1975

Same happened to me. Blue light to hospital at 3.30am and dumped on a corridor on my own behind locked swing doors until 8am when bloods were finally taken and I was admitted with a heart attack 2 hours after that. Absolutely disgraceful wait.

BeeJayAitch in reply to Qualipop

On a thread called "Anxiety" this isn't offering any support to Emilee is it? There are all sorts of reasons which might explain the particulars of your case and if you have a problem with the hospital then take it up with them - don't dump it on poor old Emilee who's got enough to worry about already.

A little bit harsh there, I am sure Emilee can discern from someone who is merely chiming in on a comment I made and someone who is trying to make her feel worse. It appears to me that the comment bothers you more than anyone else.


My husband is 38 and he had a heart attack about 8 weeks ago. I think it’s a little harder when you are younger because it’s more of a shock in your 30’s you think your invincible!

He has major anxiety and it sometimes means he get niggles, pains, shakes etc and automatically he thinks it’s happening again, this is all normal. You have to remember that you are on the road to recovery if you were poorly they would have you in hospital. I suggest calling the British heart foundation they are wonderful and will put your mind at ease.

Take care of yourself and you are doing just fine!

Rbrealey in reply to Jinxxed

Thanks for this post Jinxxed it’s really helped me. I’ve been having the same symptoms and desperately trying not to panic but it’s hard as it’s a physical thing and not just mental. I’m never sure if I should use the GTN spray if it’s just anxiety - does anyone know? I haven’t been diagnosed with Angina but I did have 2 stents fitted due to a 90% blocked artery..that was 3 weeks ago and I’ve been making good progress except for regular bouts of anxiety that I struggle getting under control.

The support on here is amazing, I don’t know what we would do without it!

Emilee83 in reply to Jinxxed

Thanks jinxxed... I may give them a call and thanks for ur reply it's been reassuring xx

I feel you 🙈 I’m exactly the same just 6 years older and male... Mine was in June this year, I’ve given smoking started eating fresh food and started exercise and still get pains around my chest. Like you they go if I go for for my jog which I found very strange too. I started doing full time hours at work two weeks ago after a phased return and on the Saturday I was knackered and was in a lot of pain so work sent me to hospital, I had all the blood tests and 4 ECGs there was nothing wrong. Hope you get though it 👍🏻 If you ever find out why it goes when we exercise let me know cheers

Emilee83 in reply to Lee180

I'll definately ask next time I'm in the docs and thank u for replying xx

I think everyone is worried when they first go through this. I have unstable angina and for 2 years was told it was a pain to do with my RA until I was rushed into hospital and it was diagnosed properly! I had my stents 2 years ago and still occasionally need to use my GTN spray but never during exercise, only at rest. Speak to your GP, or better still speak to the nurse at cardiac rehab lessons first. Don't give up the rehab classes, I have been going ever since and I think most areas have a follow on course, though not through NHS. It really helps to have others around who have been through the same worries. Let us know how you get on.

Emilee83 in reply to benjijen

Thanks for ur reply I do worry about unstable angina... no diagnosis just my mind playing tricks I think and thank u xx

Hey I am two months post heart attack and stents and I have chest pains most of the time. I have returned to A+E and paid to see a cardiologist. All have told me it’s not my heart but it’s still hard to believe them.

I am worried all the time but just try and get on with my training regime as pain does not worsen.

It’s amazing what tricks the mind can play on you.

Stay strong and if in doubt get help.



Thanks Neil ... I think I need a new brain or this one re wiring so difficult to accept and deal with xx

A lot older than you but had aortic valve replacement in January.

Was fine but for the last month or so had pain and shortness of breath.

Investigated and told I have anxiety and PTSD.

Am now reluctantly on antidepressants and apparently need counselling. Which I am reluctant to do.

My surgery was emergency and unexpected diagnosed and operated on within four days.

Never had chest pain just short of breath.

Qualipop in reply to Nanny72

Do the counselling. I can't tell you how helpful it is. You may not think it's for you but it really really helps . Only trouble is,teh wait for it is far too long. I've had severe chronic [pain for 30 years; 18 of hem have kept me almost housebound and periodically the effects of it really hit hard and depressions sets in so I ask for a few sessions of CBT. IT's surprising how much good it does to talk to someone who isn't family

Emilee83 in reply to Nanny72

Goodness and I might try counselling ... I'll do anything to feel "normal"

Take care


Kimberly07 in reply to Emilee83

Emilee I said no to counselling at first but have now had two sessions with more to follow and it’s helping me as my cardiac nurse said it’s worth trying as we’re entitled to it. Give it ago you can’t lose anything xx

If you have chest pain tat doesn't go away even after using your spray, do call 111. NO one will laugh at you and if an ECG is ok it's unlikely they will take you to hospital As well as having just had a heart attack I have spinal problems, nerve damage and fibromyalgia. The FIbro often causes costochondritis which is inflammation of the muscle attachments to the sternum. I get really bad pain between my breasts which now of course sets me in a panic. A doctor told me to press lightly on the area and if it hurts by pressing, it's more likely to be muscular. I'm not suggesting to take that as a diagnosis ; just to point out that there are other causes of chest pain that need investigating. Even if it's caused by anxiety no paramedic will criticise you. Anxiety and panic attacks are just as serious and worrying to the patient as heart attacks.

Emilee83 in reply to Qualipop

Thank you for ur reply and ive heard events sucj as a heart attack can start iff fibromyalgia... unsure how true this is... I've got a proper little heart rate and oxygen gadget so I use that to ease my mind xx

I think that you get a lot of worries after a HA, you have just work through them

Take care


Emilee83 in reply to CharlesL

Thank you Charles xx

Regardless of age a major life event of a HA is totally unexpected for most of us. One day we are fine and dandy and the next our whole world has changed. My husband had a heart attack 20 years ago and both of us grieved and I remember his panic that it would happen again and mine as well-I’d stay up all night watching him breath and check on him every time he took a nap. It’s exhausting and yet something the mind has an impossible task of letting go.

There are some great meditation and relaxation mobile phone apps that can help you relax and calm down. Breathing exercises and visualization can be tremendously helpful. My husband at first though they were ridiculous but as a last resort tried one-and they worked for him.

If you still have chest pains don’t ignore them! After my husbands first HA he had a stent he kept having chest pains and the dr more or less said it was all in his head. We complained enough that he offered to do an angio but warned it was a more invassive procedure than necessary. We decided to go with the procedure just to relieve us of the anxiety. 20 minutes into the procedure the dr called me in and told me my hubby was a walking timebomb. That the stents had all closed. I asked him what now. He said by pass surgery. I asked when. He said the surgeon will be here in an hour. Hubby had a 5-way bypass! So it’s not all in our heads! Doctors can misdiagnose.

God Speed - yours from across the Pond.

Emilee83 in reply to not2worry

Thank you xx

Hi Emilie

I coulnt believe it when i read your post. I am also 35 years old and had a heart attack 4 weeks ago. I had a stent put in also. I also get alot of anxiety with which i get a burning sensation between my shoulder blades. I have been back to hospital with this and after overnight stay and so many blood tests. They sent me home as said it was muscular. Hope you feel better soon. I also have 3 young children and finding day to day difficult. Going to Cardiac Rehab tomorrow and hoping it will help.

Emilee83 in reply to faridas

Cardiac rehab is good ... it's something to focus on at least ...

I think the aftermath is worse than the attack ... Hope you feel better soon xx

faridas in reply to Emilee83

Yes i definitely agree that Rehab will be good to focus on. Feel washed out and panicky with all this new meds. I used to think twice about taking a paracetamol before and now i dont have a choice with all these new meds. Thank you for replying. Take care

Emilee83 in reply to faridas

Meds are great aren't they I hate taking them but need too... I had to check I could have hay fever tablets though with the variety I take now ... :)

Hey Emile,

We spoke yesterday, you replied to my post. Almost every week I read posts like yours and think to myself “I’m not the only one!” I have two young boys, 3 and 6 and I worry I won’t be here long enough to see how they turn out. I also think the two of them are the reason I won’t last long, they raise my stress levels so much 😂.

One day I’m happy knowing it’s all normal and probably stress or it’s the statins causing the pains, next day I read about stents closing up and I’m terrified again. I think I need to do something about it but I’ve no idea what to do? I’ve considered paying for a private CAT scan to reassure me the stents are fine and nothing else has been blocked up, is that crazy?

What are you thinking? How are you coping?


Emilee83 in reply to Stivkinh

I know exactly what you mean... My boys are 2, 9 and 35 (husband :D ) and they drive me crackers.... And Im exactly the same ... today is an ok day but yesterday was a write off completely... I think stent blockages are rare and hope that it wont happen to me or anyone for that matter... I just think I have loads of other things instead now.. I think I want to shake myself some days ... I do hope you're doing well xxxxx

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