Bad anxiety : Hi I’m andy from the uk... - British Heart Fou...

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Bad anxiety


Hi I’m andy from the uk .it was sep 2020 I was playing football and collapsed.i was rushed to hospital and required 2 stents . Since then I’m struggling with anxiety it’s getting so bad .anyone one else had this problem thanks in advance

48 Replies

Hello ANDYT1976

Welcome to the forum, when we have a heart event it comes as a huge shock and being as young as you doubly so. It’s as if someone as pulled the rug from beneath our feet and our normal life as flown out the window.

At the moment your brain is trying to work out what as happened to your body, every pain and twinge is setting off alarm bells.

From now on life is a bit different, we have pills to take we watch our diet and we try to exercise better.

Feeling anxious is perfectly normal it takes time to work our way through what as happened but you will get there it just takes time.

Remember you are now part of the Hearties family and if you’re need to talk or you have questions someone will be along to help, we can even give you a shoulder to lean on if that’s what you need.

Best wishes Pauline

ANDYT1976 in reply to 080311

Thank you Pauline for reading my post . I’m 44 got 3 children my youngest boy is 1 my girl is 3 my lads grown up .I feel like I’ve brought this on myself by smoking a lot of cigarettes to stressing about work and doing work on my home For about the first 8 weeks I couldn’t go out on my own in case my heart went again . When I did tryi was just getting chests pains orcame home upset . Over the last few months my anxiety has been realy bad I can go out now but can’t get rid of the anxiety .People have suggested go on antidepressants but don’t no much about them .or do you think I should try exercising Maybe ..I’ve gone from meeting up with the lads one day a week to Having no sort of social life .. . I’m glad I joined here today it hopefully will help . Thank you for listening ,excuse my keyboard skills it’s not My best attributes Many thanks

Skelson1 in reply to ANDYT1976

Hi Andy sorry to hear your struggling, I am also with anxiety I used to be active, good social life but now I cannot leave the house, I am searching for a solution with the anxiety as my GP has not been very good, any techniques welcome from the forum, tried most things, CBT mindfulness, meditation, affirmations etc etc

080311 in reply to ANDYT1976

Hi again,

You have had some great posts and now you must realise your not on your own, I had open heart surgery Aortic valve replaced and bypass 4 years ago and I have been grateful every day to the great medical team that gave me my life back. That’s not to say I didn’t have days of shear terror, the thought that someone had held my heart in their hands and my heart was stopped when I was on bypass, really set me off but now I look on it as a gift. Now when I see the very faint scar I think wow that really did happen.You have said you have stopped smoking and that’s the biggest help you can do for your heart, you have a young family and that must scare you in case anything else happens, but after my surgery I decided that I would do everything I could to help keep my mended heart as healthy as I could. You have been given a second chance you have made a great start, just keep going it never fully goes away that little doubt right at the back of our brain but it does become easier.

Best wishes Pauline

ANDYT1976 in reply to 080311

Thank you Pauline really appreciate everybody’s kind words

Hi Andy, congratulations you’re a survivor and welcome to the club. I had my heart attack in November 2019 and needed 3 stents and have recently come off the clopidogrel. But you will be more conscious of every ache and twinge thinking is this another or the big one. It takes a good few months for your body to readjust and that knocks your confidence quite a bit.Take things steady and set small targets for yourself with rehab and exercise. I started off with a 5 minute walk, wasn’t allowed to walk the dogs. But be guided by your rehab team, have you started the rehab program? That helped me a lot, along with advice from the dietician.

The cardiac nurses give tough love advice, but that is really what we all need as it helps set a benchmark to move forward.

But take the positives, you survived and your plumbing has been checked over and repaired.

There’s lots of good advice in here so do join the various forums.

TTFN. John

ANDYT1976 in reply to Joliv61

Hi Joliv61 thanks for the reassurance. For the past 3 hours I’ve been reading people’s stories and they’ve been a big help . With regards to the rehab team I had 2 follow up calls then stoped through COVID .i do feel fit it’s just the mental side that’s eating away at me . I do need to start exercising more often .i should have come on here straight away instead o& bottling it all up for 4 months thank you

Andy. Welcome to the forum not a place you expected to be. I am a lot older than you but a heart attack had no discrimination of age. I only had one stent to keep me alive after HA and ultimately had a triple bypass. Hopefully you will not require such drastic steps. My advice is listen to all the professional advice you will get from the cardio team. It’s not an easy road but if you are sensible you are in a position to make life changing decision you will live a long and healthy life.

Good luck young man and remember you are not alone


ANDYT1976 in reply to gilreid1

Hi gilreid1 not had much luck with the rehab team whilst COVID is here .Feeling a lot healthier now just struggling a bit mentally. I was a big smoker but never smoked since Ha. I’m also wanting to make changes in my life from selling up in Manchester and moving to Cornwall all as I want now is a nice quite easy life . Which is pretty hard with a 1 and 3 year old 😂.thank you for taking time out to read Many thanks

It does knock you back quite a bit, why me etc. But you are a sportsman you know what winning feels like. Take the positives from everything, be it a 5 minute walk one day then doing it again. Not asking you to do marathons but you can build up your walking and repeat it. Some days you will be fine others not as good, but take the positives. Just through walking daily and a few diet changes I’ve lost nearly 3 stone, still a fair bit more as I was a bit of a chunky monkey...

Anyway good luck mate.

ANDYT1976 in reply to Joliv61

Thank you much appreciated

Hi Andy. It’s an awful shock when like you, who play sport and are fit , realise you have to face the horror of the unexpected . Join the club. There seems to be quite a few people who like myself were fit and played sport only to be told they need a bypass etc. Don’t be hard on yourself . You are experiencing what many of us felt. However it will pass as you as you become stronger mentally and physically. I’m a year after my bypass now and rarely have bad anxiety attacks like I used to have . Think of it as a new beginning . I’m now back to 78

ANDYT1976 in reply to Pollypuss

. Having everybody’s stories being told to me it makes me feel that I’m not ready for the bin just yet .I just hope I get to 78 and I’m as active as you .thanks pollypuss

Hello Andy I'm 58 had HA and one sent in May, I was very fit and was a racing cyclist until early 50s, still kept riding, so it was an enormous shock to me. As the great people on here have said, it's all about small goals giving yourself confidence to start doing things. I still get twinges now and again and was told it takes many months to settle.As for moving to Cornwall, that sounds fab, but you might be thinking different in a few months, I'm back at work (school caretaker part time). Give yourself time things WILL get better.

ANDYT1976 in reply to pjw17

Thank you pjw.From this weekend I am going to get myself active again . As for Cornwall summer 2022 is gonna be the year we make the move .thank you

pjw17 in reply to ANDYT1976


Sometimes the best help towards coping with the anxiety any big 'heart wobble' brings is knowing the anxiety is normal and usually eases off over time.

That said, the second best help is knowing the anxiety will likely never fully go away, not really. It will downgrade to being at the back of your mind for a very long time to come, every twinge, every moment of breathlessness or other symptoms similar to those that heralded the original heart event really will cause you to stop for a moment and ask yourself if it could be happening again.

I have multiple mild-ish heart conditions but so far no heart attack, stents, or bypass - if I stay on my medications and keep alert to signs of impending 'acute flares' or other signals, I'm fine. I've had one of the conditions for close to 60 years, others as a consequence of Dengue Fever back in the 1990s. One of my conditions is recurrent pericarditis so I have to pay attention to that little voice at the back of my head - makes it difficult to get past some of the anxiety a big heart wobble caused me in Spring 2019 (took me close to a year to get back to feeling near-normal) but it is easier to cope with the anxiety just knowing it's normal to feel that way after an event, knowing it takes a while to get past and knowing a wee bit of it will never really go away.

Welcome to the group:)

ANDYT1976 in reply to Sunnie2day

Hi there thank you.Reading yours and everyone else’s comments really have helped me out . I regret not joining this group months ago

Hello Andy I am now 57 and had a AF episode last February ended up in AE with HR of 184 for 6 hrs and after several drug treatments I was sent home, For a number weeks after I was back in and out of AE with similar but not the same symptoms and ended up with tablets for blood pressure and blood thinners: it was also round the time of the start of COVID. Basically all scared the total C.. out of me! I was extremely active and gym work, endurance walking etc and went from all that to not being able to take the dog for a walk. After pretty much most is this year and lots of scans and monitoring I now know that anxiety can play absolute havoc with your life and bring on loads of physical and mental issues. Literally couldn’t do anything alone and always anxious. Never knew what that even meant until this year.

Working with my cardiologist I am now taking no medication, lost weight, dropped the heavy gym and kept up with the 10 to 15,000 steps a day. Cut out caffeine and alcohol ( want to start the odd class of wine again tho at some point) taken up yoga and Pilates ( it’s harder and more challenging than you think!) and also meditate daily .. yes meditate .. only 10 mins .

My anxiety has dropped from 150% a day to 10% a day. My cardiologist also believes that some or my later episodes were related to anxiety not the original condition. It was so scary.

My blood pressure is back to normal, I don’t feel the impending sense of doom all day.

Your brain can get stuck in the anxiousness state it’s in. Look up Headspace the app and maybe listen to some podcasts. I also read a book called dare

I am nearly a year on and covid doesn’t help anxious people .. but i am in a much better place and you will get there also, I don’t belief it just happens I think you have to work with your mind to get it there:

It’s quite strange i have been through breast cancer and never felt anxiety like this year, maybe because it’s our hearts it’s much more heightened..

You worry it will happen again etc dont know but it’s all understandable:

Your anxiety will go:

It will happen and you can control when.

ANDYT1976 in reply to Spudly22

It’s been a terrible 4 months for me .Onwards and upwards after reading all your nice comments thank you

Hi Andy,

I had a similar experience and the same age group.

So much great advice on here from some amazing people who have been through so much..

I am 6 months post HA and I would say I am back to the same positive person I was before, it’s been far from easy mentally and physically and I know it will always be there. It’s not for everyone but I got a dog after my HA and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. He motivates me because he needs to go out twice a day and walking is the best form of exercise after.

All the best

ANDYT1976 in reply to MJOR1981

Hi mate after reading Yourself and other people stories it make me feel a lot more at ease with my condition . My ha was brought on by smoking and stress according to the docs.I am a fit person as I’ve got to be with 2 young kids .i think I need to get out walking and running just to clear my mind ..Glad your on the mend here’s to a healthy future 👍

Hi Andy, welcome and like everyone else on here, we all never expected to be on here but we are, i was 57 when i had a quadruple bypass wasn't too heavy or overweight and had moved some years back from a stressful mainly office based job into a more manual job with no issues until I started chest pains and thankfully was referred for further tests but to still be strapped to a machine and then told you need a quadruple still shocks me to this day but 2 years down the line and I'm thankful every day because it's better than the other option I was probably facing. Do I have spells of anxiety - hell yes, we all do and we still get up every morning take a breath and be thankful for what we have. It's hard to get through it and the only suggestion I can say is take small steps each day, for me that meant when starting the walking process it was very short walks along with the wife (maybe 300 yards or so) but I counted the lamp posts and every day I went to the next post and so on, On certain days I didn't feel 100% so maybe dropped a few posts and turned back but I kept at it. Maybe try this approach and take the wife with you as we all need to remember that whilst we are the ones that have had the heart event/surgery and feel the anxiety, our partners (when we're lucky enough to have partners) they've also been through the heart event with us and have real anxiety about us, It's human nature for it to happen.

Even to this day (and I'm walking 4-5 miles per day now) before I go out I get the "have you your phone & med spray with you" question from my wife and I know she's worried every time I go out on my own just maybe not as much as when i first started back after surgery - it gets better.You're not alone in this but also a big help can be just talking to the wife and maybe get her side of the story and maybe a really close friend to chat to about how you're feeling and again the old saying "it's good to talk!" is right, men especially don't normally like talking about their feelings or mental health but talking through things is such a big help in these situations and it's very normal.

I hope I haven't rambled on too much but I wish you and the family only the best in life and hope & know you'll get through this, you've age & a level of fitness on your side so start small at the begining and build up, It's been a warning and they could do something to help the situation but you're still here so like the rest of us learn to try and make every day count.

Spudly22 in reply to reidmar

You are so right .. it doesn’t go as I also do the have I got my pill in pocket and water and phone before i go on my daily now 5k walks ( never thought i would get there sometimes !) and i laughed when I read your post in the remembering all these things and realised I have only just stopped thinking when i get dressed each day “ need to put my best hospital underwear in 😂 !

ANDYT1976 in reply to Spudly22


ANDYT1976 in reply to reidmar

Thank you reidmar feeling lots more positive today after reading all you coments

Magnesium and Caksium combined works great.

Hi Andy I really feel for you. Just coming up on two years since I came home from a bike ride feeling odd (which I now know was a heart attack, though the symptoms weren't classic), sat in an armchair and arrested. Woke up in ICU 2 days and 2 stents later. It was a real shock - I was 49 at the time, lots of workplace stress and overweight but no other risk factors, and I'd never had any other warning signs (though with hindsight some things I ignored at the time might have been). Its taken me a while to process, and to stop thinking that, since it happened with no warning last time, it could happen again. Actually that's not true - I've had an angiogram, they've seen the problem, they've fixed the problem. I've fixed my diet and my stress, I'm taking the pills. No reason to fear. Easy to say, it's not like I don't repeat this to myself on a regular basis! This group helps, we all understand where you're coming from, keep sharing your anxieties, you're not on your own. Take care, Bill

ANDYT1976 in reply to Scout2017

Cheers bill .Been out on a great walk today and done a bit of jogging in between . Feeling so more positive today thank you very much

Hi I think most people worry every pain is going to be another heart attack it does get better with time

Hallo Andy and welcome to the group. I hope the following gives you some hope that things will get back to near normal for you. My son had a heart attack and 2 stents fitted at the age of 45. Like you he was fit, never sat still, worked very hard and wAs bring up 3 boys on his own. Lack of money was a constant worry. He was taken to Royal Papworth Hospital and his first question was will I be able to dive again. Diving was and still is his love and yes after a year long ban he was back diving with annual checks to ensure safety. He began light exercise with a few weeks, walking and cycling. Nine years on the boys are grown men, he’s still exercising and is happy and well. Everyone is different but I doubt anyone who has experienced heart problems wouldn’t be worried. What I would say is only do the level of exercise recommended by heart specialists, that way you’ll be on a steady and safe road to recovery. Good luck

ANDYT1976 in reply to Woollymum

Thank you I’m so glad your son made a good recovery

Hi Andy. I had a SCA in 2014. I struggled a lot with anxiety since. I had CBT then was told EMDR therapy would be better for me. It has really helped. You need to talk about your worries, I would really recommend some therapy hun. A heart event can really change how you feel and its all normal. You're not alone hun. Take care. Jo x

ANDYT1976 in reply to jowalk6

Started running today fell so good just letting steam off . Thank you and take care x

080311 in reply to ANDYT1976

Great news but remember slowly does it to start with, but ever upwards. You will get there.

Hey Andy , I too suffer from great anxiety and stress or the slightest things. Im 58 and considered myself to fit and v active - don't smoke a d drink in moderation . Collapsed whilst driving and ended up in the Jubilee Hospital where I had an angiogram and was told that I required a stent to be fitted to the main artery feeding the left side of my heart. I was then told it would be done the following day. The second angiogram and stent fitting revealed that there was no obstruction and that I was actually suffering from cardiac atrey spasms. Good and bad news , no stent , but i will require meds for life. When I left hospital I was scared stiff, I couldn't sleep and wouldn't leave the house, my phone and GTN spray went everywhere with me and I asked my wife not to leave the house. I was living in constant fear. The problem was I was sent home with little info about my condition and because of COVID there's a little or no support.

By making a nuisance of myself I managed to speak to a few specialists which has helped greatly. I also use calming apps and have slowly built up my confidence. I think the key to your anxiety is Courage, Knowledge & Confidence . Gain as much knowledge about your condition as possible and seek reassurance from others who have a similar condition ( just as you are doing on this forum). I can guarantee to you that with your new found knowledge and better understanding you will gain the confidence and courage you need to get your life back on track. You can do it! Good luck for the future.

Take care. B2020

ANDYT1976 in reply to Battle2020

Hi there it’s been a blessing joining this group last night I feel so more at ease and better in my self I even went for a 4 mile walk this morning and done the odd jog in between 😊. More jogging every other day from now on . As one of my artery’s was blocked on the left side of my heart.not hardly had any follow up calls so it has been a major struggle mentally . From now on more positive mind set .thank you for taking time out to read my problem 👍

Hi Andy

I definitely had anxiety following my HA last April .

So you are not on your own there . It sadly lasted for a couple of months for me . I just thought I was going to die and gave another HA . Worst time if my life !!!

But happy to say I’ve moved on CBT , meditation, relaxation breathing techniques all helped me so much . It’s a horrible feeling but I’m sure lots of others on this forum have suffered anxiety too . You do get better and able to deal

With it but it takes time .

I do hope you get there too little steps x

Thank you emmy .ive had so many positive responses it’s a big weight of my mind x

Hi Andy,how your feeling is 100% normal, dont beat yourself up for feeling this way,after my H.A in march at 59 ,I blamed myself alot for smoking,although not alot,thinking maybe if id ate healthier, maybe if id exercised more ,this might not have happened to me, but I guess over time I came to a place of self_acceptance,I realised I was doing and living the best life I knew in past years, and I have now been given a second chance at life!!!!I make the most of everyday....I am still here and breathing.... You will get through the mental fog,gradually it will lift and the sun will shine on you again Andy...roll on Cornwall,and keep focused on positive goals, keeps your mind busy, your doing a great job ,so give yourself a pat on the back,onward and upward,and good luck to you and family...

Hi there I can’t believe how much better I feel having all you nice people at the click of a button being there for me.i went out yesterday and had a nice walk and felt lots better . I think sometimes I need to take time out aswell from the mad house I live in because my anxiety can be triggered very easily with my 1 and 3 yeR old . A big weight will be off my shoulders once I finish doin our property up in a couple of months .ive got to think how lucky I am because theres people in a lot worse position than myself . Thank you and I’m off to St ives in 2022 deffo 👍

Well done to YOU ANDY,things will defo fall into place for you,in time,self care is important,2 kids under two a full time job aswell,but you'll get there,finding the balance in your daily routine is a good place to start,you can't give from an empty cup,get everyone on board to help,delegate tasks,if you don't ask,the answer will always be No!!! ,put yourself out there,you'd be surprised the support youl get!!! You can't give from an empty cup!!! So look after You,keep life simple 👍 and take care of you,because your worth it👍😊take care .

Hi Andy. I also had to have a stent fitted in September this year. Biggest shock of my life. As lots of people on here have said doesn’t matter how fit you may be it can still happen. Mentally it’s hard to get your head around ie why did this happen to me? But I have to say the last month or so things have really improved for me. I’m out running again three times a week and no chest pain. Diet has changed ie eating more fish and vegetables (although i didn’t eat that badly before?) my cardiologist said to be “just a combination of genetics and bad luck” but as everyone says this forum is a great help with any questions you may have or if your feeling anxious about anything. Good luck and please be reassured things will get back to normal 👍

ANDYT1976 in reply to Lizbeth61

Hi there Liz it was very similar time than mine I glad you’ve improved your fitness and anxiety. I feel better now I’ve read other people’s out look on there situations .ive got to start thinking positive because theres people a lot worse off than I am Thank you again

Hi Andy

What can I tell you? Not much other than anxiety in some form seems to be part of the programme.

I was 42 when I had and HA in March 2020, out of the blue having been at the gym in the morning. Six months in I felt good, ten months on I feel worse although I suspect this is down to change in medication. But undoubtedly the worry of what we have been through is hard to get passed.

I worry about what happened, I worry about my wife and kids if something were to happen to me and I worry about my parents and the affect it would have on them if I wasn’t here. All of these feelings seem to be “normal” but that certainly doesn’t make them any easier to deal with day to day, or in the middle of night when it’s just you and a dark room.

Exercise undoubtedly helps, as does social contact and generally getting on with life... all things we are being denied by Covid unfortunately. But walking is free and accessible all the time, and is one of the best forms of exercise.

This forum and exchanging messages with friends are very helpful, and the common message is that time heals. For us we have a pandemic to deal with in the dead of winter, which is never the cheeriest time of the year anyway.

Lean on your friends, take comfort from the forum and make use of the resources available through BHF and NHS. Look after yourself, it will get better.

Hi there I have all the worries about supporting the family and being there for my dad after losing my mum Havin this it’s made realise I need to Do what’s best for me and my family . Cornwall next year easy life sea air and a chilled lifestyle. Thank you for the message Of support my friend and good luck

Since COVID is having a major effect on your rehab, I suggest you look on Facebook or Youtube there are many sites that will help you exercise at your own pace. The Canadians run some quit good sites and seem to do it a a reasonable pace. Whatever you do, don't pay for any advice. There are a few people who take advantage of our situation. Likewise Cure All drugs on the market. You can get all the vitamins you need from fruit and veg. There are many people on this site and elsewhere Who are 80+. and managed without popping pills.

Hi there I nearly did resort to goin on antidepressants.but I think I’ve got this through all you guys messages and support .im so glad I decided to look on bhf even though it’s took me4 mounts it feels like a huge weight o& my shoulders many thanks

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