Does the anxiety ever go away? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Does the anxiety ever go away?

Heyjude31 profile image
99 Replies

Hello everyone, I hope you are having a good weekend. It is now nearly 12 months since I had my heart attack and my CABG x 4. . The road has been bumpy since then. What with challenges with changing medications and wondering if each twinge or slight pain is another heart attack. The main problem I seem to have is that I constantly now have health anxiety. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I know it is my mind playing games but it is so difficult to deal with. The physical aspect seems to be okay but mentally some days I really struggle. I am sorry to burden you on such a sunny day! Thank you for reading my post. Judi x

99 Replies
Blue1958 profile image
Blue1958

My Dear you,

I am always so sorry to hear it when your anxiety begins to peak and cause you even more worry than normal.

It is sad that even though your I year celebration is around the corner your anxiety is blanketing all the good feeling that you should be experiencing.

I will admit to having treatment for something similar that turned into a form of depression, I say a form as like anxiety, depression is a blanket term for a massive range of feelings.

It is normal for everyone that has gone through the things that we have to feel apprehensive and scared, like you I realised that this was becoming a problem when my thoughts didn’t begin to fit in with what I was seeing around me.

Family friends all mean well, but without putting anything on to them { easier said than done } its our fight and the only main help we can get { good luck there } is with the medical profession.

I found some complementary therapy helped me { helped not cured } and eased the passage of hard line of the happy pill medication.

You know that I can’t help you, but if you believe in the power of thoughts and prayers then you have mine.

Take care as I know that you try to.

boredom profile image
boredom in reply to Blue1958

I suffer from GAD had it under control until heart attack and 2 stents fitted now come back with a vengeance have been referred back to counselling only problem is 26 week waiting list. Frightened I will have another

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to boredom

Hello boredom thank you for your post and I am so sorry you are having to deal with even more anxiety. It is very debilitating and can make us feel very down. We have to believe it will get better, it just takes time for us but is not easy, I know. Please take care of yourself and I do hope you start to feel better soon. Take care, Judi

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Blue1958

Thank you so much for replying Blue1958 it is very kind of you. I am receiving some therapy at the moment so hopefully with time it will improve. I know a lot of my emotions are irrational but sometimes they are overwhelming. I am so glad and so grateful for the support I have from all the hearties. Hopefully in time the anxiety will pass. Thank you again for your kindness and care. Take care, Judi

RufusScamp profile image
RufusScamp in reply to Heyjude31

We all suffer from irrational emotions from time-to-time, but once you have had a serious incident, it would be surprising if you weren't a bit anxious about a recurrence.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to RufusScamp

Thank you for replying RufusScamp it does help to know that this is quite normal. In time I am sure it will improve. Take care, Judi

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28

Hello :-)

I think me and you both have got on the bumpy road but I will not let either of us give up till we find this smooth road we see others on we just seem to have taken a wrong turning on our recovery :-)

I had health anxiety from a child I would go in phases on what my anxiety would focus on , what I did not have was not worth mentioning in fact I think my anxiety ran out of ideas till one day I turned up at the Doctors came out with something I thought I had she looked at me gone out and said that is not even an illness if it was you would go down in medical history !

But in my anxious brain it was and it was real !

I spent years worrying about having a heart attack and now look here I am 3 later and like you Bypasses so what has that done convinced me I have been right all along !

I am like you every twinge sensation , indigestion , ache in arm you name it instantly my brain is on red alert saying what's this , o dear is something going wrong

For me I think it is going to be time and working on getting my confidence back it has been shattered and maybe yours has to

If you could look at some more Counselling as nipping this in the bud as quick as you can is the best thing , I have been left years with health anxiety a lot harder to reverse but this is new to you and I believe you can and will reverse it in time

Acceptance as you never knew this existed but now you do but by accepting for now it is ok and tell yourself it is not forever

I wish so much and I know resources will not allow it but that Counselling was available as soon as you had your op like Rehab for those that felt they needed it

Now the rest of me is dropping to bits as well since the op it has been one thing after another and like your med complications when you are already down everything else seems so much bigger and hard to deal with

When you get these anxieties remind yourself it is normal for some and all the others that reply on here saying they feel the same way to are prove of that

Someone told me the 2nd year in recovery will be better and you are going to soon be in your second year like me to so come on let's keep going and make this happen we have just needed longer than maybe some others but we will be in team life is great eventually :-) x

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to BeKind28

Thank you as always for your never ending kindness and understanding you really are so kind and certainly live up to your name. Up until my heart surgery I had never really experienced chronic anxiety although I have had depression when I had ME many years ago. I think I struggle with the fact it seems to come in waves and catches me unawares, that’s what I find a bit scary. Like you we need to battle through into our second year in the belief the second year is better. I have heard that said before so I certainly hope that is the case for us. There are a number of lovely hearties on this site and you are certainly one of the best! Thank you for your never ending support I do so appreciate it. Take good care, Judi xxxx

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Heyjude31

Hello :-)

We all help each other there are some good people on here :-)

When this anxiety comes out the blue as it can have you noticed a pattern

Like do you tend to get it when you are not feeling well or have a medical procedure to have because your brain could be reflecting that to your op if this makes sense

Maybe if you do not already keep a daily dairy even on the good days and when these waves of anxiety occur over time see if there is a pattern to what was happening

We will keep going though and I know you will get there even though I know it does not help you :-) x

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to BeKind28

Hello, your posts always help tremendously. I keep a daily journal and try to record all my thoughts and feelings there. It does help but sometimes I do overthink and I know I need to find things to distract me.

I hope your day has improved xxx

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Heyjude31

:-) x

Blackcatsooty profile image
Blackcatsooty

My wise colleagues have said it all. But in a word, does it improve… YES.

Sooty

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Blackcatsooty

Thank you so much Blackcatsooty, your reply means a lot and I do appreciate you taking the time. Take good care, Judi

Felly12 profile image
Felly12

Sorry to here that you have anxiety. It is horrible. Personally I have suffered before I knew of my congenital heart problem. But this new diagnosis has sent me into another dimension. However to try and put a positive on all this. The advice I seem to get is the following. It is OK to feel not OK. These feelings are just thoughts. Your mind always reverts to a negative as it is the way it is wired for protection. So to re wire the brain you have to try and let these thought come in and go away. To do that you have to do something to make your mind active. So I have started building model aircraft again and try to take my mind into another place. It is not easy. My mind does suddenly send me to the past when I knew nothing of what I have. Even though I have had the issue since birth. I just assumed the way I felt was normal? I am trying therapy and talking to people about it. Trying to pick out the positives. Will it pass? I really hope so. But I suppose iam very slowly getting use to a new way of exceptance. But you are not alone. So if you need a good cry. Cry. Let it out. There is no shame. Good luck for the future.. This is some advice I got from chap I met at work who had heart failure. Keep positive. Even though he was on a cocktail of medication he does hill walking with his dog.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Felly12

Thank you Felly12 I really appreciate your post. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have started to do paint by numbers which I find helpful. I hope you are okay and get better very soon. I am trying to stay positive and not to overthink everything. I have struggled with side effects from some of the medications I am on, but I will get there. I am also seeing a Counsellor, it is early days but slowly I hope I will get there.. Thank you again for a lovely post. Take good care, Judi 🤗

Felly12 profile image
Felly12 in reply to Heyjude31

I am currently being looked after by a good team, since February I have just Been having tests to get a better feel for the epsteins anomoly. I try to take as many positives from the tests that I can. But it is not easy. As I have said in posts to others before. Never use doctor Google. Yes medications can cause many funny situation to appear and cause other issues. But iam still working to keep my mind active. And whether it is good thing? I work with people who have had heart by passes and heart attacks and one young lad who has a heart defibrillator in side him. So we compare notes. Trouble is bloke's being bloke's there can be some banter. But you are not alone. Keep going and enjoy your painting.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Felly12

Thank you so much Felly12. Please take care and let us know how you are getting on. 🤗🤗🤗

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected

Hey Judi :)

Yes, it can ease. No, it never goes completely.

Despite knowing that I'm nearly 4 years past my attack and doing OK physically, just had 2 days of anxiety here from a bit of chest discomfort that wouldn't clear.

I knew exactly what it was - a combination of a bit of a chesty cough, a few nights poor sleep, and a couple of bags of crisps which I KNOW give me slight indigestion since my heart problems (never used to before)

Despite that, and despite taking a 5k walk on Friday & Parkrun yesterday with no issues, by last night I was almost ready to make a doc appointment for Monday because the "what if" voice had started screaming again.

Felt much better today and the eorry's dropped away again. So today was my first "told you so - worried over nothing!" day in a long time!

It's something you have to eventually learn to live with but it does become less frequent.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Thank you so much for your reply and taking the time. My mind will often click into a twinge and I start overthinking and feel very panicky for a while. Then I try very hard to think of some positives and also to realise how blessed I am to still be here and coming up to my one year since my bypass. I then go up and down stairs and realise I am not out of breath the twinge had gone, and then I go and make myself a cup of tea. I just want it to not happen so often where I don’t get dragged into overthinking, Thank you again for taking the time and do take care. Judi

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to Heyjude31

Sounds like exactly the right approach - and the stairs are a great way to reinforce your confidence!

It seems like a long time since mine now, so timeline is a little hazy, and mine was only a stent after my attack rather than bypass.

But I do remember that for a long time I was fighting that little voice at least 3 or 4 days a week. I came to think of him as my inner caveman - well meaning, fiercely protective of me, but basically a bit stupid and not open to logical argument.

Then I suddenly realised he was only visuting maybe a couple of times a week, then every couple of weeks, and eventually it became a rarity to hear from him.

If I had to guess timescale, I'd say it was probably 2, maybe 2 1/2 years before I really stopped expecting his visits. Up to then I just made a point of telling him off sternly for wasting our time after whatever twinge went away.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

I think I should find a name for my gremlin and see if that helps. It is the fight or flight response in all of us. Ultimately it is trying to protect us. My counsellor said I should try and calm it by saying I am okay and safe. I am so glad that is had become less and less for you. Let’s hope that it gets to the point where we are never reminded. It may not be possible ultimately but that’s our aim. Take good care and thank you so much for your support. Judi

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to Heyjude31

That's why I thought of him as my caveman - he lives way back in the primeval part of your hind brain and all he cares about is survival. Which makes it very hard to reason with him, no matter how strong the logical evidence is.

Mine didn't respond too well to "soothing" so I started telling him off instead. Eventually he seems to have remembered who the pack leader is. Most of the time 😁

And, yes, I was army and blame them partly for my attack - if they hadn't made exercise so damned unpleasant I might have kept it up when I left rather than promising myself I'd never do that stuff again 🤣🤣🤣

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

I think I might start shouting at my gremlin too, just need to be aware of people around me! Take good care my Army friend 😊🤗

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Hi again, I see from your bio you were in the Army, I am an old WRNS! 😊

Blue1958 profile image
Blue1958 in reply to Heyjude31

There are never old WRNS just very wise ones X

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Blue1958

Thank you and I am sure the same applies to you X

Oaks6 profile image
Oaks6 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Hi, I’m interested you get indigestion by eating crisps. I’m guessing this late at night ? I’m having different issues at the moment. I had a heart attack and i think when it happened it felt like indigestion. I’m very careful now not to eat late at night. I was in hospital after my heart attack with stomach problems. It was confusing if I was having another heart attack if I ate late and had Stomach/ chest pains. I would wonder is this another heart attack! I notice you had you indigestion after you heart attack. I’m wondering if this is a common problem?

Thanks 😊

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to Oaks6

I spent 24 hours trying to get rid of the "indigestion" that turned out to be a heart attack - the Gaviscon the Boots pharmacist suggested did NOT work! 😁😁😁

Generally don't gave an issue with late night eating but crisps are a problem for me because I can hardly ever stop at one packet and love eating them by the handful for that huge flavour rush.

Never used to be a problem (other than the obvious health effects) but, since improving my overall diet, my body seems to complain if I do.

Anon2023 profile image
Anon2023

Hi. Sorry to hear that you are feeling so anxious. After what you have been through it’s not surprising but I know how exhausting it can be. I’m currently seeing an nhs psychologist for health anxiety. She’s encouraging me to learn to live with a certain level of anxiety as it cannot be avoided entirely. It’s hard going but I’m hopeful that in time, it’ll get easier. What you are experiencing is completely normal and it’s no wonder that you are anxious after experiencing the trauma of the heart attack and surgery. You will feel better eventually but it will take time. You need to give yourself time to come to terms with what happened. You are stronger than you know and you will come through this. X

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Anon2023

Hello, thank you so much for replying and taking the time. You have been through such a traumatic time and I do so hope you start to feel better. I think it is vitally important that we seek help and I really hope your health anxiety psychologist is helping you. As you have said it will take time. Thank you again for taking the time to respond. I send you a ‘blanket’ filled with lots of strength and love for your ongoing recovery. I think you are incredibly brave and courageous with everything you have been through. Take good care 🤗🤗🤗

Anon2023 profile image
Anon2023 in reply to Heyjude31

Hi. That’s so kind of you. I don’t feel particularly brave, I was mostly terrified but things are starting to improve. I really hope that you start to feel better soon. Lots of hugs x

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Anon2023

And lots of hugs to you and yes you are very brave and I wish you all the best on your continued road to recovery. Take care, Judi

Carercmb profile image
Carercmb

It will improve as you gain confidence that the medication is working.On your worst days contact a friend and be busy, share your day if you can.

It’s good to know we are not alone in this journey and can relate to each other.

Take care, sending 💕and a hug You can do this .

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Carercmb

Thank you Carercmb for your lovely post. I hope that soon with counselling the good days become more frequent than the bad ones. I am trying to distract myself through keeping busy where I can.?Thank you again for your kindness. Take care, Judi 🤗🤗

Lovetheoutdoors profile image
Lovetheoutdoors

I am sorry you have these worries. My only words of comfort come from my late father. He used to say" I am a creaky door that will outlast many! " and he did. He had a heart attack in his forties, before all the new ways of dealing with such health concerns and lived a very long happy life.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Lovetheoutdoors

Hello Lovetheoutdoors, I love your fathers words of comfort and I hope we all can manage to get through these times to live long and happy lives, that is my wish for all us hearties! Take care, Judi x

Identiy profile image
Identiy

There are a wide range of non addictive medications that are safe to use for patients with cardiac problems who are suffering from anxiety.Talk to your GP and ask for some help with medication. You can also have the counselling and the twin approach of medication and counselling will solve the problem more rapidly

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Identiy

Hello Identity, thank you for replying I do appreciate it. I have just started seeing a counsellor, it is early days but hopefully things will improve. Thank you again and take care, Judi

Midsummerm2022 profile image
Midsummerm2022

Dear Judi You are not alone in how you are feeling. I had a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest while having a stent fitted, it will be 1 year ago on 12th August. Ever since it’s happened I worry constantly over any slight pain, I ended up back in hospital because my anxiety got the better of me and I convinced myself it was happening again, thankfully all was fine. With time your better days will be far more than your down days.

I know it’s a struggle but you will get there. Look after yourself, take care x

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Midsummerm2022

Hello Midsummerm2022 thank you for your reply and I hope better days are with you. I am trying to do things that distract me and see the positives. I hope you celebrate your one year anniversary in style and happiness on 12 August . Take good care, Judi

GWP1952 profile image
GWP1952

Hi Judi,

I'm really sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult period. I hope that the replies and support that you are receiving here on the forum are helping.

You may recall that my road has been fairly smooth, given the odd pothole courtesy of the inadequacies of what the GP services provide. Thankfully I don't often suffer physical issues relating to my heart experience and keeping a positive outlook has been relatively easy, but it still requires focus on the good things in life. At the moment, due to mainly family commitments, I am unable to get up to Scotland to do the hill walking that I love so much. I certainly feel the mire looming large as I have lost most of my hill fitness and know it will be difficult when I do eventually get back on the hills. I keep saying "when" and not "if", but the thought that I may never get back up to Scotland does still cross my mind.

I hope that you can focus on what gives you pleasure and the good things in your life. Life can be good post heart attack... you just have to work harder at it, especially when those around you no longer give any allowance for what happened.

With my very best wishes,

Gerald

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to GWP1952

Hello Gerald, thank you for your lovely post. I hope you are okay and importantly you are able to get to Scotland soon. I am trying to focus on the many things I am grateful for not least of which are my beautiful grandchildren who are a joy. Thank you again for taking the time to reply. Take care, Judi

jerry12953 profile image
jerry12953

I can't really add much to all the supportive posts above, but I have suffered from health anxiety in the past - always imagining the worst - and came to realise that the worst often (usually?) does not come to pass.

One thing rang a bell for me in one of Felly's posts above; that of letting the negative thoughts come in and then go away again. It's a technique for people who are trying meditation and are troubled by their thoughts. Try to imagine your thoughts bubbling up from out of your subconscious, rather like "thinks bubbles" in cartoons. You become more and more aware of them as they reach your conscious mind and then they reach the surface. Imagine them just popping at that moment and floating away........... They can't and won't drag you along with them. Remember you are not your thoughts!

I know its easier said then done but I hope that helps just a little.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to jerry12953

Hello jerry12953, thank you for replying, it’s very kind of you. I like the idea of a thought bubble I will definitely try it. I am sure it will take practice, and I like the idea of it floating out of my mind, to be gone and not come back! Thank you again for replying, take care, Judi

jerry12953 profile image
jerry12953 in reply to Heyjude31

Good luck!

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to jerry12953

Thank you 🙏

Charlesthru profile image
Charlesthru

Hi JudiThe good thing about this forum is it makes you realize that everything your going through is normal and it's not just all in your own mind, I had my MI back in September last year and the possibility of having another one is never far from my mind, at the moment I'm waiting for an ICD to be fitted which I hope will give me the confidence to get back out in the world but right now I admit personally anxiety is my biggest daily hurdle, so yeah Judi unfortunately it does sound very familiar and your definitely not alone.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Charlesthru

Hello Charlesthru, thank you for your reply I hope that you are able to have your ICD fitted very soon and you start to feel better, your anxiety reduces and your confidence returns. Thank you again for replying, I hope you are able to get back out into the world very soon. Take care, Judi

Charlesthru profile image
Charlesthru in reply to Heyjude31

Thankyou Judi, I'm sorry my reply was so negative but I just wanted you to know your not alone in your feelings, I'm sure in time I will just accept it for what it is and learn to live with it and I hope you will too, like my rehab nurse keeps on telling me recovery is a slow process, good luck Judi.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Charlesthru

Please never apologise your reply was not negative at all. We will get through this, it just takes time. You take good care and as I said never apologise. Big hugs to you 🤗🤗

Knit4fun profile image
Knit4fun

I have been exactly the same. Every little niggle or ache has you worried. I changed my GP which helped. I then was sent for lots of heart checks and tests and for the first time since my HA over a year ago I finally had contact with a cardiologist. Another BP tablet prescribed which at long last bought my BP down which had continued to be extremely high and all tests came back good. Finally one year and four months down the line my anxiety has virtually gone. Keep your chin up and keep plodding on, you will get there eventually.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Knit4fun

Hello Knit4fun, I am so very glad that your anxiety has gone away and importantly that you saw a Cardiologist. Thank you for taking the time to reply and take good care, Judi

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day

I've managed to avoid a heart attack but I have multiple heart conditions including one since the late 1990s that has caused me repeated life-threatening episodes (cardiac tamponade).

I've come to believe the anxiety never truly goes away but the intensity of an anxiety flare is usually dependent on how recent the latest scare happened.

My experience: It always simmers under the surface for the most part, you 'learn to live with' the heart condition and the anxiety, you get on with your days...until the heart condition gives you a fair sized wobble and then the anxiety ratchets to quite high levels. With passing time and successful(ish) treatment, the anxiety usually fades back to 'dull roar' status. Usually. Anxiety caused by a life-threatening event(s) can lead to a constant state of high anxiety (oh let's call it what it is - fear, utter panic you're going to die in the next two minutes).

The past 2.5 years I've had to create and repeat (sometimes hourly!) a wee mantra to help ease the strong anxiety brought on by a major wobble in 2019. I've even written it down and posted it on the fridge and my side table organiser (you know, that thing holding the remotes, etc).

My mantra note reminds me: 'I've sought and received proper medical assistance and am following medical advice. I've done all I can do to alleviate my situation.' For some reason repeating that mantra out loud the second I feel anxiety ratcheting up truly does lower the sense of impending doom. Write out a mantra applicable to your situation and see if it helps ease your anxiety.

If the mantra and other self-help activities don't do the trick, counselling usually does. But getting a mental health appointment and subsequent treatment these days is difficult as the waiting list is so long no matter where you live - even if your GP or cardiology team tries to fast-track you, the queue can be months long. There are online self-help resources your medics can point you to and these can be very successful. Ask about self-guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) online - it has worked very nicely for me and several other members here.

Hope some or all of the above has proved helpful and you find a successful method for coping with the anxiety.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Sunnie2day

Thank you so much Sunnie2day for your reply. Thank you for taking the time. I do hope that your anxiety becomes less of a roar and more of a whimper! Having been through so much we all deserve some quiet peace and happiness. It may be a tough thing to aim for but I am trying. I am seeing a counsellor privately so I hope that will help. Take care and thank you again, Judi

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Sunnie2day

Forgot to say I have also given my anxiety the name of gremlin and I try and I tell it to go away sometimes not quietly and sometimes with some quite juicy words I just hope it hears me! 😊

Sunnie2day profile image
Sunnie2day in reply to Heyjude31

Something like Thatwasunexpected's caveman plan, good on you both:) 'Self-talk' (from CBT) is SO helpful - telling off a gremlin or caveman is every bit as good or better than a mantra and the 'juicy words' surely helps vent a lot of built up steam.

Us Hearties (I'm a LadyHeartie) like to 'joke' this heart conditions thing is a club we never wanted to join, it is a 'joke in earnest' as my Gran used to say. Having any kind of heart condition is of course difficult to cope with but many of us have found a good giggle does wonders.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Sunnie2day

Thank you Sunnie2day, you made me smile and that is the best remedy, 🤗🤗🤗😊

pickypolly2 profile image
pickypolly2

Please do not worry. My brother had a heart attack seven years ago. He is now in good health although on medication. He eats a sensible diet and walks more. He does worry alot too but he is in better health than me. I also know a man who had a heart attack twenty years ago and had no further problems.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to pickypolly2

Thank you so much pickypolly2 for your lovely post it is very kind of you. I will get there it will just take time. I am so glad your brother is well! and yourself of course. Take care and thanks again, Judi

Suebedoo profile image
Suebedoo

Hi Heyjude31 - I would really recommend that you get some counselling. CBT would work well with this as it will give you tools toCope with your anxiety going forward. I don’t know what your financial situation is but if you can’t afford full prices, look at going to a trainee

Counsellor (they are always fully supervised and at the end of their training). If you contact CBT training facilities or charitable organisations offering counselling they will point you in the right direction

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Suebedoo

Thank you Suebedoo for replying. I have started counselling but it is early days. I hope in time it will help. I try to keep myself busy so hopefully I will get there. Take care. Judi

Suebedoo profile image
Suebedoo in reply to Heyjude31

I am a counsellor. TrustIn the process and you will get

There

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Suebedoo

Thank you 🙏

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop

I started with health anxiety aged 17 after a horrible doctor stated very brusquely that a breast lump i had could very well be cancer. Even though a doctor we knew told me same day that was highly unlikely, the damage was done. ( It was a cyst). I resulted in sever panic attacks and a complete breakdown which affected me for years.

Yet strangely after my HA 4 years ago this week, I felt absolutely no anxiety at all until about a year later when I started to panic about the two other blockages they said they'd seen. I got so anxious that last Christmas my GP sent me for an echo scan and holter monitor which set my mind at rest. I have a superb G P who is happy to simply explain things to me because he knows that will help. What helped me most was hypnotherapy and relaxation therapy which taught me how to recognise the feelings as they started so I could stop them. Best of luck.

Gowers profile image
Gowers in reply to Qualipop

I don't think anyone can underestimate the effect Af/HA/ or any heart problems can have on us. Since going from Tachycardia into Af & AF flutter 7 years ago life has been a constant round of (4) ablations, various tests, consultation in cardiology, holter tests, medication problems resulting in the need for changes of dose etc etc. Nights experiencing AF for hours & being drained the next day. Just scrolling through the questions, & advice on here can be comforting in just knowing you are not alone in how you feel. This site has been a source of help & advice or, just sharing & reading of other folk experiences & what they have or are going through. Take care

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Gowers

Thank you Gowers for replying. I do hope you are okay and are able to take time to enjoy good times although it seems these do not happen very often. The hearties are the best on this forum and I am incredibly grateful for their time and care. Take good care and thank you again, Judi

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Qualipop

Thank you Qualipop for replying. Health anxiety is so tough. I too had a very unhelpful diabetic nurse many years ago who said for diabetics one of the worst fears was they could go to bed at night and not wake up in the morning due to diabetic hypo/coma. I was in my early 20s at the time and instil remember it 40 years later! I am having counselling now after my CABG,it is early days but I hope it will help. Take care, Judi

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Heyjude31

A lot of medical staff really should think of the effect of their comments.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop

The tragic thing is t hat an awful lot of this anxiety most of us suffer from after a heart event or diagnosis could be so simply avoided if only the consultants would spend 10 minutes with you to explain what's happened and its implications. I had a heart attack that was ignored for hours in A&E; eventually diagnosed and admitted. The only person I spoke to whilst an in patient was a wonderful ward sister. I was in a ward on my own for two days. Next morning I had an angiogram which was not explained beforehand and two stents fitted. The only comment from the doctor was "You have two other blockages around 65%. We need to do another angiogram t o see whether they need stents. A month later I had a second angiogram and was told "There's no need for stents, blood is flowing freely" and that was it. NO proper explanation, a discharge letter that needed a medical degree to understand, 7 sets of tablets and back to my GP. Thankfully my GP was happy to give me his time to explain what had happened and what the discharge letter meant. One appointment with a rehab nurse where I was given a book and that was it. I was even refused rehab because I use a wheelchair. 10 minutes is all it would have taken.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Qualipop

That is simply a disgrace and I am so sorry. It is absolutely no help to us at all and to be dismissed so easily is awful. I know people are very busy and the NHS is under enormous pressure but some simple communication and understanding would help so much. I do hope you are okay and please do concentrate on getting better, we all deserve that. Thank you again for your reply, do take care and big hugs to you 🤗🤗🤗🤗

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Heyjude31

Once my GP Had explained , most of my anxiety disappeared but the lack of rehab really affected my confidence. I'm sure I could have done a lot more under supervision. The head of department told me a year later it was down to the unpleasant nurse I saw and she herself would at least have given me a chance to try rehab and see what I could manage.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Qualipop

Hi Qualipop I think the lack of rehab also affected my confidence. My NHS trust was not able to offer me anything. In the end after 6 months I went outside my trust and spoke to the cardio rehab team in another area and they were fantastic. It made all the difference to me and I am so glad to have been able to join them. Like you my confidence was rock bottom and my anxiety very high. Take care and thank you for your kindness, Judi

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Heyjude31

I could only find an exercise group that had no experience of heart attacks. I couldn't trust them. I even complained to the NHS Trust about the lack of rehab just because you were a wheelchair user but I got nowhere. You were very lucky to find somewhere out of area.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Qualipop

That is so awful, I do hope you are okay. I am sendings you huge hugs! 🤗🤗🤗

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Heyjude31

I'm fine now thanks. 4 years down the line and a great GP- until he retires

😦

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Qualipop

👏👏🙏

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat

I think it gets easier in time.?My anxiety has never gone away but as time has passed Iv slowly learned to live with it a lot better than I used to.!!

It doesn’t take over my thoughts and daily life like it did at one time( a long time)

I still get anxiety and probably always will because Iv had it from being a child so I can’t see it going away especially now I’m nearly 55.!!!

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Jetcat

Hello Jetcat, thank you for taking the time to reply. I sincerely hope your anxiety is as little as possible. I guess even though it does lessen in time, it never quite goes away. Let’s hope it continues to be as little as possible and we are able to concentrate on the positive things in our lives. Take care and thank you again, Judi

Jetcat profile image
Jetcat in reply to Heyjude31

Thankyou judi, we’ll be ok. Things do get better.👍Best wishes.

Ron.

Sharamanda profile image
Sharamanda

Hi Jude I saw your post and thought you might like to follow a lady on fb called sally Bee she’s had 5 heart attacks and is a inspiration to all of us I’ve been listening to her this morning and thought of your post I’ve followed her for years and find her very upbeat and empowering

Regards

Sharon 💕

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Sharamanda

Thank you so much Sharamanda I will certainly look on Facebook. Thank you for replying and thinking of me. Take good care xx

1mjd profile image
1mjd

yes it does, do as you are told and all will be well .had my bypass 12 years ago and not looked back

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to 1mjd

Thank you 1mjd, I am doing everything I am told so I hope that means all will be well. Thank you so much for replying and take care, ajudi

Tugger1 profile image
Tugger1

Hell yes, been there and done that. Never suffered with any such thing until after my heart op and now have a greater appreciation of what my old mother in-law suffered with. I would not say after 2yrs that is has gone because it certainly has not and rears it's ugly head every now and again just as a reminder. But and here is the big takeaway from this - now I know and realize what is happening and why I can deal with it so that is does not get out of control and trust me it can if left unchecked and cause real problems. Think about what is happening and why, understand why and then take deep breaths and distract yourself by what ever works - DO NOT sit there thinking / dwelling on it and once calmed down go for a long walk or something, take some exercise to distract the mind and clear your thoughts. This sounds like nonsense I know it does but it works for me, and it is the mind that is being mischievous that is all. I would like to say think happy thoughts but you would just laugh, but that is what it amounts to.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Tugger1

Hello Tugger1 thank you so much for replying. I will try and take onboard everything you say! Thanks again and take care, Judi

Tugger1 profile image
Tugger1 in reply to Heyjude31

I really found at age 60 now exercise at the gym for the last 2 yrs has helped me have confidence in what I have had done and so gained confidence in living. I have built up to 2hr sessions each day alternating weights and cardio & now row or cross train like a machine albeit an old slightly soiled one.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Tugger1

Hello Tugger1, I am so glad if the gym is helping you, I hope that my cardio rehab will help me along with the counselling. Thank you again, take care, Judi

Retroluxer profile image
Retroluxer

2 years in from 2 MI’s and subsequent stents, this Is very familiar. I think the combination of 10 powerful drugs i take daily make me feel ill most of the time. They are probably keeping me alive, but i feel lethargic, tired, have palpitations on exertion, and suffer some very dark moods. Anyone who thinks that getting a few stents etc and just getting back on the horse will be disappointed i fear. Still all this is better than the alternative😀

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Retroluxer

Hello Retroluxer, I am so sorry for your challenges and thank you so much for replying. I do hope you soon reach happier times., Take care, Judi

isobelhannah18 profile image
isobelhannah18

My anxiety levels were sky high for several months after my H.A. I self-referred for CBT on the NHS and that helped as did cardiac rehab and this forum. My anxiety levels are manageable now unless I have any sort of twinge in my chest area when they immediately soar. If you haven't tried CBT I can recommend it.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to isobelhannah18

Hello Isobelhannah18, thank you for replying. I have started to see a Counsellor so it is early days but I am really hoping it will help. Take good care, Judi

Felly12 profile image
Felly12

Well I got myself so worked up I phoned the cardiac nurses. To see if there was a report about my mri. Did it make me feel better. Yes and no but I had to do it. It is just the waiting and worry that plays me up. Anyway this is what I managed to find out even though there is a report that has been produced. So may get a copy. Any way nothing else was found except for my epsteins anomoly. Which Is a birth defect of the tricuspid valve. Which I know about from February. So a positive nothing else found. The reports will then be discussed at a meeting of further experts.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Felly12

Hello Felly12 as you say a positive that nothing else was found. I hope all goes well for you and take good care 🤗🤗

Quintilis profile image
Quintilis

Hey Jude, The anxiety never completely go es, After two heart attacks, a Quadruple Bypass and 10 stents over the last 19 years I still get anxious at times, especially any little chest pain or twinges that come. Things will ease for you and the anxiety will lessen. Take care.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Quintilis

Thank you for your reply, it is much appreciated. I hope it lessens with time. I hope it does get easier. Many thanks and take care, Judi

Maisie2014 profile image
Maisie2014

Hello Jude. I’m a cool calm and positive person but since my HA three years ago I get panic attacks and I become Mrs Angry for a while. I did get referred to a clinical psychologist when it first started (which was after a car accident on the way to cardiac rehab) but she said I was ok after a few visits. I count myself lucky to still be here so take myself to bed till I calm down. I was Mrs Angry at the local pool manager last week and, although I did have a good reason to be angry, I decided to give swimming a miss for a few days till I was back on track. I think if you find what the triggers are to being anxious it will help. Take care.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to Maisie2014

Thank you Maisie2014, I totally understand what you are saying. I too get panic attacks and sometimes angry or perhaps it’s frustration with my lack of progress. I do hope you are okay and resume your swimming soon. Take good care, Judi

RailRover profile image
RailRover

I think the answer is different for everybody, and it resides within ourselves. We can spend our remaining time on Earth positively or we can spend it worrying about what might happen each day. I found it helped in the early days reflecting that the heart attack could easily have killed me but in fact I'm still here. Reasons to be cheerful, part one. Sure as hell, I'm gonna die one day, but I'll be damned if I'm going to spend whatever time I have left, be it long or short, obsessing about it. So does it ever go away? It does if you chase it away.

Heyjude31 profile image
Heyjude31 in reply to RailRover

What a wonderful reply RailRover, I shall certainly try to adopt your approach. Thank you for taking the time to reply I really appreciate it. Take good care, Judi

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