I've been having at least four anxiety attacks a night because I'm so terrified of my heart. I have OCD, so I have quite a few obsessions, but this is the most intense thing I've ever experienced. It's been going on now for about 7 months, and I've been to the hospital over it. I don't know if it skips beats or not, I'm to scared to hold my hand over my heart long enough to find out.
When I feel my heart beat, I'm so terrified it'll stop that I have to move around until I can't feel it anymore. But then I just go crazy that I can't feel it anymore. I have severe insomnia over it now (that's why I'm on here at 6:42 am, I haven't slept yet).
I'm not a doctor, But I'm pretty sure I have severe cardiophobia. I have visions that just pop into my head of me dying on the floor too fast for anyone to help me, and I have stress related chest pains, but somehow I always seem to forget that when I have them and I go into a panic.
It's wrecking my life, and I'm constantly in fear, so if ANYONE knows ANYTHING about getting over it without therapy (too poor) could you please send it to my profile? Or a VERY cheap insurance, maybe? That way I could just get help. Thanx
hey i have the same phobia check out my profile!!! have you been to see a doctor?
is ther any history of heart disease in your family? are you a candidate for heart problems ie age? smoker? overweight? etc
i to have the chest pains more or less daily along with a tight chest and always forget that i have had them this bad for years and im still here
by the way i just finished CBT which has helped my way of thinking and i swaer after 10 years off suffering i never thought it wud happen
I don't have history of heart disease in my family except one, but it as a very rare disease and I do smoke, but I'm only 20 and underweight lol. That's cool, I never could fing anything, I googled fear of heart, everything I could thing of. Then I guess cardiophobia just because the suffix and prefix made sense, and I found people. I thought I was just crazy.
I also have these feelings and also anxiety and panic. I DID have a heart attack. It was before I started having the anxiety problems though. I can assure you (and this is just me) though that the pain associated with an actual heart attack is much worse than the chest pain during a panic attack. It doesnt make it any easier to cope with however. I have horrible fear of another heart attack and have palpatations a lot. I justed wanted to let you both know that i can relate to you very much and will be thinking of you.
i am the same way this has been going on just over 2 months now, ive been to the hospital twice (in the middle of the night after sleeping for an hour or so) i always seemed to wake up and feel like i was dying, it was horrable. I also had really bad chest pain and always worried about having a heart attack. but 19 year olds dont get heart attacks.. so the doctor says. and tammy is right ive heard from close friends of the family that you'll know if your going to have one itll be alot more then what were experiancing. i still didnt believe it for the longest time. the doctors had me on paxil (and still do its been just over 3 weeks now.) I have ativan for when i need it though i find that it has stopped working and i havent takin it in 2 weeks. I couldnt sleep at all either i would stay up till 7 am and finally fall asleep but wake up every hour it wasnt very nice. finally the docs gave me zopiclone (sleeping meds) and it worked i was so relieved that i could finally sleep in peace, i only had them for a week but i find that i fall asleep within the hour or two now and dont wake up (w/o the sleeping pills.) i still have shortness of breathe not as bad, well actually today i had a hard time with it but it hasnt been that bad since the paxil i believe is starting to kick in. so hang in there, the tightness of chest, the pains, the feeling of your throat closing.. it will pass. but even if u feel the need to go to the hospital dont hesitate it cant hurt!! take care i hope you feel better soon!
blink NEVER EVER google symptoms you will end up with everything under the sun, check this out i have been sufferin with health anxiety for over ten years in that time i have suffered from strokes, blood clots, brain tumours and now i have a dodgy heart lol funny though im still here, its your mind thats the problem when you believe you have an illness you can make yourself have every symptom when i was going through my stroke stage one side of my body used to tingle and go numb even though all my bloods were normal and i was totally healthy!!! i think if you put your heart (lol) into therapy it could help you
its really hard once you think there is something wrong with you to get it out of your head
dont get me wrong im not cured but i am feeling better about my symptoms everyone has bad days, i hope you start feeling better pls let me know and if you need a chat or anything feel free to pm me
I know, I've been there to, I've had everything you can think of, I especially worry about aneurism and heart failure, heart attacks, cancer, and for some reason meningitis. lol, I'm very obsessive-compulsive.
I heard on another forum that magnesium and potassium defeciency is the main cause of this fear, but I'm scared of medicine and I know peopkle can overdose on minerals, especially potassium because too much and too little cause the same symptoms. Does anyone know about this?
P.S. Jo, I'd love to take therapy, trust me, but I can't afford it. Can't even afford insurance, but I'm a 20 yr. old male with no kids, so I can't qualify for any of the free stuff, lol.
Gee I saved this worry up for use over 40. I only worried about cancers and the like when I was your age as the stats are very very rare for heart stuff at 20.
I don't worry about cancer at all anymore for some reason (perhaps because I've known some people get it and it can be very treatable and at least with lots of cancers you can be "cured" compared to heart troubles).
My worry is heart failure too. It's annoying (convenient) how shortness of breath, sweating, and weakness are common to both panic/anxiety and HF.
Your heart has been tested, you're fine, the chest pains are nothing more than stress. Are you exercising?
Hey, I had that same problem. I'm 23 have had serious OCD for almost my whole life. The constant obsessions caused my heart rate to go up and even gave me chest pains. I then began obsessing about my heart beat. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and managed to convince myself that if I thought about my heart enough, it could stop. A few months ago, I was traveling on a plane, and felt my heart flutter, and thought I was going to have a heart attack. I went to see a doctor, and he gave me a stress test and everything came up normal. This gave me a lot of relief, but didn't make it go away.
There are a number of ways that combined seemed to work to make the problem go away.
1. (and I know that this is hard to do with OCD) The problem is all in your head. The heart doctor I saw told me that even though I was feeling tight around my heart it actaully had nothing to do with it. Anxiety causes tension in the area, but does not affect the heart in any bad way. Over many many years, anxiety can eventually lead to heart problems, but at our age it does absolutely nothing. You have plenty of years ahead to fix the problem.
2. Look up deep breathing. It took me a long time to get the hang of because of my obsession with my heart, but after a while I learned to take in slow deep breaths, and relax a little.
3. Excercise. This at first was really hard for me because I got my heart rate up, and couldn't sop thinking about it pounding. However, I found that if I went running while listening to music, I could ignore it. I just concentrated on the music and where I was going. Excercise releases chemicals that make you feel relaxed. Plus, once your heart slows down, you don't get as scared because you know it was really high a few hours earlier.
The other great thing about excercising is that you can figure out if the problem is a physical problem with your heart or purely mental. The heat doctor told me that if my chest pain symptoms got worse when I was running, it was a physical problem. If they stayed the same or got better, it was purely mental. This is a good way to reaffirm to yourself that the problem is all in your head.
I combined this with really making a big effort to subdue my obsessive thoughts. i personally find that reading about obsessive compulsive disorder really helps. I spend some time each day after work reading people's blogs, forums and random web sites about ocd. It ehlps convince me that the problem is all in my head.
Hello, i have te same problem as you, untill today i thought i was the only person in the world to feel like this. i have just read everybodies comments and sat here crying, for relief that its not just me! with me i could be sitting and my heart would feel as if its had Rolled over and id get this hot rush of panic go though my whole body. i cant stand the feeling of my heart beating, to the point where if excersice i have to stop because my heart will pound!! it scares the life out of me!! on the other side if im laying in bed and i can feel my heart beating i tell my self to calm down and stop being silly so then i would forget about it then all of a sudden i have forgotton about it so i cant hear it anymore then i panic that my heart has stopped beating!!! i know im not going to die or have a heart attack but for a split second i think i am and i will, its so hard to talk to people who dont understand they just think your stupid. I hate the way this makes me feel.
jog, the exact thing happens with me. omg, when I found out other people had it, I was relieved and amazed. I thought I was crazy (still do, but it helps lol)
OCDnyc, I learned about the deep breathing, and only breath with my stomach now, and though it DID relieve anxiety quite a bit, it does nothing for my chest pains. I can't breath too slow, though, because the pause inbetween heart beats is too long, I panic every time.
Running is a maybe, but ONLY with music, although when I put on music to help me sleep I can still feel my heart and I till panic, so I don't know if it would work.
I tell myself it's all in my head, but everytime it starts to hurt it doesn't matter what I tell myself. All I know is that my chest hurts and I have to fix it NOW or I'm going to die. Then I think of how it might be something missed by the tests, or something that wasn't severe enough to be picked up by the tests and has gotten worse since.
Plus, I was in the hospital because I was panicking, If they said my heart was beating normally, isn't that wrong? Shouldn't it have been fast, since I was scared? Does that mean I could have a weak heart that, when beating fast during a panic, actually only speeds up to a normal beat? That would mean it's extra slow the rest of the time, and just makes me think it'll eventually just stop one day.
Guys, this might sound an overstatement but i really almost do experience almost all those things your saying in this forum. Blink you caught my attention about cardiophobia. i am not really familiar with such term but i do ger your point. man, what your experiencing totally mimics what i have now. as what almost all of you were saying, I ALSO THOUGHT THAT IM THE ONLY SPECIE IN THIS WHOLE WORLD WHOSE HAVING THIS ANXIETY PROB.thank God you people are here to at least understand what im saying. Lately, even my wife is telling me im going crazy or paranoid because i always thought that i have a heart problem.i might not say all these things that im experiencing right now cos im not really good at words. and i dont esp right now im experiencing discomfort in my chest.i can breathe but im so tensed that i always think that this is the first symptoms of heart attack and inside my head im thinking that this will go severe.that makes me so stressed because when this thing happens,i tend to stop working and forgetting whatever im doing because im listening to my heart thinking that it might gets worst.yes i do listen to my heartbeat often.i even check my pulse how many beats per minute and assume whether im doing fine or not.means when it beats fast,i think that i might be having a heart attack sooner.forgive me for sounding a bit uninformed about heart disease but i do read a lot about it in the net and the outcome is like i always assume whenver i feel something strange that a heart attack might occur. guys,im a 25 yr old male with normal BMI.i dont smoke, drink and i eat conciously.hate red meat because everytime i eat it,i feel so tensed thinking it might clog my arteries one day.so i seldom eat it anymore. however,i spend almost all the days time in the office sitting infront of a computer.it ***** but i need a job. by the way,im working here in a conservative middle east country so it means that there is no red meat available.it helps. by the way guys, try to visit www.breathing.com. i just visited it and tried their breathing tests and it really helps me a lot really. try for yourselves esp blink, man, i feel you.were almost on the same age and we feel these anxieties. lets hang on man. by the way, what i usually feel is that i get dizzy often, chest pains (piercing-like costochondritis..or so i thought) almost everyday for almost 4 yrs now!, sometimes my left arm suddenly hurts eventhough im doing nothing (its weird-it happend more than 5 times now in different occasions),and a lot more too long to mention all. These are just the conditions that i usually experience. im sorry for writing these too long.just bare with me my friends,im just desperate to let this all out and hoping somebody could give tips and advise. blink,man,i also get so tired during the night thinking about my condition.i have countless sleepless nights wondering what might be happening with me. im always afraid during the night that my panic attack occurs because im so afraid i might dieand nobody could help me and the hospital or any ER i just too far from my place.so i always pray during the night that nothing really bad would happen to me.man im so paranoid but i cant help it when it happens.its killing me.its affecting my work and i might get fired because of it for being unproductive because i get so tired in the morning after a sleepless night.even tonight im hoping it would not happen. in this country im working in, the facilities are good but the doctors are fairly bad.im telling you.i just dont wanna describe how bad they were because i dont want to make this message longer because of them. just take this as an example,a person complaining of minor abdominal pain went to a hospital and the doctors open his chest saying its the heart. the person died after the operation.its scary here.trust me. there are good doctors here though but they charge so big and yet im still not satisfied with the findings.im not generalizing the doctors in here but as far as i see, they are not so good.im so desperate to get out from this country but i have a family and needed the job badly so im hanging on in here...for now. my friends, i just want to hear from any of you if what im experiencing is anxiety or not. iv been to numerous doctors and had some tests, all was fine. im not taking any anxiety medications since no doctors recommend it to me yet when im having a panic attack. Im just taking Muscadol or Advil when my chest pain comes. It works sometimes though. i dont know if im asking the right questions now or totally missing my point.i'll be very glad to hear any questions from you that i might have missed asking.please feel free because i google often about symptoms and its driving me crazy!!!!need help
I suffer from not only severe cardiophobia myself, but also I also have what I call "projected cardiophobia". My cardiophobia started after I had a bout with the flu and was put on antibiotics. Right before I got sick I had done some spring cleaning that strained the muscles and tendons in my chest, giving me costochondritis.
The antibiotics made me so weak, that combined with the chest pains from the costochondritis, I thought I was having a heart attack. I have since been diagnosed with CFS, Fibromyalgia, and Anxiety Disorder. And now, just a few weeks ago, cardiophobia.
What is projected cardiophobia ? Well, I kinda coined that phrase myself. Not only do I have severe panic attacks, worrying over my own health, but I also worry for my boyfriend. I "project" my panics onto him and am always afraid that he is going to have a heart attack.
His dad had one when he was 39- I suppose that contributes some to my worrying...
Hi..new here. I stumbled accross this page while looking into my 7yr old son's "tics"..and I'm thinking where would he get this from? I don't do that...and now I have to laugh (not really) because I really do think and do almost all of the things you all are talking about! So is it then safe to say nervous tics and anxiety are related then? My husband and parents know I have anxiety but it's so hard to explain to someone who has no clue as to what it is. I see my son worry a lot and do certain things that I do..(like smells EVERYTHING about a million times among other "rituals") and I try talking to him without making him feel wierd ( I just want him to know it's ok), but then again I'm afraid of putting ideas in his head that weren't already there. I don't know if I should keep pushing the issue, or if hopefully he feels he can come talk to me if it upsets him. My family gets mad at me for talking to him about it, saying "do you WANT him to have it or something" but I just remember what that's like thinking you are the only one and wierd and I don't want him to EVER feel like that...
Anyone have any suggestions or going through a simular situation?
One more thing...I did take him to a psychologist about a year ago and we only went once...the guy said he didn't think he had anything wrong with him and that younger kids can have tics but that they usually go away...the tics aren't what really bothers me...it's the ocd and anxiety I don't want him to deal with...oh and I started taking zoloft about 1 year ago and have had a HUGE difference in a good way with it, (yes, this is IMPROVED worrysome me) and I'm torn because I don't want my kid on medicines, but then I feel guilty thinking..he should get to feel some relief too right??
I don't know...suggestions would be much appreciated! :)
just wanted to say that i suffer from cardiophobia too. i think im goin to die of a heart attack. it gets me depressed and i feel as everyone in the world is happy and heart healthy except for me. i expirience chest pain with left arm pain, that makes me panick and go crazy...
Palpitations are short, abrupt periods in which the heart suddenly starts beating fast. If you’re in a sensitive state, this can ring alarm bells because you fear a sudden heart attack. The more you panic, the faster the heart beats. It’s therefore understandable why many people in this situation jump to conclusions and call for medical help. What you have to remember is that palpitations are perfectly natural and can often be caused by exhaustion or stimulants like caffeine. Your heart is an incredibly strong muscle, and it won’t stop or explode simply because it’s beating hard and fast. A healthy heart can beat fast all day long and not be in any danger.
The medical term for missed heartbeats is extrasystoles. A missed heartbeat is usually an extra beat between two normal beats. Given the pause that follows this premature beat, it just seems as if one beat was missed. And because the heart’s lower chambers fill with a greater-than-usual amount of blood during the pause, the next regular heartbeat can feel like a bit of a jolt. When you feel this sensation, you often freeze and wait in terror to see if your heart is in trouble.
Such missed beats are generally harmless. It can help to sit down when you feel this sensation, but if you wish to keep moving, do so. Exercise won’t cause the situation to get worse, and don’t convince yourself that going home to lie down is the only way to help the situation. If you retreat every time you feel an unusual sensation, that behavior can reinforce a negative idea that your home is the only safe place to be. Our hearts are not atomic clocks that always keep time; they speed up, slow down, or occasionally beat in an irregular fashion. People with anxiety are very keen observers of all bodily functions. From time to time, you may notice an irregular beat or two. This is nothing to get upset about.
Sometimes, individuals go through similar worries about their heart as they do with their breathing. People convince themselves that if they worry enough about their heart, or concentrate too much upon its actions, it may somehow get confused and forget how to beat correctly. It’s quite common for people who suffer from panic attacks to check in on their heart at regular intervals to make sure it’s still beating away.
If you simply can’t stop obsessing about your heart, here are some tips:
• Get a full medical examination. If you don’t, your mind will always bring up the “what if something really is wrong” card. When you get a clean bill of health, trust in the results and don’t second-guess them. If you really must, get a second opinion—but after that, stop doubting your good health.
• Remember that your body has incredible internal intelligence. Simply telling your heart, out of panic, that it might stop doesn’t mean that it heeds your fears. Learn to become more comfortable with your heart, and let it do its job. Listen to it when you’re relaxed and also when you’re exercising. The more comfortable you are with the diversity and range of your heartbeats, the more confidence you’ll have in it.
• Allow your heart to beat in whatever rhythm it sees fit. Don’t try to control the natural rhythms of your body by always insisting on a calm heartbeat. The more you allow your body to flow in the manner it so chooses, the faster it will return to a state of rest.
Very often, your heart only wants to palpitate a bit, thump a few beats harder. Why? That’s the heart’s own business. It’s your mind that interferes and panics, causing the adrenaline to kick off a longer cycle of rapid heartbeats. So from now on, make a verbal agreement with your heart that you’re going to stop interfering and obsessing over its health and trust in it 100 percent. Then hand over the controls. Let go to whatever way your heart wishes to behave. By allowing the sensations to happen and simply getting on with your day, you release the anxiety that you hold around your heart as well as the cautious monitoring of every heartbeat.
awesome! i also was thinking that i am alone with this! great comment KirstinMc! its indeed kinda stupid, me worrying about me thing.
i've been worrying about my heart for 4 years now, even after 3 cardio doctors told me that there is everything ok. after finding this forum, i know that all this is a mind game. enough, we need to stop thinking about it since no one got dead so far :-)
Maybe I could help. I might be slightly nuts, but I work in phase IV cardiac rehabilitation on England. I am a personal trainer and highly qualified. Im not a doctor but I work in clinical settings and have a good knowledge of cardiac stuff- very difficult qualification too gain- I am a member of the 'British Journal Of Cardiology' so maybe if you have any deep questions I could have a look in my maunals for you dude!
The only way to sort this problem is to confront it head on.
Just always remember exercise can't hurt you.
Next time you feel your heart rate shoot up rather than sit down as quick as you can, try running up and down the stairs.
That may sound scary but it will NOT hurt you.
Thank you so much for your comments KirstinMc! I actually just printed them out!
This all sounds just like me, I have heart fears real bad, I had the Holter monitor when I was a teenager, when my anxiety and panic attacks started, at the time I had a great family doctor (moved from that city since) and he sent me to a cardiologist who hooked me up for 24h, I remember having to keep the journal of my day's activities and I kept writing every 15 minutes "Watching TV - palpitations", "Washing Dishes - palpitations", etc etc I thought for sure something was seriously wrong with my poor heart, and it took I think a good couple weeks to get the results back, I was so worried I would drop dead before that! And then the results came back - everything normal, they saw no evidence of palpitations!!!! It was all me, the anxiety to do with my heart, making me feel things that weren't there!
Skip forward to now - I was at the ER couple days ago, with bad dizziness and heart skipping beats, she didn't do an EKG but she listened to my heart and said it sounded fine, anyway I asked the doctor about the Holter again, cuz it's been like 16 years since the first one, I keep thinking that my heart's changed since then, my anxiety is getting so much worse lately, she mentioned that she is going to arrange for me to have it again, I should get a call about it soon, I just want to have it done once more to set my mind at ease (ha!) But all these comments from everyone sure do help, years ago I thought I was going crazy always worrying about my heart, with the first Holter test I thought to myself "the cardiologist must think I'm insane, me writing Palpitations Palpitations Palpitations on the journal every 15 minutes, so embarrassing etc" But it helps so much to read about others who have the exact same fears about their heart, thank you to all who post here, we're all in this together (kinda! you know what I mean!)
You need to relax, if there WAS anything wrong with your heart, seriously wrong, it would have manifested itself by now. You are fine. You need to stop symptom checking and to start being rational about this. Its obviously dictating your life
I am Marta from Barcelona, Spain. I am so glad to see I am not alone. There are not many webs with info in Spanish, but luckily I can also speak English :-) I have been suffering from cardiophobia and panic attacks for a long time now. I think it all has more to do with our own inner insecurities (about how fragile is life and our fear to lose the ones we love or the life we live) than with anything wrong in our hearts. Stop worrying about your hearts and be assured you will live a long life, because you will. A hug to every one of you!
Blink i have this too it's horrible, i get to a point im scared to even exert exercise for fear of HA, in the shower other morning i had chest pains. Ran out shampoo and all....sat on bed...Damn scary that fear!!!...... Cardiophobia explains it well. I also seen my Dad in the ICU hooked up after a bypass 4months ago and i think this has triggered it.
i wil be fine and next of all when i am in class it starts......it will then last all through a 3hr class until at least 8hours later. i cant seem to get my focus of it...its like a sick game..... forget the actual feelings of it..... i csant sem to wake up and live without this. i dont know if theres a point in describing the feelings but mine have to do with worryignabout my heart...checking pulse.... very tight chest that constricts my breathing.....this can send me into overbreathing and panic. i have been of clonozapan for 2 years and have tried to naturally assist myself also ive included helpful reading. anyway most sensations for me are with breathing and chest area. hmmmmm, one more throat clearing and sniffling all the damn time seem also to accompany me. lol.
Back in 2009, I suffered with a brain tumor, it was taken out but I hemorrhaged and nearly died, family was all called in, after that I have had everything imaginable. And Jo you're right. It's ALL a mind game, I take Xanax at night to help with the anxiety, but I've been on it so long, it doesn't even feel like its doing the trick anymore. I took a Loracet tonight, just to help me sleep and I've been up and wide awake with my chest pain, which I've had EKG, EEG and a chest X-ray and nothing was found. Plus I have a severe case of death to add to the whole thing. I think maybe we are all actually just death a phobics. As now I am on Medicare and have no idea if this is treatable through them or not.
Thankyou so much for this very insightful and comprehensive response in this forum. Anybody reading it will no doubt gain great comfort from it. Of course there are episodes in our lives when stress and anxiety can cause such unpleasant sensations as arrhthymias, something I have had for decades- worse recently during a time when close friends have died from cancer. I have not yet reached that pinnacle of trust in my heart's own strength and character but your words are certainly reinforcing that one one is checked-out and that there seems to be NOTHING physically wrong with the heart....learning to love it for its own beautiful patterns and strength is a big leap-forward in well-being on deep levels.
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