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Anxiety during exercise (phobia?)
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Anxiety during exercise (phobia?)

I am a 36 year old male, nonsmoker, 6ft 190lbs.  I have been experiencing anxiety/panic for about 4 months.  The first episode was brought on by chest pains during exercise.  I have had all tests on the heart (stress echo, holter etc...) and everything has come back ok.

I initially had some panic doing everyday activities but these problems have pretty much gone away.  I now have anxiety when I exercise.  

My resting heart rate is between 58 and 65 and I try to exercise between 125 and 140 (wearing a polar monitor). Lately however, I am short of breath at about 120 and once this occurs my heart rate jumps to about 160 and I have to stop exercising for it to come down.  I experience no pain, just a rapid heartbeat for a few minutes.  Once it regulates I feel fine physically but not mentally ready to continue to exercise. It seems I have a fear of elevating my heart rate and a fear of how I would react.

I guess my question is if this is a true panic attack?  Or something with my heart?  And can anything be done either way.

Thanks for your time.

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I think it is neither a heart disease problem or a true panic attack. I think it is very specific fear of dying while exercising.  When you get short of breath you interpret that as evidence that something is wrong with your heart that your doctors didn't catch on the stress test, and your fear kicks in, and that's why your heart rate increases.

What you have to analyze is why this fear now...is there a family history, is it because things are going so well or are there other anxieties not being addressed.  

A good consultation with a therapist can help you sort this out.
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Nick 89:
I have the same problem
I was doing exercise and i carried a polar heart rate monitor
I did not want to raise 120 bpm. When I saw i was in 125 bpm i become to get nervous and my heart rate raises to 163 bpm for at least 15 minutes. It was my panic of having lost the control of my heart.
I think it is not a good idea to carry a polar heart rate monitor for the moment.
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To Jaznar:

Thanks for the comment and thanks also to R.G.  You're both probably correct.  I am starting to exercise without the monitor and I am also going to see a psychologist for the first time next Monday.

I will post my progress

Best wishes.

Nick
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