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rapid heartbeat/anxiety
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rapid heartbeat/anxiety

My doctor has diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. (He's a GP, I have also spoken to the psychiatrist on the phone.)  So the diagnosis of anxiety explains a lot of the symptoms I've been feeling lately.  But what I want to know now is what do I do? My doctor seems content to leave it at that but to me, the point isn't the diagnosis but the symptoms, which are still with me.  (Rapid heartbeat at times, difficulty breathing, the occasional sleepless night, waking up at night feeling panicked for no reason, etc.)  I don't feel anxious per se -- I don't have any particular worries at the time that these symptoms occur.  That's one reason it's been hard for to deal with them.  Usually, if I'm worried over something I can handle it and relax myself by coming up solutions and realizing that the worst case scenario isn't as bad as I'm thinking.  But with this, since I'm not really worrying about anything when the symptoms hit, I find it impossible to make myself relax or even to take my mind off it.  It's like there's nothing for me to grab hold of.

Anyway, I'd like to present my doctor with a gameplan for dealing with my symptoms or figure out if there's some other doctor I need to see.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Avatar_n_tn
Anne,

I apologise for the delay in replying your question. The response to the forum has been great, and we sometimes have to research complicated questions. It must be difficult suffering from the anxiety symptoms you describe. Rapid heart beat, difficulty breathing, anf feeling panicked are possible symptoms of panic attacks. If you have had a thorough evaluation by your GP, and no medical causes of your symptoms were found, I urge you to ask him for referral to a mental health professional. Anxiety disorders can be successfully treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Antidepressants called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the treatment of choice and are well tolerated.
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Ann,
I have been fighting anxiety attacks for over a year now. I like you have several medical
problems.  I had 4 surgeries, numerous test,
heart problems, and now esophogealspasms.  I am 48 yrs. old.
If your Dr. has diagnosed you with this ask him about some kind of medication such as Buspar.  
I am also going through counceling with my Dr. as my councelor.  I have been to two Physchologist and did not like either one so I chose to let my Dr. councel me.  Because he's been my Dr. through all of this I trust him
because of what he's helped me through.  I also am fighting major depression because of what I been through and I feel that it has brought on my anxiety attacks.  I have crying bouts and stay in a lot.  I'm hoping that in time I will be able to live a normal life again.  But I don't think I could without the
help of counceling and medication.
Good luck to you/
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Avatar_n_tn
I am experiencing some very similar symptoms as you are having  only mine include some other physicall symptoms.  My first question is did you seek out a second opinion?  Secondly, are you seeing a counselor or someone who might be able to pinpoint where the anxiety is coming from.  Whatever you do, trust your gut your instinct.  If you believe this could be an anxiety problem, then demand from your doctor ways to overcome it (some medications can work really well too)  If you feel its something else, then I really do suggest you seek out another opinion.  I hope everything works out for you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you had your thyroid tested? I've been suffering off the wall anxiety attacks, strange heart beats - skipped and rapid, headachy, fatique, etc. I've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I'm not a doctor so don't know if this is true for you but I'm not certain all doctors think to check thyroid functions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I, too, suffered from rapid heartbeat at night, waking in panic, extreme depression (and I am normally a very secure, positive thinking person), and other symptoms like this.

It turns out I was exposed to an over-application of a pesticide that is a carbamate/organophosphate type.  These symptoms are all common to this class of pesticide, which is the most commonly used one in use.  It is used by applicators and sold over the counter, used on animals for fleas, etc.  I never suffered acute effects from the pesticide, just chronic long-term exposure.  Once I became aware of this (my new house was the problem and the testing was done by government agencies), and was careful to avoid exposure, it took over a year for the symptoms to subside.  
Just adding this to the thoughts that sometimes "panic disorder" isn't what you think.  I was put on all kinds of anti-depressents, etc., because they said I was suffering from anxiety and panic disorder at first.
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Avatar_n_tn
I hope my question doesn't sound odd and I hope it is relavant.  I am in search for a diagnose for my condition, and I am wondering if my condition is not thyroid or anxiety related.  I occasionally get a racing heart beat.  The odd part is that I can control it with a deep breath.  Has anyone experienced the same thing?  Can anyone give me guidance?
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