Heart Disease Community
Anxiety by Default
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to angina, angioplasty, arrhythmia, bypass surgery, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, defibrillator, heart attack, heart disease, mitral valve, pacemaker, PAD, stenosis, and stress tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Anxiety by Default

Has anyone ever thought that they had anxiety and it turned out to be a verifiable, actual symptom that led to a physical diagnosis? How about vice-versa? For some reason, we hold out more hope and reasoning in diagnosis that are physical than mental. Maybe because a blood test, or EKG, or Echo can determine a diagnosis while anxiety cannot. Tons of time and money are spent searching for something that isn't. Seems it we called by default, everything anxiety and proceeded to treat it as such, we could save a lot of valuable time.

Related Discussions
12 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Please don't take offense, but if you think about it, while it MAY save some money by avoiding "unnecessary" testing, it could also be a really stupid thing to do, given that we are talking about cardiac symptoms which could also be pointing to very serious health problems.

If one was automatically treated for anxiety when presenting with a multi-causation symptom, and it turned out that the symptom was not caused by anxiety but a real cardiac issue, by the time it was realized that the person was being treated for the wrong problem, major, irreversible damage could have already been done. Sure, it may only happen one in every few thousand, but isn't that one too many?

Personally, when it comes to cardiac symptomology, I think erring greatly on the side of caution is much more beneficial then 'assuming' it's nothing more than anxiety, and being proven wrong once it's too late.


BNB
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I feel like I fit right in on this thought.  I have had unexplained chest pains for over a year now and all my tests have come back NORMAL.  I fought the anxiety diagnosis for a long time and then tried a eight/nine month run of Lexapro.  It helped with the craziness of the chest pains but not the chest pains themselves.  I've seen three cardiologists, the first one is the one that gave me Lexapro.  The second one told me it was "poison for the brain".  Major freakout for me.  I stuck with it and the first cardio because the more you doctor hop the chances are they are going to find "something".  Usually a false positive or something that is nothing.

I do trust that my doctor did the full run of tests for me.  He was thorough.  Although he always treated me like an anxiety patient.  Always.  I am 35, so relatively young, but have a strong family history of heart disease.  He never gave it a thought.  That is why I am heading to the Mayo Clinic (Friday).  I can go in there without the anxiety label and if after a full workup there, my heart is normal.  I'll will be more than happy to explore anxiety more.......I hope.

My gastro doc told me Thursday, after my FIFTH test came back NORMAL there as well (of course), that he never thought anxiety was the cause of my symptoms but the anxiety symptoms were of an unknown cause.  I have heard that before (maybe here).

I think I strayed from the point...............sorry.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
i think what fjohn means is AFTER all the nessecary cardiac testing has come back normal,  some patients will go and get the same tests done over and over and over again, because its easier to accept a physical problem that can be pinpointed, than a mental one that is illusive.. Patients complaining of palps, tachycardia, shortness of breath, are ALWAYS given the nessecary testing first to rule out a serious trigger, because you're right BNB, If doctors didnt do this, many people could just get sicker :(
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree with everyone but don't rule out anxiety.  I suffered from anxiety about a year ago.  I had a bunch of stress in my life and going 100% different directions.  Then one day I was on the subway and I felt a flutter in my chest, felt scared to death and had shortness of breath.  I'm only 36 and I thought I was having a heart attack.  I got off the subway, went back to my office were we have a medical staff and my BP was 198/120.  Since I didn't have a history of heart problems, the nurse mentioned that it could have been a panick attack.  I said "panic attack, what the hell is that".

Went to the doctors the next day and he wanted to put me on Zoloft.  Well, being "a man", I want back home and said "Na, I don't need this stuff".  Well, about 2 months later, bam, it happend again.  So I went back to the doctor and again, gave me a prescription for Zoloft.  Before I went on it, I read so many stories that it freaked me out.  I heard great stories, good stoires bad and terrible.  So I did'nt know what to do.  I had every test done and my heart was in perfect shape.  But I kept telling my doctor that it has my heart and I was dying.  I really have a great doctor, who is young, and he loves to see his favorite hypercondriac come in and he loves when I diagnose what I have compaired to what he thinks.  He always says, "Well, how many years of medical school do you have" and we laugh it off.

Don't mean to keep going but needed to add some history to this story.  Anyway, I went on the Zoloft and it was amazing!  I don't care what anyone says (and it depends on the person) but for me, it was the best thing ever!  It takes about 2 weeks to get into your system but once it does, its wonderful. You have better outlook on life, your not anxious every moment of the day, when you get an ache or pain, your not dying, etc.  I have to say, that it was the best drug I have ever taken and besides Zoloft, that's all I take.  And what really great is that you can come off of it (its not addictive like a barbituate would be).  As College Girl told me, always talk to you doctor first.  You can't just quit this becasue it will make you sick or dizzy.  How you come off of it is take half pills for about a week and then your done.

As for me, I recognized what my "trigger" is for anxiety and that's when I get a bad health report or am sick.  But I learned how to breath (breathing techniques are great) and don't think I need it again but the doctor its always there if I do need it.  I just had an anxiety attack recently (thanks Barbarella and College Girl for adivce) which causes my BP to go up along with just feel like ****.  But I got over it and realize i can do something when a problem arises.

So take it from me, if you do have a heart problem and has been diagnosed as such, then the doctors and medicine will help you.  But if you had all the tests done and nothing, then its most likely anxiety.  Anxiety can really effect everything.  I don't know if you tried anything for anxiety but if not, ask you doctor about Zoloft.  It worked wonders for me with absolutely no side effects and would recommend it to anyone.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I miscommunicated and I am sorry. I advocate for seeing a doctor when symptoms warrant as they should occupy the first line of defense. I am concerned about those of us that are "stuck" and somewhat paralyzed trying to figure out and differentiate between anxiety and physically based symptoms. There is no "movement" when one is in an in-between place wondering what is going on. Pick one, pick both but get a diagnosis and move out from that stuck position because that is the place where anxiety breeds, stuckness.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I totally agree with you 100%
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
You are on the Move. The Mayo will give you peace of mind and a focus that you haven't had. You are taking a very agressive stance and you will reap the rewards. There is one more thing that anxiety can't stand and that you have an abundance of and that is Hope. Movement + Hope = Wellness.

My thoughts and prayers are sent to you.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your well wishes.  Right now I have 18 days left of my insurance plan year before it starts over.  Since I have put out SO much money and met my out-of-pocket maximum, everything is covered 100%!  YEA!!  That is why I am on a marathon for answers.  I can't put my family or our finances through anymore.

Also, when I went to the cardio the first time, before any tests (and he did do some), he gave me a prescription for xanax.  I didn't take it, afterall, it was a HEART problem I was having.  The second time I went (2 days later for results) he gave me the prescription for Lexapro.  I didn't take it, again I felt this was HEART related!!!  This is by no way meant to point fingers and blame but I think if he would have taken a little more time with WHY he thought it was anxiety and HOW SIMILIAR the symptoms are and possilby referred me to a psychologist, I wouldn't have been trapped in my own little year of fear.  But this is not his job or his specialty!!  To put some blame on myself,  I didn't seek out a therapist because I didn't feel there was any way it could be anxiety related.  I loved my job, I love my kids and did not feel any stress at all.  I hadn't had any major life changing events happen.  Nothing.  That is why the anxiety component is so tricky for me.  I just don't get it.

Thanks again for your good thoughts and I hope you are feeling well too.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
    Its a scary ordeal to have health anxiety and never convinced.  I think i fit into that category and its dangerous.   I agree that its better to be safe then sorry, but its never that simple for most people.  Even when they are told they are ok they will keep going and going and looking for something.  there are a billion diseases out there we could convince ourselves we have and going to the doctors can be a non ending cycle.  Chest pain could be todays main symptom u dwell on and next month it could be dizziness.   Once you have dizziness from anxiety like I do, your in trouble.  because there are a billion things that can cause dizziness and ull think about 3 billion diff tests from inner ears, to HIV, to cancer, to tumors to heart, to MS. to whatever.  


    Another problem about anxiety is trusting the right doctors.   Not all doctors today are angels.  I have a close friend who is a doctor and know some people who work in hospitals and the stuff i hear is VERY SCARY.  

   A really great doctor that I  know who is one of the good guys is getting sued for 24 million dollars because he was exposing Cardiologists and their scams.  There were about five cardiologists who were giving people unneccesary operations and tests.  they were giving ablations and stents to people who didnt even need them.  If you come across one of these bad doctors and you have anxiety problems, you will be in big trouble.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You forgot to mention the scams and kickbacks from the drug companies.  You have no idea.  I know, I used to work in large Teaching Hospital for many years before we moved out of state.  I saw it all.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
that's if they do the correct tests to begin with. In my case I was treated for anxiety and even though my heart rate as 30 no one thought that was a problem until mouths later I passed out and had a EKG and it read 30 and low and behold I now am recovering from having a pacemaker put in on 2-7-07. What I thought was anxiety was heart problems! And I had no idea. that is why it is so important to research and learn as much as you can.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Palad..

Your insight on your own anxiety was very much appreciated, and will hopefully inspire some other forum members still suffering from it.. It truely is a vicious cycle going on in the mind.. Im glad you made it out in one peice!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Top Heart Disease Answerers
976897_tn?1379171202
Blank
ed34
watford, United Kingdom
159619_tn?1318997813
Blank
erijon
Salt Lake City, UT
63984_tn?1385441539
Blank
Flycaster305
97303, OR
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
skydnsr
212161_tn?1391090750
Blank
heartfluttersflyawayplz
hoschton, GA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
BloodPressure Tracker
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Start Tracking Now
Blank
HeartRhythm Tracker
Track your Heart Condition
Start Tracking Now
Recent Activity
1236893_tn?1394988190
Blank
The Truth About Exercise—The Case f...
14 hrs ago by gymdandee
159619_tn?1318997813
Blank
erijon commented on Dear MH Friends..Upda...
23 hrs ago
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
ejoli commented on Treatment
Jul 11
Heart Disease Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
This is Driving Your Emotional Eati...
Jul 02 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
5856747_tn?1403352282
Blank
Sleep Apnoea
Jun 28 by Andrew John Rynne, MDBlank
Top Heart Disease Answerers
976897_tn?1379171202
Blank
ed34
watford, United Kingdom
159619_tn?1318997813
Blank
erijon
Salt Lake City, UT
63984_tn?1385441539
Blank
Flycaster305
97303, OR
612551_tn?1247839157
Blank
Jerry_NJ
NJ
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
skydnsr
212161_tn?1391090750
Blank
heartfluttersflyawayplz
hoschton, GA