Heart Disease Expert Forum
Anxiety or Heart Problem
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Anxiety or Heart Problem

I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder 3 years ago. I have been doing well until recently. The other night I had the worst attack I've had since I was first diagnosed. I was overcome with an intense fear of impending doom or death. It scared me since I have not felt this way in a long time. Now I'm consumed with worry and fears of going crazy or impending doom. I walk around all day with a constant dizzy and feeling like I will pass out. The only medical thing I have is sinus bradycardia. But none of my docs are worried about it. Including my EP. I may very well have anxiety disorder but could it be caused by a very real heart problem. I'm very worried right now and any advice or reassurance would be great. Could the sinus brady go from causing no problems to causing problems over night. Or does it sound more panic anxiety related. Thanks
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
tkellyvt,

Sorry to read of your fear.  The symptoms you described are classic for anxiety disorder/panic attacks.  Moreover, the symptoms sound disabling.  I would strongly consider re-visiting a health professional for counsel and/or medical therapy.

Sinus brady is a benign phenomenon in most young, otherwise healthy, patients.
18 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Panic comes and goes..it can come out of the blue even when you are feeling great, suddenly the world can turn to shite.  Be aware that you can have relapses, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get on with your life...Panic to some degree can victimise you, but you dont have to victimise yourself.  put it in its place and live your life, because you can have one.  You can sometimes let panic win just for a change, then give it a slap round the face and go and have a good time.  You are not alone in this...Its not your heart, its damn panic again.

Take care


         Ray
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
It is truly amazing how panic can come out of the blue like that:  it defies logic and it makes you more afraid because you can't figure out the "whys" and therefore in looking for a reason you figure it must be heart related, etc.  But it does indeed come along out of nowhere sometimes, and the symptoms you describe sound just like it.  Mine presents primarily with dizziness and that feeling of impending doom.  Then I go into the feedback loop with the dizziness for a few days, wondering if it is coming back, etc.  I do get pacs/pvcs but have dizzy/panic attacks without them!  It is a biochemical state, but not a dangerous one.  Drink a lot of water and/or Gatorade during this critical time.  You will get through this and feel normal again but we "panickers" will always have this demon to battle.  It can be gone for years at a time but it always returns.  Somehow just knowing what it is can be helpful, and you are certainly not alone.  We just are "special" and somehow our wiring or brain chemistry can get whacked out.  Best of luck to you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Anxiety really does know which buttons to push in us.  I've had the condition for 7 years now (I'm 28).  This Saturday I'm getting married and my stress levels right now are sky high.  In the space of 24 hours yesterday I managed to convince myself that I had Sick Sinus Syndrome, Sinus Bradycardia and Heart Failure!  Any normal person would recognise that they are just nervous...  all I was doing all day was counting my heartbeat and concentrating on it so hard that I was barely breathing which was more than likely causing my pulse to slow down.  

Go along with the advice given before of drinking plenty of water, remember to breath and try to distract yourself away from your heart by treating yourself.  If you can do this for half an hour or so and recognise that you feel better for it you'll have proven to yourself that the old ticker isn't the problem.

I hope you feel better soon

Si



Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi I
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I happened to stumble upon this site today.  I too have panic attacks.  They started when I passed out last year, ever since then I've had them.  I can usually talk myself through them but lately I have been having them alot more.  I've just been under a lot of stress lately at work.  Everything you all have mentioned is so true.  Everyone looks at me like I'm crazy because I come up weird things I think I have an then stress over those also.  I was just actually checking around to see what a normal heart rate is because I thought mine was too low (turns out its between the normal).  Some reissurance helps me sometimes, I'm trying to work out thing, it seems to get a lot of stress out which helps my attacks.  Well, thanks for listening, it does help me when I know there's other people out there that have the same problem.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Yep, A familiar set of tales, I had my first PA whilst watching a movie, and movie theatres have the potential to set them off
some 8 years later. They peak at times of stress in your life
even positive things like getting married or having a baby, the
fact that they tend to come on when you actually slow down makes
sense when I just read on this site that they mostly originate
in the right brain, which is our creative side and is more easily accessed when we're relaxed! I was put on beta-blockers
with valium for emergencies, I have found that just having the valium with me stops most attacks but sometimes I have to take it
( only 2 mg per time) I have tried hypno and conseslling but they're still with me, next thing I want to try is EMDR as I
have heard good things about it, and yes, I have"had" about every disease there is (heart, diabetes, thyroid etc etc)

You are not alone.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also have been having panic attacks-- mine started about 3 months ago, right after I graduated, moved to a new place, and had no job.  My symptoms are usually of the palpitations variety, and I can spend a long time keeping track of my heart rate-- of course, when I'm freaking out it's always too high!
I have been to the ER twice since the PAs started, to the doctor a couple times, and after EKGs, lots of tests, cardiac enzyme tests, etc., nothing has ever been wrong with my heart (no treadmill stress test, though-- no one seems to think I need it-- I'm 26 w/ no family history of heart disease).  I go through periods of time where I just cannot convince myself that I'm not about to have a heart attack.
The exercise idea works for me to some extent also, although sometimes working out makes me focus on my heart MORE than I was before.  Does anyone have any other suggestions that have worked for them?  I'm planning to start therapy and possibly also medication once I start working and can afford it.
Good luck to everyone who is in the same boat!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I totally feel the exact same as everyone.  I wake up in the morning feeling my pulse, thinking that my heart is beating too hard.  I am convinced that I have some kind of heart/lung/intestinal problem.  This is driving my wife and myself crazy.  I had an anxiety attack while with clients, which was quite embarassing.  I have had them for about 3 months.  For anyone who has had these most annoying battles, I am with you.  I hate to take tranquilizers, but they really do help.  I think I am just a nervous person and must accept this.  

Does anyone have sudden breathing problems for no reason (lungs feeling like they are at half capacity)???  I would really appriciate some feedback.

Thanks for listening and good luck to everyone with this f*&$*#(@ living nightmare.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I have been suffering with anxiety for the last 15yrs. I have been mostly anxiety free for the last 10 years until recently. I have been experiencing heart palpations after exercise and have been having a series of tests done to determine if it is a physical problem or stress related. Five days ago I had a exercise stress test and a slight abnormal ekg was detected during exercise. My cardiologist said it was very slight and nothing to worry about. He did not feel it did not put me in a "high risk" catagory. Since the abnormal ekg was noted he said I could opt to go one step further and have a nucleur stress test done to put my mind at ease. I have that scheduled for two weeks from now and have not yet received the results of my echo. All these things on my mind seem to have brought back my old deamon,anxiety. I have been trying to calm down but cannot stop the constant thoughts in my head that I am going to be diagnosed with heart disease and will  die. Silly, I know, but I am driving everyone around me crazy. My obsessive thoughts about what will be found after all the tests are complete are causing panic attacks. To make a long story short, I was swimming in the pool yesterday and felt like I could only take half breaths. Hmmmm... something new to add to my ever increasing panic disorder list. Everyone was trying to play around with me but of course I ordered everyone to leave me alone, I was not feeling well. I went in the house, sat down and relaxed. Magically the feeling went away. What I have noticed is that anxiety will find the strangest ways to manifest itself within you. I do know that for right now the obsessive thought patterns I am having will not end until all the tests are complete and I have my answers. I also know that my panic attacks have to be dealt with one at a time as they manifest themselves. Try to go somewhere alone, sit down and just relax. I found that this seemed to relieve me.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

Yes, that's anxiety allright!!
Lungs that won't fill up.
I have the same thing happening to me.
At this moment I'm reading a book of Dr.Elaine N.Aron.
About the HSP.
NOW WHAT IS HSP??
Nothing to worry about; you could be a Highly Sensitive Person(HSP)and then anxiety is one of your problems and everything that comes with that.
She has written a book that's called: 'The Highly Sensitive Person. How to thrive when the world overwhelms you-' I found it very informative.
Try 'Google the search engine' and look up her website, she has got more info there.

Wish you luck,
Greetings,
Ianna
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the comment!!
One question for anyone.  Can the anxiety be present without being fully consious of it?  I feel like it is a constant wave flowing through me.  I guess this is why we think it is some physical problem.  It is so strange how the mind can play such nasty tricks on people.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE HAD PANIC ATTACKS FOR ABOUT 7 YEARS. ALTHOUGH IF I TAKE MY MEDICATION AS PRESCRIBED, WHICH I'M NOT VERY GOOD WITH MEDICINE, I TAKE EFFEXOR 75 MIL. 3/TIMES DAY IT IS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT, ALSO FOR ANXIETY. IT TOOK 3 DOCTORS AND PANIC ATTACKS FOR 6 MONTHS TO FIND HELP. NOW MY HUSBAND HAS A TERMINAL ILLNESS AND WAS GIVEN 3MO. TO 1 YEAR TO LIVE LAST FALL AND THE ATTACKS ARE AS REAL AS EVER. CAN'T BREATH GOOD, HEART PALPATATIONS, FUZZY HEADED, I'VE BEEN TO THE ER 2 TIMES IN THE PAST 7 YRS. HEART TESTS ETC. I THINK THERE IS SOME HEREDITY INVOLVED IN THIS TOO. MY MOTHER HAD THEM AND MY SON 19 HAS HAD A FEW. THE EFFEXOR HAS HELPED ALOT AND OF COURSE PRAYERS. I HAD MY FIRST ONE DRIVING AND HAD SOMEONE ELSE TO DRIVE FOR A FEW WEEKS. WE HAVE TO FACE THOSE FEARS.HAS ANYONE TRIED THE TAPES..ATTACKING ANXIETY...IF SO DID IT HELP? I HAVE ALSO TOLD EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY AND AT WORK, IF I FEEL I CAN'T GO SOMEWHERE I'M NOT GOING. WHICH I HAVEN'T HAD TO DO MUCH, BUT JUST TELLING THEM HAS HELPED RELIEVE STRESS KNOWING I HAVE AN OPTION. EXERCISE DOES HELP, BUT I HAVE FOUND WALKING, SO I DON'T HAVE TO RAISE MY HEART RATE, WORKS BETTER FOR ME. ALSO A CUP OF WARM MILK HELPS ME. GOOD LUCK TO ALL
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I noticed Bebby mentioned being "fuzzy headed"...is that also a symptom of panic?  I have this a lot lately, and though I know that most of my other problems are panic attacks, I never thought of the fuzzy-headedness being related!  Can I hear more about this from others?
Thank you!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I think that anxiety can be present w/o you being fully conscious of it, at least that happens with me sometimes.  I can go through several days at a time w/o having any fullblown panic attacks but feeling just moderately anxious all the time-- that seems to be my situation lately, more than high-level panic about my heart/health.  
Don't know about the "fuzzy-headedness" being associated w/ anxiety, but for me anyway, I find myself being very tired a lot (I think another symptom of the anxiety is trouble sleeping).
Someone above mentioned tapes called "Attacking Anxiety'-- can you or anyone else give more info about where to find?  Thanks.
Thanks also to whomever recommended the book about highly sensitive people.  I think there is definitely some connection there.
Wishing normal days to everyone....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I know what you all are going through i cant remember a time when i didnt have PA it got to where i thought i was having a heart attack,a stroke, cancer any kind and many other things (even 1 time i dislocated my kneecap and had it put back in then i was right back to the ER thinking my kneecap was moving around in my body LOL) it doesnt seem like these symptoms we have could just be our bodys panicing and we look for other things it could be it helps sometimes  reading other peoples posts to know that you are not alone in your symptoms. Even on meds i still have panic attacksi think it will be just something to deal with all my life as it has been up to now.I have a question for everyone do tou all have hard times dealing with stress and feel overwhelmed over tiny things in your life i wonder if maybe thats why i have these attacks. it just doesnt seem to get better.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Do your symptoms of fear come after you have a racing heart,pvc's,pac's ? Have you had any tests or tried any therapy or lifestyle changes?
Do you see a good doctor who is understanding ?
I have MVP and anxiety when the symptoms are too much.
Things we have tried : healthy lifestyle without : sugar,caffeine,alcohol, chocolate which all effect the nervous system.
Walk daily, lots of water and eat foods prepared at home only.
Deep breathing meditation . I deep breathed through out my Endoscopy instead of an injection. The monitor showed 120 beats during test , But no skips. Prayer too.
Have you tried any medications ? beta-blockers, xanax ?
I have fear of the dental chair and it can really send my heart racing. Do you have heart murmmurs , MVP ?
Thanks for sharing
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Having had both anxiety attacks and heart problems, I feel it is very easy to distinguish the two now. Anxiety attacks CAN cause palpitations and rapid heart beats but they are also accompanied with the general anxious feeling that something non-specific is wrong. Anxiety attacks for me sparked other symptoms such as claustrophobia and a general irritable, agitated manner. Of course the question might be why can't heart problems cause anxiety attacks? Well, I guess they can. I think it's still fairly easy to distinguish: are you anxious in generalised way or are you anxious about the way your heart feels only? If it's only the heart that gives you anxiety, be persistent with your doctor!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, is this anxiety or something with my heart was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, anxiety with racing heart was started.
Blank
1698122_tn?1316160684
Hi I'm 25 and I have just been reading your PA comments. I am relieved to c it isn't just me having these terrible and nightmarish periods of hell. I had just watched a dvd with my hubby, was feeling fine until I laid down to go to sleep as u do after a hard day with the kids, when all of a sudden my heart felt funny and started beating really fast, I got up and flew out of bed believing I was having a heart attack, omg I started hyper ventilating, at that time my chest tightened and in pain, my body felt weak and my insides felt like jelly, I seriously thought I was going to die, anyway rang nhs direct up they told me I was having a PA and needed to calm down, I didn't think they believed me, how do they know I wasn't having heart problems? That's wot I thought they were thinking. Out of sheer exhaustion I managed to get sum sleep after all nite and all morning convinced I was going to die, I went to my out of hours Gp service where he checked me over and gave me  Propranolol to calm my fast heart rate and body down, did anyone else have this? I feel as if I won't go bak to normal life, this was 2 days ago and I still feel unwell and ache everywhere and feelings of my heart going funny unless I have the 20mg 3 times a day propranonol. Wil I ever get better? I do have anxiety and depression and stress!  
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank