Don't know if this is anxiety like the doctors said or something more with my heart?
Back when I was in school about eight years ago, I had an anxiety attack. For some reason, without thinking [at least consciously thinking] I began to feel my heart rate spiking as if it was wanting to jump out of my chest, while my body began to shake a lot and I felt my throat closing up as my chest tightened and I found it hard to breathe.
Had an ambulance pick me up, was sent to the hospital and sat on the hospital bed with wires from a ECG Machine/Holter monitor strapped to my chest while I was hooked up to some IV. They did run me through some tests but I wasn't ran through an MRI. My heart rate began returning to normal as the day went on.
After all was said and done, the doctors at the hospital told me I just have an anxiety disorder and if I keep having these problems that I should seek help.
Skip to today and I still have all those problems I mentioned and more: I always have dizzy spells and feel lost or disconnected most of the time. My body tenses up a lot more now and I don't know if I'm imagining it or not but I always have these random pains/aches throughout my entire body. Since I'm a hypochondriac I freak out and start thinking maybe I have a terminal illness or that my heart is enlarged or some sort of heart disease.
Doesn't help that I constantly feel out of breathe and my chest begins hurting [hurts more when I apply pressure to it to figure out what's wrong] and my heart starts kicking because of that.
This happens entirely at random and I have no control over when it happens, but I find if my mind is focused elsewhere (like playing a video game, being asleep, sitting down watching TV) that my heart remains normal.
Do you guys think what the hospital doc told me was a misdiagnosis or is this truly just anxiety that needs to be checked up on? Prior to that hospital visit I was a healthy boy. And besides my father's mother dying of a sudden heart attack, my family otherwise has no known history of heart problems on my father's or mother's side.
I think it is very unlikely that there is something wrong with your heart. They did tests 8 years ago and nothing out of the ordinary was found. Heart problems at your age (besides congenital, which I assume are ruled out 8 years ago) are very rare. I think it is reasonable to trust the hospital doc.
The feeling of being disconnected is called 'disassociation,' and it is a classic symptom of extreme anxiety. You can google it.
The rule regarding chest pain is that if you can cause it or increase it or affect it in any way by touching, pressing, or changing position, then it is NOT heart pain. This has to do with the way the nervous system is set up. You can learn more by googling 'somatic and visceral pain.'
Your heart has been checked out and found to be healthy by professionals with years of study under their belts. You yourself use the word hypochondriac to describe yourself, and your worries seem to be taking over your young life and making you miserable.
Logically speaking, isn't it about time to investigate the possibility that an anxiety disorder is what's going on? This is a medical problem no less real than heart disease, with no more shame attached than heart disease--and it is highly treatable.
If you have a family doctor, he/she will probably have gotten some feedback about local therapists to recommend. Likewise, he or she will be acquainted with psychiatrists who specialize in this sort of thing.
Based on my own experience with cardiac anxiety--and I do have a history--I would recommend psychiatrists, because real shrinks actually have medical training in the workings of the body (a useful thing to have if you're treating cardiac worries), and they can prescribe meds. In my own case, it took serious trials of, as I recall, four or five different medications to restore my normal comfort level.
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