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Is this due to anxiety or heart related?
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Is this due to anxiety or heart related?

Well, sometimes I feel tightness in the chest, shortness of breathe, sweating hands, palpitations, lightheadedness, and sometimes pain the chest. It lasts for about 20 min, sometimes a bit more, but then symptoms start to disappear, usually when I am around with my mom and dad. I have taken a couple of trips to the E.R. a couple of times. Last time I went to the E.R. was in 2008 and they did every test possible and everything came back normal. They said it was panic attacks and anxiety attacks where my symptoms were coming from. On April this year, I went to the Doctor because I had a pretty severe panic attack, which I was convinced it was something wrong with me. The doctor checked my heart, ran an EKG, made some blood tests, and everything was good and ok. He said it was anxiety and panic disorder as well. A couple of months before that, I went to the doctor as well and she said the same thing. right now I am feeling the same symptoms, but I am not sure if it is panic attacks or what. So basically my question is, do you guys think I should go to the doc again to get checked and make sure, or do you think it is anxiety still?
9 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
"do you guys think I should go to the doc again to get checked and make sure, or do you think it is anxiety still?"

Don't go to the doctor again.  Odds are about 99.99% it is the same anxiety you had before.  You are only 23 years old.

Go visit or hang out with your parents since you indicated the symptoms start to disappear when you are around them.
I'm not a doctor, but I hope you aren't drinking lots of those Monster drinks or 5-Day Energy... or even lots of soft drinks containing caffeine.

Find some outlet for your anxiety.  Exercise can be very calming, walking, jogging, going to parks.  

Many medical plans  and even local libraries offer free or inexpensive courses in stress managment.  
You can wait until a doctor might answer your question, but it appears very clear, given your history and age.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, thank you very much for your response. I use to drink Pepsi and Coke, and occassionally coffee, but my doctor said is forbidden as they fuel my anxiety. Never been fond of energy drinks. Last time I drank a RedBull my heart felt like it was about to burst.

I do exercise often, but since I feel palpitations sometimes, I get a bit scared and stop. I play soccer 2 times a week. I'll stick with my parents for a while and get this treated, it is very perplexing and I can't imagine being like this once I get married.

Once again, thanks.
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Avatar_f_tn
You won't have to be like this when you're married.  Just ask your parents or your regular doc for treatment for anxiety.  It is VERY treatable.  You will need to see a counselor, who will give you some mental exercises, and/or a nice shrink who might give you a little medication to help get you out of the panic cycle.

In the meantime, there's a cheap little paperback that can help you understand what's going on and begin to deal with it.  The book is called "Hope and Help For Your Nerves," bye Dr. Claire Weekes.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, I will try to get in contact with someone to help me. I will also take a look at the book you suggested. Thank you very much for the replies.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,

These things are often difficult to give recommendations over an internet forum like this one. Given your age and the fact that you had previously had an evaluation for cardiovascular causes of your symptoms that had been negative, it seems somewhat unlikely that your current symptoms are due to a heart issue. Anxiety and panic can often cause some of the symptoms you are describing, though, with that said, only your doctor can actually make that determination. I would recommend discussing these symptoms with your doctor as, if this is anxiety related, they may be able to help you with this problem. I hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok, I ended going to the doc to get ease of mind. I told him my symptoms and history and said it was still anxiety. He ran an EKG and blood tests and everything came back normal with no problems. Do you guys think this is enough to confirm it? He prescribed me some tablets for anxiety(Xanax), but I don't want to tie myself to medications and depend on them.
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Avatar_f_tn
The tests you mention would be enough to convince me.  If you don't accept this verdict, then how many more tests of what kind would it take to convince you one way or the other?

And if you don't choose to take medications, what's the alternative?

Once again, I suggest a nice psychiatrist to help you with your anxiety--and medications (there are better ones than Xanax) are often essential, at least for a while.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey achillea,

So it is safe to assume my palpitations are benign? I feel them everyday, so I am a bit concerned if this is just normal palpitations or what. I did asked my doctor that day why do I feel pain in my chest and shortness of breathe when I feel them sometimes, and he just told me is part of my anxiety attacks. I told him I exercise constantly(I play soccer about once or twice a week and do normal workouts often), and he replied that if I were to have a cardiac condition, I would have gotten a heart attack a long time ago.

I am going to therapies with a psychologist which have helped me control my anxiety attacks much more.
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Avatar_f_tn
Your doctor's assurance that your palps are benign is better educated than mine; after all, I have never seen you.  Your doc has examined and tested you, and he doesn't have any reason to diss you.

He is right, though:  shortness of breath is a classic sign of anxiety, and chest pain is also, particularly if the patient has what's called a 'cardiac neurosis', which you can google.   Anxious people feel pain where they *think* they should feel it (though sometimes their idea is dead wrong, another telltale sign of anxiety).

Keep working with your therapist, and if one of the antidepressants like zoloft is suggested, do not turn your nose up at it.  In my considerable experience, it's very helpful for this kind of problem.
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