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PVC's and VT
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PVC's and VT

Hello and thanks for taking my question.

Recently I have developed PVC's and or Ventricular Tachycardia (sp) which came out of no where.  I've had every test imaginable, ekgs, echos, nuclear stress test (2 in the last year), angiograms...everything.  It all turns up ok.  BP and cholesterol is great, don't drink, smoke, drugs, gave up coffee/soda etc.

My cardiologist is really trying to find the cause because he said the pvc's are coming from the lower chamber of my heart.  After the stress test yesterday, he has ordered some sort of sleep study for tonight.  My pvc's are getting less and less, but now I'm getting worried after the comment about the lower chamber causing them.

My questions are:

1.)  Are there different types of PVC's and does it matter where they originate?

2.)  If every test that I have had comes back a-ok, can irregular sleep patterns, (remembering dreams or not completing REM sleep) have anything to do with these starting up?

3.)  Can dieting - not eating right cause PVC's...skipping meals.  Blood tests show everything but potassium was ok...potassium was high.

4.)  Since my cardiologist is putting me through all these tests...is he looking for something and not telling me, or just being thorough?  I'm mid 30's with no other health problems.

5.)  What steps can I take to get rid of these?  I'm not worrying about them anymore, but their presence is still there.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these!

Tags: pvc's, Heart
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Kalric,

Sorry to read of your frustration with the PVCs.  I am sure you find a wealth of support after your email from the forum.

1.) Are there different types of PVC's and does it matter where they originate?

The origin of the PVCs can provide clues to the cause.  The vast majority of patients with have simple (although sometimes debilitating) PVCs.  But there are more serious entities we keep in the back of our minds like right ventricular dysplasia, especially if the VT is entails long runs of VT or has a certain configuration like a left bundle branch block morphology.  For every th.ousand patients we see with PVCs, only a few have organic heart disease

2.) If every test that I have had comes back a-ok, can irregular sleep patterns, (remembering dreams or not completing REM sleep) have anything to do with these starting up?

I haven't not heard of this before.

3.) Can dieting - not eating right cause PVC's...skipping meals. Blood tests show everything but potassium was ok...potassium was high.


Certainly things like stress and sleep deprivation can bring out PVCs.  As physician we notice that people with anxiety and depression tend to be more bothered by them, but I am not sure that this is a cause.


4.) Since my cardiologist is putting me through all these tests...is he looking for something and not telling me, or just being thorough? I'm mid 30's with no other health problems.

I doubt it. The fastest way to lose a physician patient relationship is to not be upfront and honest.  Most of us know that.  It is very unlikely that a healthy 30-something person needs to worry about medical conditions causing PVCs, but that is why your doctor is running all those tests.

5.) What steps can I take to get rid of these? I'm not worrying about them anymore, but their presence is still there.

There is nothing that I know of that will cure PVCs.  They seem to come in waves or cycles without any clear indication or cause.  Do you best not to focus on them and go on with your life if your doctor is confident you are fine.  You can always get a second opinion if you need some more reassurance.

Good luck.  Thanks for posting.


26 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
What came first the chicken or the egg? This is the question I ask myself most everyday. I'm 42, male I'm overweight but only since I got anxiety and pvcs. now about 5 years ago. Like you I've had test after test done they find nothing wrong.Mine started out as anxiety then I got the pvcs. Some will have the pvcs and then worry about them til they get anxiety. Please find you a good doctor you trust and take his/her word that you are ok. don't follow some of us down the road that it take over your life. The anxiety is hard to shake once it gets set. Let your doctor test you out good and try not to let it get the best of you.
Good Luck
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39623_tn?1265417041
I have thousands of pvc's a day, plus left bundle branch block.  I'm not sure I like what the doc had to say.  Does anyone know what "Organic Heart Disease" means?
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Avatar_n_tn
I posted in another thread but it is closed now.  I also get PVC's, just found out through a holter monitor I wore (thought they were palpatations), so I'm new to all the medical talk about them and still trying to understand why and how to not focus on them.

I'm a 29 year old female, 4 months pregnant.  I started noticing skips of my heart at 17 but back then it was no big deal.  A couple years ago is when I started getting several PVC's in a row which really scare me and I think I'm going to die.  Then my heart races really fast after I get an episode of several in a row.  

I do seem to get them more when I feel one and get nervous about it, but why?  Why is it if I focus on it, I get more?  Is it my brain saying "go ahead, have some more".  The thumps I feel are impossible to ignore, my mind can be really busy focusing on things I'm doing, but I still feel those thumps hard.  I'm just really confused why it is when I'm nervous about it, I will have more in a row, is it my brain making them come on?  Because they seem to happen even if my brain isn't thinking about them.  Just more so when I do think about them.  

I've been able to control them fairly well so far with the pregnancy, but I do think, would if I get a severe attack with several PVC's in a row that throw me into panik and hyperventalation, which I have done before?  What can I do?  I can't take any meds being pregnant.  

And I really fear the PVC's when the baby is born because I will be sleep deprived and I'm sure they will come more frequent and possible more severe.  What's going to happen if I get an episode where I can't get a grip??  I fear passing out, will that happen?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I have found now that afer getting PVCs for 6 months, I seem to be getting other scary side effects which I'm not sure are due to anxiety of not. Does anyone else get body twitches or tremors? Like, partculialry I'm noticing eye twitches....ahhh....very annoying. Any advice would be much appreciated!

regards, megan

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, a year ago when I was in a high anxiety state about these horrid pvcs I too got twitches, plus a trembling that seemed to come from inside out.  Now my anxiety has subsided, so too have my pvcs and no more twitching and inner 'rumbling'.  Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
I get pvcs all the time also.. they scare me to death!!! I like everyone else have had all the tests done, ecg, ekg, holter, stress test and all came back fine.. ( one doctor said the holter showed i had a slightly fast heart rate and wanted to do adrenal blood tests and that threw me into extreme panic!!!!) my heart rate has always been a little on the high side since i smoke , am overweight and can never relax... had the blood test done and was fine...  i have been told hundreds of times they are benign and not to worry!!! it is so hard not to worry when you have that horrible skipped beat.. it feels like a big thud.. and you think for sure you are going to die.. i started reading about them and got myself crazed about vt.. i always think if you have single pvcs what are the chances of having a few in a row and turn into vt?? i have noticed if i drink a lot of water they seem better.. i take 75mg of toprol and it seems to make them a little less forceful... last year i quit smoking and caffenine.. it made them worse if anything!!!!!! i know what you all are going through and it is horrible.. i try to be positive and think wouldnt people who have serious heart problems love just to have pvcs and have a ekg that reads grossly normal!!!!!!! i try not to foucs on them,. but it is hard... stress causes them for sure!! on my 24 hour holter it showed only 8 in 24 hours... ( before i knew what they acutally were) when i had my echo done, the doctor said they were like 40 in under a hour!!!! i was so scared and stresed that day..... these pvcs are ruining my life!!! they have caused anxiety and panic attakcs !!!!
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84483_tn?1289941537

PVCs will scare the living daylights out of you for those who are aware of them.With a normal cardiac workup, don't worry they won't kill you, I am 40 and had them for as long as i can rememeber, though they usually only come in episodes now for the last 12-15 years, although i get the odd thump now and then , I take 100mg of atenolol daily, that has done wonders for my tachycardia and fast heartrate and probably reduced the frequency of the pvcs a great deal.

I been to brink and back with PVCs in the 1000s daily lasting for months at a time, what i know is that the fear of them is worst than the pvcs themselves, try and not let them control your every move , i know it is easier said than done , but with determination , it can be overcome. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
I also wonder whether those people who gets 1000's in a day get runs of VT.  I don't get a lot of PVCs per day, but I do get runs of what I am pretty sure is VT. I also wish my PACs and PVCs were just a thump! When I get PACs and PVCs I get the thump as well as pain and all other sorts of scary feelings associated with the premature beat itself. This happens with every premature beat I get! It makes just a "thump" seem pretty good in comparison.
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88793_tn?1290230777
Hi,
Can anyone tell me do I got PVC or what else I get?  My pulse is always at 70 - 80.  I complaint have the vibration on my chest. It looks like palpitation but everyone said my pulse is OK. 70 - 80 can't feel palpitation at all. Dr prescribe me Digoxin and Flecainide to take.  Dr did said that "my heart muscle is getting old" & the last visit he said my upper chamber did not work probably. I ask my local Dr. what else I get? He asks me talk to my Cardiologist. At the moment I do not feel like to visit my Cardiologist anymore.  He's changed my pacemaker program to make me very sick and unwell.  
I do feel very unwell when the strong beats are chasing the  light beats. It makes me vomit or nausea, dizzy, SOB and chest pain.  I have pins and needles on my hands and legs. Recently, my chest is very stiff (back) when I woke up in the morning. Is that PVC will cause all these problems to you people? Echo show I've a slightly enlarge left ventricle.  I really wish to know what else I got?  Could some one tell me the syndromes of PVC feel like?
Thank a lots
Pika.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was just wondering, what helped you through those anxious times and helped to alleviate those symptoms? For example, what sort of relaxation techniques did you try to help stop these awful symptoms?

Thanks!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I read all the time here that PVC's won't kill you.  Ok, so it's true, but I would like to know this, when I get several PVC's in a row, why do I get light headed, my vision almost blacks out like I'm not getting enough oxygen to live.  

If it's an extra heartbeat, isn't extra blood being pumped through?  So why the feeling that my oxygen is low and I can't focus or breath well?  

I'm trying so hard to understand this since I just found out what these scary things are.
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84483_tn?1289941537

PVCs are not extra beats, even though in medical literature they are referred to extrasystoles, nor are they skip beats they are premature beats meaning that they occur before the next heartbeat is expected. In the case of PVCs because the ventricle contract first , not much blood is pumped with a PVC, the hard thump you feel is usually the normal beat filled with an extra volume of blood to make up for the little pumped by the PVC, that is what is perceived as a thump.

Long runs of PVCs could make one feel lightheaded because of the low blood volume pumped , though usually this is nothing to be alarmed about once all your tests checks out fine.

Remember no matter how bad PVCs make you feel, you are usually in no danger once your heart is working fine otherwise.

If fainting and lose of consciousness occurs then that is another cause for concern as you might have a more serious arrhythmia occuring , usually the lightheadedness from PVCs is usually the result of anxiety and hyperventilation that accompanies them, at least this what many cardiologists has explained to me. In the end follow your feeling and if in doubt get a second or even a third opinion for reassurance.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate to how  you feel about pregancy and PVCs.  I think if you have PVCs, you are right that in the postpartum stage, they often increase.  I am six months postpartum with my 2nd, and they are just starting to ease up now.  Not that I get as many as a lot of people on this board, but sleep deprivation and the added stress of a new baby certainly are triggers.  As for why you get them when you are nervous, your anxiety would cause an increase in adrenalin which would affect your PVCs.  The obvious thing to do is not let them bother you, but I know that's easier said than done. I am just at the point now where I can have PVCs and just let them happen, instead of getting into a panic about them.  I figure nothing has happened to me yet!  Good Luck with your pregnancy and delivery.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, my story is that from the age of 26 [now42] I have had pvcs, my doc told they were ok and not to worry, which I didn't- I never had an examination for them at that time.  About 3 yrs ago I happened to read 2 articles in close proximity that implied that pvcs were serious and indicative of a risk of sudden death (they are not!)following this everytime I felt a thump I would get a rush of adremaline, after a couple of months, with all this stimulation I was in a constant state of high nervous arousal and my pvcs shot up from 2-3 per day to 4000!!!   I then had all the tests etc but no reassurance was enough!  I was obsessed, had all sorts of nasty symptoms, odd vision, trembles, witches, shakes, chest pain the lot- all self inflicted. I tried homeopathy, meditation, counselling, nothing worked, finally after reading this website everyday it sunk in that these things were normal and I had to change my focus and the way I thought! I decided to devote the energy and obsession I put into fearing these things into a hobby, every time the old feelings arose i would say to myself 'stop!'and consiously divert my phsical attention to my hobby or if that was not possible then just my thoughts.  This was not easy by any means but with determination it worked, along with some bisoprolol from my doc to take the edge off my nervous system's response it worked, as soon as I stopped thinking about the pvcs, I started to mind them less, the less I minded them the less I got!!  It has taken me at least a year to start to feel normal again and totally disregard the odd thump I get now and then.  I am not totally cured because I am still reading this site!  but i feel normal now with no nervous symptoms.  Hope that helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
My Pvc's finally came to an end almost 4 months ago (HOPEFULLY)!!, after almost 2 years of non-stop PVC's.  I can relate to the fear that was almost uncontrollable at times.  If I was having a mild day I could control the anxiety of the palpitations, but mine changed constantly so there was always a new fear with different PVC sensations.  I found out about a year ago that I was prematurely menopausal at 38.  At that time they started me on estrogen which I wonder is what ultimately stopped the PVC's.  Doctor says there is no way to be sure that estrogen stopped the PVC's. I am just thankful they are gone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was up all last night with PVCs and anxiety. I woke my wife up at 4 in the morning because I broke down and cried with fear and frustration. It has been so hard to sleep lately.
I started getting PVCs about 7 months ago. Like most everyone else, I went through all the tests, and was assured that I wasn't in danger of dying, that PVCs are a common condition but the reasons aren't always clear. I went down the list of reasons: Heart disease - nope; Electrolite imbalance- nope; Hyperthyroidism - nope; Anemia - nope; Arterial blockage - nope; Too much Iron - nope; Too much Caffeine and alcohol - nope; Rogue virus -- Maybe. I get herpes outbreaks now and then but doesn't seem consistent with PVCs. Stress - There is stress now!
The condition has gone away and come back a couple times. I always rack my brain to try and figure out if there is something that correlates with the condition, a food, an allergy, a virus, a television rerun, anything that shows me a pattern. The only thing I can think of is stress.
Over 20 years ago as a young man I went through a bout of panic disorder. I didn't see an obvious reason for mental trauma, but there was my brain and adrenal glands, running away with my reason. It was pretty scarey, but I started running, gave up sugar, stopped doing recreational drugs, and learned to vent my emotions and everything turned out OK. The current episode with the PVCs is so similair. I am going to have to take active charge, start exercising again and finding things to do to ward off the panic and the PVCs. I miss my sleep, but I find once I fall asleep, the PVCs go away. It was a real godsend to find this forum today while researching this condition. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I feel so much more optomistic.
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Avatar_n_tn
hello,  i am a 44 yr old female, with both PVCs and very rapid heart beats.  Since I was young I have experienced the ocassional skipped heart beat followed by a thump.  I thought everyone experienced it.  After several miscarriages, I suffered from panic attacks for a whole year.  It wasnt until I took paxil for a year, plus therapy that I finally learned to keep my anxiety under control and avoid panic attacks.  Which is when I decided to try for another baby.   It wasnt until I was 5 months pregnant with my third child, did I have my first really bad episode.  I thought I was going to die for sure, and ended up in the emergency room.  My heart was racing at 160-170 beats per minute, and by the time the rolled up the ekg cart, my heart just went back to normal.  This whole episode lasted about 50 minutes non stop, and it started out of nowhere while I was sleeping.  Right after I delivered, I had a specialist check me out, do the whole battery of test, ekg, echocardiogram, stress test etc. and he discovered a mitral valve prolapse, which he said was quite common and benign.  He went on to explain that while pregnant, due to the increased blood volume it is common to get these episoded of racing heartbeats. He didnt prescribe any medication and I certainly did get better.  During my last pregnancy, these episodes became more frequent, and also the PVCs.  I ended up taking Inderal starting in my 4th month of pregnancy, whiich relieved me a bit of the symptoms.  I did not enjoy my pregnancy at all, and prayed that I would deliver as soon as possible and get some relief.

SInce I had my baby, she is now 2 years old, I have had another battery of test done, like before, only to find out that my mitral valve prolapse has gone from mild to moderate.  And this is the reason I get PVCs and rapid heart beat. He has put me on Corgard 20 mg, since it has a longer duration in your system that Inderal, and have found some relief.  I do get the skip a beat several times a day, that I am aware of, but they do become worse at night, while sleeping. My doctor saids that I feel more of them because I am laying down and not moving around, but that I probable get them in the same variations throughout the day.  

Are there any technichs that any of you might know of, that can stop them when they are really bad?  Today I am having a bad day with the PVCs in the 1000s.  Ive been told that since this is an electrical malfunction of the heart sometimes doing the following might put your heat back in the normal rythm such as, ice on your face?  any other suggestions?  I am desperate, and keep my husband up at night.  thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Putting ice on the face is just a form of vagal stimulation. It is mainly used to treat SVT (superventricular tachycardia). It works by stimulating the vagus nerve which in turn tells your heart rate to drop. I would not recommend using ice to try to stop PVC's. It can cause your heart rate and blood pressure to drop dangerously low. Plus vagal maneuvers have no effect on ventricular ectopy (PVC's, Vtach)
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Avatar_n_tn
Can I ask (this is important as I'm trying to compile information which may help me move closer to the possible cause of these annoying, harmless beats): if you breathe mostly through your mouth, can you post 'MOUTH', or if through the nose, post 'NOSE'. If you are always struggling for air (as an annoying habit), post 'AIR HUNGER'.

Thanks.

I'll get back to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone - I am so thankful to find this place.

My history is this -- I am 42, and overweight, trying to diligently lose.  I am trying to work through the stress in my life - that's been tough.

I began noticing weird beats at age 30.  I was a smoker, coffee drinker back then.  At age 33 I had a full blow WPW episode, and have since been on Atentol -- 50 mgs a day.

Normally things are under control -- lately it's been all over the place.

While I haven't had true WPW episodes but I have had PVC's and PAC's increasingly -- which is really really scary.

I just talked to my cardiologist -- and she wants to see me on Wed for follow up, obviously I am not dying.

But man scary none the less.

I am so glad to have found this place.

M
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Avatar_n_tn
I've noticed every time my PVCs are acting up, so is my stomach(the whole digestive system maybe).It doesn't hurt;it just becomes noisy.Many times after I feel gurgling(stomach,gas feeling) in my lower sternum the PVCs go away.For me too much liquid is usually the culprit.I hope this will help somebody.
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Avatar_n_tn
You raised a good question, in regards to hormones and pvc's,pac's.
I noticed an increase at 35 and have suffered daily with an increase during the same days of the month.
Do you have mvp, heart murmurs, cardiogenic syncope with your palp symptoms?
My hormone levels were just checked and suggested to try Nuva ring which is the most accurate with hormone levels distribution. I am 37 and heart disease has effected the women in my family and avoided b/c due to stroke risk.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, new to the forum but I know I'm not alone. I'm a 41 y.o. female with a history of PVCs back to age 18 (that I remember). I understand the anxiety issue, and I've tried to tell myself after my first holter monitor that everything was ok (450 PVCs per hour--every hour but the cardiologist said nothing to worry about). So I've tried not to worry about it, .12mg of xanax takes the edge off.

But recently I noticed more PVCs and a 48 holter showed 1220 PVCs an hour--every hour! I'm still told they are benign, won't casue any heart damage, but that maybe I should try beta-blockers.

I'm reluctant to do that, the first cardiologist said they wouldn't help much, and the PVCs are benign, now my MD says why not try them. But I think my symptoms are from anxiety and .12 mg of xanax still helps. But who can forget 1220 PVCs an hour. Any comments from people who have a high frequency? By the way, my pulse is fine at 65 to 85, higher with exertion but maybe only 100 to 130 if I'm exercising. Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had PVC's for about the last 10 years.  I am a male, 38, not overweight, former smoker.
Mine can come and go, they seem to be stress related and get worse with alcohol and heavy food.
My main concern is that I seem to experience soreness with mine.  the more i get the more I have soreness, and when they are harder they increase the soreness as well.
Sometimes the soreness will extend to my hand.
I have tried to see if other people in the forums were experienceing this and with little luck.
Does anyone out there share this experience?
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have soreness (and slight pain) every time I have PVC's.  I think mine is due to esophageal irritation from the hard beats. I think this is so because your esophagus is right next to your heart, and I have GERD as well.  Even after my PVC's stop, I still have the soreness.

I'm scheduled to see a Gastroenterologist in Oct. and will find out if my theory is true.
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Avatar_f_tn
Finally a site that presents the picture I've been trying to explain / understand for years. Some helpful info. First, look at medical book with detail drawings of diaphram, esophagus, aortic heart valve. You'll notice they are in pretty close quarters right in mid chest. This can at least help to visualize why the various funny feelings, lurches occur there.  Second anxiety is a natural defense mechanism that releases adrenalin and focuses attention on the perceived threat (pvc or lurching sensation as if life threatening). So just saying it's ok isn't enough. You have to counter the onset of anxiety with deep breathing, pooching out stomach as you inhale and contract it as you inhale. Walking off the adrenalin rush is also important. The burst of adrenalin can take 25 to 30 minutes to get out of the system. Third some research is being done on the brain-bowel connection. There seems to be correlation between IBS / Gastrointestinal distress and anxiety / panic symptoms. Some thought has been given to the vegal nerve as an underlying common connection. Perhaps esophagus spasm or reflux induces pvc.  Also some thought has been given to the digestive track's muscle contractions reverberating upwards or rectal or sphincter spasm triggering vegal nerve producing flip floppy feeling in the mid chest and can feel like heart palpatations.
Multiple systems seem to be involved more like nerve, muscle, psyche... If panic is a problem get prescription for xanax. Long term need to learn relaxation response and practice it. May help to use OTC or prescription antacids. I find bland diet and fiber to help keep IBS in check. A mild anti-depresent may also help decrease obsessive anxiety. Exercise invalauble. And get help dealing with unresolved pent up or repressed anger.  Spirituality is an avenue to consider for meditative purposes as well as maintaining a focus on enjoying life rather than protecting it and fearing death.
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