Welcome to the Mood Disorders Forum. Questions in this forum are being answered by Peter Forster, MD and topics covered are anxiety, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and stress.
I'm a 32 yr old female. I'm 4' 11', 202 pds. I an on bloodpressure medication and metformin for pre diabeties. I've been to my docs several times an she says its just my anxiety but hoe does she know if she's not doing test?? I never feel right anymore, I always feel weird. I just don't know what to do, I need some help! I don't want to have to be afraid everyday that something is medically wrong with me.
Thank you for writing.
I hope that you will find some support and help on these forums. It is very hard to feel alone with this kind of anxiety.
Over the years I have found that people worry the most about illness and death when they are really unhappy in their current lives. And that focusing on what you can do about that unhappiness is often the best way of addressing that worry. The mind seems to know that something is wrong, but sometimes it isn't as good at figuring out what is wrong, sometimes it thinks that there is a medical illness that is the problem when really it is something about how we are living that is wrong.
I am not sure if this is relevant to your situation or not, but perhaps you might consider doing something to address a source of unhappiness about your life. I know that it can seem overwhelming, but even one new positive thing a day that you do for yourself can make a big difference. For instance, adding in a little bit of physical activity, or taking time out every day to acknowledge one thing that you are thankful for, or noticing one thing each day that you do well.
Beginning a habit like this involves - coming up with something very small that you are going to do every day (try to come up with something that you can do in five minutes or less), setting up reminders, figuring out when you will do it, etcetera. Starting it right now (today).
Is there a definite way to tell if its your heart and not anxiety?? I just don't know how to tell the difference. And I don't want to just push it off anxiety but I don't want to make it something more than it is....
Some amount of uncertainty is inevitable in medicine, and that can be very hard to deal with.
One way that doctors deal with this is by asking themselves the question, what are the things that I might be doing that could make a big difference in the outcome... It is a bad thing to miss a diagnosis that might make a big difference in the health of a patient and perhaps not as bad a thing to miss a diagnosis that doesn't make much difference.
So... the question I would ask is what are the things that you might be able to do in this situation? From what you have said, there is no evidence of serious heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart failure). That seems to have been adequately evaluated.
Could the symptoms you have be from some kind of cardiac arrhythmia? Unlikely, but not impossible, but we know from a number of long term studies that the serious risks from the kind of cardiac arrhythmia that might have been missed (PVC's or some other ventricular arrhythmia) in someone with a basically healthy heart do not appear to be significantly greater than risks of heart problems in someone without an arrhythmia.
So that suggests that keeping in touch with your primary care MD, discussing any changes in symptoms, etcetera, are probably the best way of dealing with the question of a possible cardiac cause.
On the other hand, what if it is anxiety? Does inadequately treated anxiety have health implications? Not in terms of sudden death or other health catastrophes, but definitely in terms of quality of life. In fact it has a huge impact on whether or not your life feels like it is worth living. So pursuing treatment for anxiety is definitely worth doing. Indeed, if we knew you did have a heart problem, we would recommend doing something to help your anxiety, both because it would make a big difference in your quality of life, but also because lowering anxiety can be helpful in people with cardiac problems.
Don't know if that is overly wordy, but the bottom line is I am not saying you have to definitely conclude that what is going on is not cardiac, but you do need to pay more attention to the possibility that it is anxiety related. And your anxiety, which you might be reluctant to give up because it feels as though doing so will make you miss taking some action to further assess for cardiac disease, is almost certainly the thing that is having the most significant negative impact on your health.
One method I sometimes use is to look at how I feel and to look at other stuff going on in my life.
If there are a lot of events that I find stressful or overwhelming I feel safe in assuming that my symptoms are stress and anxiety related. There is still anxiety concerning health issues but I am better able to put them into perspective. That allows me to focus on stuff that is helpful to reducing my anxiety. Exercise, music, deep breathing, connecting with others.
Doctors often have a lot of education and experience and I think that sometimes it is easy for them to overlook the fact that we don't get it. They reach conclusions very quickly while we feel that they haven't been thorough.
Feeling weird can be a result of severe anxiety. It seems fairly common in a lot of people with high levels of anxiety.
I did feel overly anxious, etc when I was iron deficient. I think that my doctor put that down to blood loss during periods (and diet). Sometimes an unhealthy diet can also leave us feeling a little ... changes for me.
If you're interested in weight loss you might like to visit shrinkyourself.com or the weight loss and healthy lifestyle expert forum. The doctor there has tips for weight loss in his blog.
Anxiety can also cause you to eat so that you are stuffing your negative emotions.
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