I am a 24 year old male college student. I work 2 part time jobs (about 20 hours per week combined) and take a full load of intensive classes. For the past year or so, I have experienced spells in which an array of symptoms come on, with almost no warning, and literally make me feel as if i am going to die.
The feeling generally comes on like a strong fatigue; I will go from feeling normal to feeling like i just sprinted a mile in a matter of seconds. First I feel a shortness of breath, followed by the sensation that my heart is beating extremely hard. Usually it beats so hard that I can see my chest heaving and hear my heart beat in my ears. My vision generally goes dark from the outside in, but I always perceive a pink, pixilated, static-like 'aura' within the darkness. By this point I generally have to sit down; on 2 occasions, both of which occurred while taking a shower, I have passed out completely for a few seconds. When my vision returns from blacking out, I am very confused; last time I couldn't remember which shower I was in (I was at a hotel) or what i had been doing previously that day, and it took as long as a minute to figure things out.
The other time this happened was just minutes ago; I was taking a hot shower and suddenly felt overwhelmed by the steam, as if i wasnt able to breath because of it. My vision went dark with the exception of some pink static kinda stuff, and my hands and face felt numb. I had to sit down in the shower for 10 minutes just to gain enough breath to dry off and walk back into my room. I decided to see what I could find online that sounded similar to my experience, and while I see a lot of similar stories, none seem to emphasize the pounding heart beat so much, and this symptom is the most uncomfortable and last to go away out of all the symptoms i just described experiencing. Although I sat down in the shower for 10 minutes to catch my breath, it took another 10-15 minutes to return to normal and for my heart beat to slow to its regular pace.
If anyone has any insight into what this may be or a suggestion aside from 'go see a doctor,' please share; I am using this post as a reference point to share ideas with a doctor when I am able to see one.
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
One possibility is claustrophobia in the shower, leading to a panic attack. If you have been standing under it for some time, this can be the cause. Try and keep the head under shower for just a few seconds, as long as you can comfortably hold the breath. Other than that, it can be due to vasovagal attack, postural hypotension, anemia, heart causes, thyroid problems and pinched nerve at cervical spine.
The best thing would be to consult a general practitioner or PCP and try and assess what is the cause of your problem. Then proper referral for concerned specialist can take things further and get you proper treatment. Hope this helps. Take care!
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