Anxiety Community
23k Members
Avatar universal

Anxiety and Palpitations


I have been under a lot of pressure at work since the start of the year.  I have had 4 bad bouts of palpitations which I can directly attribute to this stress.  The palpitations consist of combination rapid beats and ectopic/skipped beats.  One bout lasted over two hours, another over an hour.  They are so scary they cause more anxiety and I'm now getting scared about getting palpitations on top of all the other stress.

I had anaemia last year and was checked out by a cardiologist (I had been suffering similar style symptoms). I was given the all clear, just told to relax a bit.  

The problem is, that I now appear to have developed a conditioned fear of work.  I only work twice a week, and each time I enter the building, my heart starts to race.  Even thinking about work tends to bring on the palpitations.  

There is one person, who has caused hassle for me, and each time they speak my heart goes stratospheric!!  I've tried relaxation, rescue remedy, lavender oil, visualisation, deep breathing, even xanax (my doc won't give me anything stronger).  

I can't continue on the way I'm going, I have resolved some of the stress and the person causing the phobia will be leaving before the summer.  I need a quick fix fast please to keep me going until then.  

All suggestions would be appreciated.  Thank You.
10 Responses
183202 tn?1219857259
Unfortunately, there is no "quick fix" for anxiety. It is a biological response triggered by your body becomming accustomed to receiving the anxiety/panic in particular situations.

You seem to be taking the right steps and doing the right thing, especially by doing the deep relaxation exercises and deep breathing. Your body is responding to these stressors biologically, and is automatically shifting into "panic" geer upon seeing that person again or getting back into those situations.

Basically, you need to teach your mind as well as yourself that these problems cannot harm you. You need to confront that person or fear directly, realizing they can't hassle you or harm you. It will lead to you getting another panic attack, yet it is when you can confront both the object or person which strikes your panic as well as confront the panic problems itself that you will overcome it! :) In other words, you need to overcome the apprehension or fear of that person or thing, as well as overcome the FEAR OF PANIC!

However, it takes time, unfortunately, to condition yourself and your mind to overcome that anxiety. :( I have been suffering from panic attacks and problems for MONTHS now, and am still trying my best to fight it.

It is hard...I am still struggling with my problems every day. My anxiety levels have made me get little sleep at nights, since when I awaken I wake up anxious, and end up just tossing and turning and unable to get back to sleep. The lack of sleep, of course, just results in me getting MORE anxiety/panic later that day.

For me, though, it is more the FEAR OF PANIC, as well as all the physical and mental stress I am still piling upon myself from not getting much sleep, as well as from freaking that I have something more physically wrong, which just leads to me getting panic attacks.

Hope this helps, and again, good luck with it all!! I know how hard it is...trust me!!
Avatar universal
Hi i was reading how you are unable to work and i am the same. Im 19 weeks pregnant and around the middle of januaery i had a massive panic attack at work, i called an ambulance cus i thought i was dying, i have missed beats and then fast beats, then i cant breathe, i feel like im gonna faint. Since then i am still on the sick as my anxiety is severe. I'm scared of the palpitations cus i think im gonna have a heart attack all the time. When my sick note runs out i wont be going back to work, i know that you should not runaway from your fears but for me iv gone past a few panic attacks to living in constant fear and it doesnt help being pregnant! I am now after much debate taking prozac as im very depressed. I have had numerous ecg's and an echocardiogram but i still dont believe there is nothing wrong. I know my post wont help you but i just wanted to show you that your not the only one. I think your doing brilliant just to be able to walk into work, If its work thats causing the stress why not look at a change in job!! But then again starting a new job can be just as stressful, i hope you find an answer!!
Avatar universal
I have something very similar, papitations just before I go into work.  It is hard but you need to ignore them and remind yourself they are nothing.  I also found completely elimiting coffee reduced my odd heartbeats 10 fold.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your help.  It is reassuring to know there are others out there.  On a subliminal level, I knew there is no quick fix, I was just living in hope.  

I agree with you about the fear of fear.  It is a downward spiral.  With anxiety/stress comes the palpitations and with that the fear.  

Today, I faced down two situations when I could have allowed the anxiety take hold, but didn't.  The first was a situation I allowed escallate into an anxious one.  I took hold of it, relaxed and went through it.  Wobbly but successfully.

The second - two of my kids started to have a big fight just as I was about to leave the house, and while I was looking for documentation that I needed but couldn't find.  The ectopics started before I left the house, I stayed calm, I didn't allow the anxiety take over.  I went and did what I did and the ectopics continued.  I came home relieved, still with the ectopics, my heart racing a bit but still OK.  

Tomorrow is the big test.  Doing a presentation at work in front of the individual who stresses me out.  I'm going to stay calm, hopefully I'll be able to come on here tomorrow night and smile.

I'll be thinking of you too.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your advice.

I eliminated my two cappuccinos a day after the first panic attack in January.  I'm also beginning to think I may cut out tea.  

I'm back into work tomorrow.  I hope to stay calm.  I hope to stay in control.  As you said, it is very easy to let the anxiety take over.  
Avatar universal
I am so sorry you are under so much stress.  Pregnancy can cause palpitations as well, as can anaemia - which is very common in pregnancy.

I hope things go well for you.

I know about the feeling of having a heart attack.  The number of times I've told the kids "dial 999 if I black out".  I haven't done so yet.....  I don't think I will.  

Changing my job isn't an option - I absolutely loved it before the person who stresses me arrived and I hope to continue enjoying it after they leave.  I have already made complaints to management about their behaviour towards me (they are making up stupid things about me, claiming I'm unprofessional)and if their nasty behaviour continues they'll be gone before May.  I'm good at my job and it annoys the you know what out of me when creeps like that get high on trying to put me down.  

Hang in there girl.  Concentrate on that wonderful baby growing inside you.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. It sounds like your really on the right track and coping well. Your doing brilliant, not running from your fears. Its great that your sticking it out and when that nasty piece of work goes ul be feeling much better i bet!

Im starting to feel a bit better and except that these wierd feelings are normal and i have a healthy heart but it is very hard! I wont be going back to work until iv had the baby and took my maternity leave as i still apply for it because iv been working full time for 12 months. Right now im just starting to get through each day without ringing for an ambulance lol!

But slowly and surely im improving and i can start to look forward to having a baby! I need to learn to live with my anxiety and accept that il probably have these feelings all my life and i want to enjoy my life and not worry about dying all the time cus its something we have no control over, we will all die one day hey!

Wel hope you find relief at work and all goes well xx
Avatar universal
Hi folks,
           its nice to see and read that i am not the only one alone. My problem started last year when i had the worst palpitation attack (in december)and it continued for 5-10 minutes, i felt as if i am going to get a heart attack and die. I remember I was at a party of friends on the 25th floor where every one was drinking and some girls were also doing street drugs. Being a social drinker and a chain smoker i had just couple of beers and 1 cigarette.Since the room was small and smoke from the the drugs the girls were doing got to me by an accident due to second hand smoke effect. I remember I was not able to pay attention to anything and the noise of the music became so loud and i was not able to tolerate that,asked my friend i need open air access otherwise something can happen to me. When I came down from the 25th floor outside at the entrance gate of the building my heart started pounding and racing so fast and i felt that i am going to die now by having a heart attack. It continued for 5-10 minutes. I had a shaky image of the world and my head my shaking and wasn't able to concentrate at all. When I got up the following morning,I was feeling a bit strange but somehow said to myself may be it could've occured to me coz of the wrong company and that since I have never smoked street drugs all my life,the second hand smoke effect could've caused all this to escalte my heart's condition. I didn't bother going to a doctor and somehow got over the fact that I will get ok and may be I need to change my lifestyle by not doing alcohol at all,smoking  minimally as possible and start working out at the gym. When I started going to the gym, i felt better and i cut down on smoking only 4-5 cigarettes a day. All was going well and someone at the gym told me that 2 eggs a day are really good for every day healthy diet. I have a slim physique and said to myself since I need to gain a little weight I should eat 3 eggs a day. I started off with 3 eggs but cut down to 2 eggs a day and this was when I was actively engaged in working out at the gym. I would notice that every time i would eat 2 eggs my blood circulation would increase, and i would get a little bit of head rush. I would also admit that during these days i would drink a lot of tea every single day (sometimes 6-7 cups of tea-if I would do it to the extreme). 3 and a half weeks back on the 3rd of March, while I was working as a security guard of the building where I live in I felt a bit strange that day. Usually by this point ones body gets used to gym so much that the after effects of gymming are manageable and don't bother a lot of people. For some reason I felt that something is wrong with my heart and while I was signing off from my shift all of sudden I got scared or something like that happened , i don't know was it coz of the way my heart felt,or was it some other fear that i can't recall, i am sure it was coz of my heart the way it started beating and then all of a sudden my heart started racing and pounding as if I am going to have a heart attack, had shortness of breath,went outside called 911-the emergency service and was rushed to the hospital,where they did all kinds of test,ECG,TOOK a picture of my heart, blood pressue,blood test,chest xray and was told by the doctor everything is ok and i need to take rest and take tylenol. I do remember that the morning i had this ,the night before I took 2 headache pain relievers and 3 multivitamin supplements and the ER doctor told me that this palpitation attack could've happened coz of the herbal supplements i took. I was not convinced on what the doctor told me. I do remember coming home  from hospital and sleeping and going to work again. For the next 2-3 days I had feelings that I have lightheadedness and my blood pressure was still high,i never smoked during this time and at times on these days i had a little bit of shortness of breath as well. These days i thought may be i could die as my heart beat was still abnormal and i ended up going to the ER once again. Their this time i met a better ER doc, i told him the full story of what has happened to me but he also told me that its ANXIETY THATS causing all this. He gave me some medication called APO-LORAZOPAM which i've been taking on and off and especially every day now a days. I do feel better by taking this medicine. Yet I am still not convinced and I ended up going to a different doctor and he recommended me for the ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY TEST AND THE HOLTER MONITOR TEST. The holter monitor was to be hooked on to my chest for a period of 24 hours and this day again i believe after having a coke (while the holter monitor was hooked on to me) i had a palpitations, i remember sitting next to a lady whose conversation really got boring to me and started getting to me and i had no control and my heart started pounding. I had shortness of breath this day too,this occured 3 times during the day i had the holter monitor on. It made me feel scary especially at times when i would have shortness of breath. By this time i had stopped going to the gym, didn't drink tea at all-all day long for 3 weeks, and didn't eat things like egg as per my family doctors instructions. The results are still to follow at his office from the radiology center before he can refer me to a cardiologist. It's giving me a little bit of confused feeling as to what will and could happen. Last night again before coming to work i had palpitations and lightheadedness and i thought to myself i should get some sleep before going to work which i did. Now I am at work, but at times this whole feeling of palpitations and racing heart at times scares me and i am trying not to think much about it but at times i fail. I do have other external pressures from my life like school and other stuff,but after all who doesn't in this life time, and if this is my body's response to all these problems that i am having heart palpitations I DON'T BYE IT. I am always thinking in my mind that there's definitely a different side of the story other than anxiety, my family doctor said to me may be it is anxiety causing palpitations or the reverse. I do agree i am thinking many things in my head when my heart feels a little normal,like worrying about the future and schooling but still I am not convinced by this whole anxiety stuff and the way my heart is behaving. I haven't even been to the gym and i also feel really fearfull of going to the gym,since i was really enjoying working out after i was done my cardio and lifting light weights. Gym became my obsession before all this began,many people are giving me different answers,some say that could be coz of over activity at the gym which i find hard to believe, some say that could be due to consumption of high levels of tea,smoking and eating eggs every day. Now while writing this whole story i am feeling better and before posting this message i felt that i have palpitations which i did. I really don't want to miss out on going to the gym as i was really enjoying it. Please if there is any advice out there for me from anyone on this forum, i will consider it as a big help,please help me any advice from a health care professional or any one whose gone through these similar episodes would really give me some encouragement. I am so sorry everyone for going into in-depth detail about my story but i hope i don't miss out on some important facts which could've been the cause of my palpitations. It is a scary feeling and i am not ready to have this any more,please help me,thanks.
Avatar universal
Hi there
I am an internet forum virgin but am compelled to write as these are issues close to my own heart lol.I am a 29 year old woman and I have been experiencing what I describe as 'The Gerbils' since last summer. Some kind of palpitations or unusual rythums. Reading all of your comments has been very helpful and I am not a pretty sight sitting here blubbing away, just so happy that I'm not alone. Was starting to feel like a freak.

I used to experience panic attacks as a teenager and very occassionally still get them, but they don't scare me anymore and as a result of this attitude they have completely subsided. I sat through plenty of exams, movies,  meals in restaurants, job interviews, you name it- hyperventilating til the point of having severe pins and needles. But I am still here! hurrah!  I also developed a phobia of swallowing which meant eating was a bit of a problem. That was 12 years ago now and guess what I am still here! hurrah! without the phobia. I just want to say hang in there guys the panic attacks will go away in time and this coming from someone who thought they would kill her.

But now a new trick my brain has found to keep itself busy...The gerbils! Have had an ECG and that was fine. Although of course I didn't have any gerbils during the ECG. May go back and ask for a 24 hour holster. Or maybe like the other experiences I need to accept it and deal with it as I am generally a healthy person and I suspect it is the anxiety up to its old tricks again. Am going to try giving up tea as I drink A LOT of it   well I am a teacher    and may try magnesium and hawthorn tea too. Thanks so much to everyone who takes time to give advice. Thinking of all you fellow worry heads out there. xxx
Avatar universal
Hi, my first time on here. My reason for finding this site i now realise is so similar to all of you guys.

I have had little palpitations in the past that i noticed but they didnt scare me unduley, however about four weeks ago I had a biggie....
I was in a shop, not doing anything in particular and bang, i thought my heart had stopped.
Now i suffered panic attacks following a car accident about four years ago, so i got down on me heels and thought to myself, work through this... However the massive bout of adrenaline that surged through me was quickly followed by rapid heart beat, light headedness and a general feeling of OMG!!!! I went to docs, got a trace done, all fine, told it was an ectopic.... But of course by now the 'stress' of it all had me checking my bloody pulse every few minutes. So now I have had two more today, Im sick and tired of the bigger ones, I have cut out coffee, cut right down on smoking, will be giving up as soon as I am not too stressed to do so, but thats a lame excuse i know.
So i just wanted to say thank you so much world for showing me i am not the only one who has these kind of thoughts..... I will keep checking this site now as i think it will be an avenue for me to channel my fear and anxiety into (however i do still get the , but what if i have a problem, in the back of my mind)
I suppose i will for a while... you know the worst part? After my forst panic attack i was convinced i had had a stroke or something, this developed into stress headaches, so you guessed it'i thought i had something growing in my head' So no sooner do i get over that my mind is kind enough to lamp me with something else....

But do you find, whenever you have an'attack' everywhere you look you see hearts, or hear the word heartattack... or is that just me... the mind is a fickle thing, i will be taking a leaf out of rene descartes book i think with his mind body dualism.......thanks again
Have an Answer?
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?