Avatar universal

Anxiety causing debilitating pain...

Hello, i'm a 19yr old male diagnosed with GAD.  I've been getting chest pains now since a week before Thanksgiving 08'.  On thanksgiving day i was at work and began feeling sharp stabs in my chest, similar to what i'd have to assume a heart attack would feel like, my arm began going numb, i started to lose my breathe, and began getting extremely dizzy, i was on the verge of passing out right there in the lobby of the hotel i worked at.

I called my parents they rushed me to the E.R. i had an ekg, than a chest x-ray.  Both came up healthy, put i was still in a great amount of pain, so my mom asked the nurse to try and do something to stop it.  They performed another ekg and same story healthy.  They gave me a motrin and sent me on my way.  $100 later and im in the same shape i basically was when going in.  My mom gave me a tylenol 3 that night to help me sleep, and it did but it did not help my worry.

To date i've had 6 ekgs 2-3 of which were the more in-depth machines with a few extra wires.  A Chest x-ray, blood test, and ct scan.  All came up to be completely fine, and in fact they said my heart was very healthy they could tell i exercise.  I do just not as much as i wished i would.

My doctor decided that it could be anxiety related, i was put on lexapro on a trial basis, and now a few months later i am continueing my lexapro regiment.  My chest pains still remain, however they do seem to be supressed quite a bit not reaching the level of thanksgiving, but still enough pain to make me stop dead in my tracks and worry.

My doctor has no clue really what it could be, this he has told me, anxiety was i guess, the easiest conclusion, expecially because of how it can manifest itself in many different ways.

Has anyone had similar experiences as me?  Does anyone know if it's simply a severe case of anxiety attacks?  The pain is usually coming back and going away throughout the day, i have pains at least a few times daily, and im simply reaching the end of my rope with this...
6 Responses
Avatar universal
These types of pains are common in people with anxiety disorders. Your tests suggest that the cause is not heart-related. But you might want to consult with a pain specialist - just to rule out other possible explanations. Lexapro can be effective in helping with anxiety and panic disorders (and it sounds like it has helped a bit for you). But studies show that for up to 40% of people with anxiety and panic, an antidepressant isn't enough. In these cases, doctors tend to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication (like klonopin) along with the antidepressant. Therapy, exercise, and relaxation techniques are all very helpful as well. I would first rule out any other possible causes for your pain, then seek a good therapist and speak to your doctor about an anti-anxiety med. if you need it.

Best of luck..
Avatar universal
to be honest with you, I ve had anxiety for over 2 months now and last time I went running I had a stabbing pain in my chest, I knew it my heart so I had to stop
it was there for a while,now Im scared to work out again(I work out on a daily basis so its really sad not to be able to go again)
505916 tn?1248792942
My brother had a similar situation when he was 16. The pain was so unbearable that he wasn't able to get out of bed and often missed school. It was more stomach related. He had all the tests done and based on the history of our family (depression & anxiety) he was put on Prozac. After about 3 weeks everything settled and he was back up and around. It was discovered a little later that he had/has OCD as well. Prozac was the only med that helped him cope with everything at the time. I'm not sure but I think he's switched from Prozac to Celexa (fewer side effects) and is doing amazingly. He's 33 now and living a much better life than I am. lol

Avatar universal
Well I'm almost positive that i had ocd when i was younger, when i would draw it had to be even, and i would have to continuously look over my shoulder whenever i heard a sound, or just to check whats behind me for some reason.  Not really paranoia just a compulsive need to do something strange.  I eventually just basically grew out of it after realizing it was all just my head doing wierd stuff.

Well my dad does have Acid Reflaux Disease, and had an episode where it felt to him as if he was having a heart attack so i think i should try to look into that, but i honestly dont believe thats the cause.  I was feeling very anxious before the pains began, work was stressing me out, school, trying to move out on my own, and not being able to find a decent job in this horrid economy.  so even just anticipating a possibly stressfull event would make me all jitery.  the pains happen when theres no real cause for stress, but appearently thats common.

I think i'm going to go get an echo just to be on the safe side.  And if anything just the knowledge that its not my heart should relieve alot of anxiety.
Avatar universal
I was going to mention acid reflux.  Treatment for that would be aloe juice and peppermint oil gel caps.  Another possibility is, does it happen when you breathe in?  That could be a sensitivity to pollution, a lung problem.  I used to have that growing up in LA before they started their clean air act.  In other words, heart isn't the only thing it could be.  Could even be a pulled muscle, especially if you lift weights or play something like basketball involving a lot of reaching.  Lots of physiological possibilities here that aren't anxiety.
Avatar universal
i used to life weights and never had a problem then, it didnt start anywhere around the time i did life weights... i benched a few weeks ago and had no real problems.  i definitly have some anxiety problems, thats something i have realized, however, i need to make sure thats whats causeing my chest pains, in which case i wont really be worried about my heart, thus reduing alot of anxiety.

Well it's been like 8-9 months, since they began, at first maybe good for a week than pain for a week, escalated to everyday all day for a few months, medication has reduced it to maybe a few short episodes a day minimal pain compared to what it was but still enough to make me stop and evaluate my situation.

as far as psychological, i wouldn't be surprised, i have always been a bit crazy, used to be sociopathic as a kid, ocd, add, etc.. i taught myself to have a concious, which took a few years but now i understand right and wrong.  been in and out of depression since 5th grade or so.  probably earlier but 5th grade is when i first became suicidal.  as far as now, i've gotten most of those under control, i enjoy life now, try my best to just have fun and take life moment by moment, have some periods of depression but the fact i understand when im in those moods helps alot.  so i really dont know where to begin...
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