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Can constant anxiety damage your organs?

I’ve had various ECGs done, an echocardiogram, 2 chest x-rays, lots of blood work, and a stress test. Everything came back fine. Although, my cardiologist did say my resting heart rate is a bit high, and it’s likely from anxiety and lack of exercise. I have also done an EEG which came back fine and an MRI brain scan, which I am still waiting for the results for, but my neurologist said it doesn’t seem like I have any problems.

For the past couple of months, I’ve had this “heavy cold” feeling, especially around my head. I experience hot flashes all the time where it feels like I have a fever of 105f, but it’s only 97f. I always feel like I’m on the verge of crying but can’t cry.

My heart rate seems to be a bit sporadic too, and I’m not sure if that’s normal. I take a look at it, and it’s 70. A few seconds later, without even doing anything, it’ll skip several beats, sometimes 5 or 10 beats, and go up to 100 from anxiety. If I slowly stand up, it’ll go up to 110. If I have a bad moment where I experience chest pain and freak out by thinking I have a heart attack, it’ll suddenly jump from 80 to 160, for example. And since this happens so often, it scares me that even though it’s just anxiety, the symptoms mimic the symptoms of dangerous heart problems.

I have been prescribed 25MG of Metropole (a beta blocker) to take every 12 hours, but it doesn’t seem to help. I have also been taking Xanax when I feel like I’m about to have a panic attack, but it doesn’t seem to be helping that much because I still feel like ****, perhaps from the Xanax itself since I take it every day. I just feel sick and tired. I've tried multiple therapists, and they were all garbage. I don't know what to do anymore. Anyone have any advice for me? It would mean a lot, thank you.
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Avatar universal
Did you increase your exercise as a result?  Have you had your thyroid, blood sugar, sexual hormones, etc. tested?  Why are you testing your heart rate so often?  That's a clear sign of anxiety.  Are you on the beta blocker for anxiety or a heart problem?  If anxiety, if it's not working, why are you still taking it?  Have you seen a psychiatrist about medication or are you just seeing doctors who don't specialize in mental illness?  Have you tried a therapist for awhile, or just each one briefly, and were any of them specialists in treating anxiety -- most psychologists aren't?
6 Comments
Not really. I feel too horrible to exercise. My blood pressure has been over 150 all day long while resting, even on a beta blocker. I think I've had my thyroid and hormones tested, but a long time ago. I'm on the beta blocker for anxiety, and as for why I hadn't stopped it, I don't know if I should. It doesn't help my anxiety, but I assume it helps my heart beat steadier and protects it from damage, so I just take it.

I am looking forward to seeing a psychiatrist again. My previous one retired after prescribing me hydroxyzine, which didn't help me. I've tried 2 different therapists and one CBT therapist (brief visits). They were all garbage, telling me things which I already knew (breathing exercises, balance in life, etc.)

The last therapist was a CBT therapist specializing in anxiety who called my personality "monotone" and said that she doesn't feel that "connection" with me like she does with others, and then ASKED me how I think she could help me or what she had to do, as if I knew the answer any better than her, so that just made everything worse, if anything.

The best mental health doctor I've ever had was my psychiatrist, since he could understand me and relate to me very well. His opinion meant a lot to me as well, given his credentials and knowledge on the subject. But it's not like I can see a psychiatrist every day. They're there to give you medicine and diagnose you, not hold your hand every week.

Thank you for the reply.

Actually, psychologists are better credentialed than psychiatrists for therapy, while psychiatrists are better credentialed to give out drugs.  Psychologists study a whole lot more psychology than psychiatrists and charge less.  It's clear you've never given therapy a solid chance -- CBT is very hard to do and requires a lot of work on your part, though I have to say your description of your CBT practitioner doesn't sound like a CBT practitioner.  So it sounds like you're at a stage where you're pretty much not doing anything your docs are asking you to do which means medication is you only option.  That means finding another psychiatrist.  When you're so affected by your condition you're not willing to do anything recommended to you to do for yourself you're left with hoping medication can balance you out enough to start listening.  I've been there and it's no fun.  Good luck.
To answer your question, no anxiety will not damage your heart or brain.

Most if not all of your symptoms are classic anxiety where you over-analyze your body looking for clues that something is wrong, and the more you analyze and find, the more fearful you get.
It is a vicious circle, so the solution is to relax and stop counting symptoms and they will go away. Not everyone can relax, but you need to work on it with the psychologist to see what solutions work.
I'm looking forward to seeing one of my old therapists who was actually somewhat useful. He's trained in clinical hypnosis and instead of telling me that I have problems which need to be worked on, he just tells me to stop caring because what others think of you doesn't matter, different people like different things, if I don't want friends, then that's fine and there's nothing wrong with me or my personality, etc.
Read up on hypnosis before the meeting, because the more you know about it, the more accepting of it makes it work better.
And even when hypnosis doesn't end up helping you it's really fun!
Avatar universal
I have been going thru the same thing! You're not dying! Your heart and your brain are fine! It's the over analyzing and over thinking. I think you need to see the psychiatrist to get you on a good anti anxiety Med and maybe a little Xanax as needed. It's the fight or flight response your body goes through during anxiety and panic. Know that your body is not designed to have these feelings all day long. Although they can happen more than once a day or continue to happen back to back, know that it will pass. All your work up is normal, then believe me you're okay! Idk about the beta blocker. I tried it and for me, didn't help,made my hear beat funky and that caused me MORE anxiety. I would talk to your doctor about getting off the Metropolol and starting an SSRI. Maybe Zoloft of something. You will be okay.
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