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Chest anxiety?

Here it goes...

So a little over a month ago I was yelling at my son to sit down with food in his mouth when suddenly my heart wouldnt stop racing. Went to er and all was good but i had a really sharp pain in my chest from around the collar bone down to under the arm pit on my left side, including some tightness.

Ive been to two cardiologists, have had a stress test, ekg, blood work, echo AND angiogram done all with negitive results.

My Gp put my on klonopin and an anti depressent thinking it was anxiety. However, its now been over a month of never ending pain/pressure in my chest and the medication is not helping. Ideas guys?
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Avatar universal
Yeah, first, you need a new doctor.  Think about it -- he's not an expert in anxiety, didn't send you to a psychologist for therapy to see if it was anxiety (psychologists are experts in anxiety and can therefore diagnose it) before putting you not on just one but two very strong medications that are very hard to stop taking once you've been on them for a long time -- so much for first, do no harm.  Anyway, now that you're here, antidepressants can take 4-6 weeks to start working, but again, they really aren't going to do anything for someone who had one anxiety attack, if that was what it was.  And a GP can't diagnose it -- chronic anxiety that severely affects your life and therapy or other things don't fix it is when we need meds, but you had one event. It's really hard to diagnose from one event for anyone.  A psychologist might talk to you a few times and get a sense of your life, but your GP doesn't do that.  Unless there's a lot more to this story, such as a lot of anxious thinking over a period of time that has been interfering with your life, and you didn't mention that, I'd say you're still at square one.  Are you a chronic anxiety sufferer?  Is there a stressor in your life that might have triggered this?  Because if not, if you don't sit around being anxious and this happened all of a sudden just once, it could be anything -- including things as minor as a bad day with insufficient sleep or hydration.  
7 Comments
Sorry I was on my phone trying to make it short and to the point. Im a 33 year old male, former smoker, no deug user.

Before this I had no history of anxitey. However, sinve the inital event Ive been to the er four times feeling as if i was having a heart attack. Each time they can find nothing wrong.

Ive been to two cardiologists that cant find a thing wrong with me. Yet,every day i have thing alternating sharp/heavy pain in the left side of my chest.

After ruling out my heart and gerd? My gp and second cardiologist agreeded it sound like general anxiety. Having no history of feeling anxious this just dosent make sense to me.

All those tests are likely conclusive that your heart is fine.
Anxiety doesn't always have a pattern and has to start sometime, so you don't need a history to start. Anything could have stuck in your mind that day to trigger the attack, but since you don't have a history you need to find a way to focus on relaxing away this heart fear and accept that your imagination is making your body feel like you are having a heart attack. If you had a history of anxiety issues then it would be a lot harder for therapy to work but with just one issue the odds are much better of success.
A heart attack is like a huge weight pushed against your chest and you haven't been feeling that otherwise you would have been dead by now. Perhaps you can think about that to help relax a bit next time you think you have heart issues. All those tests are likely conclusive that your heart is fine.

So you need to get therapy which can come in many ways, and sometimes just the right comment from someone can do the job - like if your doc provides some heart info that convinces you there is no problem that is as good as therapy. If you can't get comfortable after a discussion with the doctors, then consider the therapy as paxiled said, and hopefully that will give you relief. If not you might need meds to help you relax while you continue therapy.
I had a series of frights over a few days and went to the hospital for heart check but their tests proved I didn't have a problem. As soon as I was convinced I was wasting my time I stopped worrying and my heart symptoms disappeared - such is the way of the imagination at times.
You can get sharp pains from pulled chest muscles and from tensing up.
Perhaps thoughts of former smoking are  interfering with your recovery process. I would get a book on dealing with heart fears, and I am sure there are lots because many people did what I did, going to ER wondering how all this pain and "symptoms" couldn't be real.
Anxious, a heart attack can happen without you ever knowing it until you see a doctor and they see the results.  They aren't all the same and don't have the same cause.  I agree with you on the rest, but just wanted to be clear about this part of it.
Thanks. A doctor told me that but perhaps I misinterpreted it, when I think about what you just said. Now I am thinking he was saying the pains I felt were not what can be useful in diagnostics, so I should disregard them.
I will ask my regular doc where I am going wrong in my interpretation sometime because he is really good at his job.
To be clearer, I was in a panic when I saw the other doctor and I am thinking he was saying those types of pains are not signs of heart issues.
I actually had a boss who had a little pain in his arm but was working and had to be talked into going to the doctor.  Had a quadruple bypass that day, though he never felt all that bad.  It was odd because he wasn't overweight and ate pretty well and wasn't the nervous sort.  Life gets all of us eventually, but that doesn't mean anxiety does anything to prevent that.  My brother recently was going to the bathroom and passed out.  He's never felt anything other than that, but ended up on a pacemaker and a boost to it.  People die of heart disease in their sleep (the best way to go, actually).  Heart stoppage is really the way we're all going to go eventually.  That's why regular physicals are important, but on this forum, virtually no one is reporting actual heart disease symptoms, they just feel they are.
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