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Avatar universal

Is all this because of anxiety?

I am a 40 yr old man and started having heart palps and chest pain one evening about 4 months ago after waiting way to long and feeling like I was going crazy and worried sick I was dying I went to the er and was told I have anxiety and muscle skeletal pain was put on Ativan and Advil. Came home and a week later back at er same thing chest pains er Dr said now it was anxiety and this time Costochondritis was sent home with tramadol for pain. I was feed up and know I am not imagining this chest pain. The anxiety starts after the pain not before. Once again two weeks later I have to go back to er, but this time I go to different hospital and they keep me over night and run stress test, heart ultrasound and nuclear scan. Results from test slight left vent enlarged, a little high blood pressure 144/85 and of course anxiety again. No answer to chest pain, shortness of breath or pressure in center of chest. I was given Xanax .5 twice a day which I have been only taking .25 three times a day. I am scared to go to sleep because of the pain and of course dying and waking up with panic and fear. I eventually fall to sleep thanks to my wonderful wife stays up while I sleep which isn't fair to her. I am also afraid of her going to sleep and leaving me all alone. I stay in bed all day because just don't feel like moving and I am afraid it might make my chest hurt again. I feel completely not myself anymore. I guess feel anxiety all day since I never feel well. I am just so tired of this I feel like my mind has turned against me. I am on my laptop all day and night looking for answers. I am worried I will have to go to the mental hospital and leave my family. I have no idea how I will sleep there with out my wife beside me. I can't stand loud and sudden noises I have to mute the tv during commercials I sometimes feel like I am coming out of my skin. Is this normal for aniexty or am I just going crazy. I do know I have just about had all I can put my family through and myself. I just looking for any support or advise. Thanks.
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Avatar universal
Hi.  Yes, anxiety can and does cause real chest pain.  Normally we advise you to have all other causes ruled out first, but it sounds like you have.  But for your peace of mind, you may want to have a consultation with with your own cardiologist. Anxiety is real, and so are the symptoms, but "accepting" that you are okay is imperative to you getting better. I think I would want one more opinion before accepting that it's anxiety, but if you get this and are told you're okay, you need to accept this.  Anxiety can snowball on us, and it robs us of everything.  There is treatment for anxiety, but I think you need to do whatever it takes to put your mind at ease about this.  If that means seeking another opinion, than do so and go from there.  You should take your medication as prescribed to see if it helps, because if it does this is a big clue that it's anxiety.  Put down the laptop, it will only fuel your anxiety. If you get another opinion and they rule out your heart, see a psychiatrist to determine what course of treatment is best for you, therapy and/or medication.  You're not going crazy, but you need to take these steps to get better.  I hope this helps and wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
Sounds like anxiety/panic disorder.  Did you have problems with anxiety prior to that first spell 4 months ago?  Would it ease your mind if you saw your PCP or a cardiologist to rule out anything else physical?  I am a 44 yr old female.  I have been an absolute wreck for over 6 months.  Constant anxiety, depression, panic attacks.  I am in the midst of seeing several specialists to rule out physical problems but I know at least part of it is anxiety.  Exercise is good for anxiety and depression and lying around all day will just add more problems like muscle deconditioning and exercise intolerance. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you are going crazy.  I was out with my husband the other night and had a bad spell. Felt like I was spaced out, off balance and about to jump out of my skin.I was almost in tears, i told him i cant take living like this anymore.  I am currently taking ativan.  The only reason that I am able to continue working now is that i own my own business and work close to home.  When i have a "spell" or a bad day I can sit quietly in my office or go home.  I recently started seeing a naturopath who feels i have adrenal fatigue and have started taking some vitamin supplements.  Check in to adrenal fatigue or even thyroid symptoms and see if any of that sounds like you.  Anxiety can have a physiological base also.  I havent been able to drive alone for over 6 months and have come dependent on my husband.  He is my "safe" person.  Read through the posts and i am sure you will find a lot of people with similar symptoms.  I have the shortness of breath and dizziness often and have had chest pain but not every time..  I know for myself that I will not be satisfied until I am sure that there is nothing else physical going on so I am proceeding with the tests.  About the loud and sudden noises ...I about jump out of my skin at loud noises and startle so easily.  never had that before.  Also we were at a restaurant last night with loud music and I told my husband i had to leave and it was driving me crazy but we were meeting others , so i stayed and tried to get involved  in conversation but i felt anxiety the whole time.  I am sure just about every who posts here has felt like they were going to lose their mind more than once.  Keep posting.  There is a lot of good advice on here and it makes you feel like you are not alone.  Check out adrenal fatigue!
739988 tn?1386676569
As with mammo's post, get a second (or third) opinion by a cardiologist, not an er.  A cardiologist can do more tests and will take more time with you.  I too suffer from chest pains.  Mine is a combination of generalized anxiety disorder and heart problems.  My husband can tell when I am about to have a panic attack by looking into my eyes.  I can tell by the tightness in my chest, rapid pulse, dizziness, and then, if I don't take medication, chest pains.  I also suffer from arrythmias (the heart problem) which is basically a rapid heart rate for no reason.  Sometimes this can mimic a panic attack but without the chest pain.  A good rule of thumb is, if you have chest pain, take your anti-anxiety meds as prescribed, wait 30-45 minutes and if the chest pain is the same or worsening go to the er.

You really need to see a psychiatrist and perhaps a therapist to work on your anxiety issues.  Talk therapy has helped me immensely.  And there are other anti-anxiety meds out there that psychiatrists know about which might help you better.
Again, as with mammo, put down the laptop!  This will only fuel your anxiety.  Too much research can be a bad thing.

As for sleep, let your poor wife sleep.  If you have chest pains at night, believe me you will know it!  And, I have never had an anxiety attack while I was asleep.  Maybe there are some who have.  When you go to the psychiatrist, which should be soon, they will probably give you something to help you sleep.  Take it as prescribed, and no more of this partial dose of anxiety meds either!!!!!  Take them as prescribed!!!!!

Also, if you end up in a mental hospital, so what?  They are used to helping people like us.  They will give you something to help you sleep or stay up all night with you if necessary until you are ready to sleep, but they will not let you stay in bed all day!  So get out of bed during the day!  The only way you are giong to get your sleep regulated is to start by staying up during the day, take your full dose of anti-anxiety meds cause stress can trigger an anxiety attack and stay up.  Have your wife keep you busy.  

As for the loud noises, I've had problems with those too.  It gets better with treatment and talk therapy.  It doesn't go away completely, but it gets better.  All of this does.  So there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In conclusion: see a cardiologist, see a psyschiatrist and a therapist, take your meds as prescribed, and try to regulate your sleep patterns.  And, stop researching your condition, it only makes it worse!!!!

If you need someone to talk to who has been there, and is still there, I am here for you!
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