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Panic Disorder or what

For about 6 months I have been having terrible chest pain. I've actually started thinking I am going to die. For about 4 months I've been having these weird heart beats. It feels like my heart drops down and for a few seconds its hard to take a breath. I have went to the cardiologist and had a nuclear stress test, a treadmill test wore two montiors had 2 echos and 8 EKGs everything came back totally normal.  I feel like when this is happening I'm going to die I have two small kids at home and I'm constantly praying not to die.  Am I having a panic disorder?  What do you do about thinking you are going to die? Does anyone else ever have this problem? Help!!!!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Have you had other causes ruled out?  Such as gastro issues?  I know exactly what you are going through and the best thing I can say (because I still struggle daily with chest pains and heart rhythm issues with no known cause) is to get help right away on the anxiety part.  If you have had the workup cardiac wise, chances are you are fine.  But the anxiety and fear over a possible heart problem (I have two little ones too) can quickly take over and become a BIG problem.  If you aren't comfortable with your results, get a second opinion but definitely work on the fear issue with a professional.  I am telling you it will help you in the long run.

Also, I went to an internal med doc at the Mayo Clinic and he was amazing.  They are so thorough and leave no stone unturned.  I had a family doc in my town that I saw but have been looking for an internal med doc as they seem to have a different perspective and mindset about things.

Good luck, I know it is scary.  I wish you the best.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much Its nice to know I'm not alone. I have been to several doctors.  I think I really need professional help. I have had a big fear since this whole heart thing started. I can't deal with it anymore other then thinking I'm going to die. I will get help if I can pick up the nerve to see a physiocologist.
Avatar universal
What the mind can produce out of fear is amazing and never ceases to amaze me.  Don't wait to see a psychologist, I promise you, you'll will benefit from it in the long run.  It isn't shameful, it is smart and proactive.  Your health and well being will greatly benefit, even if you do pursue second (and in my case third and fourth) opinions.  Problem with me is I waited WAY to long to work on the anxiety part.  I believe I woudn't be where I am today (with the fear) if I would have gotten psych help sooner.

See if you can find someone who specializes in health anxiety.  It will help too.

Take Care.
Avatar universal
It seems the same almost everywhere. People looking to diagnose their problem and are surprised when they find out just how common this anxiety is.  I too had no aparent reason to suffer from general anxiety disorder. I have always been seen as a rock. Very solid, grounded, reasonable...blah, blah, blah...but guess what! The heart tests, stress tests, even had the numbness of fingers. If that doesnt convince you that you are about to kick it, nothing will! I was put on one of the anti-anxiety drugs and took it religiously for about 4 months. Did it help? I dont think it did, but thats just me. I found that reading about it helped me to understand my anxiety which seemes to relieve the symptoms more then anything. Im off the little blue pill ( the one for anxiety...wink wink ) for about a year and a half now. My anxiety returns on occasion but i think i have it under control. An excellent resource is WebMD.  I learned so much on that site and there are links to chat rooms where you can talkk with others who are way ahead of you on this. It helped me alot and i hope it helps everyone who tries it.
Avatar universal
I too waited WAY too long.  I too had chest pains for years.  Finally was so bad that I went in.  Went to cardio docs, gastro docs, family docs, etc.  Had all tests done, you name it from blood work to cat scans to stress test to ekg's.  All came back normal.  No one knew what to make of these chest pains and the head gastro doc at a major hospital near me never mentioned anxiety....just gave me nexium and sent me home.
I have gerd, gastritis and esophagitis, but I truly believe that all of that stems from my anxiety all these years (I am now 36).  With my doc's help I "see the light" about so many of my symptoms over the last 20+ years and how 99% was and still is anxiety.
I still have panic attacks but not nearly as often as I used to.  I used to have them every single day and they were so bad that I would have to lie down, leave my children's school when volunteering, couldn't stand up....just horrible.  
I have about a couple of panic attacks per month unless under stress and then I have more, but they don't get nearly as painful and debilitating as they used to be.
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Arlington, VA
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