Hello to everybody, my name is Andy and I'm 36 years old.
I have been writing to the heart disease community for a while because I have hypertension (controled with meds now), but I believe the basic problem with me is chronic stress and anxiety.
So here is a little story of how it started.
Back in 2011, my dear grandmother passed away, she was like more than a mother to me since she raised me because my parents got divorced when I was still a baby - so in other words, my "mother" has passed away. I am a very strong character, I understand the life cycle, she died because of ageing, so I was "ok" with it - don't get me wrong, of course I felt really sad and crying at the time, normal for such occassion, and I could manage it the following weeks, I was trying to feel better and move on.
In the house, it was only me and her living together, after some weeks I started to "realize" that suddenly I am all alone. Thats when I got the down side of it. Slowly, day after day, stress and anxiety kicked in. I couldn't feel it at first but it was there (now in 2018 I can think more clearly about back then of what was going on).
One day, I got my heart racing, I tried to stay calm and relax, and sleep. It didnt go away. I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and tachycardia. At the time I would never even think of having high blood pressure ever, because I was healthy, eating healthy, and exercising. Well, I thought the blood pressure was caused from stress I had at the time (I was right), so I tried to calm my mind, knowing it will go away. After a few months, a dear friend was at the hospital for surgery, and the doctors needed blood supply, so I was a blood donator at the time and went to give some blood. While at the hospital, the doctors told me I could not do that because "I have high blood pressure" - "here we go again" I thought to myself .... that's when I realized that something was going wrong.
I had stress at the time, which raised my blood pressure. Checking my blood pressure regularly only to see it high again, caused more stress - so i got into that cycle that i couldn't get out of it. Then I was feeling all these anxiety symptoms, chest pains, dizzyness, fatigue, panic attacks - same symptoms like having a heart attack. And my mind got crazy, I had thoughts like "am I dying?", "is this it?" etc etc...see the cycle? anxiety symptoms that caused my blood pressure to rise thinking of heart disease, I could not get out of it.
So here we are in 2018, I do feel much better, I dont have any more bad symptoms, but that anxiety-blood pressure cycle is still here...I finally got prescribed medication for high blood pressure...and I am young, I am 36....thinking how "long" my life will be (irony)..
I want to believe that my problem is not in my heart, but in my mind, trying to get out of that cycle and i cannot.
any suggestions on what i can do? (sorry about this long letter i just wrote)