Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal


good morning, my name is kelly simmons.  i emailed you a couple of weeks ago about some information on anxiety.  i have been suffering from anxiety for around 4 years now.  just to make a long story short.  i am worried, which i try not to be, but i keep hearing all of these new stories about anxiety.  i am taking the medication atenolol 25 mg which is a beta blocker for my heart, because my heart races, and i get these weird feelings in my heart, they say that they are heart palpultations, but the way that a heart palpultation is described, is not the way that my heart feels.  my heart feels like it is vibrating in my chest and like my heart stops.  it takes my breath away, and it is a very uncomfortable feeling.  i have had test ran, and the doctors tell me that i have some type of fibulation, and that it is not harmfull.  i have had the heart thing since i was a little girl.  but you know, it really scares me when i hear stuff like anxiety causes sudden cardiac death, and that stress causes stroke and heart attacks.  that really scares me.  i worry about alot of stuff, but when it comes to my heart i really worry, because i am not satisfied with the results that the doctors have givin me.  they act like i am to young to be having any type of anxiety, or heart problems.  they basically just blow me off.  i wish that someone would take me seriously and check my heart out inside and out.  i would like to know for sure that my heart is ok, so that i can quit worring my self sick about being sick. i know that you cant give any answers, but i am hoping that you can give me some input.

sincerely & thank you,

kelly simmons
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Kelly Simmons

We cannot rule out anxiety or heart problems depending upon the age of a person.You seem to be concerned about your heart. To make yourself feel comfortable, I would recommend that you consider consulting a specialist (cardiologist) for a detailed information on the status of your heart.Palpitations are one of the symptoms of anxiety disorders,but sudden cardiac death from an anxiety attack is rare.At present, there are several medications that are available in the market which are proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. I hope this information is helpful to you.

Avatar universal

I have the same kind of heart palpitations from mitral valve prolapse. They say it is fairly benign and that the palpitations are uncomfortable but not dangerous. Stress makes the palpitations more frequent and annoying.

In the past my doc put me on a beta blocker which helped the arrythmia but made me tired and spaced out. I have not been on that beta-blocker for years but used alcohol to control it which obviously now is a mistake since I am an alcoholic trying to stay off the booze.

Now the palpitations are so frequent I barely notice them anymore except at night if I have insomnia and then can really feel it strongly.

An echocardiogram should be able to tell you if you have any valve or heart problems. Did your Doc order that test for you?
Avatar universal
Kelly, I had the same things happen with me.  I went to the hospital, I went through the tests, I worried about heart problems, and I would never believe that the causes of the heart "problems" were mental.  How could your mind have anything to do with your heart? And I know that you can't just tell yourself, "oh well, this is not a dangerous thing that I feel right now"--you're going to panic.  Then that panic causes the heart palpitations to increase.  It's a vicious circle. Well, after all the heart tests were OK, and I was getting the same messages from the doctors as you describe, I "allowed" myself to let the doc give me some anti-depressant medication (which are used for anxiety too). I started with Effexor; that was my first year without any heart problems.  However, though I liked the effexor, it had an adverse affect on the sexual side.  So we switched to Serzone.  I don't think it's as good as effexor, but it is effective and does not cause sexual performance problems.  I now can definitely see that the brain effects the heart.  I would never have believed it, because I never felt "mentally ill".  I'm so glad I accepted the doctors advise, and set aside my "pride" about taking anti-depressants.  There's a lot of them now.  You have some trial and error to find the right one, and some may have temporary side effects that you will not like...stick with it, they pass in a couple of weeks.  It's worth it.  Get away from worrying about your heart.  It will be all right.
Avatar universal
good morning, thank you for all of your support and comments.  i deaply appriciate them.  i have been on so many diff. anti-deppresents, i am now on paxil for the 3rd time.  it is controling some of my anxiety, but i still get the so called palpultations.  i have had echo grams done and they have came back normal.  but the 1st one i had done the doc. told me 2 different things.  and the 2nd time the doctor basically told me that i was dying, of course i was in shock.  so i went home and for about an hour i am at home freaking out, and my doctor calls me and tells me that they mixed up my test results and my echo gram came back o.k. i didn't know what to say or think, of course i was happy, but at the same time sad for the person who's test results those were.  its like how can doctors make a mistake like that.  but everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect.  thank you again for your time.

Kelly Simmons
Avatar universal
This message is directed to HFHS MD - I was under the impression that a panic attack is not dangerous to your heart.  That is the message I've gotten here and also elsewhere - that in fact realizing the rapid beating of the heart is not dangerous is the first step in overcoming panic attacks.  Then in your response to Kelly you state that "sudden cardiac death from an anxiety attack is rare" - HOW rare?  Is sudden death a possibility for anyone during an anxiety attack, or just in people with a heart condition?  I have had numerous ECGs, an echocardiogram, a holter monitor, and everything shows my heart to be normal.  But during a panic attack, my first thought has been the rapid heart rate must mean I have a dire heart condition.  I have been relaxing a little after reading some of the messages here that panic attacks are not dangerous - but became alarmed again after reading your message.  Please advise!
Avatar universal
I have been having heart palpitations for months now, did the holt monitor and all that...I think I have connected it to my zoloft, anyone else have a similar reaction to zoloft?
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