Heart Rhythm Community
12.1k Members
10894761 tn?1413641484

Anxiety, panic and arrhythmia - an interesting experience -

I've been suffering with ectopics since long time ago but recently I developed a fear that I will have a crazy arrhythmia if my heart goes too fast, and in fact I was experiencing all kinds of PVC/PACs as soon as my heart rate speeds up.  it was virtually impossible to do any kind of exercise without having frequent PVCs (maybe PACs), even in bigeminy, but somehow I felt that it was happening because of my panic. I just couldn't confirm, because the results of my Holter were pretty normal and my EKGs / ECHO aswell...

The only way to confirm was trying to stay calm in a situation when my heart would beat very fast, which was impossible. I would enter "panic" mode and start having the crazy ectopics everytime I tried.

Until a few days ago. I didn't know that a very hot shower makes your heart speeds up, and for some reason I decided to measure my HR during a shower. It was beating like crazy, probably 140+, but I was feeling pretty well. For some reason I didn't panic and then I decided to add some exercise, managed to get my heart at 180's for a few minutes, then I stopped and sit down, it went back to 90's and then 80's very fast. Not a single PVC!!

All this story just to show you how bad anxiety and panic are to your heart! I already knew it, but now I'm 100% convinced that my worst arrhythmias were all caused by panic.

2 Responses
Avatar universal
I was in the exact same position. After having episodes of svt it totally ruined my life. I was to scared to walk up any stairs or walk in general thinking i would throw myself into an arrhythmia. Then the panic attacks just make it even worse raising your heart rate. I thought i was the only one noticing the shower thing every time i showered my heart would race and i would get flushed. I had an ablation and on atenolol now and doing cardio exercises 5 days a week and am finally close to being normal after almost a year in panic.
995271 tn?1463927859
It was panic for me, without a doubt.  No issues with my heart but I can think myself into bad stuff.  It's a feedback loop.  I might notice a higher heart rate, which scares me, which increases the rate, and so on, until things are out of control.  I've been able to help myself by learning to deal with it through basics,
Have an Answer?
Top Arrhythmias Answerers
1807132 tn?1318747197
Chicago, IL
1423357 tn?1511089042
Central, MA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
Salt in food can hurt your heart.
Get answers to your top questions about this common — but scary — symptom
How to know when chest pain may be a sign of something else
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.