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Topic: Health Anxiety & Cardiac Anxiety

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. laurajoshua16
    laurajoshua16  avatar
    3 posts
    11 May 2021

    Hi everyone,

    I just need some reassurance or someone to reply and tell me i’m not crazy/dying.

    For the past 2-3 months i have experienced mild to severe pains in my chest, left side & sometimes (rarely) in my rights side, this follows with palpitations, arm, leg, shoulder, neck pain that follows. I have been admitted to ER more times then i can count but not for around 3 weeks now since last, every time they have done an ECG, blood tests and chest X-rays and everything has always come back “clear” I just can’t seem to shake it even after being reassured it’s anxiety.

    It has started to fully consume my life, i am always having panic attacks that i am having a heart attack. I can’t eat, sleep, play with my kids without having a panic attack, it is completely debilitating and i feel like i am just floating through days and not living, I am ready to live my life with my kids, i can’t live like this :’(

    Laura

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    5944 posts
    11 May 2021 in reply to laurajoshua16
    Hi laurajoshua16, 

    It sounds so stressful to be going through so much physical pain and not have any medical explanation. It seems that your body is reacting to something that the doctors cannot see.  It's great that you are doing what you can to check in with health professionals about these symptoms. Panic attacks are real and yes, they can be quite severe. It sounds like your anxiety is very high and your body is finding it hard to hold it all. Maybe it might help to speak to someone and release some tension from your body.

    If you would like some help finding mental health support, we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 

    You are not alone and the community is here to support you.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10378 posts
    11 May 2021 in reply to laurajoshua16

    Dear Laura~

    I'd like to join Sophie_M in welcoming you to the Forum. That was a good move on your part as here you will see others with similar problems.

    I too get chest pain and other symptoms like yours and have been tested umpteen times. I've been to ER more than once and even had a CAT scans with Iodine and an MRI. All came back normal. It was very hard to accept that these, and before that other physical symptoms, were caused by my mental condition. I now accept that, though not wihtout a long struggle wondering if the tests were done properly or my condition intermittent and so on.

    It is excellent you have had the physical side properly checked out. May I ask if you are under medical treatment for your anxiety? I found I simply could not make myself better and my improvement started after I was receiving the correct therapy and meds.

    Now most of my physical symptoms are understood and mostly under control, panic attacks are very rare nowadays and I can enjoy life, taking sensible precautions where I can not to raise my stress levels.

    Anxiety can cause great bodily reactions, and it needs the basic anxiety level reduced to make matters better. If you do already have therapy I would expect it would be worth reporting that it is very ineffective and needs a review, if not of course please start. Sophie has give you some useful links.

    Do you have anyone in your life, family or friend perhaps, you can go to and talk with and feel cared for? Trying to cope with all this on your own is very hard, leaning on someone else if you can realy helps.

    So to answer you request, now that you have spoken of all the tests you have undergone, firstly I do not think you are not crazy (or no more than me anyway:) and secondly panic attacks make you feel you are dying, even though you are not.

    Is this of any help, please say what you think?

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  4. contrarymary
    contrarymary avatar
    57 posts
    11 May 2021

    I am exactly the same I get severe chest pain and anxiety. I have been to emergency on numerous occasions had ever test on my heart. Hospital, GP and cardiologist all say it's anxiety and stress.

    I saw a councillor and her idea was to think of other things or keep myself occupied I bought myself some jigsaw sometimes it helps some days it doesn't.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. laurajoshua16
    laurajoshua16  avatar
    3 posts
    12 May 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    I’m not currently on any medication although i am definitely considering it now. I also have an irrational fear of medication and how it’ll affect my body so it is definitely hard! But i cannot live like this for much longer, so i’ll have too.

    I talk to my mum and sister but they don’t understand so it’s very hard for them to listen or give advice, they just don’t know how to help me, which i understand, it’s just very lonely & isolating.

    I start counselling soon but have called the hotline a few times and hung up mid panic attack because i get embarrassed.

    I do find that if i occupy myself and not think about my heart or pain or breathing i don’t feel it but as soon as my mind slips, straight into a panic. It’s horrible!

    I just don’t even know how to pull myself out of this, half the time i repeat the doctors words and i feel okay, other times i am second guessing and i don’t know the difference in pain so i never know if it’s an impending heart attack or just anxiety, it’s exhausting

    The hospital has said that heart problems don’t present like this and other things that have actually messed with my head more, your mind is so powerful.

    Thank you all for your replies, i appreciate it.
    Laura :)

  6. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10378 posts
    12 May 2021 in reply to laurajoshua16

    Dear Laura~

    I'm glad you are starting counseling and are also thinking of taking meds, both help me. Actually even just making the decision gives you a little bit of control over how you feel, not a lot but a start.

    I guess I found when I finally explained things to my partner she never did get to know what was going on inside my head as she had never had that sort of experience herself. It did not matter that much, she came to predict how I'd behave and simply cared, not tried to fix. It made a huge difference and comfort. I hope that gets to be the way with your mum and sister.

    Trying to explain things that are embarrassing are a right pain, and I chickened out a lot at the start. It seemed like I was doing it automatically, no decision involved. I got round this by taking a few days before an appointment and writing everything down in point form, then sharing the paper. It worked well, it was too late to leave something out due to embarrassment or fear, and I did not have to try to explain anything, just answered questions.

    One thing I do if I can't escape my thoughts is to use a free smartphone app called Smiling Mind. It takes some practice but breaks the chain of thoughts and leaves me calmer. There are all sorts of levels and you can find one that suits you - even the 2 minute demo is good.

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

    You might like to give it a few tries when you are feeling OK, then it works better when you don't.

    You can come back and say how you are going anytime and as often as you wish and will be welcomed.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  7. griffy95
    griffy95 avatar
    1 posts
    20 May 2021 in reply to laurajoshua16

    Hi there. I am new to this forum and was scrolling through and saw this post and was struck by how much I can relate. I too am struggling with new panic attack symptoms and an irrational fear of heart issues. I have been to the emergency room once for it so far but it is triggered daily and is debilitating. I also am alone with my two toddlers and struggle to function normally. It is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I have yet to undergo any tests beyond the few that were done in the emergency room but the fear of a heart attack or heart issues is debilitating. Other things also trigger it but the heart stuff is the worst.

    As much as this sucks and is terrifying, I am relieved to know I am not alone in this. I would never wish it upon anyone and I am sorry you are going through this as well. I wish you the best and I hope we both can overcome this and live our best lives free of the fear.

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