AF - Anxiety = cardiac neurosis?

Posted , 9 users are following.

I am suffering with a lot of anxiety since my diagnosis so a bit of reassurance would be appreciated.

My story is as follows (I will try to be brief)

On my return from holiday on 3/6/15 I suddenly felt very unwell with very rapid palpitations and feeling very hot and faint. Following a call to 111 an ambulance was called and I was taken to A & E and kept in for 24 hours.

I was given bisoprolol and my palpitations calmed.

My discharged with bisoprolol and my letter showed:-

ECG 100bpm

Telemetry monitor - showing sinus bradycardia

Patient asymptomatic

I took the bisoprolol for 3 days but I felt very giddy and faint and stopped

I saw a cardiologist the following week. I had an echocardiogram and 72 hour monitor and I was told the results were normal. He changed meds to Tildiem but I felt very faint on this too so again stopped. He advised for me to try again on the Tildiem as AF begets AF and is likely to happen again. I had been reassuring myself that I was not in AF by checking my pulse when I was feeling more palpitations (most days) as it was usually between 60 and 65, occasionally upto 75 but he said it was not as simple as that but offered no further explanation. He glazed over when I asked him questions and referred me to the AFA website.

He suggested I see my GP to help my anxiety - she has prescribed Cymbalta but I want to try and manage without such strong medication. I am coping with Kalms and very low dose diazapam (No More than 4mg as I know they are addictive). My Chad ?score will put me on anti-coagulants when I am 65 which does not please me.

I am 63 year old female and very active and usually healthy except for a diagnosis of Barretts Esophagus in January which has admittedly has stressed me.

I love to travel but this diagnosis has left me afraid to go long haul - we cancelled our trip to Thailand.

I even bought 2 blood pressure monitors - never suffered before - but these showed very conflicting results and made me more anxious.

I have always been a worrier but always managed to hold down a very stressful job, travel widely and have a very full and active life but this diagnosis has knocked me for six.

I can see that I am developing cardiac neurosis - I know all about relaxation but I am struggling

Any advice would be appreciated


0 likes, 15 replies

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi ? Baz.

    I'm 51 and was diagnosed with AF last year. It is a very anxious time at the start but with everything you get used to it. AF is an irregular heart beat. It can be fast (tachycardia)or slow(bradycardia) it makes you feel exhausted. Google it and read about It. It can be triggered by different things as evidenced by what people write on this forum .keep a diary and you may discover what does it for you and then you can avoid your triggers. Keep your chin up you will be okay. Maybe consider taking and baby aspirin a day. shop around for around supportive doctor. Good luck. Robyn.

  • Posted

    Hi Baz,

    thanks for posting. It's very undersatable you're having anxiety over your episode of AF. First things first you can not die from your condition so,that one less worry for you..Secondly your condition can be managed.

    Your bpm's are very good so that's a positive. Sounds like your heart is fine it's just the electrics whent  a little haywire.

    I've had episodes of AF for 15 years, I'm on meds now and it's under control. At first it was all trial  and error until they got the meds right that suited my condition . Also it takes time to work out what may of triggered your AF. 


    Somethings ive learned that can set my AF off are caffeine , it's in tea, coffee, fizzy drinks , energy drinks, cold and flu remedies..other things include Alchohol , nicotine, dehydration, too much salt,...,  I'm no expert but while on holiday you may have just  over indulged and this could of triggered your AF., 

    hope some of the info helps but the main thing is try not to worry.,if you need any advice then people on hear with the same condition will try to help .its good to share information with people who understand .

    Like I said before  I'm no expert, I've just have had experience of AFand everyone's condition could be slightly different .,you just have to learn what suits you ...its important you do listen your doctor and if the AF does return,then maybe you could asked him to be refer you  to a specialists in AF. 


    Good luck Baz and take care of yourself, 



    • Posted

      Baz, I 100% agree with John, my holiday was purely over indulgence hence an episode, nothing since returning as back to looking after myself
  • Posted

    Hi Baz

    Having AF can be very stressful especially when you don't know the cause.  I am a 64 year old female who is fit and eats healthily but did have a very stressful job.  I stopped all alcohol and caffeine and have now even stopped my decaff coffee.  It takes time to manage and I have found there is no quick fix to AF just plodding on trying different medication to see what works.

    However this site is a brilliant and everyone on it a wonderful support even if we don't have the answers.

    Try and keep positive and be gentle with yourself.


    • Posted

      Hi Gloria,

      New here today. I am so interested that you stopped your decaf coffee also. Someone suggested that I do that just the other day, so maybe I will give it a try.

      Never been one for herbal teas, but here goes I guess!


    • Posted

      Hi Marti

      My consolation in giving up alcohol was that I could still have coffee, then the small consolation was finding a good decaff one now - nothing just herbal teas which take some getting used to!  However I haven't had any episodes of AF for a week and hope it is not just coincidence.  Giving up coffee altogether is a small price to pay for staying clear of AF so fingers crossed.  Hope you get on ok with it too.


    • Posted

      How can you be sure of the effects of herbal teas on your blood pressure and other things.
    • Posted

      Hi Derek

      I have found it is all trial and error with trying to get to grips with AF.  I drink one but no more than two cups of herbal tea a day but still have my decaff tea in the afternoon.  I drink loads of water every day too.  I think if you drink several cups of herbal tea each day then there could well be a problem with Bp etc but one or two wouldn't make a huge difference I don't think.


    • Posted

      I drink Green Tea it does contain some caffeine but is said to reduce BP slightly. It also has some vitamin K in it to inhibit Warfarin
  • Posted

    Hi Baz. I'm 45 and was diagnosed with paroxysmal AF in January this year. Most of last year was spent in and out of A&E with 'panic attacks', at that time I really did think I was dying. Looking back I think I've had PAF for a long time and I've panicked when episodes occurred throwing myself into a full blown anxious state.

    I have to admit since being diagnosed I have not had anymore panic attacks purely because I am reassured tha I now know what is happening and I will not come to any harm by it.

    I was in Portugal in June this year and had an episode, previous holidays I have had the same but I take Flecainide as a 'pill in the pocket' approach, I took one, lay down and was basically chemically cardioverted within one hour. It left my wiped out for the day but I was relieved to have the palpitations stopped.

    Please do not put your life on hold especially if you like to travel. Make sure your holiday insurers are aware of your condition and for peace of mind get your GP's go ahead before you travel. AF should never dampen our lives, I am a big believer in this now.

    Take care, Marie

    • Posted

      Ps.... I now walk everywhere! My cardio consultant said gentle exercise was one of the best things I could do for myself smile
  • Posted

    Hi Baz,

    I was newly diagnosed with PAF in April and like you I found it a very unnerving, I was put on Bisoporol that made me feel worse, but someone suggested that I take it in the evening rather than the morning and that has helped, my GP wants me to go on Warfarin and after much soul searching I am going to see coag nurse soon.I have had great comfort from this forum they are a group of very nice people and the best people to ask for advice is those that are experiencing the problem.

    Take care


  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I am 30 now and had been suffering from panic attacks Arne 2 Years ago but my biggest fear are this AF events, the happened after my first panic attack and now I don't feel anxious anymore and they are coming from now where, I ha been to cardiologists and in fact they found episodes of this in a halter monitor but never gave me plan to follow or medicines to take, the episodes happen every week once but every 3 months are happening for 6 followed days and all the time sometimesI feel I taste for air and get really anxious from it,have you found any solution yet? Right now I am pregnant and all seems to get worse I can't control my hormones my anxiety and the AFs are getting worse I went to emergency but didn't show in Ecg and now waiting for results from cardiologist abou thyrod, appreciate any clues of what's happening and if is normal or should I be going to ER

    • Posted

      Hi Blanca, sorry to hear about your anxieties.

      I too experience very similar symptoms of AF. Briefly I'm 51 and have had episodes for 15yrs . I've had panic attacks and episodes of AF.

      My AF never lasts more than 8hrs. My symptoms and episodes are very similar to yours . Recently I have reduced episodes. I am on fleck use but I was then added bisoprol. This help the AF episodes not to be not as aggressive and stopped my heart from racing .

      I always believed the racing heart rate was anxiety attacks . What I have discovered over many years that wheat was triggering my anxiety racing heart rate and developing into Af. . I have gone on a gluten free diet and my symptoms have greatly reduced.

      I mentioned this to my cardiologist and he sad he'd never came accords as wheat as a trigger. I know this is rare but I know in my case wheat intolerance is a major trigger o the anxiety feeling and episodes of Af. I'm fully aware without medication I would still have AF . I definitely need medication to control AF. I fully understand what your going through . When you have the panic attacks and af just try and trace back your diet . Caffeine is a trigger for me , to much alcohol wheat , dehydration is another .

      It's trial and error as everyone is different . It's all about getting medication right for you and try and work out the triggers to ease your Symptoms. Good luck and you will soon your symptoms will be under control

    • Posted

      Ps . I'm typing on a cracked iphone and apologise for errors :-) x

      If you need any advice I will try and help as it's took many years to work out what works for me. smile

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