Am I alone?

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi,

Where do I start..I have diagnosed myself with 'health anxiety'. I'm 29 years old and I have a constant fear of getting a sudden heart atttack(and dying), especially at night when I'm getting into bed. It's challenging for me to sleep in complete darkness, so before I got married I used to sleep with the tv on as well as the light. This was somewhat of a distraction for me to keep my powerful mind from wandering. It's gotten worse over the past couple of months. High cholesterol is in my family and I was the lucky one to have this passed on to. I found out I have high cholesterol about 5/6 years ago and ever since that day I've experienced heartburn and indigestion. Once again I only ever feel these symptoms when I sleep, so the heartburn wakes me up during the night. My dad too has high cholesterol and has had 2 heart attacks in the past(1 being a double heart attack and they had to use the shocker machine to bring him 'back to life'. Both these heart attach incidents were during the night..which is where I think mine is coming from. I've gone to the ER twice before thinking I was getting a heart attack as I had all the symptoms : chest pain, dizziness, arm pain left side , couldn't breath, and couldn't stop shaking. All tests were done and there was nothing wrong. But my mind thinks it's more clever than docs and I still always think I'm going to get a heart attack, even thought I know it's all in my head. Convincing yourself that it's just anxiety when you think you are going to die is almost impossible! If you don't have anxiety problems , you will never understand what the person is going through.

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    I have same health anxiety, of the heart also.. It really is horrible. Are you on cholesterol meds? I've never heard of someone so young having high cholesterol. Are you monitored a lot for it?? Also, are you on anxiety meds or do you see a counselor? If it's any relief at all, they say most of your health is from your moms side.. Do you eat well? A lot of times grease and junk foods can make your anxiety much worse.

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    • Posted

      Hi, my high cholesterol is from my dads side. When I found out it was 8.4, docs put me on statin immediatly and in a couple months it went down to 4,5. Not too sure what it is now though ..haven't checked it in a while but still taking the statins since that time. Apparently my triglyceride levels were high at the age of 10 already.

      I don't eat too well..and when I eat junk I keep thinking ..this is blocking my arteries so when I have any pain(anxiety related which my mind tells me is heart attack pain) I think it's blocking my arteries.

      It's nice to know other people also suffer from heart anxiety and not so much health anxiety smile

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    • Posted

      Yea you definitely need to eat better especially with known health issues.. The junk food just creates anxiety.. Every single time I eat a chili dog or chinese, I'm riddled with anxiety for at least a day after. Try adding fresh fruits and veggies to your diet more, it will really take away some issues.

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    • Posted

      I definitely will thank you!

      I think by having a healthy lifestyle, that will tell my mind that's less likely to get a sudden heart attack which will help reduce anxiety

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    • Posted

      Isn't it funny how cholesterol and triglycerides work in familial hypercholesterolipidemia, mine  cholesterol was 18 and triglycerides were 10, I can't tolerate any of the statins not even the old Questran powder, I have managed to get my cholesterol down to 7.8 but my triglycerides are still sitting around10 -12, various between check ups for some reason, my diet is good, I eat healthy.

      I use to be an athlete as a teenager fit as a fiddle, even throughout my life I use to walk miles and miles, hunting, playingthe occassional sports, now I'm 50 I have a couple of occlusions / stenosis in the coronary arteries.

      I use to get the panic chest pain, but it was more of a not being able to expand my chest type pain because it hurt, you know like muscle pain, wasn't sore to touch and the palpitations

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Does sound like you are suffering slight anxiety, especially if you have been checked out thoroughly for heart disease / problems, Anxiety itself can induce heart burn and reflux. I'd say your fear is coming from your family history of high cholesterol and your father having heart attacks, this is natural .

    If you do not get severe crushing pain with these episodes you can pretty well rule out heart attack, yes some people have no crushing pain at all but very rarely and it occurs most commonly in women.

    Have you had and angiogram ? to see where your arteries are at with the high cholesterol plus there are a few other tests they can do whilst performing the angiogram.

    If you are a long term suffer of panic / anxiety you will be able to tell the difference between panic chest pain and real heart attack material chest pain, I have had 3 NSTEMI's myself and have extremely high cholesterol, mine to is hereditary.

    As I have said if you have had all the cardiac tests and given the all clear a good chat with your doctor and perhaps a referral on to a councilor to show you some coping techniques and teach you what's called CBT (Cognitive Behavouir Therapy / techniques).

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    • Posted

      Hi. Thanks Samuel for in info on anxiety possibly causing heartburn and reflux or atleast aggrevating it.  I am currently being treated for both and sure enough when I feel real anxious I get the burning in my chest.  Yuch! Wow how our minds influence our bodies so much.  The CBT is also what I'm currently trying and it's really helpful.

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Yes the bodies mechanisms are tricky, but at least it's built the right way to take care of things naturally, even if it does get out of whack sometimes due to stress. Unfortunately panic attacks send us or our brain into a spin and the body is only doing it's natural coping mechanism, we fall into the viscous circle if we let it and that's how panic works,by us allowing it to continue.

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    • Posted

      Hi Samuel.

      Well just today I had an ECG done and Evrything is perfect and my doc reassured me that what I feel is stress and anxiety related. I get heart burn a lot..once again always during the night , but it doesn't always trigger my anxiety. Ive been for scopes for my heartburn too and they can't find anything wrong. So once again I believe it's my mind that's telling me what to feel. Can't believe my mind is so damn powerful 😉

      My pains has never been anywhere near 'crushing' or severe ..and it's not even constant..it comes and goes every couple minutes.

      I have read about CBT, is it really helpful?

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    • Posted

      Hi tee,

      Glad to hear ECG was perfect. I suffer reflux, have done since a teenager and the same as you nothing can be found with scopes and cameras. My reflux is easily controlled with medication.

      CBT is of great value, for some it takes awhile to get into the swing of of it and for some it comes really easy, it's a mixture of things, relaxtion, teaching you different ways of thinking, things like that.

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    • Posted

      My mom suffers from reflux so I'm hoping my heartburn doesn't eventually lead to that.

      I didn't know cholesterol levels could go that high 😱

      Just FYI my anxiety levels are so much lower now. Since I found out my ecg was perfect and the doc told me in not dying and all my pains sounds stress related , I feel so much better. He prescribed 'stresam' but I haven't felt the need to take any yet since then. I have read some reviews in it..and some people say that it have them heart palpitations and not such great symptoms, so I can only imagine what that's going to do to someone who suffers from anxiety.

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