Anxiety is ruining my life

Posted , 3 users are following.

I have come to this forum out of complete and utter desperation.  I have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks for 3yrs and I thought I was getting better but just lately they have become worse.  I mainly have health anxiety - I had my first panic attack and got taken into hospital where I was told I could have had a heart attack (I was 38 at the time) after tests, it was confirmed I had not had a heart attack and that my heart was working fine but that set the seeds of doubt and since then I have been obsessed with my heart.. I am on fluoxetine and take propranolol when needed but I feel these no longer make any difference.  I have had a bad week where I have felt anxious with the usual chest pain, nausea, palpitations etc... Constantly, there has been no let up at all and I am at my wits end as to what to do now.  The palpitations are the worst, I can actually feel my heart missing a beat when I check my pulse ( I know I'm not supposed to do that!) and that's what makes me think there is something wrong with my heart.  I have been to a&e and my gp quite a few times and each time I'm told my heart is fine but as soon as it starts up again, I am convinced that the doctors have missed something.  I'm sorry to go on but I am desperate for help, life is horrible at the moment and I dread every single day

2 likes, 6 replies

Report / Delete

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello,

    Palpitation, chest pain, nausea, etc are well known symptoms of anxiety disorders. And their intensity depends on the intensity of your anxiety disorders. You are not weird at all and the doctors are most likely to be right.

    What you need right now is relaxation to lower your anxiety level. You need to do this in order to lower the intensity of your symptoms:

     Try the following steps to bring down your anxiety level:

    1. Take at least 3 minutes twice a day to do breathing exercise (early in the morning and before you go to bed at night).

    2. Take a deep breathe 10 times and exhale slowly and deeply.

    3.  As you exhale, visualise your chest pain and breathing problems disolving.

    4.  As you visualise, say to yourself that " I am totally free from palpitation, breathing problems and chest pains. I am normal and in control. I am healthy and my heart is perfect".

    5. Do this for 14 days - 21 days is proven to be very powerful.

    6.  The key here is to reprogramme your subconscious mind - which is helping to trigger those anxiety symptoms.

    7. Then believe that you are well. Your believe is very important - because whatever you continue to believe, your mind will eventually accept as your new life command.

    8.  When you start this programme, you will still be feeling your symptoms, but as you continue, you will be surprised about how things will turn out positive. When this happens, do not stop the programme. Make sure you continue untill a subconscious positive habits are fully formed and dominated.

    Try the above self-therapy steps, if nothing changes, see an experienced psychotherapist (I am confident things will change, based on experience).

    Hope this is helpful to you. Regards

     

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      No as concise. Try this, Maddsiemoo:

      The best thing to do first is become aware of your physiology, or the very real physical symptoms you're experiencing. They are there. It isn't necessarily a symptom of anything else but if you fear it is, you should consult your GP. If you have physical checks and they eliminate the problem (ECG for heart, etc) then you should put it down to anxiety.

      Anxiety comes because your brain is creating a 'fear' in your mind, and as with anything that creates fear, you become anxious.

      The anxiety, usually, starts in your chest, so you begin to breathe faster and your chest becomes tense (as a muscle would if it is being exercised). Your lungs need more oxygen and no greater way of getting oxygen around your body is by blood. Blood gets to your lungs faster when your heart pumps it quicker, so your heart rate increases.

      The lungs are working hard now. They are communicating with your brain asking for more help. Your brain helps by asking your heart for support. So the heart is working harder than it normally would to the point where it needs help from your brain again.

      Your brain can't cope with both having a go at it asking for support - you get symptoms such as perspiration, pains in your chest, tingling in your arms, toes and fingers. So your brain panics and makes mistakes.

      Your brain then tells you to react accordingly – panic.

      The panic says, “focus on your heart; why is it faster? Why are my arms tingling? Why does my chest hurt?”. Your brain says, through duress and under pressure, “I'm having a heart attack; I'm going to die!”

      You're not. Just stop and think before your lungs tell your brain that they need oxygen, fast. Focus on your breathing.

      How to deal with anxiety is subjective and it depends on how disciplined you are in being able to set yourself space and time to be able to perform breathing exercises rather than rely on medication being there for you to help you. 3 things I've found are the most helpful - 1. Guided Meditation, 2. Mindfulness and Awareness, 3. The '7 to 11 Breathing Technique'

      Guided meditation, first of all, is quite structured and disciplined in the sense you have somebody there guiding you through the process of meditation (obviously) and you don't want to disturb others doing it at the same time - but similarly expect others to respect you whilst you do it.

      Mindful and awareness can often come hand in hand with guided meditation. Through mindfulness and awareness, you become aware of where you are and most importantly what your body is physically experiencing. In focusing on these feelings (chest pain, shortness of breath, pins and needles) by breathing them in, in a controlled manner, by breathing them out you are effectively telling your brain and body to breathe these pains out too, and they will eventually go away.

      The 7 to 11 breathing technique is when you breathe into your lungs through your mouth, nose or both, until your lung capacity is completely full - it may even hurt; you may use parts of your lungs you've never used before - and hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following this, you purse your lips as though you were blowing out a candle and gradually exhale until your lungs are empty. You hold this for 11 seconds and don't take another breath.

      Keep doing this for as long as you want. The longer, the better. During the exercise you might experience forms of euphoria; your fingers may tingle, your head may feel slightly dizzy - this is good; this is tension unburdening itself off you; don't worry about it. Instead, focus on it and treat it as a good feeling.

      With all of this, it will not be an immediate cure. Mindfulness and awareness courses, and meditation classes take time to book and when you go to them, both take patience to master. The 7 to 11 breathing technique you can perform whenever you want.

      My advice would be to understand for the first two you won't get anywhere this week but if you take steps now to look into them and how practical it is to do them, by the end of the week you may be on the right track.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I've been exactly were you are now, back in 2010,when I thought I was having a heart attack.

    Same symptoms as you and I went to emerge, but my heart was ok. 

    I had to work really hard with a therapist to get this under control, and of course I was taking meds also. 

    I hear you, it's extremely upsetting to think you have heart problems...but you don't, the doc already said that to you. These are hallmarks symptoms of anxiety. 

    I used to go for second opinions because I thought the first doc missed something. 

    But all I was doing was fueling my anxiety, looking for reassurance. 

    You have to work at it, breathing exercises, CBT therapy, get some self help books. 

    Because the more you fuel your anxiety, the worst is gonna get. Tell yourself it's not life threatening, which is not.

    Trust me, you are not alone here!

    I hope you feel better! 

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you both for your kind replies, I will definitely take your advice. I have had counselling and CBT for these issues, the counselling didn't help but the CBT did for a while. I was diagnosed with PTSD relating to the death of my teenage son - he died 4 yrs ago. 

    Reading posts on this forum has made me see that I am not alone with my problems and I feel that I have found somewhere to let off steam when things get really bad like this week. I am going to see my GP again but with holidays, my appointment is not until early Sept which seems ages away. 

    Thank you once again x

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I agree with all of the above. I have gone to a&e many times thinking I was having a heart attack. I wasn't. it was just anxiety. You will be OK. Although it feels horrible, anxiety will do you no harm whatsoever.

      When you see your GP, tell him you want some treatment for the PTSD, not just CBT or counselling but to see a specialist who deals with PTSD. There should be one in your local mental health team. The reason is that you need to process through the terrible loss that you have had. Sometimes these traumatic events get 'stuck' and need to be released with the right support and expertise. There are techniques that help with this but you need to get hold of a specialist. If it is a long waiting list, and you can afford it, it might be worth going private to save time. If you get nowhere with your GP then contact CRUSE bereavment care. They are a low cost support network across the country, there should be one near you. They have a lot of experience where death is concerned and should be able to put you on the right track.

      Meanwhile, you are definately not having a heart attack, but you do have some anxiety. Look at other posts on this forum. There is a lot of info there. There are hundreds of thousands of people suffering just as you are (anxiety problems are actually very common) right at this very moment, and probably the most common experience is feeling you are having a heart attack (which you are not) or thinking you are going mad (which you are not). You will be OK, it's just the effects of your body being flooded with adrenaline, and that's all.

      I am so sorry about the loss of your son, it is a hard blow to receive. Be kind to yourself as much as possible and let yourself off the hook as much as you can. When my family died unexpectantly (mum, dad and wife) I felt responsible and guilty, which is a natural feeling to have, but is not true.

      big hug xxx

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up