Can heat trigger an anxiety attack?

Posted , 7 users are following.

I was outside and today its pretty hot and I was OK at first but then as i kept walking in a place where there was no shade for me to cover from the sun, my heart started racing real fast and boom anxiety attack started. Full force my face turned super red I thought I'd die. I had some water. So I drank some and pour some on my face. I felt a little better but sibstill had a long walk to get home. I really thought I'd pass out. Jesus Christ it felt like the longest ever. I kept stopiing and checking my pulse and my heart was super duper fast. I don't think it ever beat that fast. I thought this was the end. When I finally got home I drank so much water as my mouth felt super dry and sat in front of my fan. I felt beter. Does this happen to anyone else with heat?

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Glad you made it back, it's terrible to have an attack alone and not be away from help.

    I've been in similar circumstances where the heat and dehydration kicked my heart beat up, which can totally trigger anxiety.

    One trick that has helped me is to have a pulse oximeter, they are not too expensive - but some are better than others. I can put it on my finger and see if I am hyperventilating, and monitor my BPM. If my heart rate is rising and then lowering, then it's usually just anxiety - and it will pass. It's probably more of a mental thing - but again, that's anxiety, right?

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  • Posted

    Yes, I despise hot days and struggle even more than usual when the temperature is high, before my anxiety got really bad I used to wear a fitbit because I liked to track my exercise, even then I would notice that my heart rate would always be higher on a hot day which is a nightmare for an anxious person because it doesn't take much to trigger a full blown attack.

    Heat can be quite suffocating, you get dizzy easily, your heart rate steps up, you feel generally flushed and uncomfortable and once you start to notice those sensations panic quickly follows.

    Stay hydrated at all times, it helps a bit, I always have some water to hand and if possible or convenient a small hand held fan can be a godsend.

    Personally I am longing for the cooler weather to come, anxiety is hard enough without something else to make it worse.

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    • Posted

      Controlling heart rate is key! Heck, I've had a panic attack in a theatre, mostly due to a high heart rate.

      Now that I'm older, I found that taking a beta blocker for anxiety helps me tremedously. It lowers my heart rate and makes attacks easier to manage, or rather I should say "controllable".

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  • Posted

    Hi Diana, really sorry to hear you've had a scary experience today. I think the suffocating nature of hot weather and the extra effort it takes to do things can often make you feel unwell or stressed and more anxious.

    For me personally, when I was a child I had a terrible case of heatstroke. I often had panic attacks in the years afterwards when I became too hot (it's only recently that I have realised that is what they were - I genuinely thought I had heatstroke again each time when I was younger).

    I find now that, if I have to go out on the heat, I always take water and remind myself that as long as I drink enough, eat enough and take it easy, I'll be ok!

    Hope you recover soon x

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  • Posted

    Absolutely a huge yes! Its a horrible feeling from when that happens until you get home or get into cooler air. Glad you are okay. I always carry water or gatorade with me. I have poured water bottles on my neck, arms anything to cool down.  The heat, the humidity i hate it all. And it gets hot and hot and humid (gone over a 100) where i live so there are times i wont take walks outside.  Maybe we all dehydrate faster?  i dont know but i have also fainted from it and had heat stroke a couple of times. Im so sorry you had that experience it is scary.
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