extreme anxious about hypertension

Posted , 23 users are following.

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for some help in dealing with my anxiety about hypertension.

I have really bad anxiety about my blood pressure. It all started 1 year back when I first diagnosed with hypertension. I started with 25mg Metoprolol Succ. and now down to 1/2 dose. At the beginning I was feeling very anxious about getting hypertension at relatively young age(31years). Eventually I was able to accept that but now I become very anxious about my blood pressure numbers.

Anytime I try to measure BP now, I feel super anxious and many times it drives my number higher and it makes me more anxious and I just keep thinking about that thing entire day.

Several times I have measured normal blood pressure numbers but still I get very nervous every single time when I try to measure my blood pressure. Somehow I have developed obsession to get my readings close to 120/80 which drives me nuts. many times I get numbers in 130-135/86-90 range and I get panic really bad which drives my number even higher. I know those numbers are not great but they are not that bad either but I start thinking about extreme worst.

I tried another approach as well by promising myself to measure BP only once a month but that also did not help. in 10-15 days I started thinking that what if my blood pressure is not normal, what if its too high and my panic triggered again.

This anxiety is killing me. I get all other weird feelings because of that.

Has anyone gone through similar phase? I will really really appreciate some tips to deal with this.

4 likes, 22 replies

22 Replies

  • Edited

    I went through a similar thing a few years ago, and it's utterly horrible.

    I used to take my BP ten times a day, 5 times each time because I was worried about how high it was when I wasn't taking it.

    It didn't help that the GP only focussed on the higher readings, and not on the ones that were around the 75/43 mark!

    Eventually I was referred to a cardiologist, who was also a Yale professor, and the top cardiovascular professor in London. Ge assured me that with other tests he'd done - like looking at the backs of my eyes - that my blood pressure was fine, and that it was supposed to fluctuate throughout the day. He'd written the blood pressure guidelines for the European Union, so he should know. He accepted anything up to 140/90 as ok, and said that the guidelines in the United States stated anything over 120/80 as high BP was because the pharmaceutical industry wanted to sell their medication.

    Because I only felt safe with readings of 90/60 or less, he said I was endangering myself and that I should go and get therapy.

    So I did just that!

    I'm forced to take my BP once a week at the moment, and occasionally feel the anxiety creeping back in, but it's not nearly as intense as it was, and I can go a full week without thinking about what my blood pressure is doing. Trust me, that's amazing!!

    So, with all that said, I would suggest the same thing to you - get some therapy to help you manage the anxiety.

    I realise that's often easier said than done if you're in America... But if you're in a country with decent healthcare, please start the referral process for therapy as soon as possible.

    • Posted

      Thanks nellgywn for sharing your experience.

      I had few sessions of therapy earlier this year and things were quite ok after that.

      It seems like my anxiety is creeping up again. I will try to get few sessions again.

    • Posted

      I'm glad it helped earlier this year and that you'll try to get some more sessions.

  • Edited

    Sam, even 135/90 is not really much to worry about.

    What does your doctor say? If you're just taking a half-dose of beta blocker, you could easily be given additional meds. In the US it's pretty much standard to take two, three, or four meds, from different classes, all together.

    Meanwhile are you following the dietary advice for BP?

    Is your weight OK?

    Do you get at least a moderate amount of exercise?

    Are you stressed out about anything other than your BP?

    Are you nice and relaxed when you take the BP reading?

    Unless you are getting readings over 150/100 all the time, or something over 160/110 when you are quiet and relaxed, you're in very little immediate danger. When it gets to 180/120, then you might want to really worry!

    But even 132/88 is just 10% over 120/80, and that's not something that's going to be a problem this year or next year or the year after. In twenty years, maybe. Or maybe not even then.

    • Posted

      Thanks jx41870.

      This really helps. It is just that I am so obsess about getting my blood pressure numbers below or close to 120/80 and it gives me lot of anxiety. Also overall fear of taking blood pressure does not help here.

      As far as all other stuff I am already trying to take care of it as much as I can.

      I am not at all overweight. I try to have good amount of exercise every week. (3-5 sessions)

      Also I always try to have healthy diet and I started eliminating processed food with high salt content as well.

  • Posted

    You have heard about white coat hypertension, this is same but without the white coat.

    The text book solution is to take the BP twice at one minute interval. If the readings are more than 5 points apart than take a third reading.

    Subsequent readings should be okay.

    • Posted

      You need more than one minute apart... at least three readings over a ten minute period and as you say accept them if two are closely matched.

  • Edited


    I felt I WOULD ANSWER BECAUSE I get white coat syndrome .. but i have it now even when I TAKE MY own BP as well I was tryng i f or way over a year to get my BP down and be aware several drugs actually make you ANXIOUS and raise BP! I had to try 6 + before .. I found one.

    Some made me SUICIDAL with thoughts which stopped as soon as I STOPPED THE PILLS. I TAKE Losarton POTASSIUM 25 AND I CAN LIVE WITH THE SIDE EFFECTS , at least until after a hip operation I need and they wont do with high BP I MOSTLY WANTED to say that 135 / 86 is not the ideal it is not dangerous although anyone can correct me . Mine was going to 231/109 and when it is that high you know it the body gives you warning so try to de stress by knowing yours is not so high and enjoy. I also found i had to do mine every day for a long time but have tried to limit it. CHECK OUT ALTERNATIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP to take along with your meds like hibiscus tea it works, there are many things .

    good luck


    • Posted

      Losartan is the only one that I can take without side effects apart from a very slight under the skin itch

  • Edited

    i also get very anxious about my BP. It helps to know i am not the only one. I have a hard time hitting the 120/80 goal. The worry cycle does not help. Try some deep breathing exercises to try to calm your body. We can't always control our anxious thoughts but our breathing is something we CAN control. Count to five as you breathe in and then count to five as you breathe out. You are going to be okay!

  • Edited


    I too suffer from extreme bouts of anxiety. I suffer from white coat syndrome and everytime I go to the doctor my blood pressure shoots up like a rocket . When I take it at home it's fine unless I am having an anxiety attack. My problem is I get something in my head and I keep thinking about it until it drives me crazy. Anything health related or financial related and I am worrying uncontrollably. I also google everything till I am so stressed I cant sleep. I take anxiety medication but, it never goes completely away. Hang in there and know you are not alone !😊

  • Edited

    Thank you every one for great suggestions & nice words.

    I think it really helps to hear different experiences and it gives some assurance that whatever is happening to me is not unique and it is part of life.

    Thank you again everyone.

  • Posted

    5 years ago i started getting hints of high blood pressure every time i had it done just from eye appointments and physicals. Then i spiked it one morning after i had a cup of coffee had an anxiety attack and i could feel my blood pressure every day and know when its up. If you have caffeine drinks stop, it triggers anxiety which make bp go higher. i have have not had a caffeine drink since.

  • Edited

    hi there im obsessed to its ruining my life constantly takeing my blood pressure its 120/90 which really scares me i told my doctor he said hes not worried about it but i am as my mum died from a enlarged heart from haveing high bloodid pressure

    • Edited

      When are you getting the 120/90 readings? it's in the normal range for adults so you shouldn't worry. Just like your doctor told you.

      Maybe you should be looking at something for your anxiety.

    • Edited

      Hey, its been several months but this comment is totally relatable. I usually hover in the 130-145 range and sometimes dip as low as 119/85. they habe me started meds today. i constantly check my

      bp at home. When it jumps over 130/90 I get bad anxiety. Lately I have been having massive headaches. Have a cardioligist appointment friday for an echo. You're not alone with the anxiety. God bless! Also, 120 is normal. The bottom number is considered high if its high 80s into the 90s. Mine has gone up to 120. Yours isnt bad at all.

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