Health anxiety, constant fear of dying (From heart problems etc)

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Hey, since last year I have struggled with different forms of anxiety disorders but the worst has to be my health anxiety. It all started from my first 'Panic attack' well that's what everyone says it to be but I seem to convince myself otherwise. Basically this is what happened... I remember being fine one minute but after walking up the stairs my chest felt weird, it's hard to explain but out of no where my heart rapidly sped up, it didn't gradually speed up either it was just all of a sudden. I have never felt my heart beat so fast before!? but at that moment I just lied on the floor holding my chest and all that was going through my mind was "I'm going to die" "I'm going to go into cardiac arrest" "Am I having a heart attack?" This was the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Then all of a sudden it calmed down, but again it didn't just gradually calm down it felt as if my heart stopped for a second then it started beating normal straight after. I then lied down and was started shaking for about 20 minutes (obviously in fear). I think I was shook up for the whole night after. I did google it and Obviously loads of different things came up such as heart problems etc.. but the thing that came up was anxiety and panic attacks. Before this has happened I knew I struggled with some sort of anxiety because I was a bit of an anxious person before this anyway, with people and other stuff so I kinda just thought yeah there can't be anything wrong with me because I was only 16 at the time so I blew it off, but it was still constantly on my mind. Soon I started getting proper bad panic attacks, but this was different as my heart would beat fast but not like it did the first time, I would also ***** out, shake and get heart palpitations and more again I would feel like I am going to die, when it happened it was scary but when I googled it a lot of websites said anxiety attacks. I started getting these more often, it started of as weekly then became daily and this happened most of the summer and September of last year.

I avoided going to the doctors but I found these lumps in the side of my neck back in august and these started to grow and get bigger so I eventually in November went to see a doctor and I also mentioned about these 'panic attacks' at the time and she said that it did sound like panic attacks and diagnosed me with anxiety disorder. I had every blood test under the sun to see what these lumps where but they all came back fine and an ultrasound showed that these lumps are just my glands that are up and they have been up for a year now and no one knows why? Can anxiety cause this? but before this they misdiagnosed me a few times telling me that I had glandular fever and other stuff wrong with me but when I had blood tests done this showed that I didn't have anything wrong with me. The reason I am mentioning this because I do not trust my doctors much lmao.

All of the above is how it started but this is what I'm like now and I am just getting worse.

I can physically see my pulse move on my wrist, this was quite weird to me but since I have noticed this I constantly on a daily basis check my pulse, anywhere I can feel my pulse I check it, even when I'm out I'm constantly feeling my neck, my wrist or looking at my wrist, and I can say without a doubt I have done this several times a day for nearly a year and a half, sometimes my pulse is weaker then it should be, sometimes it's normal and other times my pulse is fast and its driving me INSANE.

I feel like I have a heart problem, I suffer from persistent chest pain nearly every day, the type of pain varies. Sometimes my heart feels very tight, other times there's a sharp pain. My chest has felt so tight before that I have been lying on my bed breaking down thinking I'm having a heart attack because I wouldn't be able to move. People would be like it's just a panic attack but this comes out of no where most of the time and doesn't feel like my normal panic attacks where I have loads of symptoms. Other times it wouldn't be this painful but I would still think there's something wrong with my heart. I also sometimes suffer from pain down the left side of my arm with it, which again convinces me there's something wrong.

I also suffer from heart palpitations sometimes, like I can feel a couple of my heart beats, or my heart speeds up for a couple seconds.

I get shortness of breath, a lot of the time I feel as if I'm struggling to breathe, which again is telling me that there is something not right. This usually comes with the chest pain etc but can sometimes occur on its own.

I have been to the doctors numerous of times about this, they have never sent me to a cardiologist before but I eventually got an ECG test done a couple months back, the results came back but i'm still not satisfied. I read online that ECG tests aren't very accurate as they only tests your heart for a few seconds, and my heart and chest felt normal okay when I was getting tested. I also get told a lot that I am too young to have a heart problem but I've also read about how young people my age or even younger have died from cardiac arrest due to heart disease even if they have had tests done. Some websites say certain tests don't show certain heart diseases as well so what if the doctors are missing something? I know I shouldn't google things but sometimes I can't help myself.

About once a month my heart rapidly speeds up all of a sudden (As I mentioned previously) this has happened before by sitting up, lying down, bending down, standing up and has happened when I've been running but can also happen out of no where, when it happens my heart feels like it stops then beats extremely fast and before it goes to normal my heart will feel like it's stopped for a second again.. its awful. I haven't mentioned this to the doctors yet but I intend on going tomorrow as it happened to me again last night when I bent down.. Has anyone ever experienced this before because this is what worries me the most.

Anyway I feel like I'm going to die young due to all of this, I didn't even think I was going to see my 18th birthday last month I feel that ill. I feel like I'm going to drop dead all the time, I feel like my heart is going to stop at anytime. Recently, I have been afraid to fall asleep this is because I am afraid I am not going to wake up. In addition to that, most nights as I am about to fall asleep my body like wakes itself up in shock as my heart feels like its stopped.

My heart is the main worry for me but it isn't the only one. A couple months ago I was on the bus on the way home and I felt really odd. Then all of a sudden it felt like I was coming out of my body, like I was still in my body but I couldn't feel myself properly, this was a scary experience. I think this is called depersonalization. I just don't feel normal anymore sometimes I feel detached from the world and that everything is pointless.

I convince myself that I have other health problems as well, a couple of times I have symptoms of a stroke before and I convinced myself that I have had a mini stroke before.

I get head aches sometimes too, have also convinced myself I have a brain tumour

I even thought I had ALS the other day, my arm has been twitching for about 5 days.

My throat feels dry and sometimes it feels like a lump is in there.

I feel like there is something wrong with my throat, I can't eat properly anymore as I find it difficult to swallow, my food feels like it gets stuck in my throat sometimes and need water to get it down but then it feels like I'm choking and then I end up bring both back up.

A lot of the time I feel lightheaded and dizzy, I ***** out a lot, I just don't feel myself anymore and haven't for a long time.

 

I have lost my life, I don't feel happy as I used to and sometimes I feel depressed. I just want to be my old self again

I'm sorry if this is really long and if I have repeated myself a lot there is just too many symptoms, I can't even remember them all as my head is a mess but can anxiety really make you feel this ill?

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Jess!

    I know exactly what you're feeling! I've read everything about how teens would die of sudden cardiac arrest and stroke, but you have to realize that a lot of those stories could have some false parts in there... And you cant worry so much.. Especially when there is nothing wrong with you!

    Anyway, when you said that your heart started beating very quickly.. Its sounds to me like your body was going through the Fight or Flight response. This is a stress response caused by the body to produce adrenaline to get the heart pumping quickly..which could lead to a tachycardia (dont worry its not dangerous) smile when it senses that there is an impemding danger. So your body tenses up! But the problem is, is that there is nothing to fight or flee from.. And it could cause you to panic even more. Do you have a family history of heart problems? Are you a smoker? Do you drink a lot of alcohol? If all the answers are no... Then your chances of getting an SCA are EXTREMELY low.

    I've been obessing over my heart for the past month, ive been in situations where i felt like i couldnt breathe, and my heart was palpitating and i DID feel like i was dying... I went to the ER and had all these tests done and they diagnosed me with anxiety. I also got blood work done again for like the third time and everything came back normal. Also whenever i get a pain in my leg or my arm... I keept thinking "OH NO ITS A BLOCKED ARTERY" or something like that. If you are that concerned i recommend seeing a cardiologist! Im not saying there is anything wrong but just go to kind of ease your anxiety. Tell the doctor EVERYTHING you're feeling! And they will run some tests! If you have any other questions for me just simply reply back! I would love to do anything to comfort you and help you out!

    -sincerely Jess ??

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    • Posted

      Hey that could be possible seeing as im worrying all of the time so my body would respond like that. What is tachycardia? my family do not have a history of heart problems and I am not a smoker. I used to smoke sometimes but would only be a fag every now and then but I never labelled myself as a 'smoker' as i have never relied on it. my anxiety about my heart resulted me in stopping altogether and i don't even crave them. I also do drink alcohol sometimes, not a lot anymore my anxiety puts me off i used to enjoy a drink but most of the time i get worrried thinking alcohol will give me a heart attack or something. I wish it was that easy to see a cardiologist because I know that would reduce my anxiety a bit because they havent exactly tested me for everything, the only way thats really possible if my doctor refers me to one but every time i go to the doctors they always blame it on anxiety instantly and say that I dont need to me tested so the only way i'll ever get tested is if I go to accident and emergency but i don't want to do that because it makes me anxious as I feel like i could be wasting their time if there is nothing wrong and everyone that i know would say that i'm making a big fuss out of it.

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    • Posted

      Tachycardia is when the heart beats over 100 bpm. There are different types of tachycardia like ventricular tachycardia, or sinus tachycardia. But the tachycardia your talking about is not dangerous! Sinus tachycardia is a normal heart that is beating too fast, while ventricular tachycardia is when the hearts lower chambers beat too quickly.. But DONT WORRY! You dont have that! Im not trying to scare you or anything. I also forgot to mention that the fight or flight response actually has a third type of response, which is when you freeze and play dead and just lead the anxiety pass, this is probably what happened to you when you were lying on the floor thinking that you were going to die.. Your body thought that there was an impending danger so it just froze! But people do respond to stress differently. I often respond to it by freezing or fleeing. It really all depends on the person. As for the cardiologist, i dont have anything else to say but to probably keep trying? I have a counselor and i told her everything that i was experiencing like chest pain and all that. And she recommended seeing a specialist just to be 100%. The doctors were actually reluctant on referring me to a cardiologist.. But somehow i was lucky and they did it anyway. Probably because i mentioned it was what my counselor recommended! And they didnt have any other choice, and my mom needs to see one too! But i hope all goes well with you! Everything will be fine and you wont go into SCA or have a heart attack! Just keep yourself in good shape and follow lifes simple 7. Drink lots of water too! I think you'll be fine. And you will be fine! This is all just temporary and it will all go away eventually smile i still have severe anxiety now and still get chest pain and dizziness and feel like i might have a stroke or sca... But the mind is AMAZING! Its all in our heads! We will both be fine in the long run! smile your heart wont let you down ?? Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Hi 

    Ive had health anxiety for over a year, same issues and worries as  you except im 41.

    Do you take any medication to help your anxiety x

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    • Posted

      Doctors gave me two different types of medication to try before, which were proproanol (This gave me bad side effects and made chest pain worse, this drove my anxiety crazy) and citrapolom but I just had bad side effects from that as well. To be honest I don't want to rely on medication for the rest of my life either, I want to try get better without it first. Do you take mediciation for your anxiety then?

       

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  • Posted

    Wow. I took the words right out of my mouth. Everything you are experiencing, is the same I am. It's a very scary thing. I've been to the hospital about 11 times in the last 2 months and they all tell me the same thing, it's anxiety. It's totally I'm trying t my life. It's effecting every aspect of my life. I'm trying to teach myself that when these things happen, it's just anxiety and everything will be ok. It's a hard thing to do but that's what you have to do. I'm trying to teach myself how to calm down which can be even harder but it can happen. If your feeling anxious don't ever just lie down and try to calm down, always get up and do sumthing that keeps your mind focused on what your doing so you can't sit there and think about how tour body is feeling. I have sympathy or you, I really do. Bc I know exactly how you feel and like I said before, it's the scariest thing I've ever had to deal with.

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    • Posted

      Im glad to hear that im not the only one that suffers from this, I thought I was all alone. I do try and do things when it happens but my mind goes everywhere when it does occur and i completely lose track and concentration, i just panic really bad.
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  • Posted

    I have the same feelings you do and feel them on a daily basis, it makes me extremely scared. I'm trying my best to get over them but I'm not sure what to do. Ive been to doctors and they said I have something called Mitral Valve prolapse, but its nothing to worry about and its common, but it makes me very scared because I sitll get the same sensations. Rapid heart beat, palpitations and so fourth. They prescribed me propanolol and xanax, but I hate taking medicine and want to try and beat it. I just want you to know you're not alone, even though im sure it feels like it alot. Just do you're best to keep busy, thats what ive been trying to do. 

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    • Posted

      Its horrible isn't it. No matter what the cause its still scary, especially when its to do with the heart. I got prescribed propanolol at first, but I found that that was making my chest pain worse, which resulted in me panicking more so the doctors told me to stop taking it. But i'm the same as you I don't want to be relying on medication for the rest of my life, I want to beat it as well without putting things into my body. But thank you.

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  • Posted

    So sorry about your story. Happy belated birthday. I have some thoughts on all this for you..have you seen an endocrinologist? Might be worth one last dr visit. See if all your hormones are balanced, they tests for different stuff then standard doctors. Are you in any therapy like cbt? This anxiety stuff will change as you get older. The symptoms change up. It wont stay as it is now. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you,and no I haven't thought of that. Only the dr can refer me to one. i do intend on going to my doctor tomorrow or something to inform them about new symptoms ive been getting. They have been pretty useless though, they never take me serious. And I hope so...

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    • Posted

      Your symptoms are very text book anxiety. so it isnt that they arent taking you serious they see the same things over and over. But say ..look if this is anxiety i have to get whatever help i need to and battle that but if this is driven by some hormonal embalance and that happens to females then its important to rule that out and i want a referral to an endocrinologist. May i please get one. A lot of kids your age do have hormonal embalances. A soecialist knows whats common in an 18 yr old more so then the pediatrician. You  have to be very careful with doctors and giving them lists and lists of symptoms. They get annoyed. Only like it on tv shows so they sit there puzzled and figure it all out haha. You give the ones the bother you the most and say to them you are the doctor not me what do you think is going on? That empowers them to think and care more. They'd want to help versus lists of symptoms ...and you giving your thoughts and diagnosis, that annoys them and you land in the anxiety profiling bin and probably get a stay off the internet speech and stop dr. Googling.

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  • Posted

    I could have written everything you just said about myself I don't know what's causing all my issues but I'm telling you your far from being alone I have everything you just said. I've had EKGs one just two weeks ago showed fast heart rate nothing else. I have the chest pains off and on alot lately and now with these pains I'll get a very warm sensation come across my chest and move outward to my arms I don't know if you have that as well but it's scary.i also feel the need to swallow with this panic stuff or whatever it is and have trouble doing so but I don't really have trouble swallowing it just seems that way like a paranoia.ibe tried many antidepressants none help at all have you tried any to help you?

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