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I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm not sure how exactly, maybe by giving me tips to get over this irrational fear.
My health anxiety has been rather bad lately, mainly focusing around the idea that my heart is failing, I'm going to have a heart attack, or I have a pulmonary embolism. Because of this, I begin panicking any time my pulse speeds up and I take my pulse/feel my heartbeat continuously throughout the day.
This has gradually gotten worse, and I'm now scared to do anything that will raise my pulse. I feel winded and breathless after climbing a flight of stairs, and have to rest for a while because my heart will be racing (part because of the movement itself, part because of panic). I now try my best to avoid all unnecessary exercise because of the fear I'll have a heart attack or such.
Anyways, I'm overweight and have been rather unhappy for a while. I've finally plucked up the courage to take out a gym membership and will be going for the first time tomorrow. Here's the problem - because of what I've mentioned above, I'm terrified of actually stepping onto any of the machines. I'm terrified in case I become extremely breathless, in case I have a heart attack, or even in case I make a fool of myself by working myself up and inducing a panic attack.
How can I get over this? I know I NEED to do this, but I can't get my head round actually doing it.
Oh, and to top it off I have asthma (although I've never actually had an asthma attack) and I'm scared in case I have one while working out. I'm stuck in a vicious cycle! I'm depressed because of my appearance so I want to work out, but I'm scared to work out in case something bad happens, so I become even more unfit and even more depressed.
Sorry for the long rant, I just really need some help right now. :'(
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