high blood pressure and anxiety

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Hi all. I posted a message some months ago regarding my BP, I went to the GP and ended up in hypertension crisis 200/110! My GP made me sit in the surgery for couple of hours and started me on amlodipine, this was fine until I had horrific side effects and ended up unable to walk, after few weeks was diagnosed with severe anxiety and stress so started on citalopram and propananol plus ramapril 5mg, it's been over a year now and I feel really good in myself and happy but have a phobia now of the BP machine, I had my own monitor but my family banned it as it made me worse, really want to visit GP and check it but very scared of Getting a high reading. I have worked so hard to change my life and don't get stressed and do yoga daily, anyone else feel the same? I am 38 yrs old

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139 Replies

  • Edited

    hails63112...Anxiety & stress will certainly boost up the bp readings. I can't go to the Dr.'s office without feeling anxious, then of course, the readings are quite a bit higher than they are at home. My doctor has come to realise/accept this, & was pleased with the readings I gave him. He certainly knows that seeing him for anything about my bp makes me anxious. So you see, I too have a phobia about having my bp taken whether it be at the Dr. office, OR at the Chiropractor. In fact, I don't believe the Chiropractor took the reading properly (the cuff wasn't very snug). You went on to say it's been over a year now, & you're feeling really good. I hope you didn't mean that you haven't taken your bp readings in that time. It's important to monitor your bp at home if you have a machine, but don't get into the habit of taking it too often. This can create anxiety you don't need. Don't take the readings if you feel ill, pain, or anxious. You must be completely relaxed. I know, you likely look at the machine the moment the cuff inflates to squeeze your arm, then you feel anxious, OR you feel the anxiety setting in when the machine is about to lower to give you the reading. You must try your best to stop all of this. If you're not completely relaxed, don't take the reading. Anyone taking bp medication should be seeing their doctor every few months if it's fairly well controlled, or more often if it isnt'. Perhaps you might make an appointment to see your doctor. Cheers!!
    • Posted

      Thanks Mike, my last reading was 27th December which was 119/78, I was so relaxed and chilled but at the start of a panic attack it was back up to 181/110, it's so bad, I heard that bp medication doesn't work anyway if it's anxiety related! Am due to go back soon for check up and very nervous! Think I cause my own bloodpressure! Thanks
    • Posted

      Hi again hails63112. Wow!..You've not had a bp reading since Dec.27.

      That's a long time. Did you take the reading yourself? or was that at the Dr.? You're so right, anxiety most certainly does drive the numbers UP.

      You saw proof of it. Nobody knows better than I, about what you're going through. I can be fine at home, get very reasonable readings, but the moment I step into the Dr.'s waiting room, I become nervous, & anxious which means that when the nurse takes my bp reading, the 

      numbers are much higher than at home. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my doctor is very well aware of what happens in the office, but I monitor my readings at home, & he accepts those. BP spikes from moment to moment, which is normal. I'd be willing to bet that once you're totally relaxed, etc...your reading would be where they should be. You said you were due to go back to the Dr. soon for a checkup, & yu're very nervous. You're already worrying about something that's happening 'down the road'. Try your best to get out of that mindset.

      Yes, you may be a little anxious the day of the appointment, but don't let the appointment get to you now. 

    • Posted

      Thanks Mike, for all your support. I haven't done my BP since December as I was advised to learn to relax, make positive lifestyle changes And take some medication for anxiety. I had readings prior to December for 3 times a day + , my parents then banned the monitor as I kept having a panic attack when the reading was high, my dream is to pluck up the courage to have it checked and it be fine. Nice to hear from you having the same thing so I am not alone! In general I feel great and happy and full of energy , can't believe how stressed out I was. Let's hope it's a low reading at the appointment. Thanks again for your help
    • Posted

      hails63112...You're most welcome. How well I know what you went through. Just looking at the bp monitor made me a little nervous,but in time that goes away...believe me! It's just a machine, just will give numbers, so why let it run our lives?. ..That's ridiculous, but at times we can't help it.

      You're bigger than the machine..you can do this. Remember, the key here is to completely relax. If you feel yourself becoming anxious..walk away from it. 

    • Posted

      I received a message that you had sent me a reply, but I have not received it.
    • Posted

      Hi mike, how's you?

      Still having phobia with BP machine! Had a panic attack when the GP tried to put the 24 HR machine on me, the machine said error and wouldn't work, the nurse said it was because my bp was so high! I am so scared. Still don't know if I have true hypertension or if I panic, any advice you can offer would be great. Thanks

    • Edited

      Hello hails63112...I'm certainly not a technician by any stretch, but I fail to see why a machine would say 'error', & not work because the bp was so high!!!!??? Just 'why' the nurse would say that to you is also a mystery.

      Naturally, that would make you even more upset. Did they ever get a machine for you that was working???? Truly, you need to learn to relax, 

      or to learn some relaxing techniques.

      If my memory serves me correctly, do you not have your own bp monitor? Usually, we are far more relaxed in our own homes, without the white coat symdrome. If you feel anxious, do not take the readings, as most likely they will be rather high. Only take the readings when you're relaxed..never after drinking tea/coffee, exercising, showers, etc...unless at least 30 min. have passed. That also includes smoking.

      I don't know what else to suggest..but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask. I'll help as much as I can.

    • Posted

      Thanks so much, I appreciate your reply, on a daily basis, I now feel so much better and have worked so hard to relax, I do yoga every day as well as normal exercise, in fact recently I have felt fab! I am afraid of taking at home now as well, my friend says that I have post traumatic stress , have been thinking of being hypnotised? Don't know what else to do as GP wants a reading and I can't do it! Thanks again didn't manage to get machine fitted because I was in such a state.

    • Posted

      Hello again, hails63112. Again,I fail to understand just why a monitor can't be fitted because of your anxiety.There are no needles, etc...Basically, it's a portable bp monitor which is programmed to take your bp approximately every 20 min. or so..& the numbers are recorded within the little box.

      If you don't mind my asking...what type of post traumatic stress do you have? Did you have a terrifying experience, or does it all have to do witht he bp machine. You never know, hypnosis just may help you...the hypnotist or whoever would do the hypnotising would make you believe the machine will not aggravate you...you won't feel uncomfortable about it...but it's something you eventually will have to overcome, else you'll never get accurate bp readings. I think I know what happens to you...you can feel absolutely fabulous,..exercising, etc.etc...then when the idea comes to mind that it may be time to take a reading, you feel yourself becoming very tense, yoiur heart beats faster, & you're almost to the point of shaking. In your mind, you're worrying that the numbers will be high. Am I correct? THAT my friend is most definitely anxiety caused by the very idea of having your bp readings taken. Perhaps hypnosis is the way to go. To keep pumping you with bp meds truly isn't the answer because your readings may not truly be as high as they are on the machines all because of anxiety. 

      My readings have been quite good of late...yet when I saw the GP last week, I was nervous; anticipating what was going to transpire, etc. Yes, the reading was elevated (a little) but theGP knows about my anxiety once I attend the office, & he looks over the numbers I give him that wre taken at home. In fact he said to me..."no need to feel self-conscience about the white coat syndrom. It's more prevalent than you think".

      There you go!

      Please let me know how you get on. Cheers!!!

    • Posted

      Thanks Mike, you have been very helpful, yes you worded it so well, I had a traumatic incident 2 years ago when I went to GP for check up, whilst I was there they checked my bp and it was 200/110 the GP looked so scared and I had to sit in a room for 2 hrs , the doc said she had to check I wasn't having a stroke! since then I got diagnosed with anxiety disorder from chronic stress in my life at the time. I am so scared now if the same things happen again, well done you for getting good readings, bet you feel so relaxed. Thanks again
    • Posted

      Hi Hails, I just started having this issue aswell. I'm 26 years old, extremely active otherwise healthy dude and it started 3 days ago. I went in for some shots in my back but my BP read 160/100, because i had little sleep and ate really salty food the day before and was nervous to get injections in my spine, I had also been taking medication that can increase blood pressure. So i immediately went to my PCP and they said i should see a cardiologist for my heart and that my EKG was abnormal, more stress... Yesterday i saw my PCP and he said that i should start a very low treatment of BP medicine. Later last night my friends came over and we were supposed to go out and drink for the holidays and before we went out i felt anxious and just wanted to check my BP to be safe before we drank, it was like 174/100, cue me freaking out but decided to just hangout with my friends and be D.D.. Anyways good night out but chest pains all night and burping the whole time. Get home at 4 am, check my BP just cause i'm worried, 184/104, immediately freak out and have my dad take me to the E.R. once in the e.r. its 202/114... After about 30 mins check again and its at 165/95 then 160/90 so they release me with new BP meds. Ever since then, i've had chest pain and been extremely anxious all the while trying everything i can to get it off my mind... Found a friend who had some Xanax took that chest pains subsided but just checked my bp, 184/100ish. I just don't know what to do... checking it raises my bp... i can't help it.

    • Posted

      wonderful advise....I too suffer from BP phobia....mine can go high, then get lower - bit my nerves and pounding I can feel when I can not get a handle on the anxious feeling...
    • Posted

      thats exactly what I feel. i was told by a cardiologist that I cause my heart to stress out.

      anxiety is no good and i think my Hypertension not being controlled is through my uncontrolled anxiety.

      off to psychiatrist today . need this sorted out.

      best of luck my friend

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