Need advice, do I have an anxiety disorder? losing my mind here :(

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hello people, I'm 18 and at the moment I feel as if though my life is at a standstill. I've always been an anxious person, my anxieties mainly centre around my health. A couple of months back I expericened very frightening heart flutters/skipped beats that occured randomly as I was just sitting down which absolutely terrified me, I genuinely thought I was dying. I went to the doctors and I was examined and I got an ECG done and everything came back fine besides a rapid pulse. The doctor told me not to worry and then gave me some beta blockers to take whenever I felt my heart beating fast. However to be safe he referred me to the cardiology unit in the nearest hospital, however the long waiting list may require me to wait several months. 

      Furthermore, since I experienced these palpitations I am obsessed with my heart. I am constantly checking my pulse, I check my pulse at least about 40 times a day. Whenever I notice my heart beating rapidly I seem to get extremely anxious and then get full blown panic attacks in which I get an overwhelming sense of fear rushing through my body and my breathing goes all funny. I get at least 3-4 panic attacks a week, sometimes for no reason at all. 

      Basically I have no life at the moment, my life consists of worrying about my health and worrying that people are judging me. I hardly ever go out and socialise, because I'm scared that I'm being judged and scared of having a panic attack or palpitations. I've gone from a fairly social person to a recluse person that isolates himself from everyone. My family are concerned about me and I think it's really affecting them and it really breaks my heart. 

      I know that life is short and that I'm young and my whole life is ahead of me, but these feelings of worry are overwhelming. I've always wanted to travel and see the world, however I'm stuck in a spiral that I can't exit..It's consuming me and I have little hope for my future because of the way things are going sad 

      Should I go see a GP about this? What are your opinions? I just need someone's input and I'd like to see if anyone else have experienced anything similar. Thank you so much for reading through this  

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, 

    It definitely sounds like you have anxiety, more specifically health anxiety. Going to your GP about this would be a good idea, they can advise you on possible treatments. I.e. Cognitive behavioural therapy. They'll also be able to show you some relaxation techniques to help when you feel panicky, so that hopefully it shouldn't turn into a full panic attack. 

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    • Posted

      Hello Amy, thank you for the reply smile I've booked an appointment with my GP and I'm going to tell her everything in hope that she can offer some kind of help. I've been looking into breathing techniques, whenever I feel panicky they seem to help for a short period of time. I'll certainly try various relaxation techniques.

      -Thank you once again for your reply

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  • Posted

    Definitely go and see your GP. He may put you on some medication to calm your nerves. 

    I too had arrythmia and my young daughter as well. I was put on meds because I didn't have three normal beats in a row. I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. My daughter was not given medication because although the occasional bang, bang of beats was noticeable, she could still carry on normally. She didn't feel faint or anything like I did. The cardiologist said that many, many people have arrythmia, many don't even realize it and if it doesn't interfere with whatever you are doing, you don't need a beta blocker. You just live with it. I was on beta blockers for 1 1/2 years. I knew it was necessary but they made me feel sleepy...and like I was a cardiac invalid.

    One day I decided to join a gym hoping that it would 'push' my heart into normal rhythm....with my doctor's encouragement. I was 46 btw. I did aerobic activity for 35 minutes and another half hour of stretches and weights. After a week, again with my cardiologist's permission, I started to slowly taper off the beta blockers. Week after week, I was able to lower the dose and my heart stayed stable. I was so excited. I had tried it in the past because my cardiologist wanted me on a lower dose (I was on the maximum of 320 mg per day) but each time I reduced the beta blocker by a tiny bit, my heart would fly out of control..with not even 3 steady beats in a row as I said earlier.

    When I was off the beta blocker completely, I was still going to the gym 6 mornings out of 7. I went to see hte cardiologist and gave him the good news and he couldn't believe it. But he told me, "You will be back in here soon with arrythmia." Well, it's 19 years later and guess what?...no atrial fibrillation! 

    When he first diagnosed me, he told me that i was NEVER ever supposed to drink coffee, tea, colas or energy drinks with caffeine in them, never have any stimulant of any kind such as in some cold remedies or at the dentist's. He also said to keep out of cigaratte-snokey environments. On a rare occasion I have had a coffee...and my heart starts to feel wobbly and starts to speed up. So I steer clear of ANY caffeine.

    Do you know what to do if your heart starts to race? You bear down as if you are having a BM...or having a baby. That is what the cardiologist told me to do. That will often stabilize your heart. My friend;'s heart tended to race and she told me that it does work. 

    Don't worry so much about it. But do get to a gym or get involved in some sport or activity where you work up a sweat. Always check with your GP first. At least go for a brisk walk every day. That might just do the trick...and stopping any caffeine or stimulants...forever!

    Robin

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    • Posted

      Hello Robin, thank you for your reply smile I'm sorry to hear about the arrhythmias you have experienced. Fortunately for me; whenever I've been examined by the doctor he doesn't seem to pick up any irregular beats but however just a rapid heart rate that appears to be regular. I'm only on a very low dose of beta blockers i.e. 10mg of propranolol (sorry about the spelling haha) 10 minutes ago I experienced like a fluttering in my heart area and now my heart rate is about 140 which is sending my feelings of anxiety sky high sad I do a lot of exercise, I cycle a lot and I walk which really helps me relax as I live in a beautiful rural area.

      just a quick question, you mentioned you had Artial Fibrillation, if i had it would it get picked up straight away on my ECG or is it possible to get short temporary episodes of it?

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  • Posted

    Hi J

    Wow, this sounds like me a couple decades ago smile.  

    I only found out about 10 years after first experiencing this that the initial sensations that I felt that led to huge anxiety about my heart was actually just bubbles of air passing just under the area of the heart which can mimic strange heart beats.  I have more recently found out that the state of your gut health can directly be connected to anxiety and anxiety symptoms - google the gut brain connection. 

    It is good that you went to see a cardiologist and you were given the all clear and my advice is to trust that.  

    I always advise people to look for an EFT Practitioner, preferably FasterEFT.  I don't know where I would be if it was not for using it.  Great thing is that once you know what to do you can use it on your own and consult with a Practitioner once a week for a few weeks.

    Look forward to hearing how you are doing.  Learning how to breathe is also very good.  I use the Heartmath breathing techniques.  The other thing that also helps get you out of the fight, flight, freeze is to practise something called Periferal Vision - you can google that too.

    Hope this all helps.

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    • Posted

      Hello Sue, thanks for the replysmile when you had these bubbles of air, did it feel like a fluttering in your chest? I'm interested to know whether that is the case for me, what was the cause of these air bubbles? It's funny that you mention the gut-brain connection because I was actually reading up on it the other day and it certainly is interesting.

      . Could you possibly tell me more about the EFT practitioner? I've been reading up on breathing techniques and they do help temporarily, but when I'm having a panic attack it just feels as if the last thing I want to do is breathe deeply because of the overwhelming feeling of fear and palpitations.

      Thank you once again for the reply- smile

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  • Posted

    Hi the majority of symptoms Ur experiencing I have had over the years I was diagnosed with GAD generalized anxiety disorder have a little read up about it its a little bit different from just Ur "normal" anxiety I used to check my blood pressure every hour, if I had a pain in my chest I thought it was a heart attack pins an needles, feeling rizzy i was goinf to collapse palpitations made me panic thinking ny heart woyld stop have terrible anxiety over my health then it effected my social life I don't socialise with friends find it hard to be in crowds crossing roads being in public in general ... I'd definaitly go and see Ur Dr to get a diagnosis so they can help you before it gets worse I've fed my illness with constant negative thoughts its never too late to make a change just have to remember u haven't always been this way and this does not define u as a person u is still hiding in there just have to break down the walls no matter how long it takes xxx
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    • Posted

      Hello Cerry, I know what you mean with those symptoms. For example, when I experience a rapid heart rate I am convinced that I'm going to die of either a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest rolleyes I'll literally spend hours even days just worrying. It sucks because like you said, it affects your social life. I also seem to feed myself negative thoughts which I know doesn't help but I feel as if it's just the way my thought processes work. I'm going to the doctors next week because I literally can't deal with it anymore, it has officially got the best of me rolleyes

      thank you once again for your reply smile xxx

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    • Posted

      I'm not a doctor but u have exactly the same symptoms as me and I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder so it is definaitly worth a trip to the doctors... Look online for CBT ebooks I started reading one while I wait for CBT and its taught me to realise that everything is OK with me it is just anxiety reasurrance works wonders.. I've had high blood pressure due to anxiety im only 28 its an awful illness but Ur really not alone xxx
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    • Posted

      It makes me feel so much better knowing that it's not just me that's experiencing this. I'll certainly have a look at CBT smile one thing I've been sort of down about recently is how unsociable I've become, all my mates are always outside or at the pub but I can't get myself to go out with them because I know I'll just feel on edge all night rolleyes and I think they're kind of losing interest in me (I don't blame them) but I don't think they understand how I'm feeling, it's so frustrating.

      Thank you for replying againsmile and I really hope CBT works well for you xxx

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