SVT is ruining my life

Posted , 19 users are following.

Hi everyone!

I just want to thank you all for your posts it really makes me feel better to know I am not alone in this. I had an SVT attack 3 years ago where my heart rate got up to 204bpm. I was freaking out as I didn't know what was going on. I went the ER and they had to actually stop my heart in order to get it back to normal. Worst feeling ever. I had the heart ablation shortly after and I've been fine (minus anxiety) up until yesterday when I had another episode. Luckily, I am currently wearing a heart monitor due to pounding heart beats that I informed my cardiologist about, so he suggested I wear a heart monitor for two weeks to see what's going on. Does anyone else feel their heart pounding while lying down? Mine beats so hard sometimes that it actually shakes the bed. I know I was diagnosed with SVT, and even though I am not a doctor, I really think I have anxiety. Ever since the episode 3 years ago, my anxiety has been horrible. I am constantly worried that something is wrong with my heart and I may have another episode at any moment. Because of these fears, I hardly ever go anywhere far from home or where I am around a lot of people. Does anyone else experience anxiety? I am currently taking Sertraline 50 mg for anxiety, but I don't feel like it is working so my family doctor prescribed 0.5mg of Xanax to take when needed. When I started having the episode last night I took a Xanax and begin to take deep breaths and within 10 minutes my heart rate had went back to normal. I am so confused. Do I have SVT or is it simply anxiety? I exercise 3-5 times a week doing both cardio and weights and I feel fine. I am never out of breath, having chest pains or feeling lightheaded. I am thinking I may need to see a psychiatrist to prescribe me a different type of anxiety medicine. I had a friend who went through similiar situations. She was being told that it was her heart and after several attacks, a different doctor finally diagnosed her with anxiety and she's been fine ever since. Can anyone else relate?


0 likes, 32 replies

32 Replies

  • Edited

    Hi there ,so sorry that this is blighting your life.Ireally do think you have anxiety as I had the same problem. You are super aware of your heart , and you become hyper sensitive,so every time you notice your heart going a little faster you panic. Release adrenaline and off it goes.I let this ruin my life for so many years always frightened it was going to go into SVT and it's exhausting and no way to live. In the end I went and got some CBT therepy and it was the best thing I ever did, it has given me my life back.I now realise that I waisted so much time  almost waiting for it to happen and in reality it hardly ever did. I had such high anxiety levels that of course it made my heart race but it was not SVT.your heart can race for hours and not cause you any damage and from what you say your heart is healthy so you really have nothing to worry about. If I were you I would look into CBT, I live in the U.K. But I did go private but it was worth every penny.I hope you feel better soon .

    • Posted

      Thank so much for your response Teena. I'm not sure what CBT is but I am going to Google it. You're right, it's like I am waiting for something to happen which is causing the anxiety, but the cardiologists insists it's SVT. I had a heart ablation and I really don't think it was necessary. I have turned into a hypochondriac and it is not fun. Thank you for your help I am going to look into your suggestion! 🙂🙂

    • Posted

      Good Morning!

      The doctors would not have made you have an ablation unless it was an SVT hon. It is normal for someone to have anxiety that has been caused by the SVT, because frankly the episodes are scary and it can become an obsessive uncontrollable fear (anxiety) very easily. Sounds like the ablation may have helped your SVT, but now you are having anxiety symptoms that presents itself like your SVT but is infact just the fear of it. And when I say just the fear I use that term very losely because anxiety can be a very life limiting problem for people. The deep breathing will stop an anxiety attack but not an SVT most of the time. So if you start to feel your heart going, take deep breaths and focus on your breathing technique. This should stop the attack all together. CBT is cognative behavoural therapy and that will help hugely! It teaches you to see the triggers of anxiety before the adrenaline is released and you have an anxiety attack. Totally go private though NHS CBT sadly did not help me! All the best of luck smile X

    • Posted

      CBT is cognitive behavioural therepy, they just talk to you and get you to see a different way of thinking so your anxiety levels are kept under control and you learn how to cope when you really are stressed.I had two major SVT attacks 16 years ago. Hospitalised both times and treated with drugs.I was then sent for an ablation that unfortunately didn't work, as they could not make it go wrong in theatre. They sent me a way basically to just get on with it and no meds. In all that time I have had very few attacks and when I do it's always at night in bed ,but they always stop on their own, or I can stop them myself.However for years , like you my world got smaller as I was so scared of having an attack and that caused the anxiety and my heart would start beating very fast, then I would panick, then it would beat faster......vicious circle . You end up so anxious that you are constantly aware of your heart and it hard to determine if it is true SVT or anxiety.I now just enjoy my life and really do not panic about it, as at the end of the day there are worse things and it according to my cardiologist,it won't kill you .

    • Posted

      Thank you Molly for your response. I thought it was anxiety, but I'm currently wearing a heart monitor and my cardiologist said it was SVT. I really hope I don't have to repeat the surgery, but whatever is necessary I guess. I've read that some people have had to have it more than once. 

  • Posted

    Hi Hun I have svt and also have really bad anxiety the problem is it's hard to tell what's going on unless you are at the hospital while it is happening so they can see which part of your heart it is coming from my last attack I thought was svt it felt the same wasn't I was told it was stress anxiety is aweful and I feel the same with anxiety I don't want to go far i case I have an attack but Hun it's just the brain playing tricks on you go out start to do things slowly trust yourself remember to stop and relax when you need too it will take a while to understand all this but you will get there

    • Posted

      Hi Crissy and thanks for your response. You are absolutely right anxiety is awful and the fear of having another SVT attack is what's causing it I know. I have started to try and force myself to relax by taking deep breaths and I am also on anxiety medicine, so hopefully this helps. I'm just like you, I am afraid to go far from home out of fear that SVT or anxiety will attack me again and this is no way to live. 

      We have to take back control of our lives!

    • Posted

      Your so right time to re claim our lives one thing about svt and anxiety we can feel our heart beats we're other people aren't as aware of there heart I know it's hard but try and ignore it try not to concentrate on it says me who does it all the time but I find it helps I'm have so much to do I'm so sick of living in fear but every time I go to a doctor no one know how to deal with no only anxiety but svt some anti depressants make it all worse to good luck I hope things improve for you soon

  • Posted

    Hi, you have already been given very good advice here so I think I have little worthwhile I can add. 

    I'm a 58 year old male. I had SVT for about twenty years until I had an ablation. That was about five years ago and I haven't had even one SVT episode since. As far as I know, an ablation generally either works more or less immediately or it doesn't. I think it would be very unusual for an ablation to work for a few years and then for SVT to return. So like the others, I would guess that SVT is not the cause of your problems now.

    Anxiety seems to be a very common debilitating disorder nowadays, and more so for folk that have SVT, or have had it in the past, because we are very sensitive to changes in heart rhythm that non-SVT folk just don't notice. My best guess is that anxiety is the root of your problems now. I am a bit prone to anxiety, and sometimes the palpitations that go with it, mainly because of other medical issues and the drugs used to treat them. 

    Perhaps once a month I take a tablet (e.g. Xanax) to calm things down but generally I find the best preventative is to keep busy so that I don't have too much time to dwell on negative stuff. I play a lot of golf, walk, meet friends, and spend time concentrating on things on the TV or computer (e.g. playing games like Solitaire etc.). I find a few drinks most days does no harm either!

    During and after chemo for cancer about four years back I was on a lot of benzos to treat anxiety. They helped a lot but I found them less effective as time went on and quite addictive so it took several difficult months to wean myself off them. I would strongly recommend avoiding meds like that unless you have absolutely no choice. Personally, I find a very small amount of cannabis herb (with THC) before going to bed more relaxing and far, far, less harmful to body and soul. By very small I mean not enough to get you anthing near 'high', but just enough to relax and let tiredness take its natural course. 

    I've never tried CBT, but from what I've read here I would try that first if you cansmile.

    Really hope things get better for you soon.

    • Posted

      Hi and thank you so much for your response. I usually have anxiety attacks when I am getting ready for bed. I guess at this time I'm not active, so my mind is just wondering. I am on a daily anxiety medicine that I have been on for about 2 or 3 years and like you said, it's seems to not be working anymore, so I'm having to take double doses. 

      I have 0.5mg of Xanax to take too if it gets really bad, but I am really afraid to take those thinking I may become addicted. 

      I think I am going to go see a psychiatrist to see if I really have anxiety or if SVT has come back. Thanks again for your feedback and I hope you continue to stay healthy!

  • Posted

    I get SVT attacks and have panic attacks from anxiety.  There is a difference and a way to tell them apart.  If it's a SVT attack, it will start suddenly from a normal heart rate to very fast is split second and it will also stop suddenly, from very fast to normal is a split second.  If it's a panic attack... your heart rate will start out slow and then get faster, faster and faster and builds up gradually.  Panic attacks do the same as it stops, it will end fast and the go slower and slower, gradually, until it is back to normal.  I hope this helps.  For many years, since I was younger, I used to get both, and still do, but my doctor just kept telling me it was just panic attacks.  I knew there was something different going on.  So, I finally bought a hand held monitor and caught it.  I showed it to my doctor and was finally diagnosed SVT. 

    • Posted

      Hi Melissa,

      Wow that's crazy that you had to diagnose yourself. I'm glad that you knew something wasn't right and did something about it, because a lot of times doctors are wrong and you know your body better than anyone. You didn't want to try to heart ablation? I had it 3 years ago which is why I am really thinking that it's anxiety.

  • Posted

    Hi. I am a 45 year old woman who was diagnosed with Svt this past July. I couldn't even stand up and my heart would shoot up to 200. I have been to all doctors and I'm healthy (besides svt) I have not have an ablation but I take a beta blocker and so far it kept my heart at a regular rate. The problem is I still have shortness of breath and bloating and I'm belching etc.. so I have recently gone to Cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) I have only been a few times but I believe I truly have an anxiety disorder. This may or may not have caused the svt. So now I am weaning off benzos ( ativan) and may try an anxiety medication or something natural. I am slowly trying to Babystep back into my life. If I could offer any advice it's to not let this control you. The svt is scary and the trauma alone from that can start causing you phobias. Scared to leave the house or to be in crowds or even to walk. Scared of every feeling you have I am very hypersensitive to any feelings I have now. Heart skipping or tight throat, sore chest, tingling hands etc...this has flipped my life upside down and I'm just trying to piece it back together. I have an app on my phone called mindshift. I use it for distractions and to calm me down before an anxiety attack hits. I play games on my phone. You will not die...It's just an inconvenience and don't let it control you. The mind is a powerful thing. The therapy will help change the way you think about things. I am basically on high alert all the time and my body is reacting to my thoughts. Anxiety causes so many physical symptoms I never knew was even possible. Keep that in mind. This can be takes some time and effort but I believe if people on this forum have got their lives back so can we!! Good luck 😊

    • Posted

      Wow thank you so much Shelley you really hit the nail on the head. If I feel that anything is not normal whether it's a heachache, tingling hands, chest pains or whatever I totally freak out and automatically assume the worst. I have really been working on trying to control that, but I am still afraid to go many places. I workout a lot which surprises me that I am not even afraid to do that. I feel that the more I workout though, the healthier I will become, so I guess that's why I am able to continue that. I may have to try CBT and thank you for recommending the app to me I have started using that as well. You have made me feel so much better thank you so much. It's good to talk to someone who understand and can relate to what you are going through. I am a 31 year old female and I had my first SVT and ablation when I was about 29.

  • Posted

    I've only had svt diagnosed for a little over two months, but the fear of it combined with my medicine ( bisoporol) side effects I felt rubbish and I started to suffer with anxiety which increased quite quickly, my mind was on overdrive constantly, it was draining. I went to see a counselor and it helped me massively, along with some changes to my doseage( drs approval) I have had one svt since and I was calm and terminated it very quickly.

    I was helped by been able to talk about the way I felt and to make sense of what is what, to categorize my feelings mentally and physically into 3 main boxes, now the feelings are reduced massively.

    As others have stated therapy is probably a really good option for you, I don't quite understand how it works but it does, and it was worth every penny.

    Hope you can get the help you need a get the control back.

    Best regards


    • Posted

      Wow, thank you Craig I have already been considering seeing a therapist and after reading your message I really think that's what I need to do. For you to have just been diagnosed two months ago and already have the ability to control yours is amazing. It's been three years for me and I still panic at the thought of having another one. You've made me feel a lot better. I hope it never does but if happens again, I am going to stay calm, take deep breaths and try to get rid of it on my own.  Have you considered the heart ablation?

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