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Been having extreme cardiac anxiety for over 3 months now.

lukef777

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My severe cardiac anxiety all started with one severe panic attack that made me feel as if I could not breathe. After that event, I grabbed a pulse oximeter from CVS and began to monitor my oxygen levels a very unhealthy amount. Eventually this started to spread into focusing on the other number on the pulse oximeter, which was my heart rate. I noticed that my heart rate bounces around frequently. For example, within the span of one minute my heart rate will go from 85, 67, 78, 94, 105, etc. This eventually has led to an insane increase in my insanely specific heart palpitations in which I do not feel a "thump" like others. Mine feel like a drop on a rollercoaster. It almost feels as if my throat is being pulled into my stomach. During this time, I develop temporary shortness of breath and start to panic. Doctors have told me that both my blood tests and ekgs look normal. Still I find that I need more tests. I see a cardiologist on June 1st to try to dig deeper into this terrible situation I am having. Due to this, I have become slightly dependent on Xanax, which I have taken every day for the past two months. Driving has become a nightmare for me in particular due to this. I am constantly checking my pulse, taking ekgs on my Apple Watch, and searching my symptoms on google (bad idea I know haha). I just created an account on here to see if anyone else has had a similar experience to this. I will follow through with a cardiologist nonetheless, but it would mean the world to me if there was someone else out there with a similar experience that has had success in beating this.
 

restlessduck

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I get you. I used to monitor my heart rate and oxygen levels constantly before my health anxiety transferred to focusing on other symptoms. It's a hard one to overcome. Just trust your doctors and remember that your heart rate is probably fluctuating because of your anxiety. Anxiety can do all kinds of funky things to your body and make you exhibit physical symptoms.
 

Sloth54

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My severe cardiac anxiety all started with one severe panic attack that made me feel as if I could not breathe. After that event, I grabbed a pulse oximeter from CVS and began to monitor my oxygen levels a very unhealthy amount. Eventually this started to spread into focusing on the other number on the pulse oximeter, which was my heart rate. I noticed that my heart rate bounces around frequently. For example, within the span of one minute my heart rate will go from 85, 67, 78, 94, 105, etc. This eventually has led to an insane increase in my insanely specific heart palpitations in which I do not feel a "thump" like others. Mine feel like a drop on a rollercoaster. It almost feels as if my throat is being pulled into my stomach. During this time, I develop temporary shortness of breath and start to panic. Doctors have told me that both my blood tests and ekgs look normal. Still I find that I need more tests. I see a cardiologist on June 1st to try to dig deeper into this terrible situation I am having. Due to this, I have become slightly dependent on Xanax, which I have taken every day for the past two months. Driving has become a nightmare for me in particular due to this. I am constantly checking my pulse, taking ekgs on my Apple Watch, and searching my symptoms on google (bad idea I know haha). I just created an account on here to see if anyone else has had a similar experience to this. I will follow through with a cardiologist nonetheless, but it would mean the world to me if there was someone else out there with a similar experience that has had success in beating this.
Sorry you are going through this. I know how scary it is. I’ve had this happen to me as well. But there are a few things I learned from it. One is that a panic attack that causes rapid heart rate does not actually affect the heart in a bad way. There are people who have panic attacks all the time and for many years yet the heart is perfectly fine. Any symptoms or sensations that we get from anxiety are not harmful to the body. I’ve had anxiety my entire life and I am in my 50s. My heart is very strong and I no longer have panic attacks , and one of the reasons is because I accept the fact that they are not harmful. When we tell our brain that something is wrong, then we are going to get all kinds of scary sensations, such as rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sometimes even numbness and tingling . Those are sensations that are put out by by the sympathetic nervous system, when we are anxious. The fight or flight’. Then, when we let fear take us over, everything gets worse. And we think there’s something wrong with our heart. So what happens is people who are stuck in the major fear mode is that they go Dr. hopping to find the answer of what’s going on because they know for sure something is wrong. Which in most cases, nothing really is wrong. This is common in many people who have anxiety and fear. Remember your doctor said everything is normal. You could visit 10 other doctors and most likely they will all say You are fine. At some point we have to accept that they are right and they are experienced and know what they’re doing.
constantly checking the pulse ox, etc. will only increase the anxiety. I’ve done that and it doesn’t help in anyway.
Some of the best things you can do right now, are find ways to calm down your mind and body. That’s the only way you’re going to see some improvement. I would also recommend getting some counseling for this. It really helps to vent to somebody else who can help. it really helped me a lot and I was able to do it virtually. Get on YouTube and listen to some great meditations for anxiety and overthinking. I do those still at least once a day and it completely calms down my brain and body. Our mind can sometimes be our worst enemy . Take care
 

lukef777

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Sorry you are going through this. I know how scary it is. I’ve had this happen to me as well. But there are a few things I learned from it. One is that a panic attack that causes rapid heart rate does not actually affect the heart in a bad way. There are people who have panic attacks all the time and for many years yet the heart is perfectly fine. Any symptoms or sensations that we get from anxiety are not harmful to the body. I’ve had anxiety my entire life and I am in my 50s. My heart is very strong and I no longer have panic attacks , and one of the reasons is because I accept the fact that they are not harmful. When we tell our brain that something is wrong, then we are going to get all kinds of scary sensations, such as rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sometimes even numbness and tingling . Those are sensations that are put out by by the sympathetic nervous system, when we are anxious. The fight or flight’. Then, when we let fear take us over, everything gets worse. And we think there’s something wrong with our heart. So what happens is people who are stuck in the major fear mode is that they go Dr. hopping to find the answer of what’s going on because they know for sure something is wrong. Which in most cases, nothing really is wrong. This is common in many people who have anxiety and fear. Remember your doctor said everything is normal. You could visit 10 other doctors and most likely they will all say You are fine. At some point we have to accept that they are right and they are experienced and know what they’re doing.
constantly checking the pulse ox, etc. will only increase the anxiety. I’ve done that and it doesn’t help in anyway.
Some of the best things you can do right now, are find ways to calm down your mind and body. That’s the only way you’re going to see some improvement. I would also recommend getting some counseling for this. It really helps to vent to somebody else who can help. it really helped me a lot and I was able to do it virtually. Get on YouTube and listen to some great meditations for anxiety and overthinking. I do those still at least once a day and it completely calms down my brain and body. Our mind can sometimes be our worst enemy . Take care
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I will certainly look into the YouTube videos about meditation and calming of the mind. Thanks again!
 

JustMe

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I have heart anxiety too. They've caught my palpitations on a monitor. I feel much better that they caught everything and know exactly what's going on and still said all is benign. So I had a 2 week monitor, stress test and echocardiogram. I think I've coverall all bases and the dr says I'm good and these won't kill me so I've been slowly gaining confidence in my heart and body that I won't suddenly die. These tests definitely put my mind at ease. I actually just had a little episode tonight and I've been super stressed for days so I was kind expecting something to happen. It finally did and I didn't freak out this time.
 

lukef777

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Thank you for your reply. I am super nervous about my appointment tomorrow. I hope I can get these tests done and receive good news so I can actually work up the courage to work out again. I've gained like 15 pounds in three months because I simply cannot get myself to run because I am so scared my heart will just give out. Did they do any tests on you on your initial cardiologist visit?
 

JustMe

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Initial visit the dr said it was all in my head and just anxiety and nothing was wrong with me. I insisted on getting a Holter monitor for 2 weeks. He tried to refuse but I begged. I got the monitor put on there, thank goodness. I also asked for a stress test. They scheduled it there but for like 2 weeks out. It took about 3 weeks after I mailed in the Holter monitor to get the results which caught svt, pac and pvc. He said the burden was under 1% so I was fine. I then said I wanted an echocardiogram to make sure the pvcs didn't weaken my heart. He ordered that and it took another 3 weeks to get in for that appt. I saw the results online and he still hasn't called to tell me them but they seemed normal. It's been about 3 months or so now. Even with all those tests I am still scared to work out or even walk around the block. I try to talk myself into it but I had an episode while walking and now I'm freaked out again.
 

Jonathan123

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Initial visit the dr said it was all in my head and just anxiety and nothing was wrong with me. I insisted on getting a Holter monitor for 2 weeks. He tried to refuse but I begged. I got the monitor put on there, thank goodness. I also asked for a stress test. They scheduled it there but for like 2 weeks out. It took about 3 weeks after I mailed in the Holter monitor to get the results which caught svt, pac and pvc. He said the burden was under 1% so I was fine. I then said I wanted an echocardiogram to make sure the pvcs didn't weaken my heart. He ordered that and it took another 3 weeks to get in for that appt. I saw the results online and he still hasn't called to tell me them but they seemed normal. It's been about 3 months or so now. Even with all those tests I am still scared to work out or even walk around the block. I try to talk myself into it but I had an episode while walking and now I'm freaked out again.
I have said before that it's a pity we can't recognize the normality of our symptoms. Your body is responding to your thoughts and preparing you for an assumed danger. Yours is a typical anxiety manifestation. You have been checked out and told you are ok, but you don't really believe them. Also, you are making the very big mistaken of looking up symptoms. In your present state you are wide open to suggestion so that once an erroneous idea enters your mind you pick it up and run with it. Your medics are obviously not worried about you so why are you? Habit! Oh yes, anxiety can become a habit that is often difficult to break. But it can be done if we accept it all and stop being apprehensive. Big order? Oh yes, acceptance is not easy, but it works if we persevere.
 

JustMe

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I have said before that it's a pity we can't recognize the normality of our symptoms. Your body is responding to your thoughts and preparing you for an assumed danger. Yours is a typical anxiety manifestation. You have been checked out and told you are ok, but you don't really believe them. Also, you are making the very big mistaken of looking up symptoms. In your present state you are wide open to suggestion so that once an erroneous idea enters your mind you pick it up and run with it. Your medics are obviously not worried about you so why are you? Habit! Oh yes, anxiety can become a habit that is often difficult to break. But it can be done if we accept it all and stop being apprehensive. Big order? Oh yes, acceptance is not easy, but it works if we persevere.
Well this dr assumed it was all anxiety. He seemed not to believe me when I told him what was happening. I didn't Google any symptoms. I haven't done that for a few years now. My regular dr wanted me to get checked out though because I mentioned what happened with my heart. She said some arrhythmias could cause problems so she wanted to be sure what was happening was benign. There was no way for that heart dr to know what was going on especially without even checking me out and that is why I insisted on specific things. I still have heart anxiety but I try to belive my Dr that I'm ok. When I feel weird things I don't freak out but sometimes I do get scared. I have extreme anxiety but I push through it and keep going. I refuse to goggle anything and I try my hardest to believe what the dr.s say and go on with my life. Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me though.
 
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