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AnneN

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I have been so anxious and panicked ever since my brother died 2 years ago. It was a sudden cardiac related death. I had my own cardiac incident 12 years ago and know I must not be fully mentally recovered from it. I have been to the ER twice and have been told my heart is fine. Anxiety is the problem and I have been prescribed Zoloft, too soon to tell if it will help shut down my chattering brain and stop the palpitations. I think I could feel better if I wasn’t so aware of every heartbeat. Any ideas of how to do that?
 

Sloth54

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Sorry this is happening to you. The chattering brain could also be causing the palpitations. Our thoughts are very powerful. When we think negative or scary thoughts, we are telling our brain that something is wrong. The brain responds by sending out adrenaline which causes the palpitations.
Are you staying busy enough? I know that when I don’t stay busy I tend to overthink everything and my anxiety goes up. I also find that when I help other people it takes the focus off of myself. Also it’s just a great feeling to help someone. Try to keep yourself busy and you won’t notice your heartbeat nearly as much. Keep reminding yourself that the doctor told you your heart is fine.
I also listen to some great relaxing meditations for anxiety on YouTube.. take care
 

AnneN

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Thank you for your advice I try to stay busy, the medication is slowly taking effect, almost like a daily battle between my anxiety symptoms and the Zoloft. It'll take some time, I know.
 

Alilou

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I am sorry I can't help with your problem, but would like to welcome you to the forum anyway xx
 

shay1988

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Hello, I am so sorry for your loss! I also suffer from heart related anxiety! I'm always thinking I'm going to die cause somthing is wrong with my heart! It's always skipping or racing constantly! Been to ER as well a bunch and Dr and they say I'm fine! But around here it's so hard to get help with anxiety! They only want to give you depression meds and I don't have that I just have bad anxiety. But they don't wanna give out anxiety meds. And it makes it so hard on us who really need them! I've gotten so bad I can barely even go to work anymore. It really sucks! But I joined on here and hope to learn some new tricks to try or at least some good conversation
 

Jonathan123

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I have been so anxious and panicked ever since my brother died 2 years ago. It was a sudden cardiac related death. I had my own cardiac incident 12 years ago and know I must not be fully mentally recovered from it. I have been to the ER twice and have been told my heart is fine. Anxiety is the problem and I have been prescribed Zoloft, too soon to tell if it will help shut down my chattering brain and stop the palpitations. I think I could feel better if I wasn’t so aware of every heartbeat. Any ideas of how to do that?
Hi. And Welcome.
You have been checked out and told you are ok, so believe them. Palpitations are so common in anxiety that I expect everyone to have them at some stage. Look up on Amazon the books by Dr. Claire Weekes. There are recordings on YouTube so I believe. Don't try and stop these symptoms from happening, but accept them as part of recovery. They are not the monster you think they are. Let them come WITHOUT RESITANCE. Now the natural thing to do is to fight 'IT'. 'You must fight this thing' they say. 'It must not get the better of you'. Not good advice.
Any form of resistance will only increase the stress and cause Further problems. Calm acceptance is still the answer, although it needs persistence for it to work. There is no quick fix in anxiety, and we can spend so much time and often money looking for it.
'The man ran and ran pursued by a Tiger. Finally. exhausted he turned and faced the Tiger. The Tiger began to shrink until, the size of a mouse it scuttled off into a corner'. By facing our problem head on we find it's not such a big problem as we thought. Face, accept and let time pass is always good advice, but not easy to do. But what is in anxiety?
 

Sweet T

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My gosh. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. That must have been traumatic for you and your family. It’s no wonder you are having anxiety. Trauma will do this. Have you joined a Grief Support group? Do you have support in your life? How is the rest of your family surviving?
Be gentle with yourself. Grief is hard and exhausting. Take care
 

shay1988

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Jonathan123, U actually give very good advice! I read your post and it really hit home for me. I was having a panic attack before I logged into this group just now. But I told myself to just let it come, it will pass, ur ok. It's the first time I have not tried to fight it, or run off to somewhere I feel is a safe zone, like upstairs to my mother. She also struggles from anxiety so allot of times I'll go to her and she will talk me threw it. But my mother won't always be here is the sad thing so I have to stand up for myself. But after I let it come it passed shortly after! I'm so proud I didn't run away or try and fight it. But I know progress comes slowly, but I have hope that some day I can overcome this.
 
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Jonathan123

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Jonathan123, U actually give very good advice! I read your post and it really hit home for me. I was having a panic attack before I logged into this group just now. But I told myself to just let it come, it will pass, ur ok. It's the first time I have not tried to fight it, or run off to somewhere I feel is a safe zone, like upstairs to my mother. She also struggles from anxiety so allot of times I'll go to her and she will talk me threw it. But my mother won't always be here is the sad thing so I have to stand up for myself. But after I let it come it passed shortly after! I'm so proud I didn't run away or try and fight it. But I know progress comes slowly, but I have hope that some day I can overcome this.
Yes. you will overcome, and well done. You see what can happen if we persist? Now take care because you will probably have more panic attacks. Don't get alarmed when I say that. You now know how to cope, and slowly these attacks will diminish and finally stop. Let it come, let it all come without any resistance or trying to 'get rid of 'IT'. If only we could all understand that resistance is futile. And that is any form of resistance. Fighting. struggling. battling is out. Calm acceptance is in. Face, accept, let time pass without impatience. Keep going the way you are. You have the right attitude. And you have every right to be proud of yourself. It's by no means easy to cope with panic.
 
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DawnC

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I have been so anxious and panicked ever since my brother died 2 years ago. It was a sudden cardiac related death. I had my own cardiac incident 12 years ago and know I must not be fully mentally recovered from it. I have been to the ER twice and have been told my heart is fine. Anxiety is the problem and I have been prescribed Zoloft, too soon to tell if it will help shut down my chattering brain and stop the palpitations. I think I could feel better if I wasn’t so aware of every heartbeat. Any ideas of how to do that?
Hi, for 5 months plus I’ve been struggling with heart issues. Yet, they don’t exist, so my drs say. I don’t even believe them. I used to sleep on my side with ear plugs in but I can hear my heart beat so loudly anyway that it only makes it worse. My doctor tells me it’s tachycardia because of anxiety. As long as you ruled out heart, and I don’t mean just an ekg, get an echo stress with bubble…you should try some self care. God bless
 

shay1988

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Thank you! I have been so far but I know it's not over. But I'm going to try my best to stay calm and let it come and it will pass
 

PieFan

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I needed low dose propranolol to get my heart rate down when I was first diagnosed with anxiety disorder.

After a while I wasn't getting into the cycle of heart rate up- stress rate up- heart rate up.

Then I started identifying situations which trigger anxiety and preparing for them or simply changing life to avoid some of them. Then wearing little stone bracelets and playing with them and doing breathing exercises, carrying hard candy or gum.

Also- avoiding caffeine.

Lots of little self-care changes too like getting adequate sleep, being prepared for performances (I'm a musician) etc. If I have to be up early I pack my bag the night before and even set out my clothes so I'm not running around last minute.

This past few days have been weird, and, unusually for me, three different situations where I could assert myself or feel bad about myself for not doing so. I think I've handled it with what grace I could, but one situation I was genuinely angry and anger can be a major anxiety trigger, releases a lot of stress hormones, and most of us are not 100% comfortable with expressing anger even in a healthy way. I did reach out to a couple of trusted people (who will also tell me when I'm being unreasonable!) and I have a therapist if I need to talk it out, but also these have often been situations which have been problematic for me, getting involved more than I need to or being the one who will let everyone else go in line first even if it means I don't get cake (an example from a book I read!)

If I sit down and think, okay, what do I need here and now? a walk/exercise and some nutritious food is often on the list, and signs I'm getting off-balance are weight gain or loss, craving caffeine/sugar/alcohol/carbs...and obsessing about a conversation or situation or feeling suddenly shameful about myself. Some of these things are deep within all of us, going back to early experiences and traumas.

I talk to my sister every day, and she loves me dearly, but she often tells me to end certain situations and relationships, we don't share religious faith for example so she thinks some of the things I do are simply asking for trouble and people will take advantage...which is sometimes true, no doubt, but I don't come to the conclusion that every situation is like that or that I should avoid ever being kind in case that happens! Our family aren't always the best advisors is what I mean there, they are protective of us in my case. Earlier in life my father was critical of my decisions and didn't understand why I would attempt stressful things! And in my case I think my sister probably thinks 'you never learn' which is partly true because it's a side of myself I don't want to simply cut off and end all the wonderful things which come from living with an open heart, even if it sometimes brings pain and stress.

Life's a balance between risks and rewards, opportunities and disappointments, and it can easily go the other way with avoidance leading to boredom, and creating of other dramas, disappointments, addictions etc. Living with passion takes courage, honesty and a sense of forgiveness, towards others, towards the past, but also towards oneself. We are all flawed and if you get to know anyone in my experience @shay1988 everyone has something, no one is perfect and no one's life is continually perfect.

You will come to a point as you look around here and other resources for your tool kit that you will realize what's working for you, and that you are managing your anxiety and ultimately not bothered by it any more. It just is.

Find your comfort places, if you look around here some people build things, do puzzles, read novels or poetry, pray or meditate. Journaling. I like sending little gifts and letters to my brother overseas, trawling amazon and buying postcards if I go anywhere.
 

shay1988

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Jonathan123, Well I thought I was doing good until today. I totally freaked! My heart rate went way up so I tried to calm myself, well I did but 3 mins later back up even faster! Went down again but came back couple mins later! It was beating so hard and fast I had to call my mom and have my husband come in the room cause I knew I was going to pass out or die. I was sweating all over and shaking bad. I'm doing ok right now just worried it'll come back again. I knew it wasn't over but didn't know it would get way worse! I have been worried about my treatment coming up. I gotta go threw a treatment and it can cause bad side effects while taking it but if I don't I can't get it again and I could die. But I can't seem to make myself take the first pill! I've had them for months now! I think I'm stressing over that plus other life stuff. I'm just getting so tired of this. I feel like having a mental breakdown! I don't know what to do anymore!
 

PieFan

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I have been so anxious and panicked ever since my brother died 2 years ago. It was a sudden cardiac related death. I had my own cardiac incident 12 years ago and know I must not be fully mentally recovered from it. I have been to the ER twice and have been told my heart is fine. Anxiety is the problem and I have been prescribed Zoloft, too soon to tell if it will help shut down my chattering brain and stop the palpitations. I think I could feel better if I wasn’t so aware of every heartbeat. Any ideas of how to do that?
I wrote a reply above to someone else, sorry I seem to have mentally confused/combined both your posts.

Have you had any therapy? I did a grief support group once, it was church based, but it was helpful to hear the other people say they thought they were going crazy, didn't know how to tell anyone what they were going through, pretended to be okay, etc etc.

Sorry for your loss.

Lots of people with anxiety disorder and panic attacks have gone to the hospital thinking cardiac arrest or 'I'm dying'. That's how bad it feels in that moment.

I used low dose propranolol first to control my heartrate-anxiety cycle. But last year or so I got a really good general practitioner I trusted and she recommended Zoloft/Sertraline. She was actually a nurse practitioner and had so much more experience on a day-to-day level with patients than doctors often do, and she said start low, taper up gradually to reduce side effects, and if I come off it, do the same back down. So I did tiny doses (pill-splitting) up and about 9 months on the full dose 100 mg before tapering back down. Really helped. But I did do journaling, counselling, and

Daily life is really important with anxiety disorders @AnneN Avoid caffeine/alcohol/unnecessary stress and drama, avoid the news, do good self care and self-support habits...find healthy fulfilling things to do and people to be with, and don't worry if that shifts over time as you get well again.

I think the number one thing we all have in common who develop mental illness- at some point the stress became greater than our self-care can support, our bodies get filled with inflammation and stress hormones, and it's a holistic healing process.

I hope you feel better soon.
 

Jonathan123

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Jonathan123, Well I thought I was doing good until today. I totally freaked! My heart rate went way up so I tried to calm myself, well I did but 3 mins later back up even faster! Went down again but came back couple mins later! It was beating so hard and fast I had to call my mom and have my husband come in the room cause I knew I was going to pass out or die. I was sweating all over and shaking bad. I'm doing ok right now just worried it'll come back again. I knew it wasn't over but didn't know it would get way worse! I have been worried about my treatment coming up. I gotta go threw a treatment and it can cause bad side effects while taking it but if I don't I can't get it again and I could die. But I can't seem to make myself take the first pill! I've had them for months now! I think I'm stressing over that plus other life stuff. I'm just getting so tired of this. I feel like having a mental breakdown! I don't know what to do anymore!
I said you may well have more panic attacks, because that is what they are. You coped so well when you had that last one, so can you put that acceptance into practise again? You are worried it will come back. That is laying the groundwork for it to do so. Apprehension will bring it on because fearing the worse is pure stress. No one dies from a panic attack, although it may feel like it. Please try and take your medication. It could save you so much suffering and allow you to think reasonably again. Side effects do or can occur, but often soon pass. Your doctor can adjust the dose accordingly. It definitely does not follow that because you are having these attacks at the moment you will always have them. No way! As soon as you begin to accept them and stop fearing them they will go. Give yourself time!
 

PieFan

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It definitely does not follow that because you are having these attacks at the moment you will always have them.
I rarely have them now, can't remember the last time to be honest. I've just had a stressful few days but no panic attacks and I'll pick up low dose propranolol to carry with me just in case I need it, but I think it's like anything else @Jonathan123 we get used to living with it and it mostly fades into the background.

But yes, it feels like you could die at the time, we all remember our first bad panic attack and loads of people have gone to hospital fearing a life-threatening condition.
 

shay1988

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Jonathan123 Yes I knew I would just didn't think it would be this bad I thought I was getting a little better at handling them. I guess I moved to fast into thinking that. Today I'm very very nervous and Depressed like. I feel doomed! I came to work anyway because I can't afford not to and I feel so bad. Constant chest pressure and just sad feeling. I think yesterday scared me so bad I'm still dealing with the after math. I wish so bad I had someone to talk to in person. Maybe I will see about getting a counselor or something and see if that helps any. I'm trying to get back to the old way of thinking but for some reason I can't. I can't do nothing but cry it seems today. And yes I need to start my meds because they will save my life in the end. I've just read so many things online about it saying they could make u deathly sick. Even after finishing them. I know you shouldn't Google stuff and I hate I did that. But not it's in the back of my head. I think I want so bad just to go back to normal and I'm not anywhere close to it and it's very depressing. But thank you for everything! Everything u say really helps.
 

Jonathan123

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You must stop looking up symptoms on the websites. It's about the worse thing you can do. I know the temptation is there, but do your best to resist it. What is 'normal'? Everyone gets anxious at some stage in their life, it's called being human. The difference is that anxiety sufferers exaggerate everything. Any little upset becomes a major nightmare, and everything that could give us happiness is discarded. We don't do this on purpose, of course not, but the five horses on our chariot run away with us, and we have no control over them (The five senses). Getting those five horses to obey commands and get back into line is difficult, but not impossible by any means.
Yes, seeing a counsellor is a good idea, but if you do be honest and open about how you feel. Believe me, counsellors have seen and heard it all! You can't force yourself to be 'normal' so don't try. Calm acceptance, although difficult, can do it given time and patience.
 

shay1988

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Thank you for always getting back to me. Your words mean allot. I know I have so many things on my mind and my body just can't handle it all. It's so hard to stop worrying about it all. My age even tho I'm only 35 I still think about it and my parents getting old and my treatment I'm about to start and a bunch of other things. I know I should stop worrying so much. Now my lower back is killing me and hurting up my sides so now I'm worried about my kidneys it's like you said every little thing we take way over the top. And it sucks. I've been really emotional today. But I know crying isn't helping anything. I also have a work related meeting coming up Thursday and I'm so worried I'ma go and end up having a panic attack during it. I don't do good in groups of people. I think because I had a huge panic attack not long ago while leaving work now I panic when I have to go places.
 
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