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New therapist....left in pain.

pinkshaylee

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I started with a new therapist today to help control my anxiety. My PCP has me on Buspirone and recently added Ativan on an as needed basis due to severe panic/anxiety.

I told my therapist my history over the past year (1st panic attack less than a year ago, 2 trips to the ER for chest pains and a handful more almost trips, 6 EKGs since September between the two ERs and two different doctors offices, multiple blood tests). The first thing out of her mouth is that I need to go to my doctor and ask for a heart monitor to wear “because this issue very well could be your heart!” I had already had a rough day (high anxiety-shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea) and her words just sent me over the edge! I drove home with chest pains, afraid I would have to pull over and call an ambulance.

So frustrated. I am obese so I do understand that is the first thing people think when I say anything about chest pains. But is this what you say to someone who has anxiety the first time you meet with them? She said “EKG only does good if you’re experiencing the symptoms right then and there.” First off, I was experiencing chest pains when they did them otherwise I wouldn’t be there. Secondly, I’m not a doctor but I do know that the EKG would tip off if my heart was suffering from any event that may have happened in the past.

Sorry for venting but I appreciate the space to do it. I’m just scared and anxious and a little mad. Has anyone else had this happen?
 

triceps

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Hi pinkshaylee. You're absolutely right about the therapist "profiling" you because of your obesity. How horrible an experience for you. I would tell your story to whomever suggested that therapist. That's complete incompetence on that therapists' part in my opinion. Hope you can get past that and that your anxiety settles down.
 

pinkshaylee

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Thanks Triceps. I’m used to it at this point. I’ve been overweight/obese my entire life and so I’m used to people jumping to that conclusion from just about any starting point. Sad thing is, I’m healthier since the anxiety started than I have been in years. I’ve lost 58 pounds over the past year, I’ve changed my diet, exercise more, and my blood pressure is normal 4 out of 5 times it’s checked.

She kept saying, “don’t tell your doctor I told you to do this” and “I’m not a doctor at all but...” I could feel it building inside me while she talked. Unfortunately I have no one to report to as I found this therapist on my own.
 

Concernedgal

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I started with a new therapist today to help control my anxiety. My PCP has me on Buspirone and recently added Ativan on an as needed basis due to severe panic/anxiety.

I told my therapist my history over the past year (1st panic attack less than a year ago, 2 trips to the ER for chest pains and a handful more almost trips, 6 EKGs since September between the two ERs and two different doctors offices, multiple blood tests). The first thing out of her mouth is that I need to go to my doctor and ask for a heart monitor to wear “because this issue very well could be your heart!” I had already had a rough day (high anxiety-shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea) and her words just sent me over the edge! I drove home with chest pains, afraid I would have to pull over and call an ambulance.

So frustrated. I am obese so I do understand that is the first thing people think when I say anything about chest pains. But is this what you say to someone who has anxiety the first time you meet with them? She said “EKG only does good if you’re experiencing the symptoms right then and there.” First off, I was experiencing chest pains when they did them otherwise I wouldn’t be there. Secondly, I’m not a doctor but I do know that the EKG would tip off if my heart was suffering from any event that may have happened in the past.

Sorry for venting but I appreciate the space to do it. I’m just scared and anxious and a little mad. Has anyone else had this happen?
Ok. So the point of an ekg is to detect any irregularities in your heart's rhythm.
So you mention that you were indeed experiencing symptoms during the test.
While you were having symptoms...do you remember being under high stress or in a car ? And one the most important questions I want to ask you is....did you experience most of your symptoms during the heat of summer? Are you dizzy or lightheaded also?
The probably of this being a heart ...there is a small chance if the episodesite happen during extreme temperature changes .
When you were in the er....was your blood pressure high? Was your heart rate high?
Your therapist had no right to suggest that you may have a heart condition unless you told him or her that you have no problems in your life or you are saying that the medication isn't helping.
Is the medication helping?
I can't really say that we can rule out a heart issue though and I will tell you why.
I have a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia which means that I can sometimes have a much higher heart rate that I should ( it can go into the 150 bpm sometimes). Anyways ...in order for that to be diagnosed though....my heart rate was always dangerously high whend I experienced my symptoms sometimes.
But, what your therapist should have told you is that you can absolutely positively suffer from both conditions panic attacks can definitely cause your heart rate to sky rocket too.
Because of this ...it took several years for my condition to be diagnosed.
While at the er....did they suggest you see a cardiologist?
If not...then I think that the er was confident enough that it was your anxiety to not even mentioning that you visita cardiologist. Instead they suggested therapy.
Think about that.
And also if you want to know whether it's cardiac or not ...do this.
1) find a chair and sit in with your head between your knees.
2) inhale through your nose as deploy as you can.
3) hold your breath for 5 second's ( no more than 5.
4) exhale ( obviously lol)
If your symptoms subside....then your may have a heart rhythm issue.
Which is no big deal...easily treatable .
When you do this exercise...you are slowing your heart rate down ( that's why you can't do it for long).
But, the bad thing is...when it comes to panic attacks. .this may aggregate it by increasing your lightheaded feeling.
So like I said...use caution doing this.
This technique is 1 that my doctor suggested I do. Good luck hun and let me know ( if you try it) if it made it better or worst.
 
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