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Struggling to control my worries!

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Ste123

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
14
Hi I’m Ste, I’m on here to hopefully get some advice and speak to people dealing with Health Anxiety or similar in the hope of learning to control my worries.
This has totally hit me for six and to be honest I’m a bit up and down with it all. I never in a million years thought I would be diagnosed with a mental health issue and was probably the last person my friends and family would of said would be in this position, but here we are!!
But it has happened and now I’m trying my best to deal with this without any medication. My main issue is being obsessed with my health, in particular my heart. I’ve been to A&E 3 times in the last 3 months with chest pains and feeling faint. I’ve had countless ECGs, blood tests, 48hr heart recording and stress test that have all shown negative for any heart problems but I’m still panicking every time I get a niggle or pain in any area of my chest or back.
As ridiculous as it sounds I just can’t for the life of me accept what I’m being told and now I’m stuck in this vicious circle of anxiety driven pains and shortness of breath that I can’t get my head around. I’m hoping there’s some sort of magic quick fix but in reality I will take any advice to try and beat this weird and annoying illness!!
 
unspoken-words

unspoken-words

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
197
Location
countryside location England.
Hi STE, it is good that your hospital tests have come back "all clear", what you are suffering from is "anxiety attacks" and you need to speak to your doctor about this. Prescribed medication will be most likely in the form of Propranolol or Citalopram, then you will have a referral to a therapist in mental health to work on your anxiety issues.
The medication will control your anxiety and make you more relaxed, please ask for help sooner rather than later :hug1:
 
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Ste123

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
14
Where possible I really want to avoid medication, especially beta blockers, I’ve heard a lot of bad things about them and as my resting heart rate is between 50/60bpm I don’t really want it getting any lower of that could be a new can of worms. I’m due to get results of a thyroid test back this week so will see what happens with that. To be honest I think it will come back with no problems so I will see what my GP suggests as the next step.
I’ve been told to give cannabis oil a try but I’m sceptical of its helpfulness and it might not be allowed with the job I do.
 
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Fancyharm

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 7, 2018
Messages
533
Location
West Midlands
Good news, there is hope.

I am a recovered agoraphobic and I beat it with mainly self help and my counsellor.

I bought books on anxiety and learned about how it works, once you know how it works you can start to act on getting shut of the anxiety.

I used replacement thought techniques, relaxation therapy and breathing exercises. It works and once you start replacing the thoughts and follow some guidelines you will get over it.

It does hit you like a ton of bricks, definitely, but you can break it's spell.
 
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Jkc24

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
6
I could have wrote this post myself! I have sever health anxiety, and like you, a couple years ago I would have never thought I would be here now. I’m in constant fear of heart attacks and strokes and all these crazy diseases. I’m 24 years old and healthy. I’ve had all the work ups on my heart as well and all fine. And I STILL can’t believe it. My mom doesn’t understand why I don’t believe the doctor. Idk why either. I just have such a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this is all anxiety related symptoms. I never used to be like this. I was so so scared to try medicine until I basically had a mental breakdown because I couldn’t even get ready for work without going into a full blown panic attack. I take Buspar twice I day. I have to say it has honestly has helped. And I was trying soo hard to stay away from medication. This was a last resort for me but I’m glad I did it. I also find that talking about it to someone or writing it down helps, it helps me realize that I do KNOW it’s all anxiety, it’s just in the moment I can’t wrap my head around it, then my body starts panicking and I get more symptoms. It’s a vicious cycle. It makes me feel better to see there are other people like, although I wouldn’t wish this one anyone, I know that my fears are real, and I’m not crazy, just have to learn how to relax more instead of going right into a panic attack. I read something the other day that said when I feel something I think is happening, to stop for 10 seconds and don’t move or talk or think just asses the situation, am I okay, I am not in danger, this is anxiety.. those types of thoughts, it has helped me from having some bad attacks at work and in public. I really hope you find something that help. I know exactly how you feel.
 
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dan76

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
4
Hi!

How are you guys doing now?

Ste, sounds so familiar. I went through something very similar about 7 years ago when this thing hit me. Also could say that I would have never thought I could get mental disorder. I guess the doctors felt the same way as it took rather long before the anxiety diagnosis was brought up. I was not the stereotypical case.

Still it impossible to point the reason why it all started. I didn’t have any clear worries and I was not kind of worrying person rather opposite I would say but maybe that’s the key.. go figure.

I am rather confident now that it was originally triggered by some physical symptoms such as mild dizziness from minor neck issues or thyroid problem (I have medication for that now) and somehow I managed to create a generalized anxiety out of it which would flare every time I notice something in my body such as slower heart rate or an extra heart beat. Again I do not feel like hypochondriac as such since I am not obsessed with a thought of having some particular illness. I was more worried about NOT having an physical illness which would explain the symptoms.

But yes, I was at least obsessed of my heart rate which would be low 50’s and I would be certain that my symptoms are due to that and there has to be an explanation.

Eventually I got into meds first on SSRI and then Effexor/Venlafaxine since 2014. I came of the meds 6-7 months ago and was rather happy and felt fine. Until about a month ago it all came back. Started the meds again and now crossing my fingers it will work again and I can get back to my normal life. Last fee weeks have been a struggle.
 
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Akardy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
53
Hi Ste,

First of all you're not alone! I've been to the hospital and had an ECG when I was just having a panic attack...it happens!

Also I know for me part of the problem is I have quite bad acid reflux, which can give you chest pains you don't understand and is often brought on by anxiety. If that is something that's affecting you anti acids can really help bring that under control.

And finally what helps me is to just try and be as rational as possible, force out those anxiety inducing thoughts and replace them with rational assessment. Remind yourself that you know you have a problem with worrying about this stuff when you don't need to, that it's incredibly unlikely that you're actually having a real health problem and that you're going to get past these worries.

Obviously that's easier said than done when you're panicking. But keep trying, keep practicing...it'll get easier.

Good Luck! I hope you're situation improves.
 
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Bubba0214

New member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
1
Hi,

I have most of the same symptoms you do. Let me tell you a little about my background and how/why I go through what you go through. I have suffered from hyperchondrism or “whatever you want to call it” for about 15 or so years now. It started when I was about 7 years old and witnessed my mother’s boyfriend have a massive heart attack in front of me. From the age 8 to about 21 I didn’t experience much anxiety or worry at all. Got through grade school, graduated college, etc. about 4 years ago at the age of 21 I went through heart anxiety to the point I had said test done and was seeing a psychiatrist. I was able to overcome this back then and move on to get married and now have a kid! From the time my wife got pregnant (maybe a couple of months into it) I developed sympathy symptoms. I was worried about her constantly. I was at work one day and one of the guys were telling a story about a 26 year old male fell over dead during breakfast with his wife because they both thought his symptoms were reflux/indigestion. (I deal with severe reflux that I “have” been diagnosed with). So my anxiety shot through the roof. I was at work and my reflux/anxiety was giving me a dull sensation/pressure in my chest and I went into a full blown panic attack (first one since the 4 years prior heart anxiety). My symptoms were, chest pain/pressure, high heart rate, trembling hands, feeling of intense fear of heart attack. Long story short, I went and had a cardiac calcium score done (result of zero). Was told I was fine and had nothing to worry about. Went to several doctors visits and was told I’m fine and didn’t take me serious because I’m a fit 170lb 25 year old male. This didn’t stop my anxiety. My heart attack fear began to spread to a heart rhythm fear. First and foremost, my resting heart rate is 60-70 bpm. My blood pressure is normally good In the 110s/70s range. My access worry has caused my heart to act very weirdly. My pulse sometimes out if the blue will race and send me into panic mode. It’s gotten so bad that listen to these things that go on in my life. If I’m sitting on the couch for a period of longer than 15 min, when I stand up my pulse will increase drastically and calm down after a while. My chest also gets tight. I’m constantly worried about my heart rate and variablilty. I’ve gone to my doctors office and have gotten the holter monitor and ekg done. I have not gone to the ER for money reasons. I did feel like after a few episodes of tachycardia that I needed to go. I didn’t go as my heart rate calmed after about 10 min. My current every day life involves me constantly checking my pulse on my neck and looking at my Apple Watch for heart rate and the ECG app. The ONLY thing I can do without interruption is playing an online video game with my friends at night when the baby and wife go to bed. This is what’s also hard! Me being so worked up around my heart health, I haven’t been able to enjoy my sons first four months of life as much as I’d like to.. it’s also been really hard on my wife as she has done most of the heavy lifting with him. I’m scheduled to revisit my psychiatrist along with my regular doctor within the coming month. As much as I’m trying to beat this, it IS beatable and we CAN do it! Hopefully this can help understand that anxiety can appear in any gender and at any age!
 
Liza9560

Liza9560

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Texas
Hi there, Fancy—what are some of those books you read? Kudos to you for overcoming your anxiety!!
 
Liza9560

Liza9560

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
116
Location
Texas
Ste, Bubba, everybody—you are describing my current state to a T. Let’s try meditation...I am going to do this as well as cleaning up my diet a bit, possibly cutting out meat (oh but I love my burgers and fried chicken!).

Ste—don’t feel too badly if you get to where medication is a good cure. You can still do breathing exercises, read those anxiety books, meditate, do yoga, all the holistic stuff, and the medication will be a great tool in evening your keel. I too was very reluctant to take it at first (I’m on Zoloft, 25mg/day for 5 years and now going up to 50), but it has worked wonders for me and I have had no side effects from it. It’s ok to take—it doesn’t mean you’re some lousy Westerner who has given up on working to be healthy.

Meditation. Breathing exercises. Counting our blessings. Journaling.

We’ll get through this! It’s helpful for me to read what you share.
 
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